Joe Merrill



Sputnik ATX VC

Joe Merrill is co-founder and Partner of Sputnik ATX VC, an early-stage VC firm based in Austin, Texas that is addicted to identifying overlooked talent, funding them, training them and connecting them with opportunity. Merrill is a former U.S. diplomat and served as a political, economic and consular officer at U.S. Embassies in Bosnia, Nigeria, and South Korea as well as postings at the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C.

After leaving the State Department, Merrill worked in corporate treasury, finance and development at Deere and Company before entering the private equity world at a Carlyle-Apollo education fund, Apollo Global. Overall, Joe has over $3 billion of transaction experience in venture investing. Merrill has also founded and exited two start-ups, Pan Am Education and Smart FundEd.

At Sputnik, Joe is rabid about helping early-stage founders aggressively grow their business. He loves to identify and simplify complex economic problems that wicked-cool start-ups can solve.

Joe holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from University of California, Davis and an MBA in from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He enjoys running around Town Lake in Austin and early morning swims at Barton Springs!


4:50 PM - 5:20 PM

Thursday June 20, 2024

Era of Evolution: Types of Crowdfunding, Broker-Dealer Roles and Cross Border Considerations

  • Discussion of reward, donation, equity, debt, and royalty-based crowdfunding
  • Overview of the role broker-dealers play in effective crowdfunding
  • Cross-border considerations such as KIIS. regulations, and more
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