CleanShot 2022-11-15 at 13.55.27.png

Hey! I'm Brian Nichols 👋

I'm an experienced founder | operator | investor.

My superpower is connecting you with the right people to get you there faster 💥

<aside> <img src="" alt="" width="40px" /> AngelList


<aside> <img src="" alt="" width="40px" /> Twitter


<aside> <img src="" alt="" width="40px" /> LinkedIn


Experienced early-stage operator & investor

<aside> 💡 Founder


Started two businesses right after getting my Master’s from USC— DateSimply (R.I.P.) and I learned the hard way through DateSimply that some acquisition offers should be accepted. I took that lesson to heart and after distributing 1M+ RewardTag units, sold it to one of our clients.

<aside> 🔨 Operator


Ran the CA Markets for Lyft starting in 2014 which accounted for 50% of all Lyft rides at the time. Helped launch and scale local teams nationally as Lyft grew from 250 to 2500 employees. I left in 2017 to work on the future of autonomous transportation at Zoox and later took a five-person team from Seed through its Series A and eventual acquisition at BlackBird.

<aside> ⚡ Investor


Founded the Lyft Syndicate with Ann Miura-Ko, learned the ropes from First Round Capital’s Angel Track and Ann Miura-Ko’s Angel Academy and grew the Lyft syndicate to 300+ of Lyft’s earliest employees who have invested $30M+ together across 70+ startups. As of July 2022, there are ~3.5k members in the syndicate today.

I became the go-to guy for big tech company alumni communities (more here) and helped early leaders from Airbnb, Pinterest, Square, Stripe, and others start their own syndicates. We co-syndicate deals regularly.

If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s connecting the right people to each other. This is why I joined the team at On Deck in March, 2020. On Deck has historically been a community for founders on day zero of their journey to build the future. After spending a few months with founders, I came up with the idea for the On Deck Angels program and grew it to 150 members in 3 months.

At the end of 2020, I joined Hustle Fund to co-found Angel Squad, where we teach angel investors from all walks of life how we invest at Hustle Fund and then give them access to invest alongside us (TechCrunch called us the "YC of angel investing"). The community is growing quickly, we'd love for you to join 💥.

<aside> 🎤 I really enjoyed a recent podcast I did where I shared this story in detail — listen here.


Helpful from day zero

Brian agreed to be an Advisor to Contra and immediately began plugging us in to the right networks and conversations. Being new to Silicon Valley, this was a game changer for us. Within 3 months of meeting Brian, Contra was able to raise our seed round from tier 1 angel investors and VC firms, many of which came from his network. He also invested, and brought value-add investors with him via the Lyft Syndicate. Brian's product, strategy and fundraising expertise was a primary driver for the success of our product launch and fundraise.

Ben Huffman, Founder @ Contra

<aside> 🤝 My network


I believe that founders deserve to be rewarded for their courage and ambition to take the plunge. As a founder, if you inspire me with your mission, I will be helpful from day zero of your journey and will leverage my network to guide you.

I help with intros to:

<aside> 🌱 Investors


The best angel investors and VCs at tier one venture funds.

<aside> 📖 Advisors


A curated list of the best advisors from each sector.

<aside> 🛠️ Operators


World-class operators across all industries and stages.

<aside> ❓ What stages and sectors do I invest in?


I currently invest primarily in pre-seed and seed stage companies. My focus is on sectors where I can add value — marketplaces and consumer tech are my sweetspot.

Think we should chat? Email me at [email protected]

Powered by Fruition