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  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out AZ Early-Stage Venture Capital & Angel Event, sponsored by Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa, RMSC Law. This event was in Sedona, AZ on Tuesday, December 7, 2010.

    Photo of Stephen Silver, MAVN Funding Stephen Silver
    Partner
    MAVN Funding
    Read the full profile for Stephen here!
    MAVN Funding
    Stephen is a partner with MAVN Funding Advisors which specializes in providing a range of funding and business development services for both investors and emerging growth companies.

    Stephen is an avid networker, and currently runs west coast operations for FundingPost events. Additionally, he is the co-founder of FP Angels, the angel investment wing of FundingPost.

    Prior to MAVN, Stephen was the Entrepreneur Director for the Southern California Keiretsu Forum, the nation's largest angel investment group. Stephen screened the best deals from over 500 startups, connecting them with the group's 250 Angel investors.

    Stephen attended Babson College, the nation's #1 school for entrepreneurship and graduated with a B.S. in business administration, with concentrations in entrepreneurship and marketing.

    Photo of Jon Soberg, Blumberg Capital Jon Sobgerg
    Representative
    Blumberg Capital
    Read the full profile for Jon here!
    Blumberg Capital
    Jon Soberg has over 17 years of experience as an executive, entrepreneur, financial analyst and consultant. He has held senior management positions in both startups and large corporations, including Ditech and Adforce, which had a highly successful IPO. He is also actively involved with Wharton, where he is part-time faculty in the Marketing Dept for the Global Consulting Practicum. A CFA Charterholder, Jon earned a B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern, and an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management and Marketing from the Wharton School, where he is a Palmer Scholar.

    Photo of Jim Schultz, Partner, Open Prairie Ventures Jim Schultz
    Managing Partner
    Open Prairie Ventures
    Read the full profile for Jim here!
    Open Prairie Ventures
    In 1999, Jim founded Open Prairie Ventures I as a $40 million fund focused on Midwest seed and early stage technology opportunities. Jim has a diverse background in start-up companies, investment banking, and entrepreneurial ventures. He has been an active investor in a wide variety of industries, including: medical services and medical device technologies, semiconductor, software development, e-commerce, construction, financial services, and information technology.

    Jim remains active on the boards of Epiworks and Venomix. He has served as Chairman of the Board/CEO of Telemind Capital Corporation, a Midwest-based merchant banking group, and has served as Chairman of the Board of Prime Banc Corporation, a Central Illinois multi-bank holding company. In addition, he has served on the board of numerous Midwest-based technology corporations.

    Photo of Rick Gibson, Angel Investor, Desert Angels Rick Gibson
    Angel Investor
    Hot Ventures
    Read the full profile for Rick here!
    Hot Ventures
    Rick Gibson has had a 40-year career building businesses, founded and co-founded several successful technology companies and advised over (75) others. Rick has reviewed 1000+ companies and mentored hundreds. He is 62-years old. Since 1999, Rick has served as Managing Director of HOTventures, a "mentor capital fund" for the Southwest U.S., which invests in and advises fast-growth companies, in domains as diverse as Ballistic Armor to Agriculture, including Information Technology, Healthcare, Sustainability and Media. As an investor and entrepreneurial activist, he's immersed in early-stage growth companies... finding them and making them great. Rick's been involved with several companies that've had liquidity events. Rick has raised tens of millions of dollars. Since 1996, he's been a key player in several "mentor-driven accelerators" including Idealab, the world’s leading tech incubator in the 1990’s. Rick served as expert witness for technology business cases. He was one of the creators of Tallwave's Venture Blueprint a start-up curriculum for entrepreneurs. Rick is a columnist for Inc.com

    Rick has been an investor, advisor or board member in: AgriTrak, Avisere, Beamz, The Book Patch, Bourque Industries, CopperKey, DarkPulse, Decon7, EquiSight, Flypaper, Funding Universe (now Lendio), Imagenomics, Iveda Solutions, LabTrack, LifeBot, Medipacs, MedSphere, Mobile Authentication Corp (MAC), MojoVideo, MSDx, NetWorth, NuvoMed, Octopi, Real Time Companies, Sokikom, StrongWatch, World Wide Wheat and Zero Waste Wines. He has been a limited partner in Solstice Capital II (one of the largest venture capital funds in Arizona) and is an early shareholder in Bill Gross’ Idealab.

    In Tucson, for many years Rick served on the Executive Board and Screening Committee of the Desert Angels, and is Mentor-Emeritus for UA's Arizona Center for Innovation (AZCI) and was Adjunct Instructor for UA’s Eller School Entrepreneurship Program, and on UA's MBA Advisory Council.

    In Phoenix, was on the board of ASU's Technopolis, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Instructor for LaunchPad/LaunchPrep entrepreneurship programs, and ASU TechBA mentor, coaching companies from Mexico. He is on the Management Committee and Selection Panel for Invest Southwest Capital Conference's Venture Madness. He was judge for ASU's Edson Entrepreneur Initiative, creator of "Entrepreneur's Resource Guide" for bizAZ magazine and member of Philanthropic Council of Banner Alzheimer's Foundation. Rick continues as a judge for the AZ Commerce Authority's 'Arizona Innovation Challenge' and on the Venture Ready Panel.

    In Flagstaff, Rick is on Executive Board and Treasurer of NACET incubator (Northern Arizona Center for Emerging Technologies) and also a mentor. NACET also oversees Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship.

    Elsewhere, Rick has been judge for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, and on Angel Capital Association's National Collaboration Committee and was guest instructor for Power of Angel Investing seminar. Rick is often a Mentor and Panelist for FundingPost.

    Rick was an early shareholder in Bill Gross' Idealab and founded one of its first companies, E-Ticket Inc, which merged with Nederlander Organization's RealTime Syndication Network to become FeatureCast Inc. Rick served as Vice-Chairman. FeatureCast secured online license for and executive-produced: Fox's America's Most Wanted, Teen Magazine and National Enquirer. Rick participated in strategic planning with the ten original Idealab CEOs. Idealab created several well-known technology companies including: Overture (acquired by Yahoo for $1.6B), United Online (was NetZero and Juno), Aptera, Internet Brands, CitySearch, Energy Innovations, eSolar, Desktop Factory, Picasa, Tickets.com, eToys and Evolution Robotics. [See http://idealab.com]. 1998-2000, Rick was an advisor to the board of directors of Petersen Publishing, producers of 100+ magazines like Motor Trend, Hot Rod and Teen.

    Rick co-founded GNP Development Corp and in 1986 they sold it to Lotus Development Corp for $10 million. In 1991, they co-founded Knowledge Adventure Inc, which in 1996 they sold to Cendant for $100 million. Knowledge Adventure became the world's largest children's CD-ROM edutainment software company (almost $400 million in annual revenues), owned by Universal Studios, known for 'JumpStart' (20 million units sold) and 'Blaster' series.

    1986-1991, Rick consulted to software companies including Ashton-Tate, Que Software/Macmillan and SPSS Inc, and arranged sales of technology to Symantec, Microlytics and Paramount Publishing. Rick directed a division of Ashton-Tate and was Chairman of 4-5-6 WORLD. Earlier, Rick directed national sales/marketing and helped start or re-start: Fisher Corp, KLH, Ultralinear and Androbot Inc (personal robot start-up by Nolan Bushnell, who founded Atari and Chuck E Cheese). Rick began his career as one of the first store managers for The GAP Inc, which has 3,200 stores worldwide including Old Navy and Banana Republic.

    Photo of Todd Belfer, Managing Partner, Canal Partners Todd Belfer
    Managing Partner
    Canal Partners
    Read the full profile for Todd here!
    Canal Partners
    Todd Belfer is Managing Partner of Canal Partners. In this role Mr. Belfer is responsible for all aspects of the company including identification of potential acquisition targets, due diligence, financial analysis and final investment decision making.

    Mr. Belfer has a long history of entrepreneurship and has been involved with a wide range of businesses throughout his career. In 1990 he co-founded Employee Solutions, Inc., a professional employer organization which he helped take public in 1993 and which was the highest performing stock on the NASDAQ in 1996. He also co-founded a leading sports nutrition company M.D. Labs in 1993 and after realizing triple-digit growth sold his interest to a private equity firm in 2002. He was a founder of the successful Japanese restaurant chain RA, which has grown to more than 30 locations throughout the United States and which was sold to Benihana in 2002. In 2002 Mr. Belfer founded NETtime Solutions, a Software as a Service (SaaS) organization dedicated to delivering on-demand time and attendance service, where he remains as chairman.

    Mr. Belfer has been a dedicated volunteer with Big Brothers and Big Sisters for over 10 years. Nationally, he is recognized for his work with The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and received the prestigious Regional Wings of Memory Society "Excellence in Leadership Award" presented by the United States Holocaust Museum in April 2006 for his ongoing support and dedication to the Holocaust Museum and its efforts. He is also a board member of the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

    Mr. Belfer has a bachelor's degree in finance and a real estate degree from the University of Arizona.

    Photo of Donald J. Elmer, Managing General Partner, Pacific Horizon Ventures Donald Elmer
    Managing General Partner
    Pacific Horizon Ventures
    Read the full profile for Donald here!
    Pacific Horizon Ventures
    Since forming PHV in 1993, Don has compiled a very successful track record of 30 investments across multiple funds. He is currently the acting CEO and Chairman of the Board of Koronis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and a board member of ViaCyte, Inc. He has extensive prior board experience and has successful operational experience over a twenty-year period in early-stage technology companies. He sits on the Seattle University Science & Engineering Advisory Board and the Advisory Board for the College of Business and Economics at Western Washington University, and is a past member of the board of the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association.

    Don earned a B.A. from Western Washington University and an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

    Photo of Standish M. Fleming, Managing Member, Forward Ventures Stan Fleming
    Managing Member
    Forward Ventures
    Read the full profile for Stan here!
    Forward Ventures
    A 20-year veteran of biotech investing, Standish Fleming co-founded Forward as a venture capital investment firm. Throughout his career at Forward, Fleming has served as acting president of several portfolio companies, including Triangle Pharmaceuticals [NASDAQ:VIRS], Actigen (now Corixa [NASDAQ:CRXA]), GenQuest (now Corixa [NASDAQ:CRXA]) and CombiChem (now DuPont Pharmaceuticals [NYSE:DD]). He was a founding board member of Ciphergen Biosystems, Gryphon Sciences and Triangle Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Fleming is a former president of the Biotechnology Venture Investors' Group ("BVIG"). He now serves as a director of Ambit, Nereus, Kemia, and Sanarus. Fleming earned his B.A. from Amherst College and M.B.A. from the UCLA Graduate School of Management.

    Moderator: Steve Sullivan, Of Counsel, RMSC Law

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