Tom Gonser, founder of DocuSign, announced earlier this week that he’s joined Seven Peaks Ventures as a partner. Not only is Gonser keen on helping founders launch and grow their startups, but he told GeekWire that he specifically liked the Bend-based VC firm’s geography and ‘rise of the rest’ approach.

The latter refers to the idea that startups can — and should — launch and grow outside of expected places such as Silicon Valley. It’s good for communities, good for founders and as Gosner and Seven Peaks are exploring, hopefully good for investors.

From GeekWire:

“I think smart people will realize that the gains in baseline standard of living are so much higher just one hour away from major metro areas, that we will see a flock of really smart founders decide to build the next great company in a location that allows a better balance, and is actually much more efficient,” he said.

“Seven Peaks Ventures shares a similar feeling that technology has moved to a point where you no longer have to move your company to a big city to succeed,” said Gonser. He added that he anticipates hubs like Bend, only an hour’s flight to the San Francisco Bay Area, will become increasingly popular locales for young startups.

How awesome was it to find a high caliber team (led) by a seasoned VC from the Bay Area living in Bend, already creating the best venture capital opportunity for startups in the Pacific Northwest, where my roots are,” Gonser said.

Vendetti, a former partner at Bay Partners in Silicon Valley and Vulcan Ventures in Seattle, is certainly excited to have another experienced entrepreneur on the Seven Peaks’ team.

“Tom shares our belief that category-leading companies are being built in thriving regional markets across the country and in particular in the West, where easy access to the Bay Area has made markets like Seattle, Portland and Salt Lake City very attractive to both entrepreneurs and investors,” said Vendetti in a release.

You can learn more about Gosner from the story here. Welcome Tom! We’re looking forward to seeing you around town.

Kelly Kearsley

Kelly Kearsley, the co-founder of, is passionate about startups, entrepreneurship and Bend. In addition to writing this blog, she creates content and manages content projects for global financial companies, tech firms and startups. She began her career as a newspaper journalist and later worked as a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in, Money Magazine, CNNMoney, MSNBC and Runner's World. See her work at or

You can reach Kelly by email at [email protected].
Kelly Kearsley