Colopy Ventures

Scaling Awesomeness in Durham

About Joe Colopy

Hello! This is a long twisty story about who I am and how I got here. If you are looking for something more official then you should look at my biography.

I am an entrepreneur. I am also married to Karalyn and have four kids. Their names all being with the letter ‘X’. That’s were things started to get interesting.

My biggest professional claim to fame was that I started Bronto Software. It was a fifteen-year overnight success story. In 2015, we sold it to NetSuite for $200 million. I am still amazed by the journey when I reflect back on it.  Like all great things, I didn’t do it by myself. Chaz Felix was the co-founder and there were hundreds of amazing Brontos who made it happen. Today, Bronto is still very much alive and kicking as a group within Oracle. Oracle acquired NetSuite in 2016 so, by the transitive property, Bronto is now part of them.

Now, I’m dabbling in a few things. My newest gig is PeopleLove. PeopleLove is a software startup that re-thinks how companies do human resources — much like how Bronto innovated with marketing automation and e-commerce. Read more about it.

I have been into technology and business for a long time. I earned a couple degrees along the way, too. I graduated from Harvard with a degree in Computer Science and a minor in Economics. Technically, Harvard refers to majors as concentrations and minors as specializations but hey who really is paying attention. Also, I earned an MBA from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Between graduating from business school and starting Bronto, I worked a year or so at Red Hat. I was there at this interesting inflection point where it flipped from being a 100-person quirky startup to a 1000-person enterprise software powerhouse. Those were exciting times.

Before starting business school, I was a teacher a few times. Right after college, I joined the Peace Corps and spent two years teaching high schoolers in the Seychelles. In case you don’t know, because nine our of ten Americans don’t, Seychelles is an independent island country about a thousand miles off the coast of Tanzania. The place was far out there but stunningly gorgeous. See for yourself. I really lucked out on that one.

Afterwards, I was a middle school teacher at a private school in Guayaquil, Ecuador. School was nice enough but an massive embezzlement scandal happened right when I got there and eventually had to leave a few months later due to its repercussions. The school no longer exists but the memories of trying to teach middle schoolers lives on. They are a tough crowd.

Also, I coded a lot when I was younger. In middle school, I designed games for the TI-99/4a. That was a fun creative exercise. Early on, I dabbled a bit with modems and Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs). This was all pre-Internet War Games type stuff.  I even ran a BBS, with a neighborhood friend, called the Commodore Crusader. It was awesome.

The rest of the story is still unfolding so stay tuned.