Gary Little

Gary Little

Co-Founder & General Partner
I see my role as a board member as being an extension of the company’s team, and I love helping founders in whatever way I can. Being an early-stage founder can be a lonely job; I strive to be a trusted partner that is always there for them.

Earlier in his career as an operator, Gary played key roles at three companies that shaped and defined computing in their era. Gary began his career at IBM, where he joined the sales team the year the company launched the PC. During Gary’s tenure, IBM owned 70% of all IT spend. At Sun Microsystems, he rose through the ranks of  marketing and product as the company conquered the server market. At Apple, he served as Senior Vice President of the Power Macintosh Division and Vice President of Sales of the Americas. 

Gary has a BS in electrical engineering from UCLA and MBA from Harvard Business School.

Biography

Gary co-founded Canvas Ventures in 2013 to create a focused, boutique venture firm. He is dedicated to enterprise investments in open source, cloud, and data. Twice named to the Forbes Midas List, Gary brings 30 years of operating and investing experience to Canvas. Gary began investing in 1998 after joining Morgenthaler Ventures, where he pioneered investments in the open source space, including early backing of MuleSoft, Sonatype, Jaspersoft.

Earlier in his career as an operator, Gary played key roles at three companies that shaped and defined computing in their era. Gary began his career at IBM, where he joined the sales team the year the company launched the PC. During Gary’s tenure, IBM owned 70% of all IT spend. At Sun Microsystems, he rose through the ranks of  marketing and product as the company conquered the server market. At Apple, he served as Senior Vice President of the Power Macintosh Division and Vice President of Sales of the Americas. 

Gary has a BS in electrical engineering from UCLA and MBA from Harvard Business School.

Notable investments

Gary wrote the first institutional check into MuleSoft (acquired by Salesforce for $6.5B) when it was only 2 founders. He also made a Series A investment in NexTag in 1999, which went on to become one of the most valuable and profitable internet companies of its era.

Focus areas

At Canvas, Gary focuses on the New Enterprise, especially innovative software and services leveraging a strong open source community or product-led growth.

Personal interests

You can find Gary trail running with his close-knit running group or back-country skiing.

Favorite book

Motivation

Fun fact

What founders say

Our last round was really competitive; the decision, for us, came down to trying to build the highest-powered board possible. Working with Canvas meant that we really had an opportunity to work with Gary Little. Right from the start, Gary gave great input into our planning process as we were dealing with the Coronavirus live. He bolstered our team with his confidence and practically found ways to get involved and bond with the broader group.
Kevin Wang
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Founder and CEO
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FOSSA
When you’re leading a hypergrowth company, where the wheels are always on the verge of coming off, trust at the board and investor level is paramount. Time and time again, I relied on Gary to do what was in the best interest of the company, in good times and, most importantly, when we hit rough patches. Gary was always a steady voice advocating for us to think critically about how to scale thoughtfully and with integrity.
Greg Schott
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Former CEO
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MuleSoft