Ann Winblad Wiki, Age, Boyfriend, Husband, Children, Family, Biography & More

Ann Winblad


Ann Winblad is an American tech coach and venture capitalist who is famous for being the co-founder of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.


Ann L Winblad was born on Wednesday, November 1, 1950 (age 70 years; as of 2020), in Red Wing, Minnesota, US. Her zodiac sign is Scorpio. She grew up in Rushford and Farmington cities of Minnesota. In her high school, she was a cheerleader and valedictorian. In 1973, she attained a BA in Mathematics and Business Administration from St. Catherine University, Saint Paul, Minnesota. In her college sophomore, she studied Fortran programming language. From 1973 to 1975, she pursued an MA Education in Economics at the University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul, Minnesota. She also has an honorary Doctorate of Law degree from the University of St. Thomas.

Physical Appearance

Height: 5’ 2.75”

Eye Color: Blue

Hair Color: Blonde

Family & Ethnicity

She belongs to the Swedish immigrants.

Parents & Siblings

She is the daughter of Wilbur Winblad (a high school basketball, baseball, and football coach at Rushford High School and later a history teacher, guidance counselor, basketball coach, and athletic director at Farmington High School) and Elizabeth Stark (a nurse).

Ann Winblad with her parents

She has five younger siblings, Mary Regenscheid, Susan Shields, Dave Winblad, Patty Jorgenson, and Kathy Winblad-Polk.

Ann Winblad’s sister Susan

Relationships & Husband

She had a boyfriend in high school. In 1984, she met Bill Gates at a Ben Rosen-Esther Dyson computer conference. Soon, the couple began dating. In 1987, the couple broke up because she wanted to marry and Bill didn’t. The duo however remained friends.

Bill Gates

She is married to Alex Kline, a San Francisco private investor and the younger brother of actor Kevin Kline, since December 16, 2015. Alex Kline has two children from his previous marriage.


In 1973, she started her career as a systems analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Two years after working for the bank, she left the bank and founded her accounting software company with three other employees of the bank in 1976. The company was named Open Systems, Inc. In 1984, the company was sold for $15 million to Dallas-based UCCEL Corp. After the company was sold, Winblad became a tech consultant from IBM and Microsoft; she also invested in Microsoft. She then worked as a director for many software companies like,

  • Central Point Software (1990-93)
  • Oracle Hyperion (1991-96)
  • Net Perceptions (1996-2001)
  • Xo Group (then (The Knot)1999-2005)
  • Star Analytics (2007-2013)
  • Karmasphere Inc. (2010-14)
  • Voltage Security Inc. (2002-15)
  • OptiMine Software, Inc. (2014-Present)

She has also worked as a director for other companies such as

  • Marketwired (200-2006) – PR and Communications
  • Silicon Valley Forum (1998-2004), also Chairwoman- Non-Profit Organization
  • Ace Metrix (2008-20) – Advertising Analytics

In 1984, she moved to California. In 1987, she met former NBA player John Hummer.

Soon, they decided to start a joint venture and collected funds for two years. After investment from IBM and St. Paul companies, in September 1989, she co-founded the venture capital firm ‘Hummer Winblad Venture Partners’ (HWVP) with John Hummer, which is headquartered in San Francisco. In its starting years, the company helped in launching atleast sixteen startups.

Hummer Winblad Venture Partners’ logo

In January 2000, she became a trustee of the University of St. Thomas, the college where she once studied. She is also a trustee of Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation since 2014.

Awards & Achievements

  • Exemplary Women honoree at 4th Annual Global Women in STEM Conference (WiSTEM) in 2017
  • Innovation Catalyst Award in 2013
  • Inducted into the Fortune Small Business Hall of Fame in 2000
  • Ranked 64th in Upside Elite 100 list in 1999
  • Ranked 24th in Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in American business in 1998
  • Ranked 22nd in Time’s Cyber Elite 50 in 1998

Favorite Things

  • TV Series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)
  • Film: This Is Spinal Tap (1984)


  • A house in Florence, Italy.
  • A Beach house in North Carolina’s outer banks.


  • At the age of seven, she did her first job, which was strawberry picking. She used to get ten cents for a plant, and her employer would only allow her to work for only a few hours as she was young.
  • When her boyfriend taught her long jump in high school, she participated in a regional track event.
  • While studying at college, she held three jobs: cocktail waitress at a joint (where the bartenders called her Sunshine), bookkeeper at a hardware store, and customer service representative for Northwestern Bell, before she graduated in 1973.
  • While Ann and Bill Gates were dating and before Bill’s marriage, they visited Brazil and studied bioengineering together. In another vacation to a Santa Barbara ranch in California, Ann and Bill took tapes of Richard Feynman’s lectures and studied physics. While vacationing at Zanzibar Island, they learned about human evolution and received help from anthropologist Donald Johanson. Reportedly, in each of their trips, the duo would go to the beach with other couples for bonfires and games; they followed a tradition called the sing-down in which each team would be given a word, and they would have to come up with songs featuring the word.

    An old picture of Ann Winblad with Bill Gates

  • Reportedly, after Bill Gates’ marriage to Melinda Gates, Bill had an arrangement with Melinda to continue a vacation tradition with Ann from their dating years. Ann and Bill would spend a long weekend with each other every spring at her beach cottage on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. During vacations, they spent time riding dune buggies, hang-gliding, walking on the beach, and sharing their thoughts about the world and themselves. It is unknown whether they still follow the tradition.
  • In an interview, Ann described Bill’s impression on her as a fellow businessperson and said,

    Bill and I went for a walk on a beach and Bill tells me, ‘I can see my way, if I really squint, to $500 million in revenue.’ In 1984 there was not yet a software company that had achieved $100 million in revenue. Bill was a great influence on me and I was thinking, wow, you can actually build a company that big in the software industry? Are you kidding me? I remember making him take a stick or a rock and drawing the numbers out on the sand for me. How was he going to get there? He then said, ‘What troubles me is I can’t see how I am going to get past $500 million.’ I thought, ‘You’re troubled about that?’ I was jazzed that someone could think their way through to $500 million. There was a lot of inspiration from each other back then because there was so little collective wisdom.”

  • Her hobbies include biking, traveling, and fly fishing.
  • She is an avid dog lover and had a dog, who is now dead.

    Ann Winblad’s dog

  • Apart from English, she is also skilled in Spanish and Italian.
  • In 1990, she wrote the book titled ‘Object-Oriented Software’ with Samuel D. Edwards and David R. King.
  • She is also a public speaker and has addressed entrepreneurs in various conferences and meetings. She has also addressed the public in TED conferences.

    Ann Winblad during a TED conference