About KJ

The fluff: 

I am a venture-backed entrepreneur, working to create a new economy based on abundance and generosity. Check it out at simbi.com.

I hate bios that make you sound like you’ve got your shit all figured out.

First and foremost, I am a person just like you: flawed and seeking. Working hard to make the most of this brief and colorful ride on the planet.

Life dealt me an interesting hand: I’ve been loved, and I’ve been abused. I’ve been betrayed, and I have betrayed. I’ve seen up close the ravages of war, and witnessed the beauty that emerges when the smoke clears. I have been up close and personal with mental illness, trauma, addiction, and violence. And with their flipside: love, hope, desire, compassion, sacrifice, and courage.

I’ve built a simple local business funded by sweat and love, and an audaciously complex one funded by sweat, love, and some of the world’s top venture capitalists.

I’m a dreamer, a builder, and a fighter. In that order.


The facts:

I grew up in Santa Rosa, California. I have a BA in Public Policy from Stanford, and an MBA from Oxford.

At 20, I started my first venture, FORGE. We served 70,000 refugees in Africa by bringing them access to education, entrepreneurial training, microfinance, health care, peace education, and much more.

At 21, I dropped out of Stanford to run FORGE.

By 22, I was managing 200 people. Often poorly.

By 24, I was traversing the world to fundraise – meeting world leaders, appearing on television, receiving awards.

At 26, the economy collapsed. I laid off people who had literally nothing to their name.

At 27, I issued evacuation orders for my staff in Congo. Their lives were threatened one too many times.

At 28, I married a yoga instructor and opened a local yoga studio.

At 29, I divorced the yoga instructor and sold my half of the studio.

At 31, I started Simbi. We are fortunate enough to be backed by Y Combinator and some great VCs.

Now I’m 33, and I spend my days building Simbi with a pretty awesome team.

I’ve learned a lot along the way, and I’m excited to get to share that with you.