Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out San Diego Investor RoundTable, sponsored by Irvine Company, TriNet, Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick, Amiri Law Firm P.C., Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water. This event was in SoCal on Friday, September 19, 2014.
Wolf Bielas, Managing Partner, Wolfpack Ventures
Wolf Bielas is the Managing Partner of Wolfpack Ventures in San Diego, CA and a veteran of the technology industry. Less than a year after graduating from Mexico’s renowned Monterrey Institute of Technology, Wolf founded Computer Outlet, Inc. In 1991, Wolf founded Retail Systems International, which he then sold to Zebra Technologies (NASDAQ:ZBRA) in 2005. After the sale, Wolf founded RSI ID Technologies which merged with Sirit inc. (TSX:SI), a publicly traded company based out of Toronto, in 2008.From 2008-2010, Wolf was the President of Latin America for Sirit. After selling Sirit to Federal Signal Corporation (AMEX:FSS) in 2010, Wolf started Wolfpack Ventures, a venture fund for startup companies. Wolf holds a degree in Computer Engineering and has completed MIT’s Entrepreneur Masters program. His primary areas of expertise include corporate growth, M&A, software development and implementation, manufacturing, customer service, corporate leadership, and sales. Wolf currently serves in the board of directors for the Eastlake Business Association and is married with three children. His pastimes include yachting, running triathlons, and skiing.He is fluent in both Spanish and English.
Gil Demeter, Senior Associate, Qualcomm Ventures
Gil is a Senior Associate at Qualcomm Ventures focusing on early stage equity investments in the Clean Technology space. He is also responsible for market investment analysis, due-diligence and deal execution for Qualcomm Ventures.
Prior to joining Qualcomm Ventures, Gil worked at Piper Jaffray & Co. as an analyst in their Technology Investment Banking Group. While at Piper Jaffray, Gil focused on a variety of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions and debt and equity financings. Before that, Gil was an investment analyst at Industry Ventures, a secondary firm focused on acquiring venture capital investments in the technology sector.
Gil holds a B.S. in Business Administration from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business.
Qualcomm Ventures is the investment arm of Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM), a Fortune 500 company with operations across the globe. But once upon a time, Qualcomm was an unknown start-up in San Diego, with the same challenges and opportunities that every entrepreneur faces each morning. Qualcomm Ventures was formed and began funding in 2000, with a $500 million fund commitment to make strategic investments in early-stage high-technology ventures. Since then, Qualcomm Ventures has funded numerous companies in the wireless sector, and set up several exclusive regional funds to spur development in key strategic markets, including a $60 million fund in Korea, a $30 million fund in Japan, a $100 million fund in China, and a $100 million fund in Europe.
To this day, the entrepreneurial spirit is something Qualcomm Ventures cherishes. The vision, the obsession, the courage to pursue a dream – this is still the best description of who Qualcomm Ventures is. And it's why Qualcomm Ventures is the perfect partner for entrepreneurs.
As a partner, Qualcomm Ventures takes special pride in doing the hard work: helping their portfolio companies create real value. They actively work with the entrepreneur to overcome obstacles. Qualcomm Ventures provides a host of resources to get the entrepreneur to the next level. And Qualcomm Ventures is willing to step aside when the time is right. After all, they only succeed when the entrepreneur succeeds.
Michael Anderson, Angel Investor
Michael is an entrepreneurial executive with 15+ years of business development, sales, product development, finance and operations experience with extensive background working in early-stage companies. His career also includes five years in Venture Capital in addition to a decade with the Alliance of Angels and San Diego Tech Coast Angels. He is currently engaged with companies in San Diego and Seattle while contributing to the San Diego entrepreneur ecosystem through various organizations like EvoNexus, a San Diego start-up accelerator, CONNECT and San Diego Universities.
Over the course of his career, the 15 companies Michael has worked with have raised $620m in venture capital financing and he has had five successful exits through acquisitions by private and publicly traded companies.
Yasmin Shah, Angel Investor
Yasmin Shah is a seasoned executive and an entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in launching, transforming and growing companies. She is a visionary that excels in assessing the present and architecting the future.
Eclectic mix of her professional life includes: an Electrical Engineering degree, executive management position at IBM, Chief Information Officer for a high tech company, Owner/CEO of franchise hair salons, Angel investor, coach/mentor to young entrepreneurs, and Co-Founder of 4 companies.
Her career started working in Information Technology field working for Fortune 100 companies. She worked for IBM Global Services as a Principal with customers such as Lockheed Martin, American Express, and Phillips. She also worked as a CIO (Chief Information Officer) for a high tech company transforming their IT department to meet the needs of the rapidly growing business. The next few years she owned and operated franchise hair salons, which she grew by achieving employee retention unheard of in the industry.
Her professional career is matched with her long history of volunteering in the community. From being a Protocol Officer at Centennial Olympics to a professional speaker for causes such as domestic violence and adoption. The breadth of her volunteerism is just as eclectic. She is also a trained facilitator for issue resolutions in the workplace. She has inspired many women to transform their lives, including running an Idea Potential Lab for Women Entrepreneurs to assess the potential of their innovative business ideas.
She currently serves as President of the Board for 2 non-profits in San Diego, both of which she co-founded. One is a CIO networking organization in San Diego, and other is a non-profit membership based organization that enables seniors to age in their own homes in their existing communities.
Yasmin Shah’s passions and energy is rivaled only by her desire to inspire and help others. No wonder her current focus is transforming the lives of seniors by tackling most difficult issues; sense of purpose and isolation.
Prior to FundingPost, Aaron founded Alumwire, Inc. where he managed corporate networking events during the early days of the Company in Berkeley, CA. He drove the Company's strategic direction, business development, technical activity, and marketing activities as its CEO. Aaron has been named by BusinessWeek as one of "The Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs." Aaron has been also featured on NBC, CBS and CNET. The initial sales of $100K+ from Alumwire's Fortune 500 beta clients led to a $1.4 million dollar financing round. Aaron successfully exited Alumwire in 2011.