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Derek Norton is a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist with over 30 years of business building, operational, and investing experience across the technology, internet and digital media industries.

Derek is the founder and Managing General Partner of Watertower Ventures, a seed stage venture capital fund investing in transformative infrastructure, emerging protocols and digital services reimaging and enhancing the way we live, work and play. Watertower Ventures has invested in over 40 companies to date, playing a meaningful role supporting founders at the earliest stages grow their business and realize their vision.

BIOGRAPHY

Brandon Beck

Founder & Former CEO,

Riot Games

Derek brings a valuable and unique set of expertise as an advisor in the venture business.  Having spent his career on both sides of the table, Derek has a sharp, insightful, 360 degree understanding of the venture capital fundraising process from start to finish.  Derek is very hard-working, always available, and leverages his clients' time in an extremely focused and productive fashion.  Derek also brings deep and targeted industry knowledge at the intersection of Media and Technology where he has focused most of his career.  As a result, he maintains a fresh and insightful perspective around the industry and an equally deep and relevant set of relationships at the decision-maker level that he has culminated for many years.

Kevin Mayer

Founder, Candle Media,

Smash Ventures

Former EVP, Walt Disney Company

I've known Derek for well over a decade, and have had ample opportunity to work with him closely in many contexts. First and foremost, Derek truly understands entrepreneurs because he is one himself. That means a lot when he is dealing with early stage, high growth companies. Another aspect which draws entrepreneurs close to Derek is his work ethic. I don't think Derek ever turns off. He is, truly and remarkably, 24/7.

I have found Derek to be attuned to venture capital and the decision makers within that overall community. He relates well to the needs and tempo of M&A, and always acts to facilitate solutions rather than presenting obstacles.

He is well aware of the trends and dynamics shaking up both the technology and media sectors, and knows what's happening before most others. Coupled with his deep operational experience, and network for relationships this makes Derek a unique advisor to companies and entrepreneurs in the consumer internet, mobile, digital media and technology industry.

Robert Kyncl

CEO,

Warner Music Group

Derek brings a valuable and unique set of expertise as an advisor in the venture business.  Having spent his career on both sides of the table, Derek has a sharp, insightful, 360 degree understanding of the venture capital fundraising process from start to finish.  Derek is very hard-working, always available, and leverages his clients' time in an extremely focused and productive fashion.  Derek also brings deep and targeted industry knowledge at the intersection of Media and Technology where he has focused most of his career.  As a result, he maintains a fresh and insightful perspective around the industry and an equally deep and relevant set of relationships at the decision-maker level that he has culminated for many years.

Michael Kassan

CEO,

Warner Music Group

Brandon Beck

Founder & Former CEO,

Riot Games

Derek brings a valuable and unique set of expertise as an advisor in the venture business.  Having spent his career on both sides of the table, Derek has a sharp, insightful, 360 degree understanding of the venture capital fundraising process from start to finish.  Derek is very hard-working, always available, and leverages his clients' time in an extremely focused and productive fashion.  Derek also brings deep and targeted industry knowledge at the intersection of Media and Technology where he has focused most of his career.  As a result, he maintains a fresh and insightful perspective around the industry and an equally deep and relevant set of relationships at the decision-maker level that he has culminated for many years.

Robert Kyncl

CEO, Warner Music Group

Derek is a relentless competitor. Whether it's on the bike, the ski mountain or on the corporate playing field, Derek has the ultimate work ethic and passion. Derek is the most connected individual I know and has an invaluable network of relationships and experiences, especially in the media space where his extensive track record applies to gaming, music and the ownership and monetization of intellectual property. He is a devoted advocate for the companies that he invests in at Watertower Ventures. I have worked closely with Derek for many, many years and can’t think of a better mentor and leader for a young entrepreneur to help develop the business they are building. He and the team at Watertower Ventures are at the top of the list when it comes to early-stage technology companies raising their first round of capital. I look forward to many more years of collaborating and partnering with Derek, and continuing to see him behind me on our 50 mile bike rides.

Brandon Beck

Founder & Former CEO, Riot Games

Derek brings a valuable and unique set of expertise as an advisor in the venture business.  Having spent his career on both sides of the table, Derek has a sharp, insightful, 360 degree understanding of the venture capital fundraising process from start to finish.  Derek is very hard-working, always available, and leverages his clients' time in an extremely focused and productive fashion.  Derek also brings deep and targeted industry knowledge at the intersection of Media and Technology where he has focused most of his career.  As a result, he maintains a fresh and insightful perspective around the industry and an equally deep and relevant set of relationships at the decision-maker level that he has culminated for many years.

Kevin Mayer

Founder, Candle Media, Smash Ventures

Former EVP, Walt Disney Company

I've known Derek for well over two decades, and have had ample opportunity to work with him closely in many contexts. First and foremost, Derek truly understands entrepreneurs because he is one himself. That means a lot when he is dealing with early stage, high growth companies. Another aspect which draws entrepreneurs close to Derek is his work ethic. I don't think Derek ever turns off. He is, truly and remarkably, 24/7. I have found Derek to be attuned to venture capital and the decision makers within that overall community. He relates well to the needs and tempo of founders, and always acts to facilitate solutions rather than presenting obstacles.

Michael Kassan

Founder & CEO, MediaLink

I have had the pleasure of knowing Derek for over 25 years. I consider him not only a close professional colleague, but also a close personal friend. He is reliable and true, and someone who I have sought counsel from and collaborated with many times over. Derek is a dedicated business partner, husband, and father, and is deeply determined to anything to which he commits. When Derek does something, he does it with full force, the deepest integrity and effortless elegance. I will unequivocally support and advocate for Derek in anything he does.

Dana Settle

Founding Partner, Greycroft LP

I've had the pleasure of knowing Derek for over 17 years, having crossed paths shortly after founding Greycroft LP. Over the past decade and a half, I've come to respect and admire Derek's unwavering enthusiasm for the companies he invests in, supports, and collaborates with. Derek boasts an impeccable reputation in the venture industry, coupled with a vast network spanning the technology and media sectors. Tirelessly dedicated to the success of the companies he invests in, he leverages his extensive network to deliver impactful results. I've always considered Derek to be a strategic and innovative thinker, particularly in the realms of corporate development, marketing, and brand building. His achievements at Watertower Ventures in a relatively short period of time are nothing short of admirable

Disclaimer: These represent the views of the individual cited, and do not represent the views of Greycroft LP.

Robert Kyncl

CEO, Warner Music Group

Derek is a relentless competitor. Whether it's on the bike, the ski mountain or on the corporate playing field, Derek has the ultimate work ethic and passion. Derek is the most connected individual I know and has an invaluable network of relationships and experiences, especially in the media space where his extensive track record applies to gaming, music and the ownership and monetization of intellectual property. He is a devoted advocate for the companies that he invests in at Watertower Ventures. I have worked closely with Derek for many, many years and can’t think of a better mentor and leader for a young entrepreneur to help develop the business they are building. He and the team at Watertower Ventures are at the top of the list when it comes to early-stage technology companies raising their first round of capital. I look forward to many more years of collaborating and partnering with Derek, and continuing to see him behind me on our 50 mile bike rides.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Derek for over 25 years. I consider him not only a close professional colleague, but also a close personal friend. He is reliable and true, and someone who I have sought counsel from and collaborated with many times over. Derek is a dedicated business partner, husband, and father, and is deeply determined to anything to which he commits. When Derek does something, he does it with full force, the deepest integrity and effortless elegance. I will unequivocally support and advocate for Derek in anything he does.

Michael Kassan

Founder & Former CEO, Riot Games

Derek brings a valuable and unique set of expertise as an advisor in the venture business.  Having spent his career on both sides of the table, Derek has a sharp, insightful, 360 degree understanding of the venture capital fundraising process from start to finish.  Derek is very hard-working, always available, and leverages his clients' time in an extremely focused and productive fashion.  Derek also brings deep and targeted industry knowledge at the intersection of Media and Technology where he has focused most of his career.  As a result, he maintains a fresh and insightful perspective around the industry and an equally deep and relevant set of relationships at the decision-maker level that he has culminated for many years.

Brandon Beck

Founder & Former CEO, Riot Games

I've known Derek for well over two decades, and have had ample opportunity to work with him closely in many contexts. First and foremost, Derek truly understands entrepreneurs because he is one himself. That means a lot when he is dealing with early stage, high growth companies. Another aspect which draws entrepreneurs close to Derek is his work ethic. I don't think Derek ever turns off. He is, truly and remarkably, 24/7.I have found Derek to be attuned to venture capital and the decision makers within that overall community. He relates well to the needs and tempo of founders, and always acts to facilitate solutions rather than presenting obstacles

Kevin Mayer

Founder, Candle Media, Smash Ventures

Former EVP, Walt Disney Company

Robert Kyncl

CEO, Warner Music Group

I have had the pleasure of knowing Derek for over 25 years. I consider him not only a close professional colleague, but also a close personal friend. He is reliable and true, and someone who I have sought counsel from and collaborated with many times over. Derek is a dedicated business partner, husband, and father, and is deeply determined to anything to which he commits. When Derek does something, he does it with full force, the deepest integrity and effortless elegance. I will unequivocally support and advocate for Derek in anything he does.

Robert Kyncl

Founder, Candle Media, Smash Ventures

Former EVP, Walt Disney Company

I've known Derek for well over two decades, and have had ample opportunity to work with him closely in many contexts. First and foremost, Derek truly understands entrepreneurs because he is one himself. That means a lot when he is dealing with early stage, high growth companies. Another aspect which draws entrepreneurs close to Derek is his work ethic. I don't think Derek ever turns off. He is, truly and remarkably, 24/7.I have found Derek to be attuned to venture capital and the decision makers within that overall community. He relates well to the needs and tempo of founders, and always acts to facilitate solutions rather than presenting obstacles.

Robert Kyncl

CEO, Warner Music Group

Derek brings a valuable and unique set of expertise as an advisor in the venture business.  Having spent his career on both sides of the table, Derek has a sharp, insightful, 360 degree understanding of the venture capital fundraising process from start to finish.  Derek is very hard-working, always available, and leverages his clients' time in an extremely focused and productive fashion.  Derek also brings deep and targeted industry knowledge at the intersection of Media and Technology where he has focused most of his career.  As a result, he maintains a fresh and insightful perspective around the industry and an equally deep and relevant set of relationships at the decision-maker level that he has culminated for many years.

Brandon Beck

Founder & Former CEO,

Riot Games

Derek brings a valuable and unique set of expertise as an advisor in the venture business.  Having spent his career on both sides of the table, Derek has a sharp, insightful, 360 degree understanding of the venture capital fundraising process from start to finish.  Derek is very hard-working, always available, and leverages his clients' time in an extremely focused and productive fashion.  Derek also brings deep and targeted industry knowledge at the intersection of Media and Technology where he has focused most of his career.  As a result, he maintains a fresh and insightful perspective around the industry and an equally deep and relevant set of relationships at the decision-maker level that he has culminated for many years.

Kevin Mayer

Founder, Candle Media

Former EVP, Walt Disney Company

I've known Derek for well over two decades, and have had ample opportunity to work with him closely in many contexts. First and foremost, Derek truly understands entrepreneurs because he is one himself. That means a lot when he is dealing with early stage, high growth companies. Another aspect which draws entrepreneurs close to Derek is his work ethic. I don't think Derek ever turns off. He is, truly and remarkably, 24/7.I have found Derek to be attuned to venture capital and the decision makers within that overall community. He relates well to the needs and tempo of founders, and always acts to facilitate solutions rather than presenting obstacles.

Robert Kyncl

CEO,

Warner Music Group

Derek is a relentless competitor. Whether it's on the bike, the ski mountain or on the corporate playing field, Derek has the ultimate work ethic and passion. Derek is the most connected individual I know and has an invaluable network of relationships and experiences, especially in the media space where his extensive track record applies to gaming, music and the ownership and monetization of intellectual property. He is a devoted advocate for the companies that he invests in at Watertower Ventures. I have worked closely with Derek for many, many years and can’t think of a better mentor and leader for a young entrepreneur to help develop the business they are building. He and the team at Watertower Ventures are at the top of the list when it comes to early-stage technology companies raising their first round of capital. I look forward to many more years of collaborating and partnering with Derek, and continuing to see him behind me on our 50 mile bike rides.

Michael Kassan

Founder & CEO, 

MediaLink

I have had the pleasure of knowing Derek for over 25 years. I consider him not only a close professional colleague, but also a close personal friend. He is reliable and true, and someone who I have sought counsel from and collaborated with many times over. Derek is a dedicated business partner, husband, and father, and is deeply determined to anything to which he commits. When Derek does something, he does it with full force, the deepest integrity and effortless elegance. I will unequivocally support and advocate for Derek in anything he does.

Dana Settle

Founding Partner,

Greycroft LP

I've had the pleasure of knowing Derek for over 17 years, having crossed paths shortly after founding Greycroft LP. Over the past decade and a half, I've come to respect and admire Derek's unwavering enthusiasm for the companies he invests in, supports, and collaborates with. Derek boasts an impeccable reputation in the venture industry, coupled with a vast network spanning the technology and media sectors. Tirelessly dedicated to the success of the companies he invests in, he leverages his extensive network to deliver impactful results. I've always considered Derek to be a strategic and innovative thinker, particularly in the realms of corporate development, marketing, and brand building. His achievements at Watertower Ventures in a relatively short period of time are nothing short of admirable

Disclaimer: These represent the views of the individual cited, and do not represent the views of Greycroft LP.