E-Merge Capital Partners Brad Klos B’87 & John Xitco B’87

Brad Klos B’87 and John Xitco B’87 have played many roles in each other’s lives over the last 35 years; teammates, friends, classmates, college roommates and now business partners. The two launched E-Merge Capital Partners in February 2021, only a few weeks after they first discussed the idea.

Brad: “We move quick.”

John: “And I think a lot of that is because of our relationship from Bellarmine, to college, to continued friendship.” 

As they describe it, E-merge Capital Partners is a venture capital and growth equity firm dedicated to investing in innovative, early-stage medical device companies and technologies.

Brad brings 25+ years of experience in the medical device industry and received his BA and MBA from the University of San Diego. He is also the Managing Partner and GM at Evolve Medtech, a medical device development company and venture studio which is used to develop and test products. Brad is often connected to new medical device technologies and investment opportunities through physician relationships and industry connections. Brad lives in Solana Beach, CA with his family.

John brings the same amount of experience in other industries including, real estate investment and management, food and beverage, alternative finance, and venture capital. He also received his BA from the University of San Diego and returned to Washington after graduating to work for his family business. John has branched out from there and in doing so, gained valuable experience in many industries.

E-Merge Capital Partners is a 10-year fund by structure and can invest in new companies for the first 5 years and is able to make subsequent investments in these companies over the remaining 5 years.
The Fund goal is currently $10 million. Due to strong investor interest to date, the fund size could increase to $15 million. Over $8 million in capital has been raised in just over 6 months. E-Merge has offices in Solana Beach, CA and Tacoma, WA.

John: “At the end of the day we want to help as many people as we can and do the best that we can for our investors.”

What inspired you both to start E-merge Capital Partners together? And can you share a little more about your business?

Brad and John were inspired by the by the opportunity to put their knowledge in their respective fields to good use and to be able to help patients.

Brad: “I think what’s neat about what we are doing right now, I call it a triple threat, the products we will develop can help the patient, the physician/hospital and provide a nice return for our investors. I also get to do it with a lifelong friend so it’s like a win-win from all angles.”

What sets E-Merge Capital Partners apart from the competition is that they have 15-20% of the fund invested with their own money.

John: “We are going to be invested right alongside of our investors, just like everybody else, no special deals.”

Most other Managing Partners at similar firms only have about 1-3% of their own money invested. At the end of the day, Brad and John were inspired to work together as lifelong friends.

John: “We have a vested interest in our friendship which is more important than any money we’d ever make”.

How did Bellarmine prepare you for your lives and careers? 

Aside from the place where they first met, Bellarmine and specifically athletics bought Brad and John together. The two were teammates in basketball and football throughout their time at Bellarmine and have seen the skills they learned on those teams evolve into skills they have used throughout their careers.

John: “He [Brad] absolutely loves what he is doing and I’ve come to discover how smart he is in the field that he’s in and he has taught me so much over a short period of time so it’s been fun to learn from him and then see how some of the traits from our earlier childhood, his tenacity and his hard work ethic in sports, has translated to real life business. 

Brad: “It takes two to tango”.

What career advice do you have for other Alumni? 

Both Brad and John embody working hard and doing something they are passionate about which was the biggest piece of advice they had to share with other Alums.

John: “It may sound somewhat cliché but, make sure that you enjoy what you are doing and you’re happy, do something you are passionate about.”
For more information visit, e-mergecapital.com