Carter Cast

Operating Partner

What in the world of tech do you find to be the most interesting?

The exhilaration and challenges of scaling–seeing startups go from “something with great potential” to realizing that potential.”

What is your motivation for helping entrepreneurs build companies?

I was on the other side as an entrepreneur and so appreciated the people who supported our team (at Blue Nile,, etc.) and made a difference. I would be thrilled to be helpful like that.”

How did you get into tech?

My big sister went to this crazy startup in the mid-90s and it sounded like a lot of fun, so I went into tech too…Her company sold books online. Can you imagine?”

How do you spend time away from work?

Playing hide-and-seek, basement hockey, go fish, junior monopoly and changing more than the occasional diaper.”

What is one tactical piece of advice for entrepreneurs that is contrary to popular wisdom?

“Execute half the amount of stuff, but well. Focus.”

What is your favorite book? Why?

“I’ll offer three:

1) Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl for its incredible positive attitude and humanity;
2) The Tao te Ching by Lao Tzu for its timeless insight into how to live
3) Straight Man or Nobody’s Fool by Richard Russo for their idiosyncratic view into small town life”

What is your life philosophy?

“Sir Paul said it well: And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. (We share the same birthday–so we’re like, you know, brothers.)”

Carter Cast is an operating partner at Pritzker Group Venture Capital and a senior advisor at Pritzker Group Private Capital. Carter was formerly the CEO of and prior to that, the founding chief marketing officer of Blue Nile, Inc. the leading seller of diamonds and jewelry on the Internet. Before that, Carter was the director of marketing at Frito Lay, where he and his team developed Tostitos Scoops and launched the salsa and dip product line.

Carter is also the Michael S. and Mary Sue Shannon Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. He teaches entrepreneurship and leadership courses at Kellogg and has received the Faculty Impact Award by his students six times, as well as the Sidney J. Levy award for teaching excellence in 2018 and 2020. In 2019, Carter was awarded an endowed chair in entrepreneurship.

Carter sits on the board of Kellogg Company (NYSE: K), SMS Assist, PLZ Corp. and Interior Define. Carter is also the author of a book, The Right (and Wrong) Stuff: How Brilliant Careers are Made – and Unmade, which was released in 2018. Forbes named it one of the six best “self-help books to keep you motivated until 2020 (and beyond).” Carter has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.


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