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Venture Capital
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  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out Silicon Valley Venture Capital Conference, sponsored by FundingPost. This event was in California on Thursday, March 5, 2009.

    Photo of Ed Esber, Co-Managing Partner, The Halo Fund Ed Esber
    Co-Managing Partner
    The Halo Funds
    Read the full profile for Ed here!
    The Halo Funds
    Ed Esber has over thirty five years experience in the computer and software industry. Business Week magazine and Computer Reseller News have identified Ed as a pioneer and visionary leader of the personal computer industry who is credited with developing the market strategies for two of the world’s best selling software packages of the 1980s: VisiCalc and dBase.

    Ed has personally started, grown and/or turned around over fifteen companies, some of which became public companies. He has been a member of the Angels’ Forum for 9 years and a co founding member of Halo Fund Management Company, Halo Fund II Management Company and Halo Opportunity Fund Management Company. In 2007, he became a Co Managing Member of all previous funds and a Co Founder of The Halo Fund III Management Company.

    Ed is on the Board of Directors for Quantum, BenefitStreet and iTaggit. He was the CEO or President of Ashton Tate, Creative Insights, Creative Labs, and SoloPoint. He started his career by working for Texas Instruments, IBM and Digital General. Ed has also taught an MBA course at the Weatherhead School of Business at Case Western Reserve University entitled “Starting and Managing a Successful Startup”. Ed has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He earned an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University and a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Case Western Reserve University.

    Photo of Matthew Denesuk, PH.D., Partner, IBM Venture Capital Group Matthew Denesuk, PH.D.
    IBM Venture Capital Group
    Read the full profile for Matthew here!
    IBM Venture Capital Group
    I am currently a Partner in IBM's Venture Capital Group.

    Prior to this I held various positions in IBM Global Services, focussed on transforming the business toward models which are less labor-based and which improve productivity and differentiation through increased use of innovative technologies (what we broadly refer to as "services technology assets").

    Prior to this at IBM, I have been involved with developing emerging businesses, based at least in part from technologies developed in our Research laboratories. This has included a variety of businesses based on hardware, software, services, and various nanotech-related technologies.

    I also serve as an advisor to several small companies.

    Prior to joining IBM, I co-founded and managed several companies in the areas importing, marketing, and distribution of consumer products; specialty polymer products; and intellectual property and product development.

    Previously, I was a Research Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Arizona.

    I also served for eleven years as a consultant, where I assisted large and small businesses with managing product research and development efforts and with IP strategy and litigation.

    I have led fundamental and applied research efforts relating to optical and electrical properties of nanostructured materials and devices, with a focus on electrochromic technology for "smart windows." I have also led research efforts relating to interfacial properties of medical polymers and to wetting and fluid flow in microporous materials. I have authored numerous publications and book chapters in the technical literature.

    I received my B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from M.I.T., and I received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science and Engineering and Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona.

    Photo of Richard Yen, Director, SABAN Ventures Richard Yen
    SABAN Ventures
    Read the full profile for Richard here!
    SABAN Ventures
    Richard Yen is a Director at Saban Ventures, where he focuses on venture investment opportunities in the digital media, mobile, and consumer Internet sectors for the firm. Richard also works actively with the firm's private equity portfolio companies and advises them on their digital media strategies.

    Prior to joining Saban Ventures, Richard was a Principal at Blueprint Ventures in San Francisco where he established the firm's digital media and Internet investing practice. He led early-stage investments and was an active Board member at several leading digital media start-ups. Prior to that, Richard was at Rustic Canyon Partners, an early-stage technology venture capital firm in Southern California where he focused on software infrastructure and wireless investments.

    Photo of Raman Khanna, General Partner, ONSET Ventures Raman Khanna
    General Partner
    ONSET Ventures
    Read the full profile for Raman here!
    ONSET Ventures
    Raman Khanna has 20 years of operating experience and 15 years of investment experience in information technology. Raman was named on the Forbes Midas List as a top 100 dealmaker in 2008. He has been involved in many start-ups that had exits valued at over $1 Billion.

    At ONSET, Raman is focused on software, internet infrastructure and digital media sectors. He currently serves on boards of Mixercast, Permuto, Serus, FirstRain and Nitronex.

    Prior to becoming a managing director of ONSET, Raman co-founded Diamondhead Ventures in June 2000 where he led the firm's investments in Cavium Networks (IPO: CAVM), Reactivity (acquired by Cisco Systems), PassMark Security (acquired by RSA Security/EMC), Orative (acquired by Cisco Systems), Intraspect (acquired by Vignette), Serus, FirstRain and Nitronex.

    Prior to Diamondhead Ventures, Raman worked at Stanford University for 16 years in various roles, including Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Raman also served on Advisory Boards of many global technology companies. During his Stanford tenure, Raman was actively involved with many high technology start-ups as an angel investor, advisor and board member. His portfolio included Berkeley Networks (acquired by Fore Systems), Postini (acquired by Google), Siara Networks (acquired by Redback), SupportSoft (IPO), (IPO), Selectica (IPO) and Entercept Security Technologies (acquired by McAfee).

    Raman received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Delhi University, an M.S. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech and an MBA from Golden Gate University.

    Photo of Sven Strohband, Partner, Mohr, Davidow Ventures Sven Strohband

    Mohr Davidow Ventures
    Read the full profile for Sven here!
    Mohr Davidow Ventures
    Sven Strohband brings engineering and operational experience to the MDV team and supports the partnership in sourcing and evaluating investments in the areas of software, systems and materials.

    Prior to MDV, Sven spent three years at the Volkswagen Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) in Palo Alto where he was responsible for discovering new materials and electronics technologies for automotive applications. He was also the Stanford Racing team's lead engineer. The team developed a robot that successfully navigated132 miles of unknown terrain fully autonomously in the fastest time, winning the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge.

    Sven has authored numerous papers on the simulation of materials systems and authored various patents for novel automotive electronics applications.

    Sven received a doctorate and master's degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. He also earned a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University.

    Photo of Lars Leckie, Principal, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners Lars Leckie
    Hummer Winblad Venture Partners
    Read the full profile for Lars here!
    Hummer Winblad Venture Partners
    Lars is a Principal at Hummer Winblad and has played a key role in the firm’s investments in Aria Systems (SaaS billing and customer management) and vKernel (Virtualization Infrastructure).

    Prior to joining Hummer Winblad Venture Partners in 2006, Lars was involved in founding and operational roles at start-up companies. He was a co-founder of AutoFarm (now Novariant), a company focused on GPS and robotics. Lars was in charge of strategy, product marketing, business development and building the sales team across three continents. Lars has also been involved with the founding team of SportBug, a GPS and Internet fitness company. While Lars spends less time programming now, he started his technical career coding and hacking computer games. He is the holder of several US patents.

    Lars is an avid sailor and a former member of the Canadian Sailing Team. He represented Canada sailing Snipes in the Pan American Games as well as other international events.

    Lars has a Masters of Science (Engineering) from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of business. He also holds an Engineering Physics degree from Queen’s University (with Honors).

    Photo of Arati Prabhakar, General Partner, U.S. Venture Partners Arati Prabhakar
    General Partner
    U.S. Venture Partners
    Read the full profile for Arati here!
    U.S. Venture Partners
    Arati Prabhakar joined U.S. Venture Partners in 2001 after 15 years of working with world-class engineers and scientists across many fields to brew new technologies. At USVP, her focus is fabless semiconductor and semiconductor manufacturing opportunities. She serves on the boards of Kilopass, Kleer, Lightspeed Logic, Pivotal Systems, and SiBeam. She previously served on the board of Leadis Technology (NASDAQ: LDIS). Arati was a program manager and then director of the Microelectronics Technology Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency from 1986 to 1993. At DARPA, she supported R&D in company and university labs in semiconductor manufacturing, imaging, optoelectronics and nanoelectronics. In 1993, President Clinton appointed Arati Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where she led the 3,000 person staff until 1997. Arati then joined Raychem as Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. She was subsequently Vice President and then President of Interval Research Corporation. Arati began her career as a Congressional fellow at the Office of Technology Assessment. Arati received her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas Tech University. She received an M.S. in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology. Arati is a Fellow of the IEEE.

    Photo of Fred Aslan, M.D., Vice President, Venrock Fred Aslan, M.D.
    Vice President
    Read the full profile for Fred here!
    Fred joined Venrock in 2006 and is focused on healthcare. Prior to Venrock, he was with Atlas Venture assessing investments in medical devices and biotechnology. Earlier in his career, Fred was Director of Business Development and Head of Investor Relations for CuraGen Corporation, an oncology-focused drug development company. In this role, he was responsible for strategic planning, the in-licensing of a clinical stage oncology product, securing sell-side analyst coverage and helping raise over $100 million. Prior to CuraGen, he worked at Boston Consulting Group where he advised biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Fred’s medical background combined with his business experience brings practical insights and advice to any healthcare entrepreneur.

    Photo of Mohammed Alzubi, Angel Investor, Sand Hill Angels Mohammed Alzubi
    Angel Investor
    Sand Hill Angels
    Read the full profile for Mohammed here!
    Sand Hill Angels
    Mohammed Alzubi is a founder and CEO of Sulaf Solutions, an IT solutions provider based in Silicon Valley. Mr. Alzubi has over 12 years of experience in the network infrastructure and Internet space and has worked for a wide range of customers, including Cisco System, Sun Microsystems, American Express, and various Internet startups. Mohammed is an Angel investor, and an advisor to VCs on business and technical matters.

    Mr. Alzubi is an Advisory Board member of LinkSV; an Advisory Board member of, a founding Board member of Techwadi; an advisor with the non-profit Pacific Community Ventures and a member of the Gerson Lehrman Group Council. Mr. Alzubi has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Brigham Young University and holds various technical certifications including CCIE, MCSE, CCSP, and MCDBA.

    Photo of Jan Jannink, Angel Investor, Band of Angels Jan Jannink
    Angel Investor
    Band of Angels
    Read the full profile for Jan here!
    Band of Angels
    Jan Jannink earned a PhD in Computer Science and worked as part of the Database Group at Stanford University before inventing the database architecture and the meem data model that power the imeem system. Wanting to bring deep technology to direct communications systems, Jan continually works on algorithm design, data management and software development. Jan holds a Bachelors in Mathematics and Japanese from Georgetown University, and both a Masters and PhD in Computer Science from Stanford. Jan worked at IBM Research, Toshiba Research and Development, and served as Director of Digital Rights Management and Client Software Development at Napster, Inc before founding imeem in 2003.

    Committed to communication and problem-solving, Jan is proficient in five languages and actively collects and solves Rubik cube puzzles. He is also a competing springboard diver.

    Brad Peery, Angel Investor, Keiretsu Forum Brad Peery, Angel Investor, Keiretsu Forum

    Mr. Peery is a member of Silicon Valley Chapter of The Keiretsu Forum, the largest angel investment organization in the world, and is on the Cleantech and Telecommunications Committees. With over 30 years of experience as a technology analyst, and as an investor in emerging technology companies, my objective is to identify emerging Cleantech and Communications Technologies, and serve as a resource in helping develop and commercialize those technologies in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Peery’s in-depth understanding of technology, combined with his understanding of economic, market and regulatory issues gives him a unique ability to identify technology and market trends and opportunities in highly competitive industries. He has also developed a wide network of possible funding sources and strategic partners for those technologies. Companies Founded and Advisory Activities Mr. Peery has founded two companies, and is currently an Advisor to both Cleantech and Communications Technology companies. In 1983. Mr. Peery founded Brad Peery Inc., a California based broker-dealer, which provided investment research to large money managers, underwrote over 200 media and telecommunications syndicates, and raised capital for 2 private companies; In 1990, Mr. Peery founded Brad Peery Capital, an investment advisory firm which managed investment partnerships and provided financial and strategic consulting services in the media and communications sectors. Brad Peery Capital managed two U.S. and two International Emerging Telecommunications funds. Brad Peery Capital’s funds made investments in 23 private telecommunications technology and services companies. In the Cleantech sector, Brad Peery Capital is an Advisor to a company which, in 2006, won the California CleanTech Open Water Category. It is developing a technology that will remove heavy metals from water at one-tenth the cost of existing technologies. He recently became a Founder with a company which has developed a very low-cost process for recycling food processing waste, and turning it into high-value end products, including fertilizer and animal food.

    Angel Investors