Todd Austin

Director of Operations

Biography

Todd Austin

Director of Operations

Todd Austin’s career has spanned product management, product development and operations in the consumer and medical fields.

As new companies join Playground, Todd helps them build out a team within the studio, bridging some of the early gaps in resources with the right technical expertise. In short: As Director of Operations Todd makes sure the portfolio companies are free to focus on designing great products and building exceptional teams.

Todd has worked at Apple, Motorola, Cepheid, Microfluidic Systems, and BAM Labs in addition to several successful startups. He says he was drawn to Playground’s approach of building out a world class technical team and delivering the right expertise at the right time during a startup’s growth.

“At most startups, you are typically understaffed and short on time. That can cause you to take on lots of technical and operational risk—It can be very difficult to get the right input at the right time,” he says. “The Playground studio is setup to make better input more accessible for portfolio companies, from lab data and 3D prints to architecture and supply chain.”

“Being under the same roof with portfolio companies, with a complete machine and modeling shop, for instance, lowers the threshold for trying new ideas and identifying design improvements at the earliest stage possible,” he adds.

When he’s not at work, Todd is likely out racing a sailboat in the Bay, as he’s been doing for 15 years. “It’s a short drive to get out of the gridlock and into a completely different environment,” he says. “The Bay is a very engaging place.”



VP of Operations, BAM Labs
COO, Microfluidicsystems
Senior Director of Operations, Rearden Steel (acquired by Digeo)
Also: Kerbango, Cepheid, Apple Portables, Power Computing, Motorola