Gil

Elbaz

Partner

Bio

Gil is an accomplished entrepreneur and pioneer of natural language technology and structured data ecosystems. Gil is the co-founder of Applied Semantics (ASI). ASI built AdSense and other contextual advertising products. The company was acquired by Google in 2003, at which point Gil became Director of Engineering for Google’s Santa Monica office. Gil left Google to start Factual Inc., an open data platform founded to maximize data accuracy, transparency, and availability. Gil is active in a number of nonprofits including the X Prize, Caltech, and the LA Social Ventures Partners. He and his wife, Elyssa, also manage the Elbaz Family Foundation, supporting environmental and educational causes.

Hometown + Education

Grew up in San Antonio, Caltech BS

What areas are you focused on as an investor?

FinTech, Data analytics, AdTech, ClimateTech

Before TenOneTen

Applied Semantics (acquired by Google), Factual (merged with Foursquare), Common Crawl (non-profit)

Earliest lesson learned about business?

Nerdiest thing about you?

As a kid I loved numbers as much as anyone could love anything. I created a huge database of numbers and their significance

Most “LA” thing you’ve done?

What brought you to LA?

College at Caltech. Returned to LA in '97 because LA was home and I wanted to be part of the entrepreneurial community here

Lessons on mentorship?

What tech gets you endlessly excited?

Natural language understanding models using the latest in AI/deep learning

What tech or invention did you think of first?

At Applied Semantics, along with my brother, we invented AdSense and the concept of contextual ads

Any instant deal breakers during a pitch?

When the numbers presented are off

Best piece of advice you've ever gotten

Don't second guess your decisions and remind yourself that they were right for you at the time

How do you spend time outside of work?

Play basketball, read and talk about tech and data (which doesn’t feel like work to me)

Standout moment from your founder experience?

Our VC’s fund imploded and our lead equity holder didn't invest in our company (and clearly didn't like us)

What founder traits that get you most excited?

What are the greatest and hardest parts about being a founder?

Early lesson you learned about investing?

How many pets do you actually have?

Why did you join TenOneTen?

There's no better thing to spend time on than helping early-stage entrepreneurs shape their ideas and get to the next level!

Anything else?

Go Clippers!