Cursive Labs is a San Diego-based company obsessed with developing
a better way to create and grow companies that matter.

We are Cursive Labs

We are creating a better way to start and grow companies by blending the elegance and efficiency of
cursive with the objectivity, process, and data-dependency of labs.

Design-driven yet efficient  +
Separate, yet flowing & connected  +
Disciplined though artful  +
Unique & elegant while fast  +
+  Hypotheses put to the test
+  Intellectual curiosity meets a rigorous process
+  Unwavering objectivity ensures focus
+  Decisions driven by data

Our Process

Our culture is fueled by a passion to do our best work every day and guided by a process that keeps us focused, objective, and disciplined along the way.

 

01. Ideation

During this first step of our process we brainstorm and research ideas and solutions to real market problems. We collectively beat up these ideas until only the best ones are left standing. All ideas that come out of Ideation are our own and to move into Incubation must quickly address a large, unsolved problem for clearly identifiable customers willing to immediately pay for the value created.

The goal of Ideation is to identify the best market opportunities that ALSO fit our unique approach at Cursive Labs.

 

02. Incubation

This is the sweet spot of Cursive Labs. While we’re laser-focused on applying great design thinking to solving any problem, we manage development through a clearly articulated and disciplined process. For us, speed is critical and involving our target customers early and often is essential.

The primary goal of the Incubation phase is to quickly determine if there is a market worth entering and a solution we can turn into a highly scalable business within our stated timeframe.

 

03. Growth

Once we and our customers have collectively determined how to most effectively and elegantly address a market need, we turn up the gas. During the Growth phase we combine our operating and market expertise with a dedicated team and capital to scale the business. In doing so, we deploy our experience and resources to fuel the fire started during the Incubation phase.

The goal of the Growth phase is to create companies that matter and are sustainable and valuable on their own.

 

Our Ventures

True to the mission of Cursive Labs, our first ventures elegantly solve meaningful problems in rapidly growing markets. Take a peek below and check back soon to see what we'll be working on next.

A Strong Team

We are an experienced team of innovative and results-driven designers, developers and business people inspired to create valuable companies that matter in evolving markets.

Jon Belmonte
Managing Director

Jon helps drive the business, operations and strategy efforts at Cursive while overseeing the company's Growth phase.  Jon was recently CEO of Active Network where he led the company's highly competitive take-private process culminating in a $1B sale to Vista Equity Partners.  He was previously the founder & principal of Cedar Ridge Ventures, COO at Active Network for 12 years, co-founder of LeagueLink and a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. Jon earned his MBA from Kellogg (Northwestern Univ.) and his BSE from Wharton (Univ. of Pennsylvania).

Favorite Non-Tech Product:
The Tea Traveler (you won’t regret it!)

Ryan Bettencourt
Managing Director

Ryan helps drive the product, marketing and sales efforts while overseeing the Incubation phase of Cursive's process. Ryan was previously part of KidZui’s founding team where he was President until the company was acquired by Saban Brands.  Post-acquisition, Ryan led Saban’s digital efforts and eventually helped re-sell KidZui to Leapfrog.  Ryan has also been Founder & CEO of Blurtopia, Founder of CellarThief (acquired), President of digital-telepathy and Founder & CEO of a successful clothing brand.  Ryan earned his MBA from Babson College where he was a Babson Fellow.

Favorite Non-Tech Product:
Firewire Surfboards

Josh Schlesser
Head of Technology

Josh drives the creation of Cursive’s technology and infrastructure.  Josh was SVP of Technology at Active Network for 12 years where he architected multiple high volume transaction processing platforms and data management systems, and scaled the R&D team from a handful of people to over 800.   He has also been acting CTO and advisor to a variety of startups in the San Diego-area including Sirenas Marine Discovery, Spritzr and Luckybolt.  Josh was a particle physicist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and earned his BS in Physics from the University of Mississippi.

Favorite Non-Tech Product:
Jura Ena Micro 1

Keiran Flanigan
Head of Creative / Mobile

Keiran is a seasoned designer, front-end developer, and experienced iOS app developer who has been developing on iOS since the day the SDK was released. Having built apps for brands like Pepsi, IBM, and Hyundai, Keiran helps build Cursive’s products – from branding and interface design to writing code.  Keiran's vocation is also his avocation, and has more apps to his name than can be listed – including co-founding Blurtopia and releasing 4 apps that have been featured in the App Store.  He regularly podcasts about his experience building products and earned his degree from the University of Colorado.

Favorite Non-Tech Product:
Burrito

Grant Bostrom
GM – Spoutable

Grant helps facilitate product and growth efforts at Cursive Labs. He's a marketing guy, growth hacker and product designer. Prior to joining the team, Grant held strategy roles at KidZui, helped bootstrap a mobile social app to over 2 million responses, and worked on advertising campaigns for the likes of McDonalds, Dreamworks, and LeapFrog.  He received his MBA from San Diego State, a Masters in Advertising from UT Austin, and a BA in Design/Media Arts from UCLA. He also completed a 620 mile bike ride from San Francisco to San Diego supporting the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

Favorite Non-Tech Product:
Kimo’s Original Hula Pie®

Evan Witte
GM – BumbleCast

Evan is a product and market expert who helps drive product, partnerships, and sales while overseeing the Ideation phase of Cursive's process. Evan most recently led key product efforts at Active Network.  He previously worked at Intel, where he drove the company’s Low Cost Architecture (which eventually led to $200 computers) and led sales efforts in excess of $30M+.  Evan’s passion for form, function, and reuse inspire his love of technology innovations as well as fashion, fitness and real estate.  Evan earned his degrees in Finance and Entrepreneurship from the University of Arizona.

Favorite Non-Tech Product:
CrossFit

Brent Payne
Head of Technology - BumbleCast

Brent utilizes his machine learning and big data expertise by keeping CursiveLabs at the forefront technology. He believes the best artificial intelligence is transparent and understandable to its end users. He developed his skills from working with machine learning giants at BBN, UCSD, and dMetrics, then refined them in customer application at HP, BrightScope, and as CTO of Englue. He has mentored and trained numerous young data scientist in the San Diego area and is the progenitor of the BrentPod program at BrightScope. He received his MS in Machine Learning from UCSD.

Favorite Non-Tech Product:
Triangle Commuter Bag by abrAsus

Jeff Roberts
Market Development

Jeff spends his days (and nights) helping to drive the growth and sales efforts for Spoutable. Prior to joining Cursive, Jeff founded and ran a consulting practice that provided business development, sales and operations consulting in the real estate and consumer services industries. He also has experience leading land acquisitions for a leading real estate development firm and facilitating business planning and strategy for General Mills. When he is not working, you can find Jeff golfing, running, or enjoying one of the many San Diego breweries. Jeff received his degree in Marketing from the University of Arizona.

Favorite Non-Tech Product:
Xiao Long Bao

Cursive Labs Announces $2.2 Million Series A Round To Fuel Its Unique Approach to the Venture Studio Model
May 7, 2015 — Cursive Labs, a San Diego-based venture studio, recently announced the closing of its $2.2 million Series A round. The company’s mission is to create a better way to start and scale... READ MORE →
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