Founder and Managing Director
Darren Bechtel is the founder and managing director of Brick & Mortar Ventures, the leading sector-specific venture capital fund focused on emerging technologies to improve the way we design, build, and maintain our built environment. With a portfolio of eighteen built world startups, including early investments in PlanGrid, BuildingConnected, Rhumbix, Fieldwire, and ManufactOn, Bechtel has been the single most active early stage investor in AEC and FM tech over the past five years. Bechtel is a Stanford-trained engineer and MBA. He has more than eight years of venture investing experience as the founder and managing director of South Park Ventures and now Brick & Mortar Ventures. Prior to founding Brick & Mortar Ventures, he spent more than seven years in the medical device industry, initially as a research and development engineer designing and commercializing breast cancer diagnostic and surgical tools, and then as the turnaround CEO. He also founded and managed Soma CoLab, a San Francisco-based co-working and incubator space for Stanford alumni. Bechtel currently serves on the boards of BuildingConnected, Fieldwire, ManufactOn, Zlien, Holobuilder, Safesite, and EverCharge, and he serves as a technology innovation advisor to several industry leading AEC and FM companies, including Bechtel, Autodesk, Cemex, Knauf, Hilti, United Rentals, and FMI.Darren Bechtel brings over 7 years of engineering, product and architectural design, and construction management professional experience to the Brick & Mortar team, as well as over 8 years of venture investing as the founder and managing director of South Park Ventures. Darren is a Stanford-trained engineer and MBA who remains closely connected to the young Stanford entrepreneurial community as the founder and developer of Soma CoLab, a San Francisco-based co-working and incubator space for Stanford alumni. Darren is involved in the boards of six startup companies and serves as a technology innovation advisor to several industry leaders across the global AEC and Facilities Management sectors.
Curtis Rodgers is an industrial technologist and investor at Brick & Mortar Ventures, with six years of construction process improvement experience at both Kiewit and McCarthy Construction — across defense, industrial, infrastructure, and commercial markets. Curtis founded The Society for Construction Solutions (SCS) in 2014, contributes to the NASA Centennial 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, and participates as a lecturer for the US Dept. of Energy's Project Leadership Institute.
Kaustubh Pandya, P.E. brings over eight years of strategy and industry experience in the AEC industry. Prior to Brick & Mortar Ventures, Kaustubh was with McKinsey & Company for over four years advising engineering & construction firms, investors, construction technology providers, and owners. He also contributed to and co-authored research in construction technology at McKinsey. Before joining McKinsey & Co, he worked as a forensic structural engineer assessing catastrophic failures and improving building resilience. Kaustubh holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from U.C. Berkeley, a M.S. in Design Construction Integration from Stanford, and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management. He is an avid rock climber and enjoys spending time in the great outdoors with his wife Konstantina and baby daughter Sonia.
Austin Yount is a Senior Associate at Brick & Mortar Ventures and helps the team evaluate, invest in, and grow early stage companies. Prior to Brick & Mortar, Austin was one of the first 10 employees of Enjoy Technology, a rapidly growing company reinventing retail and go-to-market channels for consumer electronics. He was a member of the Business Development and Partnership team whose responsibilities were to source, execute and grow strategic partnerships with companies in the consumer electronics and telecommunications industries such as AT&T, British Telecom, Sonos, Microsoft, and Apple. Prior to Enjoy, Austin worked with technology growth companies on their M&A and capital raising strategies as an investment banking analyst. He spent 3.5 years playing professional baseball in the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox organizations after his career at Stanford. He has a passion for real estate, technology and building great teams.
Austin graduated with a BA in Economics from Stanford University and lives in San Francisco with his wife Bess and son Denver where he enjoys running, surfing, golf and coaching.