Ben Cmejla

Ben loves to discover how and why things work the way they do — whether he’s learning about a new startup, unpacking a complex market, or trying to fix his car’s A/C from YouTube videos. He brings this curiosity to his work everyday and is always on the lookout for opportunities to nudge forward the systems, incentives, and norms that drive how startups receive capital and support from their investors.


Asia Pacific Land

Ben started his career publishing research for the U.S. Congress and the National Science Foundation. Shortly after, he joined Hong Kong-based real estate private equity firm Asia Pacific Land. While there, he worked on investments across the region, including the $1.2B acquisition of Tokyo’s Shiba Park Building, at the time one of the largest single-asset transactions in Japan since the GFC.

First Round

As a VP at First Round, Ben built new approaches to discovering startups and cultivating investor communities. Equal parts builder, investor and team leader, he started and ran programs like Angel Track, Co-ops and First Round’s associates team, which  led to over 20 new additions to the First Round community. 

Ben’s mission is to help people, companies, and industries from getting stuck in ruts. The work he enjoys most is when he’s helping people or companies change course.


Creating structure out of chaos

Ben loves to build the systems and scaffolding that unlock new ways for people to collaborate and bring their best work forward. This includes anything from creative fund frameworks to cohort-based programs for angel investors.

Taking baby steps

Ben brings patience, persistence, and a measurement attitude to anything he’s building. His biggest successes have involved many small steps over long periods of time