Ann Winblad

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Ann L. Winblad
Ann Winblad 2008.jpg
Winblad in 2008
Born (1950-11-01) November 1, 1950 (age 69)
EducationB.A., St. Catherine University
M.A., University of St. Thomas
OccupationCo-Founder and partner of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners

Ann L. Winblad (born November 1, 1950) is a businesswoman. She is a founding partner of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.

Early years[edit]

Ann L. Winblad was born on November 1, 1950, in Red Wing, Minnesota.[1] She was born to father Wilbur Winblad, and she and five other siblings grew up in Rushford and Farmington.[2]

During her high school years, she was a cheerleader and student valedictorian.[3] Winblad earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and in Business Administration from St. Catherine University and her master's degree in Education from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota.[4] She received the John F. Cade Award for outstanding entrepreneuership in 1997.[2]

With her master's degree, Winblad joined the Federal Reserve where she worked for 13 months.[5]


After earning her graduate degree, Winblad and three co-workers left the Federal Reserve to found Open Systems Inc.[2] The accounting software company was eventually sold for over $15 million six years later.[6][7] After the company was sold, Winblad became a tech consultant from IBM and Microsoft.[8] Winblad began dating Bill Gates and invested in Microsoft in the 1980s.[8] They met in 1984 at a Ben Rosen-Esther Dyson computer conference and dated for a few years.[9] Even though they broke up after a few years, they remained friends.[7]

In 1989 with John Hummer, she co-founded the venture capital firm Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.[7] However, it took nearly two years to raise enough funds to launch Hummer Winblad, with IBM and St. Paul Companies investing in them.[2] In its fledgling years, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners launched 16 startups.[8]

In 2000, Winblad was inducted into the Fortune Small Business Hall of Fame.[10]


  • 2017 Award for Exemplary Women honoree.[11]
  • SVForum Visionary Award[12]


  1. ^ "Ann Winblad talks Kool-Aid, green tech and Bill Gates", Dec 16, 2008, Audio interview,
  2. ^ a b c d "Always a coach". January 1, 2001. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  3. ^ Krismann, Carol (2005). Encyclopedia of American Women in Business: M-Z. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 561–563. ISBN 9780313333842. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  4. ^ "VCChat: Questions VCs Ask Hummer Winblad & Gelt Ventures". October 17, 2019. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  5. ^ Schubarth, Cromwell (October 14, 2013). "VC Ann Winblad on women in tech, sharing a hotel room with a stripper". Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  6. ^ "Ann Winblad", speaker bio for Fall 2014-2015 "Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Seminar",
  7. ^ a b c "Adventure Capitalist". September 1, 1996. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c "Ann Winblad: the woman who built Silicon Valley". July 13, 2018. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  9. ^ Isaacson, Walter (June 24, 2001). "IN SEARCH OF THE REAL BILL GATES". Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  10. ^ "Heroes Of Small Business From Apple's Steve Jobs to Kinko's founder Paul Orfalea to Earl Graves of Black Enterprise magazine, meet some of the most influential entrepreneurs of the past two decades in our first Hall of Fame". November 13, 2000. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  11. ^ "Award Winners For Exemplary Women Will Be Announced At 4th Annual Women in STEM Conference". September 8, 2017. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  12. ^ SVForum Archived 2012-03-25 at the Wayback Machine, 1999 Visionary Awards.

Further reading[edit]

Lambert, Laura. (2005). "Ann Winblad." in The Internet: A Historical Encyclopedia. Part 1, Biographies. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. p. 238-242.