CVC Summit 2017 recap




Registration & breakfast will be from 09:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Opening Remarks

Georges Nahon, CEO, Orange Silicon Valley

How CVCs invest & what makes for effective corporate innovation programs

PE / VC expert and GSB Professor Strebulaev talks about his latest findings on the relationship and connection between corporate investment and innovation strategy.

Professor Ilya A. Strebulaev, Professor of Private Equity and Professor of Finance at Stanford Graduate School of Business

A conversation with Amy Banse, Comcast Ventures

Amy Banse’s career at Comcast spans over 20 years. During that time she has been active investing in, starting and building companies at Comcast. We ask Amy about the evolution of Comcast Ventures and her experience in corporate venture capital.

Amy Banse, Managing Director and Head of Funds, Comcast Ventures

Moderated by Gené Teare, Head of Content CrunchBase at TechCrunch


The Good, the Bad, and the Corporate: How the C-Suite and Corp Dev view Corporate Venturing

A conversation about how corporate development and the C-suite execs think about and justify in-house venture programs. We’ll discuss what’s working, what kinds of value are accruing, and ways to measure success. What's the optimal mix between venture and M&A?

Phil J. Kirk, Sr. Director, Investments & Acquisitions, Cisco

Avin Arumugam, SVP, Visa Ventures

Meredith Finn, Director, Salesforce Ventures

Tami Hutchinson, Managing Director, Intel Capital

Moderated by Fred Thiel, Chariman & Chief Advisor, Thiel Advisors


"Winning by losing in early-stage investing,” Hans Swildens, CEO Industry Ventures

Hans looks at the losses and returns of venture portfolios. He will talk about why CVC programs fail, and why -- if CVC programs are to become successful -- corporations need to stay in the game despite losses.


Exiting Venture Investments: Liquidity or Liquidation?

This panels looks at the state of venture answering the following: What is the appetite for IPOs, and M&As? Where are private and public market valuations? What is the current funding environment like? Are once-flush startups really struggling to stay alive as investors becoming pickier? Is there liquidity or are startups heading for liquidation? 

Hans Swildens, CEO, Industry Ventures

Tim Karman, Global Head of Internet Investment Banking, RBC Capital Markets

Daren Matsuoka, Data Analyst, SVB Capital

Moderated by Eliot Brown, WSJ

What's next? - Crystal Ball

Valley VCs and CVCs talk about the next wave of technologies and startups, secular trends and fads.

Steve Goldberg, Operating Partner, Venrock

Duncan Davidson, Managing Director, Bullpen Capital

Steve Abbott, Managing Director, Sapphire Ventures

Moderated by Brad McManus, Investment Director, Motorola Solutions


“Engaging the ecosystem,” Neal Hansch, CEO & Managing Partner, Sherpa Foundry

Neal talks about how corporates the world over are engaging the startup ecosystems, entrepreneurs and VCs alike - in Silicon Valley and beyond.


CVCs and Traditional VCs, Combinations That works

CVCs and VCs have different investment motivations, with each bringing different value to table. What makes for good co-operative partnerships from deal sharing, co-investment, business development, and post investment involvement? CVCs and VCs talk about what works and what does not, as well as expectations and commitments that they would like from each other. 

Jennifer Smith, Director, Greylock Partners

David Wehrs, Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners

Moderated by Neal Hansch, CEO & Managing Partner, Sherpa Foundry


The Instrumented Startup, The Next Venture Investment Model

This track looks at an emerging class of active VC firms that co-builds the startups that they invest in. They assist in building the product, defining the roadmap, assembling the team and finding the customers. The conversation with CVC’s in target industries can have extra significance.

Oren Goldschmidt, President, Pivotus Ventures

Jason Sydow, Investment Partner, Next47

Bob Ackerman, Managing Director, Allegis Capital

Moderated by Jay Onda, Mentor and Advisor to entrepreneurial teams

Networking with the CVC community from 06:00 PM - 10:30 PM

Stay for wine and appetizers, sponsored by our friends at 


Professor Ilya A. Strebulaev
Professor of Private Equity & Professor of Finance at Stanford Graduate School of Business

Ilya Strebulaev is a tenured Professor of Finance at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He graduated from the London Business School with a doctorate in Finance. He also holds degrees from Lomonosov Moscow State University (B.Sc. Economics) and the New Economic School, Moscow (M.A. Economics).

Ilya is an expert in corporate finance and credit risk. His work includes papers published in the Journal of Finance, the Review of Financial Studies, and the Journal of Financial Economics.

His most recent work has examined issues of dynamic capital structure, strategic financial decision-making, and empirical estimation of firms’ financing decisions. Ilya teaches the MBA angel and VC investment and decision-making course, the Sloan finance course, and the PhD advanced corporate finance course.

Amy Banse_gray.png

Amy Banse
Managing Director & Head of Funds, Comcast Ventures

Amy Banse is Managing Director and Head of Funds for Comcast Ventures and leads strategy for the fund as it determines how best to support its portfolio companies through the Comcast and NBCUniversal platform. 

Amy has over 20 years of experience investing in, starting and building companies at Comcast. During her tenure, she has closed hundreds of deals, acquired multiple cable television networks, and launched several others. She was the founder of Comcast’s digital media division, Comcast Interactive Media (CIM), and, together with her team, established Comcast’s cross-platform product strategy. Amy has an extensive track record of identifying opportunity, pushing for growth and delivering profits. 

Amy joined Comcast in 1991 as an in-house attorney responsible for programming acquisition. She spent the early part of her career at Comcast overseeing the development of Comcast’s cable network portfolio, including the company’s investments in E! Entertainment Television, The Golf Channel and VERSUS and the launch of G4, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One and Comcast’s sports networks. 

In 2005, Amy founded Comcast Interactive Media (CIM) and led the company’s online strategy over the next six years, overseeing multiple acquisitions as well as the in-house development and management of, and, Fancast and Swirl. It was here that Amy played a key part in the industry’s development of its TV Everywhere strategy. 

Amy has represented CIM and Comcast as a featured speaker in venues around the country discussing the rapid evolution of content consumption in a digital world and the opportunities and challenges facing the cable and entertainment industries. She has been named among the Most Powerful Women in Cable and the Top Programmers to Watch by CableWorld magazine. She has also been named among the Cable 100 by Multichannel News and the Digital Power list by the Hollywood Reporter. She was honored as a Wonder Woman by Multichannel News and Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) in 2004, received WICT’s Geraldine B. Laybourne Fearless Award in 2009 and ProMax’s Brand Builder Award in 2010. Amy serves on the board of directors of Adobe Systems Incorporated, The Clorox Company, TuneIn, Quantifind and the Tipping Point Community.

Amy received a B.A. from Harvard University and a J.D. from Temple University Law School. She resides in San Francisco with her family.


Tami Hutchinson
Managing Director, Intel Capital

Tami is the managing director of Portfolio Management at Intel Capital where her mandate is to provide support for the portfolio of venture backed companies. She is also the chief of staff for Wendell Brooks. Her 19-year tenure at Intel includes leading the Intel Capital Portfolio Management organization, managing offshore cash and treasury teams in Europe; the wireless business; and corporate M&A activity. 

Prior to Intel, Tami worked in public finance and distressed debt for an investment bank and trading desk. She has a B.A. in International Relations, a minor degree in French from U.C. Davis and a M.B.A. from U.C.L.A. Tami lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with a house full of sports fanatics.

Eliot Brown
Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

Eliot Brown covers startups and venture capital for The Wall Street Journal, working out of the paper’s San Francisco bureau. From 2010 through 2016, he covered commercial real estate and economic development for the Journal out of its New York office. He previously worked at the New York Observer and the New York Sun, where he covered the intersection of government and real estate within New York City.

Tim Karman
Global Head of Internet Investment Banking, RBC Capital Markets

Tim runs the Internet group at RBC Capital Markets. It is a diverse team comprised of twelve highly qualified individuals, most of whom have been working together for over ten years at RBC. Tim and his team are experts in the Internet sector across multiple vertical markets and have product level expertise in M&A, IPO's, Leveraged Finance, High Yield Debt and Private Placements of Equity.

Over the past twelve years working together his team has completed over 150 transactions for more than $20 billion in announced value, ranking among the most productive Internet franchises on Wall Street.

Some of his clients include: Bookrun IPO/Secondary: GoDaddy, Shopify, LendingTree, Quotient, BorderFree, TrueCar, Trupanion, Zulily, Rubicon Project, Wix, Bankrate,, and Trulia. Underwriter of Facebook.

Leveraged Finance: RentPath, Internet Brands, GoDaddy,, Active Networks, 1-800- contacts, Scout24, CarTrawler, Trader Media, Bankrate, and Skype.

M&A: TicketFly, Verticalscope, SpotExchange, Bleacher Report, .CO, Revision3, BrokersWeb, Liqudity Services, Limelight Networks, TraderMedia,, Marchex, lndexTools, SureHits, and Memetrics

Specialties: Maximizing value for clients through M&A, IPO's, Leveraged Finance and Private Capital financing's.

Duncan Davidson
Managing Director, Bullpen Capital

Duncan is a serial entrepreneur who most notably founded Covad Communications (the leading independent DSL provider, went public and reached a market value of $9B) and Sky Pilot Networks. He served as the SVP of Business Development at InterTrust and led the IPO in 1999 and the secondary in 2000. He spent four years as a managing director at VantagePoint Venture Partners where he focused on digital media and telecom investments including Widevine (acquired by Google) and Livescribe.

Prior to Bullpen, he co-founded one of the first mobile social app companies, Xumii, later sold to Myriad Group and now powering over 200M users in the developing world. At Bullpen he focuses on mobile and consumer Internet investments, and sits on the boards of DoubleDutch, SendHub, and Proformative. Key investments include Byliner, PaidPiper and Twenty20.

He received a Sc.B. in physics/math from Brown University, with Honors, and a J.D. magna cum laude from Michigan Law School, where he was Order of the Coif and a member of the Law Review.

Jennifer Smith
Director, Greylock Partners

Jennifer joined Greylock Partners in 2015 to lead business development, including the firm’s engagement with the corporate community. She works closely with CXOs at Fortune 1000 companies on strategic issues and technology trends related to Greylock’s areas of investment and portfolio companies.

Previously, Jennifer was a VP in Coatue’s private investments team. She draws on several years of experience as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, in both the Washington, D.C. and San Francisco offices, where she served primarily technology and banking clients on strategy, sales and marketing, transformation, and operations.

Jennifer graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with a degree in economics and finance, and she holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Jason Sydow

Investment Partner, Next47

Jason Sydow is a Venture Capitalist in Palo Alto, CA with Next47, a Siemens Company.

He leads investments in advanced manufacturing and industrial technologies. Specific areas of interest include IT/OT Security, Robotics, Additive Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence, Industrial Internet of Things, and general industrial or engineering software.

While with Siemens, Jason has invested in Riffyn, application software for design for quality in the pharma industry; Identify 3D, a digital rights management platform for distributed and additive manufacturing; and Bonsai AI, an Integrated Developer Environment for artificial intelligence enabled applications. He also manages investments in CyberFlow Analytics (acquired by Webroot) and Electric Cloud.

Prior to joining Siemens, Jason was a Partner with QuestMark Partners, an expansion stage Venture Capital firm focused on Technology and Enterprise Software.

At QuestMark, Jason led investments in Enpirion (co-led, acquired by Altera), NComputing, and Guavus (acquire by Thales). He also served on the board of RF Code (holding acquired by Yet2 Ventures).

Previously, Jason led licensing and new company formation for engineering and physical sciences at  Arizona State University. Jason was the general manager for medical batteries at EaglePicher Technologies, an energy storage company. Initially, he worked 4 years at The Boston Consulting Group as a consultant and project leader.

Jason received his Ph.D. from Cornell University, an MPhil from the University of Strathclyde in the United Kingdom as a Marshall Scholar, and a B.S. from the University of Virginia – all in Physics.

Daren Matsuoka
Data Analyst, SVB Capital

Daren Matsuoka is a Data Analyst at SVB Capital, Silicon Valley Bank’s fund of funds and direct investment group, and is responsible for managing a database that houses all of SVB Capital’s proprietary information. In addition, Daren has helped build out an analytics platform that supports the partners in their search for breakout companies and fund managers. 

Prior to joining SVB Capital in 2015, Daren participated in a series of finance internships at Morgan Stanley as well as a fund accounting internship at State Street, one of the world’s largest custodian banks.

Daren graduated from the University of California, Davis with a degree in Managerial Economics.

In his spare time, Daren loves playing basketball and golf with friends and family as well as supporting his favorite Bay Area sports teams.

Steve Abbott
Managing Director, Sapphire Ventures

Steve is a managing director at Sapphire Ventures, where he is responsible for capital markets activities. His areas of technology interest include hardware, Internet of Things, sports technology, financial technology and technology-enabled services. Steve also provides strategic oversight of the firm’s finance, operations and legal functions, and he served as a board director for Recommind. Prior to joining Sapphire Ventures, Steve was a managing director in technology investment banking at Deutsche Bank, UBS and Jefferies, where he led more than 100 financings and M&A transactions.

Earlier in his career, Steve was a strategy consultant at Bain & Company and worked in technology corporate finance at Robertson Stephens. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, with highest honors, an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a JD from Stanford Law School.

Oren Goldschmidt
President, Pivotus Ventures

Oren is a visionary technologist and innovation expert with twenty years' experience building technology companies and developing models for corporate innovation.

He is President of Pivotus Ventures, a corporate innovation organization the Bay Area. Pivotus brings financial institutions from different geographies together create technologies that transform traditional banking business models by re-imagining how we interact with money and transact commerce.

Before setting up Pivotus, Oren was a General Partner and Chief Strategy and Technology Officer at Frost Data Capital, a venture fund and incubator based in California enabling large-scale corporate innovation and transformation. He has also been a Chief Technology Officer at a number of technology start-ups including Vielife (later acquired by Cigna) and VisualDNA; he was founder and managing partner at Blueorange, a London-based incubator developing innovative strategies and delivering disruptive products for a series of new ventures in the UK.

Avin Arumugam
Senior Vice President, Internet of Things, Visa Ventures

Avin Arumugam joined Visa in May 2016 as the Senior Vice President of Internet of Things (IoT), Programs & Venture. Arumugam, brings his diverse experience in payments to one of the largest categories of opportunity, IoT, for growing digital payments. In this role at Visa, Arumugam is responsible for managing and driving partnerships and collaboration with IoT leaders and enablers. With more than 12 years of payments experience, Arumugam has expertise in launching innovative payment solutions at three payments industry pioneers – First Data, PayPal and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Pior to joining Visa, Arumugam was the head of next generation payment products at JPMorgan Chase & Co. In this role, he worked with both internal and external partners to innovate on new payment products for the company. Notably, he spearheaded and ran the Apple Pay and Samsung Pay initiatives for the firm, as well as led the development and deployment of JPMorgan’s proprietary solution, Chase Pay. As an early member of the PayPal mobile team, Arumugam focused primarily on rolling out global mobile applications and features that delighted customers worldwide. He also worked on the Emerging Mobile Markets in Latin America, partnering with telecom providers as well as banking and financial institutions to expand PayPal’s presence in the region. Prior to PayPal mobile, Arumugam was the business and strategic owner for the PayPal Pay Flow Gateway, which processed 25 percent of all U.S. e-commerce transactions.

At First Data, Arumugam worked on a wide array of payment products. He pioneered and rolled out the first RFID gift card program for First Data, which has become the foundation for the company’s mobile strategy. He was also responsible for directing and managing First Data’s entire portfolio of e-commerce platforms including Link Point/Your Pay gateway, EFS Net and Encompass. Arumugam earned his undergraduate degree in Physics and Computer Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder and his MBA through a joint program between Columbia Business School and Haas School of Business at Berkeley.

Gené Teare
Head of Content, Crunchbase

Gené Teare is Head of Content at Crunchbase. She is responsible for data on the Crunchbase platform, along with the community and venture partnerships who contribute to the accuracy of the dataset.

She has been writing and presenting on the issue of female founder trends and women in venture based on the Crunchbase dataset. The first report focused on female founders on an upward trend, followed up by founder educational backgrounds. The third report is a comprehensive study on women in venture launched with the NVCA and SBA in 2016. Here is a KTVU clip on women in venture.

Gené joined TechCrunch in 2008 to run Crunchbase within 6 months of it's founding. Working from the Atherton ranch, Gené was also involved with the setup of TechCrunch50 and TechCrunch Disrupt events from 2008 to 2012. Prior to joining TechCrunch, she was a Director of Marketing and Key Partnerships at RealNames, the company that provided natural language navigation in the browser bar. She began her early Internet career in the 90s by co-founding Cyberia the original CyberCafe in London with Eva Pascoe.


Meredith Finn
Director, Salesforce Ventures

Meredith Finn is a Director for Salesforce Ventures focused on leading strategic investments in enterprise SaaS companies that complement Salesforce’s ecosystem. Meredith has led over 35 strategic investments on behalf of Salesforce including Twilio, Anaplan, Optimizely, Pendo, Cogito, CloudCraze, and Workfit.

Before joining Salesforce Ventures, Meredith worked in finance at Twitter and Google, and as a technology and media investment banker at Evercore Partners and Citigroup. Her experience includes venture investing, buy-side and sell-side M&A, LBO, IPO, and strategic corporate finance and advisory roles. Meredith has an AB in Economics from Harvard University and an MBA with Honors from Columbia Business School.

Phil Kirk
Sr. Director, Investments & Acquisitions, Cisco Investments

Phil Kirk joined Cisco in 2007 and is currently responsible for all acquisitions and investments related to Big Data as well as Cloud software and management. Before joining Cisco, Phil was with the Microsoft Corporate Strategy team. Previously, he was an associate with DTEC Venture Capital, where sourced and executed early stage investments in the software and networking market. Earlier, he spent time as a strategy consultant, focusing on clients in the internet and e-commerce space.

Phil earned his MBA degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an AB degree with honors in Economics from the University of Chicago.

Hans Swildens
CEO and Founder, Industry Ventures

Hans is the founder of Industry Ventures and is on the investment committee of the firm's secondary and partnership holdings funds. As an early pioneer of the modern secondary market for venture capital, Hans sources and leads investments in secondary opportunities and special situations for the firm. Additionally, he directs the firm’s investment processes, operations and limited partner relationships.

Since founding Industry Ventures, Hans has sourced and led the acquisition of over one hundred secondary investments in the venture capital industry. These transactions include purchasing corporate venture capital funds, hedge fund investments, restructuring limited partnership interests, acquiring portfolios of limited partnership interests, purchasing founders' equity interests and structuring special situation investments with General Partners and Limited Partners. Earlier in his career, Hans was a successful entrepreneur who
co-founded and acted as President of Microline Software. Microline was acquired by Blaze Software (IPO) and was subsequently acquired by Fair Isaac. He also provided board advisory services to Discovery Mining (acquired by Interwoven), nCircle Network Security (acquired by Tripwire), Speedera Networks (acquired by Akamai), and StepUp Commerce (acquired by Intuit).

Hans holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA with distinction from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Fred Thiel
Chairman & Chief Advisor, Thiel Advisors

Fred provides deep technology industry expertise, strategic advice on generating growth and shareholder value, acquisition strategy development and execution, and exit strategy development and execution.

Fred has over 25 years operating experience leading companies in the technology, cyber security, data communications, Internet, M2M, automation, Big Data, digital media and software industries. He has repeatedly driven rapid growth and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in shareholder value.

As a CEO, Fred led companies through rapid growth to IPO, repositioned companies for high value exits to strategic and financial acquirers, led M&A and roll-up strategies, as well as successfully executed corporate turn-arounds.

Fred is currently chairman of the board of Utimaco, a leading European cyber security firm, and heads the advisory board of the Post-Lean Institute. He is also an advisor to a number of other public and private companies and their boards of directors.

Fred is a senior advisor to a number of other public and private companies and their boards of directors, and also works private equity and venture capital firms to create and execute strategic value creation strategies, that drive growth in both revenues and share holder value.

Fred's deep industry expertise spans cyber security, Internet media and marketing, IoT (Internet of Things), M2M (machine to machine communications), Big Data software, predictive analytics, enterprise software, wired and wireless data networking and communications, data storage, and industrial automation.

Fred is a frequent speaker and futurist in the areas of innovation, cyber security, artificial intelligence, Internet marketing, Internet of Things, smart systems, predictive analytics and Big Data.

Fred is also the creator of the 6A's Innovation Framework that helps companies and organizations drive rapid disruptive innovation to create strategic value and drive growth.

Fred attended classes at the Stockholm School of Economics and executive classes at Harvard Business School and is fluent in English, Spanish, Swedish and French.

Fred is a current member of YPO/WPO and former chapter chairman of the YPO California Coast chapter.

Brad McManus
Investment Director, Motorola Solutions

Brad McManus is an investment director at Motorola Solutions Venture Capital. His role is to actively identify, analyze, invest in and manage compelling and relevant startups strategic to Motorola Solutions core and emerging businesses. The mission of Motorola Solutions Venture Capital is to accelerate sustainable growth for Motorola Solutions through investments in new technologies, new businesses and new talent.

Brad is a veteran strategic venture investor. His background includes heading Panasonic’s venture investment group for over eleven years. He has also advised dozens of other corporations in the building of their internal strategic investment arms with the objective of seeking innovation and new business growth by partnering in targeted vertical markets. Corporate venture investing enables access to external seeds of innovation and offers unique engagement strategies for successful business outcomes.

David Wehrs

Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners

David Wehrs, a partner in BVP Silicon Valley office, focuses on helping BVP Funded companies as they grow.

Acting as a liaison to BVP Funded companies, David leads a team of functional experts who act as resources to the portfolio – Solutions Team. This team supports portfolio companies through tailored introductions and expertise across a variety of critical functions including Marketing and PR, Executive and Technical Talent, Corporate and Business Development.

In this role, David also supports the connected community of BVP Funded companies. Across the portfolio, connections are made through introductions, events, and a variety of other channels. From peer advisory boards for Founders, CFOs, CTOs, CMOs, and HR to deep-dives on relevant topics like Growth, Retail, Innovation, and Technology, BVP fosters pivotal conversations and knowledge sharing across the community.

David draws on his experience from McKinsey & Company where he worked with Technology, Media, and Telecom businesses on Corporate Strategy, Operations, and Sales and Marketing. At McKinsey, David also built TeamSight, a SaaS application that improves the process for making purchasing decisions across complex organizations. Earlier he worked in Finance at Red Hat.

David holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and a B.S. in Economics from Duke University.

Jay Onda

Active mentor and Advisor to entrepreneurial teams

Jay Onda is an active mentor and advisor to entrepreneurial teams, for large corporations and for various startups and accelerators around the world. He speaks internationally on corporate innovation and corporate venture capital.

Jay was a founding member of Yamaha Motor Ventures & Laboratory Silicon Valley (YMVSV) where he served as Partner and Director of Strategic Investments. Prior to joining YMVSV, Jay was a Principal at NTT DOCOMO Capital where he managed early stage investment opportunities, due diligence, strategic business relationships with promising startups. Earlier in his career, Jay served as a UI/UX designer, engineer, and product manager. He has maintained a focus on user-centric design as a primary focus point for innovation. 


Steve Goldberg
Operating Partner, Venrock

Steve joined Venrock in 2009 after having been CEO of several early stage companies including DataRunway, Vidient, Arcwave and CoWave Networks. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Research and Development at Nokia Internet Communications and Vice President and General Manager of the Wireless Communications Division at Cylink Corporation. Steve also held senior management and engineering positions at Trimble Navigation and Hewlett Packard. At Venrock, Steve focuses on investments in connectivity, M2M/Internet of Things, robotics and embedded systems. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Asoka, FutureDial, Red Seal, and Quantenna Communications. Previous board seats include Canesta (Acq by Microsoft), Kineto Wireless (Acq by Taqua), Newport Media (Acq by Atmel), and Teranetics (Acq by PLX Technology).

Steve received his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Washington University and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Neal Hansch
CEO & Managing Partner, Sherpa Foundry

Neal is the CEO and Managing Partner at Sherpa Foundry. He has over twenty years of venture capital, product management, technology operations, corporate development and strategic advisory experience in Silicon Valley and beyond.

Prior to joining Sherpa, Neal spearheaded the emerging market, high tech training, investment and incubation program at MEST, with a global team of over 150 people, partnerships with blue chip corporations like Samsung and Vodafone, and an investment track record in over two dozen seed stage startups since its inception. Previously, Neal was a General Partner at Rustic Canyon Partners (RCP), an early-stage focused VC fund with $500MM under management and offices in Southern California and Silicon Valley.

Before joining RCP, Neal was in the Corporate Development group at Macromedia (Nasdaq: MACR, acq. by ADBE), where he was responsible for global M&A transactions and strategic equity investments. Neal was also an investment associate at Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) and a Product Marketing professional at webMethods (Nasdaq: WEBMacq. By Software AG). Neal co-founded of, which provides popular extensions for Web development tools and hosted eCommerce solutions for small businesses. Neal began his career as an investment banking analyst in the Software Group at Robertson Stephens & Co., where he worked with clients such as BEA, BroadVision, HNC, Hyperion, Informatica and Intuit. Neal earned his BA from Duke University, studied at University College London and received an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Bob Ackerman
Founder & Managing Director, Allegis Capital

Bob founded Allegis Capital in 1996 after a successful career as a serial entrepreneur. In founding Allegis, Bob’s mission was to build a seed and early-stage venture firm that would combine operational experience with an entrepreneurial spirit and a focus on forging true partnerships with portfolio companies to build successful and sustainable cybertechnology companies. Bob has been recognized as a Fortune 100 cybersecurity executive and also as one of “CyberSecurity’s Money Men”.

As an entrepreneur, Bob was the President and CEO of UniSoft Systems, a global leading UNIX Systems House and the Founder and Chairman of InfoGear Technology Corporation, a pioneer in the original integration of web and telephony technology and creator of the original iPhone.

Outside of Allegis, Bob teaches New Venture Finance in the MBA program at the University of California,
co-manages his family’s small Napa Valley winery – Ackerman Family Vineyards, and enjoys fly fishing.


Registered attendees



  • A3 by Airbus
  • Air Liquide – ALIAD Venture Capital
  • American Family Ventures
  • Applied Ventures
  • BMW I Ventures
  • Citi Ventures
  • HP Tech Ventures
  • IBM Ventures
  • Intel Capital
  • JetBlue Technology Ventures
  • Hyundai Ventures
  • LG Innovation Ventures
  • Next47
  • NTT Docomo Ventures
  • SAIC Capital
  • Samsung NEXT
  • SAP.iO
  • Singtel Innov8 Ventures
  • SK Telecom Ventures
  • Thomvest Ventures
  • Touchdown Ventures
  • Verizon Ventures
  • Wipro Ventures
  • Yamaha Motor Ventures


  • 500 Startups
  • Andreessen Horowitz
  • Asahi Glass Ventures
  • Bain Capital
  • Band of Angels
  • Canvas Ventures
  • Cathay Innovation
  • Commerce Ventures
  • Focus Opportunity Fund
  • Forté Ventures
  • Fyrfly Venture Partners
  • GV
  • Hemi Ventures
  • In-Q-Tel
  • Industry Ventures
  • Lumia Capital
  • McKesson Ventures
  • Momentum Venture Partners
  • Morado Ventures
  • NewGen Capital
  • NexStar Partners
  • Oak investment partners
  • Partech Ventures
  • Pivotus Ventures
  • Presidio Ventures
  • Rogers Venture Partners
  • Rubicon Venture Capital
  • Scrum Ventures
  • SocialStarts
  • Sood Ventures
  • Speedinvest
  • Sway Ventures
  • Synapse Partners
  • VilCap Investments
  • Woodside Capital Partners


  • ABB
  • Acceleprise
  • Amazon Web Services
  • ARM
  • Draper Nexus
  • Driscoll’s Inc.
  • Ericsson
  • Ford
  • HTC
  • IBM
  • Juniper Networks
  • KDDI
  • KLA-Tencore
  • LG Electronics
  • Majid Al Futtaim
  • Mazars
  • Michelin
  • Mitsui
  • Mizuho Bank
  • Nestle
  • Panasonic
  • PayPal
  • PwC
  • Samsung
  • Siemens
  • Silicon Valley Bank
  • SK Hynix
  • SK Telecom Americas
  • Sony
  • Sprint
  • Startgrid
  • Swisscom
  • Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings
  • VMware

Other (innovation-driven initiatives, academic, public organizations)

  • DLA Piper
  • Global Affairs Canada
  • GSMA
  • Investorfest Media