Manish Patel

Early employee, Google
Partner, Highland Capital Partners

Manish’s passion for building began when he was a kid. Whether it was on his brother’s Commodore 128 or with a bucket of Legos, he loved to create experiences that stretched the imagination. Today, that same excitement drives his involvement in the startup community. Manish helps teams realize their potential as they evolve from an insight, to an experience, to a business.
At Highland, Manish works with students of human behavior. He invests in consumer internet, mobile and digital media companies that observe patterns in our everyday lives and use technology to solve problems at a human scale. Manish is actively involved with a number of Highland’s investments include Disconnect, Jaunt, Leap Motion, Shift, Scopely, and Weeby. He was previously involved with Aviate (acquired by Yahoo), Impermium (acquired by Google), SmartThings (acquired by Samsung) and Fleksy (acquired by Pinterest).

Prior to Highland, Manish held several leadership roles across Google as it grew from a search engine to the dominant company that it is today. He led Google’s advanced imagery and 3D mapping programs, launched the first search and recommendation engine for Google’s TV initiative and worked extensively with Google’s international offices. Early on at Google, Manish was part of the team that built the company’s advertising systems, developing key components for both AdWords and AdSense.

Manish graduated from Stanford University, where he earned a B.S. in Engineering and a B.A. in Economics. While at Stanford, Manish was selected as Editor-in-Chief of the Stanford Economics Journal. Manish received the Chilton Award for his work in engineering and the Sobieski Prize for creative thinking in economics. Outside the lab and library, Manish started a number of businesses that quickly failed. Eventually, however, a few ideas were successful.

Manish holds a teaching appointment at Stanford University and is on the advisory board of the MIT Enterprise Forum (VLAB). He’s involved with the nonprofit community in the Bay Area and has worked closely with social entrepreneurs in East Africa. Manish also enjoys tinkering at his local woodshop in San Francisco.