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Next Coast Ventures Announces Four Promotions

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AUSTIN, Texas, May 7, 2024-- Next Coast Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm investing in entrepreneurs on the “Next Coast” of innovation, is pleased to announce four promotions.

Kaitlyn DeBernardo promoted to Chief Operating Officer:

Kaitlyn DeBernardo, who has been an integral part of Next Coast Ventures since 2022, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer. In addition to her existing responsibilities as Partner and Head of Platform, DeBernardo will now oversee the firm's operational strategy and execution. With extensive experience in leadership roles at an early-stage technology business and a deep understanding of operations, DeBernardo brings a wealth of knowledge to her expanded role. Her leadership and strategic vision will continue to drive Next Coast Ventures forward in its mission to support innovative founders.

Michael Maloney promoted to Principal:

Michael Maloney has been promoted to Principal, recognizing his outstanding performance and contributions to the firm. With a background that includes a joint-degree MBA and MS in Artificial Intelligence, Maloney brings a unique blend of business acumen and technical expertise to his role. His focus on sourcing and due diligence, coupled with his strategic collaboration with portfolio companies, has consistently driven value for Next Coast Ventures.

Michael Tian promoted to Vice President:

Michael Tian's promotion to Vice President reflects his exceptional performance and growth within Next Coast Ventures. With a strong background in investment analysis and an extensive track record of supporting the firm's investment approach, particularly in the digital health sector, Tian has emerged as a key member of the team.

Julia Holmes promoted to Vice President of Finance:

Elevating Julia Holmes to Vice President of Finance reflects Next Coast Ventures' recognition of her exceptional financial acumen. Since joining the firm as Controller in 2022 from Ernst & Young, Holmes has demonstrated a keen understanding of venture capital financial operations. With a background in audit, financial accounting, and finance, Holmes' expertise will be instrumental in ensuring delivery of the highest-quality financial information to the Next Coast Ventures team and limited partners.

"We're delighted to announce these well-deserved promotions. Kaitlyn, Julia, Michael Maloney, and Michael Tian have demonstrated consistent performance and dedication during their tenure at the firm,” said Michael Smerklo, co-founder and Managing Director of Next Coast Ventures. “As we continue to cultivate the next generation of leaders, their contributions have been instrumental in shaping our firm's success.”

About Next Coast Ventures:

Next Coast Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm based in Austin, Texas. With a focus on investing in entrepreneurs on the “Next Coast” of innovation, the firm provides capital, resources, and strategic guidance to help founders build successful, high-growth companies. To learn more, visit

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