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Gould's extremely successful venture capital career began in 1989 as a general partner with Merrill, Pickard, Anderson & Eyre, a West Coast venture capital firm that had five funds totaling $300 million in assets under management. In 1995, Gould cofounded Foundation Capital, a venture capital firm working with start-up founders and management teams to build outstanding companies.

By 2005, Foundation Capital managed $75 million in funds invested across networking, communications, computer software, and other technology-based firms, sinking increments of $1 to $4 million in a select group of early-stage, high-potential start-ups and making Gould one of the most accomplished venture capitalists in the field.