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Michael Levinson

Entrepreneur • Advisor San Francisco Bay Area, US

Former VP Product and Head of Payments @oDesk. Mentor @500 Startups. Interested in payments, law, marketplaces and data. Yale grad.

Former VP Product and Head of Payments @oDesk. Mentor @500 Startups. Interested in payments, law, marketplaces and data. Yale grad.

3 vouches

Primary Skillsets

  • Business Development
  • Product
I have an idea, but I'm open to other ideas

Primary Cofounder Skillsets

  • • Business Development
  • • Product

Involved In


Spark Program
500 Startups


Board Member Spark Program August 2013 - present
Mentor 500 Startups November 2012 - present
VP of Product, Head of Payments oDesk November 2006 - August 2013
Head of Product & Operations Bottlenotes April 2006 - November 2006
Engagement Manager The Kerdan Group March 2004 - November 2005
Analyst R.B. Webber 2001 - 2003
High-End Audio Sales Red Rose Music July 2000 - May 2001


Yale University Music 1996 - 2000
Haverford School 1992 - 1996

Interested In

Cofounder With
  • • Engineering
Markets of Interest
  • • Commerce
  • • Data & Analytics
  • • Financial Services
  • • Healthcare
  • • Payments
  • • Marketplaces
  • • Law
  • • Audio

You Should Know About Me

Key Strengths

Payments • Data analysis • Product management • Business Strategy • Online marketplaces

Key Accomplishments

First VP Product @oDesk. Grew marketplace billings from $1M to $30M+ a month. Started out running global payments.

Occasional startup advisor, including but not limited to 500 Startups.

Former management consultant to technology and medical companies. Before that, musician and audio engineer.

Interested in policy and government.

How I like to work with people As a Cofounder

Significant experience with product, business strategy and analytics. I can:
- Help great engineers build and ship great products
- Figure out what customers really need (not just what they say they want)
- Manage a board of directors and outside counsel
- Close partnerships and integration deals
- Prioritize which metrics are most important and design valid measurement strategies
- Run (myself) useful queries to figure out what's going on with the product, the customer base, and the business
- Produce rigorous market research and polished communications

What makes me happy is working with great people to build something with the potential to make a significant and positive impact on the world.

As an Advisor

I can help with specific domain questions around payments (including regulatory issues) and marketplace design. Or, more generally around product strategy, metrics, positioning and fundraising.

Vouches Received

Vouches Given

Think Michael is awesome?
Vouch for them.

Josh Breinlinger
We worked together
Michael is a rare talent - one of the few people I've ever met that can break down very complex problems into a clear action plan and execut ... e on it. I'm confident that whatever Michael decides to do, it will be big, ambitious, and well-executed.
Brian Goler
We worked together at oDesk  •  Previously Vice President of Marketing, oDesk. Previously Co-Founder, YorZ. Harvard grad.
Michael is a rare analytical talent who puts the pieces together in ways that most other people just don't see. He works tirelessly, communi ... cates clearly, and adds value across the team.
Matin Tamizi
They're my friends
Michael is not a technical founder. Interestingly, most people, including engineers like myself, are looking for a technical co-founder. You ... should think about Michael differently. He's awesome, understand how to build a great product, run operations, and how to build a great business. Anyone would be lucky to have Michael as a co-founder.