Joel Cutler Managing Director

Joel Cutler

Managing Director
General Catalyst Partners
As a founder, mentor and venture capital investor, I support young entrepreneurs for their entire start-up journey. I love big ideas and being able to establish leaders in a new field that isn’t already saturated with a flock of me-too companies. If you’re going into a market or a region where others got there first, you can’t be just a little better. To be a leader, you have to be at least ten times better. Better yet is charting new territory. Then you get to define a space, make something out of nothing and define leadership.

To me, a great team with a good idea beats a good team with a great idea. That helps set General Catalyst apart from other firms: we work as a team internally, and with the founders of our companies, to create the greatest possible impact for the ideas that have come our way.

I spent my entrepreneurial career building travel, specialty/targeted consumer direct commerce and consumer fintech businesses before starting General Catalyst with my friend David Fialkow. That experience has served me well in helping entrepreneurs building really new and next-generation consumer products and services.

In the early days of General Catalyst, I was fortunate to partner with Paul English and Steve Hafner to start KAYAK in our offices to provide consumers with an easy and transparent way to purchase travel services online.

I like working with great teams that relentlessly focus on creating real inflection points in consumer experiences. One of my favorite things is to think through the confluence of new technology platforms and disruptive business models that can be the foundation of new consumer experiences. Companies I’m currently involved with are Airbnb, Cadre, Chloe + Isabel, Freebird, Handy, Lemonade, Lola, M.Gemi, Oscar Insurance, Rockets of Awesome and Warby Parker. Some of my previous investments include GroupMe (acquired by Skype), ITA Software (acquired by Google), Jet (acquired by Walmart), OLX (acquired by Naspers), Reveal Imaging (acquired by SAIC), and Venmo (acquired first by Braintree and then by eBay).

I graduated from Colby College and Boston College Law School. Along with the boards of companies I am involved with, I also serve on the boards of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital Trust.