ANGEL INVESTOR BIOGRAPHIES
Thorsten Claus, Senior Investment Manager, T-Venture of America, Inc.
Thorsten is based in the Valley (San Francisco + Mountain View), focusing on telecommunications and B2B IT infrastructure and enablers. I help European companies establish a US footprint; engage with T-Mobile US; help with European and Asia market access; engineer and harden telco-centric solutions; nurture and shape business strategies for a flat and free world.
T-Venture is the venture capital arm of Deutsche Telekom (DT), an integrated telecommunications company with roughly 180MM customers and more than $75m net revenue in 2011 -- more than half of that from international operations. T-Venture was founded in 1997 to advise and look after young, innovative enterprises which show potential economical and technological synergies with the business units of DT. We have roughly 720m Euro under management, of which 280m Euro was raised in June for new portfolio companies. I invest from Preferred Seed to mezzanine investments, 250k-40mm Euro -- contribute, co-lead, and lead. As our only limited partner is DT, we require some potential synergies down the road: use at DT; sell to DT business and consumer customers; create or grow markets DT is selling into. That said, over 70% of our 115 portfolio companies have a commercial engagement with DT. T-Venture has an exit-oriented venture capital investment strategy. Successfully nurtured and exited companies include BelAir Networks, CoreOptics, Danger, Demandware, Flarion Technologies, Jahjah, Starent Networks, Sonus Networks, Voice Objects, Mobilisafe, and Ruckus Wireless.
We are not a pre-M&A arm (so far exited 2 of 170+ companies into DT). I like early stage deals better, but stabilize my portfolio with mid- and late-stage deals. We do not share -- and don't recommend to share! -- venture presentations, cash flow numbers, P&L, etc. with DT business units, the partnering division(s), or the new business development division(s). Dedicated sales presentations should be circulated. I joined T-Venture in 2010 after running my own satisfying seed-stage fund for five years. I was Managing Consultant at DETECON in San Francisco since 2003, advising my clients such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, Sprint, AT&T, Verizon and DT on next-generation infrastructure and IT solutions. I was a senior network architect at T-Systems Nova North America before, focusing on next-generation fixed and wireless transport networks, and had my own Valley Startup which I successfully sold to OFoto to Kodak. Up to 2000 I had a unified communication and paperless office startup in Germany that I co-founded in 1993 and grew with bank loans and paying customers to a 280-people company and Germany-wide partner network.
James Conlon, Angel Investor, Founder, Bullpen Capital
James Conlon is a professional poker player turned venture capitalist at Bullpen Capital, which focuses on angel-funded lean technology startups. During his undergraduate studies, James finished in the top 15% worldwide in the International Mathematical Contest in Modeling. After undergrad, he spent three years playing 18 simultaneous tables of fixed-limit hold’em online. He credits the 1,000,000+ hands of professional poker for his skills in analytical reasoning, money management, risk assessment, detection of nonverbal cues, and strategic decision-making under conditions of uncertainty. He holds a B.A. from Bucknell University and a J.D. from the American University, Washington College of Law.
Bullpen Capital is an early-stage venture fund which makes follow-on investments in start-ups funded by angel investors. Bullpen’s market focus is on the social-mobile web sector (both enterprise and direct to consumer), which is experiencing a new tech boom. The investors benefitting most from this new boom have been the super-angels. Angel investors have pioneered a new venture-funding model, “lean investing,” which fits the model of social-mobile startups: launch quickly into the Internet and use market feedback to iterate and improve their offering. The lean model usually requires a small follow-on round – smaller than traditional VCs like to fund – to validate the business before seeking a larger round of financing at a much higher valuation. The majority of venture “rocket-ships” do not simply blast off but have this small continuation round to get their model right before lift-off. Bullpen was built to support these companies.
Matthew I. Growney, Founder & Managing Partner, Rudyard Partners
Matthew has become a well-known and successful innovator for both his understanding of new technologies as well as his ability to build compelling new businesses for the consumer marketplace. In early 2008, Matthew launched Rudyard Partners, his family’s investment office, focused on creating and investing in consumer technology companies for both mass market and specialized verticals. One such company is Isabella Products, which Matthew founded in 2008 as one of the industry’s first mobile Internet companies focused on creating next generation products like Vizit® and soon Fable™, one of the world’s first tablets designed exclusively for children.
From 1998-2006, Matthew was Co-founder & Managing Director of Motorola Ventures (MV), the corporate venture capital arm of Motorola, Inc. Matthew was directly responsible for building investment offices in Boston, Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, and Beijing. By the age of 27, Matthew co-managed a $400M portfolio of 70+ companies. Matthew created the investment program in 1997 and established it as one of the premier corporate venture practices in the world. He developed MV’s investment thesis around monetizing both strategic and financial returns. He focused on emerging networks (3G, 4G, Wireline, Cable), new media, mobile devices, Web 2.0, enterprise software, and material science. He was responsible for making investments in innovative companies like E Ink (Acquired), A123 (IPO), Fitsense (Acquired), Intellon (IPO), Snaptrack (Acquired), and Sportvision (Acquired). He has also served on both the Investment Committee and the Board of Directors for Shanghai NewMargin Ventures, one of the leading domestic venture capital firms in China. Matthew currently serves on the Board of Advisors for Sigma Capital Partners, a specialized private equity firm in New York (www.sigmacp.com). He is also a Board Director for the Concord Education Fund. Matthew previously served as Chairman of the Advisory Board for the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship in New England (http://www.nfte.com/), a non-for-profit focused on developing entrepreneurship criteria for low-income high school students. He was also involved with the Ad Hoc Technology Committee for the Boston Children’s Museum and served as a Board Director for Todobebe, an integrated media company in Miami.
In November 2005, Matthew was named one of Boston’s “40 under 40″ by the Boston Business Journal for his professional achievement and community contributions in New England. He has been a featured speaker around the world and contributed to several books both on innovation and venture capital. Matthew graduated from Michigan State University (BA), where he serves on the Board of the Center for Venture Capital, Private Equity, & Entrepreneurial Finance at the Broad School of Business, and New England School Law | Boston (JD). Matthew is fluent in French, speaks Japanese, and painfully failed at learning Mandarin. He is also an aspiring apparel designer with a collection in mind for 2014. Start following on Twitter: @iamgrowney
Jamie Kim, Senior Associate, California Technology Ventures.
Jamie focuses on business plan sourcing, due diligence, special projects and assisting portfolio companies for a broad range of information technology and life science investments. She has been closely involved in investments with enterprise database management company SkySQL; video game destination site and platform provider BladeGamesWorld; surgical navigation company OrthAlign; education technology company Goingon.com; in addition to various other Healthcare IT and enterprise software based investments.
Prior to joining CTV, Jamie was with the Private Bank at JP Morgan where she focused on investment management for $13 billion comprised of foundations, endowments, and individuals. Before that, she served as an analyst at the Private Banking Group of Merrill Lynch. Jamie graduated with honors with a B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles. A Los Angeles native, Jamie played NCAA Division I golf and speaks Korean.
Investing Markets: Medical devices - Healthcare IT - Wireless -Cloud Computing- Databases - Consumer Internet - Digital Media - Intersection of IT - and Life Sciences
Mark Jones, Managing Partner, Ticonderoga Capital
Mr. Jones co-founded Ticonderoga Capital and has 23 years of venture capital experience focused on technology-enabled services with a strong emphasis on healthcare business services. Over his extensive venture career, Mr. Jones has supervised over $500 million of venture capital investments. Mr. Jones was previously the Managing Partner of Dillon Read Venture Capital, a Partner with Advent International and an Associate with Centennial Ventures. Before commencing his career in venture capital, he was a management consultant with Bain & Company. Mr. Jones has been a director of over thirty-five companies, including 14 that have completed successful initial public offerings and ten successful sales.
Aymerik Renard, Vice President Accelerator and Corporate Investor, PCH International
Based in California's Silicon Valley, Aymerik Renard heads up PCH International's Accelerator program for hardware and device start-ups. Previously Aymerik was Managing Director, Venture Capital, for France Telecom-Orange North America, where he managed investments for a number of dedicated corporate entities (Orange Ventures and FTTI) as well as hybrid funds with external limited partners (Innovacom 2-5). His former portfolio companies included Cobalt Networks (Nasdaq IPO, then bought by Sun Microsystems), Danger (bought by Microsoft), eFusion (bought by publicly traded ITXC), Envivio (Nasdaq IPO), Epicentric (bought by publicly traded Vignette), Four11 Corporation (bought by publicly traded Yahoo!), Intershop (Neuer Markt IPO), Jabber (bought by Cisco), Mobile Complete (bought by publicly traded Keynote Systems), Preview Systems (Nasdaq IPO), Sandpiper Networks (bought by publicly traded Digital Island/Cable & Wireless), and Tumbleweed Communications (Nasdaq IPO). Prior to joining Innovacom, Aymerik headed France Telecom North America's Internet and online services-related business development activities.
Aymerik has a Bachelor of Science in Information & Decision Systems, as well as Policy & Management from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was an Apple Campus Representative.
Mark Silva, Angel Investor
Mark Silva is an active founder/entrepreneur, advisor, investor, speaker and participant in what he calls “The Geekosystem,” the intersection of Tech, Venture and Brands/Marketing. Silva recently exited a leading global brand development agency, Anthem Worldwide to start his next venture. He brings over 25 years of traditional and online advertising experience directing strategic planning, account, and creative teams with his passionate, visionary approach to bridging the gap between Startups and Big Brands. Over the past 20-years through founding several media and agency companies Silva has driven online brand strategy for blue-chip companies including ABC/Disney, AOL, Anheuser-Busch/InBev, Coca-Cola, HBO, PepsiCo, Unilever, and Warner Bros. In 1994 he was instrumental in launching CareerMosaic, one of the first commercial websites as well as RealBeer.com, a leading community for beer lovers and brewers. Silva cut his agency teeth on high-tech accounts including AMD, BayNetworks, and morel
Jon Staenberg, Angel Investor
Jon has worked with venture-backed companies for over 20 years in several capacities – as founder, manager and venture capitalist. As an entrepreneur he has established 6 companies, served on the senior management team of several early-stage organizations and provided venture capital funding to more than 200 start-ups. He is one of the most experienced venture capitalists in the Pacific Northwest, having raised three funds totaling over $200 million. He continues to make venture investments.
Pursuing his passion for wine, travel and helping to establish and grow great companies, he is now focusing his energies on new startups. His latest is, “Hand of God Wines,” a boutique, premium winery in Argentina partnered with famed winemaker, Santiago Achavel. They met in the Stanford Business School. Jon's divides his time these days between Seattle, San Francisco and Argentina and focuses on his daughter, food, wine and the endless inspiration from each that he zealously loves to share with friends. Jon graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University, where he received his B.S., M.A., and M.B.A.
For a more complete background and contact information, please connect to him on Linkedin.