Wasabi Ventures CEO Digs Into His Baltimore Roots

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ViiNetwork co-founders Phil Newman and Paul Winterling sit outside Wasabi’s Baltimore office. Photo by Steve Ruark.

Couresty Bmore Media – You can take Tom “TK” Kuegler out of Baltimore, but he’ll leave his heart and checkbook behind.

Kuegler, an Essex native and Loyola University grad, left Charm City more than ten years ago for the wilds of Montana. There, he indulged his passion for the outdoors while regularly commuting to San Francisco to indulge his other passion–early stage technology companies.

Four years and several startups later he co-founded Wasabi Ventures LLC, a Silicon Valley venture capital and consulting firm, and moved to Manchester, New Hampshire.

But Kuegler’s heart kept tugging him back to his hometown. Two years ago, he joined the Board of Sponsors of the Sellinger School of Business at Loyola and recently inaugurated the startup advisory Wasabi Ventures Accelerator. And last month Wasabi joined a syndicate of investors including Baltimore Angels and Blu Venture Investors of Vienna, Va., to ply Baltimore startupSocial Toaster with nearly $2 million in capital.

Between Loyola and his business interests, Kuegler spends “about a week per month” in Baltimore. He is bullish on Baltimore and its emerging tech community but admits that Wasabi would not give the city such “special attention” without his own ties here.

Unlike Kuegler, Wasabi was not born in Baltimore. In 2000, Kuegler and his firm’s co-founder Chris Yeh conjured up the name for their new company on board a flight to San Francisco, in honor of their fondness for – surprise! – sushi.

Read more at Bmore Media



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