Nominee: Jonathan Michael Franz

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In-house counsel 2023

Head of Legal
Crunchbase, Inc.
The Ohio State University

Despite being under 40, Jonathan Franz has already played a pivotal role in making major entertainment and architectural projects possible for clients like Warner Bros., Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Google and Alibaba, and guided entities through significant financings, plus periods of exponential growth (including Crunchbase’s 5.5X nnARR acceleration in software sales).

When he joined Crunchbase in May of 2020, the start-up was fresh off the heels of a $30 million Series C and was primarily a Data-as-a-Service provider. Franz partnered with the executive, marketing, product, and engineering teams to quickly pivot to the more profitable sales prospecting space with a multi-billion-dollar total accessible market. He helped the company close its recent $50 million Series D financing (Franz led legal due diligence and helped negotiate the Stock Purchase Agreement/Schedule of Exceptions). In addition, he closed licensing deals worth $6 million in nnARR over a span of two quarters.