Darling Ventures is run by Daniel Darling. A relaxed young guy with 8+ years of product and market strategy experience in the US, Australia and Japan. Daniel started his career in digital advertising and moved progressively into mobile product development before launching Darling Ventures in 2013. He has founded companies, grown startups to acquisition and led product innovation at public technology corporations. He is a specialist in business strategy and bringing products to market for mobile technology companies. Daniel has a degree in Economics and Social Sciences form The University of Sydney as well as executive education from Stanford GSB, Berkeley HAAS and Harvard Business School. He doesn’t wear khaki VC pants.
Graham Forman is the Founder and serves as a Managing Director at Edovate Capital. He serves as Board Member at Aegis Identity Software. He has been an early-stage investor and entrepreneur since 2001. For the last decade and a half he led sales, marketing, and business development for three early-stage, high-growth SaaS businesses selling to the education market. Most recently he served as Vice President of Business Development for Netchemia, LLC, a venture-backed cloud-based software company serving the K-12 marketplace where he led new business development and strategic partnerships. During his eight-year tenure the company grew to more than 2,000 school district customers throughout the United States. Netchemia was acquired by Vista Equity Partners and merged with PeopleAdmin in February 2015. He also served in leadership roles with high-growth tech startups Yearmovie and eCivis, LLC. Earlier in his career he was a legislative aide for former U.S. Senator Paul Simon and California State Assemblyman, Senator, and Community College Chancellor Jack Scott, who instilled in him a passion for education issues. Serving these education leaders he developed his understanding of legislative and regulatory issues in education. Graham is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Colorado Education Initiative, which is a non-profit dedicated to advancing educational innovation across the state of Colorado. He is an avid angel investor and value investor, having managed his portfolio to critical mass and above market returns over the last 10 years. He has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and a BA from the University of Chicago.
Vibhu is the CEO of Edmodo and former Co-founder and CEO of Root-One, a startup in the education space, working on problems in language literacy. He has previously held positions with Google Research, Xerox PARC, Stanford/CSLI, CMU/LTI and TIFR Bombay. A panglossian optimist, he has been associated with other startups over the years.
DC Thomson Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of the international media group DC Thomson & Co. Through acquisitions and investments, the organization has diversified into new media, digital technology, education, retail, radio and television sectors. It is headquartered in Dundee, Scotland with an additional office in London, United Kingdom.
Baltimore Angels is an angel investor group that invests in companies operating in the business products and services, computers and peripherals, consumer Goods/consumer products, education, food and beverage, internet/web services, IT services, lifestyle, marketing/advertising, media and entertainment, mobile, retailing/distribution, software and telecommunications sectors. The firm was established in 2009 and is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland.
Clint Chao is a founding General Partner of Moment Ventures. Moment is an early-stage VC firm investing in the Infrastructure of Everything: startups that are connecting digital and physical networks. Moment looks for companies in 3 primary areas: (1) Innovations in traditional IT, (2) New Device Ecosystems and (3) People-Based Platforms. Some of our investments include Soha, Skyward, Payable, Netsil, Swing Education, Call9, Copia, Viptela, World View and Nodeprime (acquired by Ericsson). Prior to Moment, Clint was a co-founding Managing Director at Formative Ventures, an early-stage VC firm. During his time at Formative, Clint invested a third of the fund's capital in early-stage technology startups, focusing on software infrastructure, web services, cloud computing applications and advanced semiconductors. Clint's investment and board leadership experience include Mashery (acquired by Intel), SOASTA, Silicon Clocks (acquired by Silicon Labs), Vungle and Zyray Wireless (acquired by Broadcom). Clint is an experienced technology executive who brings more than 20 years of start-up operating experience including marketing, sales and business development to Formative Ventures. Prior to co-founding Formative Ventures, Clint served as the first Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Business Development at SkyStream Networks (acquired by Tandberg TV), a leading provider of video routing solutions. Under his leadership, SkyStream became the worldwide leader in MPEG routing solutions to the broadcast, networking and enterprise markets. Prior to joining SkyStream, Clint served as Senior Director of Marketing at C-Cube Microsystems where he was responsible for marketing for the PC Division, a group he co-founded and grew to run rates exceeding $50M in sales annually. Clint began his tenure at C-Cube as the first Salesperson for the company, where he created the company’s sales representation network around the country. While there, C-Cube became the dominant supplier of digital video and imaging compression chips to the consumer electronics, computing and communications markets. Before joining C-Cube, Clint held numerous sales and sales management positions at Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector, where he was recognized as one of the company’s top salespeople. Clint earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley.
Ayaz ul Haque serves as Managing Director at Exalt Capital Partners. A boutique advisory and principal investment firm, Exalt Capital Partners is a subsidiary of Exalt Capital Management, a privately owned investment manager. Exalt Capital Management manages a series of hedge funds that employ fundamental analysis to make investments in the public markets primarily in the United States, and more recently, through Exalt Capital Partners, in the private equity markets. Exalt Capital Partners specializes in growth investments across the globe, with a particular emphasis on the emerging markets, in venture capital backed revenue-stage companies that have achieved market validation and are well-positioned to be leaders in their markets. On a highly selective basis, Exalt Capital Partners also looks at early-stage investment opportunities where we feel our strategic advisory angle can significantly enhance deal value. Our focus, in this context, is generally on deals that combine technology/innovation with various service sectors and on businesses that are looking to build the next global franchises. Ayaz specializes in investing in companies at various stages of development (early, expansion, growth, secondary market transactions as well as special situations/roll-ups ), particularly targeting investments in Internet and digital media, communications and wireless, enterprise IT, financial services, consumer/retail and education. Ayaz possesses broad investing, operating, and transaction experience in private and public companies. His current investments/board affiliations include: Acceptly, Assured Labor, buzzArab, CaliberVantage, Coho Solar, EdEqual, Envision Telecom Group, Hungrybuzz, inmobly, Ovagen, Secret Builders, Simularity, Teamly and Vufind. Previous investments/board affiliations include: Clickmarks, Cyanea, Ember, Friendi Mobile, HiSoft, IXI Mobile, Manthan Systems, Naseeb Networks, Pachube, Seventymm, Techpacific and Visto. Prior to joining Exalt Capital Partners, Ayaz was a Managing Director with ePlanet Ventures and a Director with Draper Fisher Jurvetson ePlanet Ventures focusing principally on expansion and later-stage investments in the United States, MENA as well as in India. Notable DFJ ePlanet investments include Baidu, Skype and Focus Media. Prior to joining DFJ ePlanet, Ayaz was the Director of Mergers & Acquisitions at Crosby Financial Holdings in London, where he managed the cross-border corporate finance advisory and investment initiatives of one of the leading Asia-focused specialist investment banks. While at Crosby, Ayaz focused on both mergers and acquisitions and private equity investments and worked in London, Bangkok, Singapore and Seoul covering various sectors including technology, media, telecom, financial services, transportation, aviation and manufacturing. Prior to his involvement with Crosby Financial Holdings, Ayaz served as an Associate Director of Corporate Finance at Peregrine Investments, a pan-Asian investment bank, where he was responsible for developing Peregrine's corporate finance and private equity businesses in the Middle East, and identifying and evaluating Middle East to Asia investment opportunities. Previously, Ayaz was an Associate in the Corporate Finance Group of Bear, Stearns & Co. in New York, where he was involved in the execution of North American and Asian transactions. Ayaz is a summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Middlebury College holding a B.A. in Economics.
Miles is an Investor in early-stage startups. He has invested in and advised dozens of companies at the earliest stages including Altschool, Honor, Remix, Vivaa Health, TrustToken and Thunder. As a Venture Partner at F-Prime Capital, he focuses on enterprise tech and fintech businesses. Additionally, he has helped seed nonprofits such as Issue One, One Acre, MakeHaven and Imagine Worldwide. Miles is an Entrepreneur - Starting his career as an entrepreneur while still a college student, he co-founded Higher One in his living room. As senior exec and later board chair, he led the company from idea to $200mil+ revenue, ~1000 employees and IPO including making multiple acquisitions. He was proud to campaign internal culture and values including open communication and client service. Higher One also ranked highly on the national Great Place to Work list twice as well as Inc 500 and multiple other fast growth lists. Miles was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year regional winner and national finalist. Miles went on to start two other venture-backed startups: SeeClickFix (SaaS for government) where he serves on the board and OneUni (higher education education via smartphone).
Interactive Advertising Bureau
Rich LeFurgy is the former Investor of BookFresh. He has been a Board Member, Advisor or Investor in over 35 online advertising companies. Drawing from a 17 year ad agency career in New York (NW Ayer 1978-1995) . He was Head of Sales at, Starwave, The Walt Disney Internet Group, (ESPN.com, NFL.com, NBA.com and ABCnews.com 1995-1998). He was founding Chairman of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (1996-2001) . He was a Venture Capitalist in San Francisco (WaldenVC 1999-2004) . Prior to starting advisory firm Archer in 2004. Archer is a multifaceted advisory services company, assisting early stage online media companies by serving on their Board of Directors, completing Advisory projects and proving early stage Investments. LeFurgy has served on company boards as a Director, Blue Lithium [sold to Yahoo], Web Clients [sold to ValueClick] x+1, Associated Content . He provided Advisory services to large and small online advertising companies, Google, AOL, Blue Lithium, Glam, Placecast . He personally invested in promising online advertising startups , Ad Relevance [sold to Nielsen NetRatings], Grouper / Crackle [sold to Sony] , Blue Lithium . He has long been a supporter and evangelist to help grow the industry. He was the founding Chairman of the IAB, the Future of Advertising Stakeholders (FAST) and the SF Bay Area Interactive Group (SFBIG) . He has served on the board of the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), the Advertising Education Foundation (AEF) and the advisory board of ad:tech. He received the IABâ€™s Lifetime Achievement Award (2004) . He was inducted into Advertising Ageâ€™s Interactive Hall of Fame (2000) . He was recognized by USAToday as â€œthe Johnny Appleseed of Online Advertisingâ€ (1998) .
Sheryl Schultz is an expert in startup company dynamics, with a deep understanding of the marketing and organizational challenges faced by growing businesses. She has spent over 30 years working with a range of technology companies as a marketer, board advisor, mentor, and investor. In January 2014, Sheryl founded CabinetM, a discovery platform to empower the marketing technology industry. CabinetM has been funded by some of the most prolific angel investors in the Northeast. Sheryl is a member of Golden Seeds, an angel investment firm that supports diverse management teams with include female executives. She served for two years (2009-2011) as Golden Seeds’ Boston Forum Co-Leader, and subsequently ran deal flow for the organization in Boston. Sheryl also spent over 20 years as President of SRS Associates, a firm she founded to provide communications and market strategy consulting to telecommunications startups. In that capacity, Sheryl launched dozens of companies, 20 of whom engaged her from inception through successful exit by IPO or acquisition. During that period, Sheryl designed and orchestrated the launch of some of the most successful companies in Massachusetts including Acme Packet, ArrowPoint Communications, Sonus Networks and Wellfleet Communications. Sheryl is a Board Director at The Capital Network, and a Board Observer/Advisor to Crowdly and Playrific. She is also a founder of the Women’s Entrepreneurial Council (WEC), a “super” organization created to align the many groups that support women entrepreneurs, and provide a powerful ecosystem for entrepreneurial women. In addition, Sheryl was a Pipeline Fellowship Mentor for the Pipeline Fellowship’s inaugural Boston class, providing guidance to women philanthropists working to become angel investors through education, mentoring, and practice. Sheryl regularly speaks to groups throughout New England about Angel Funding, Startup Marketing, and Marketing for Exits.
Passionate & chronically curious early stage investor. Eliot is a early stage technology investor @ BOLDstart Ventures in NYC. His investments include; GoInstant (acq. Salesforce.com), Rapportive (acquired by LinkedIn), SpinBack (acquired by Buddy Media), Blaze.io (acquired by Akamai), Look.io (acquired by LivePerson), Enterproid, IndieGoGo, LocalResponse, Klout, ThinkNear (acquired by TelNav), YieldMo, Anchor Intelligence (sold to Comscore), YourKarma, PlainVanilla, ShowMe, Yipit, Playhaven, and also invested in Numberfire, Roqbot, TechStars (NYC), & Amplify.LA. Prior to BOLDstart, Eliot cofounded Penny Black in 2008; a private investment firm managing venture / PE investments for multiple family offices across multiple countries. He oversaw more than 300 transactions in 6 years and conducted business in South America, Middle East, China, and Europe. Eliot previously founded Templates.com, an online software retailer that was acquired 2002. He subsequently worked at the Permal Group, a multi-billion dollar global fund of hedge funds (acquired by Legg Mason in 2006). Eliot is a graduate of Georgetown University with post-graduate study at Columbia University. He enjoys surfing and lives downtown, NYC. Favorite Quote; ''The Master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in everything he does, leaving others to determine whether he is at work or at play. To him, he is always doing both.'' -- Zen Buddhist Text
Stephan Paternot is a Co-Founder of PalmStar alongside Frakes and Taylor. Stephan is currently co-founder & CEO of Slated, an online entertainment industry marketplace that enables introductions to projects, talent, financing and sales. Stephan is also the founder and general partner of the Actarus Funds. Founded in 2002, these angel funds have backed such companies as LendingClub, SecondMarket, Indiegogo, AngelList and many more. Prior to this, he cofounded one of the first Internet community sites, theglobe.com in 1994. The company set stock market history when it went public in 1998 with a record setting IPO pushing the company valuation to over $1 Billion. Over a six-year span the company grew to over 300 employees with the website becoming one of the top thirty most trafficked sites in the world with nearly 10% of all internet users visiting the site monthly. In 1999 Stephan won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and in 2001 published "A Very Public Offering", a non-fiction business book detailing his experience at theglobe.com. Before founding the company, Stephan attended Cornell University where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. Stephan grew up in Switzerland and the United Kingdom before attending college in the United States. Beyond his duties at the Actarus Funds, Stephan sits on the board of the Heineman Foundation, based in New York, and on the board of it's sister organization the Heineman-Stiftung, based in Berlin. The aims of the foundations are to give financial support to educational, artistic, cause based and scientific non-profit institutions. Stephan resides in Los Angeles.
Currently co-managing Peak Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm founded in 2014. I joined Peak to back remarkable entrepreneurs in early-stage Utah tech and to continue my career as a entrepreneur in creating something memorable. Now backing fellow founders and striving to match the level of support given me through years. In 2006, co-founded Zinch.com, a venture-backed online portal connecting students globally with opportunities in higher education. Later led Zinch’s growth into China, launching Zinch.cn, one of the first foreign online brands to reach scale in China. Zinch was acquired by Chegg Inc in 2011 and I led Chegg’s international efforts through initial public offering in 2013 (CHGG, NYSE). Drawn to tight-knit teams navigating the chaos that exists in new ventures. As a student-athlete: contributed as a walk-on guard on the 1998 WAC conference champion basketball team at the University of Utah while maintaining a perfect GPA and self-funding my education. As an student-entrepreneur: launched and successfully ran, alongside talented co-founders, my first two startups while completing an undergraduate degree at BYU. As an expat-entrepreneur: assembled and led a team in Beijing, China through acquisition and IPO amid 2 international moves that the craziness that comes with raising 4 kids! Twitter & Medium: @krommenhoek
Marcus Daniels is a startup accelerator leader, digital product entrepreneur, seed capital investor and corporate innovation platform architect that helps new ventures win in global markets. Co-founder & CEO of HIGHLINE, a VC-backed acceleration platform that helps digital startups achieve product-market fit, establish global connectivity and secure institutional capital. Focused on delivering a ''Speed to Seed'' brand promise through specialized accelerator products, timely investments and programming in Vancouver-Toronto-NYC-SF. HIGHLINE's foundation was derived from the Extreme Startups-GrowLab merger and has 35 active portfolio companies with 4 meaningful exits. Founder & Executive Chairman of MeshSquared Ventures, an investment & education company with ownership positions in accelerators (HIGHLINE) and media (Toronto Standard). Also, a Limited Partner (LP) investor in the Rothenberg Ventures Fund based in SF with positions in SpaceX & AngelList. Prior to HIGHLINE Marcus was the Managing Director of Extreme Startups, a VC-backed startup accelerator where he evolved it into a three staged model and led 9 investments. Former COO at TrendHunter.com, the world's #1 Trendspotting website with over 2 billion views & an innovation partner to Fortune 500 brands. Past VP Operations & Product at Frameworks, a leading retail QSR business intelligence software & eLearning company. Started the eLearning division at AME Learning, a global financial education company. A digital native that started tech ventures in 1989 that led to co-founding Fluid eNovations, an award winning web marketing agency. He has significant board of director experience that includes HIGHLINE, Canadian Association Business Incubation, Extreme Startups and Youth In Motion (Canada's Top 20 Under 20). Community involvement includes: Dell Center for Entrepreneurs Advisory Council, Board of Advisors for Venture for Canada, StartupNext (Google for Entrepreneurs)mentor, SXSW mentor and co-chair of Enactus Toronto chapter. A frequent speaker on growing digital startups, seed investing/VC and corporate innovation accelerators. Also, he has architected digital strategy curriculum for University of Toronto. Marcus holds an MBA from Queen's School of Business, a BA in Psychology & Economics from McGill University and completed the Venture Capital Executive Program from Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley.
Over the past twenty-five years, Bill has held leadership roles – often as founder or chief executive – in dozens of institutionally backed early stage companies. He has been involved in over 150 financing and M&A transactions, with more than 100 co-investors (including Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Comcast, Emerson Collective, Formation8, Founders Fund, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Mayfield, Pritzker, Qualcomm, and Union Square Ventures). Bill is the longtime chairman of Axioma, a leading risk analytics provider to financial institutions and regulators. He has also been the lead institutional investor in an array of notable technology startups as a general partner of three early-stage venture capital firms. Earlier, he co-founded and served as chairman and chief executive of CMU-spinout Panopto, one of the world's leading video content management platforms. Panopto has been named a ''Leader'' in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for video content management every year since 2014. Panopto was also designated #61 among the 500 fastest growing technology companies in America by Deloitte, and one of the ''Top 10 Most Innovative Education Companies'' by Fast Company. Previously a professor of economics at CMU, Bill served on the cybersecurity committee of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, and co-founded CMU's Cylab, one of the world's largest security research centers. Before entering the private sector, Bill led projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America for the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank, the IMF, and the OECD. He earned master's and doctoral degrees in international relations at Balliol College, Oxford University, where he was a British Council Scholar.
Sofia Hmich is a Co-Founder and serves as General Partner at Future Positive Capital. Sofia's career spans technology innovation, investment and social impact. Prior to founding Future Positive Capital, she managed early stage investments at Index Ventures, Europe's top venture capital firm, working directly with leading European angel investor Robin Klein. There she led Index's investments in dozens of companies, such as CityMapper, The Food Assembly, Farfetch, Transferwise, ROLI, PactCoffee, Kano, and Seedcamp III. Before joining Index, Sofia worked for technology companies like Google and Deezer, and founded three education nonprofits. Sofia was chosen as Forbes 30 Under 30 in Finance, is a WEF Global Shaper, a Founder of the Future at Founders Forum, and is an expert advisor to the French government to define the "France 2020" vision. With her international experience, intellectual and philosophical curiosity and a love of rapid-fire conversation (in no less than four languages), Sofia is also an engaging and sought-after speaker and mentor.
Marc Benioff is a Co-Founder and serves as Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer at Salesforce. A pioneer of cloud computing, he founded the company in 1999 with a vision to create a new kind of enterprise software company, with a new technology model based in the cloud, a new pay-as-you-go business model and a new integrated corporate philanthropy model. Under his leadership, Salesforce has grown from a groundbreaking idea into a Fortune 500 company, the fastest-growing top ten software company in the world and the largest CRM company. For its revolutionary approach, Salesforce has been named one of the World's Most Innovative Companies five years in a row by Forbes Magazine, one of Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies in the software industry four years in a row, and a Fortune Best Company to Work For eight years in a row. He has been widely recognized for his visionary leadership and pioneering innovations. He has been named one of the 50 World's Greatest Leaders by Fortune, Businessperson of the Year by Fortune readers, one of the Best CEOs in the World by Barron's and received The Economist's Innovation Award. Benioff is also a member of the World Economic Forum Board of Trustees. He also serves as an Investor of BirdEye. He created the 1-1-1 model of philanthropy, which leverages the resources of Salesforce to improve communities around the world: donating 1% of Salesforce's product, 1% of its equity and 1% of employees' time to help nonprofits achieve their missions. Today, more than 700 companies have adopted the 1-1-1 model through the Pledge 1% movement. Benioff and his wife, Lynne, have focused their personal philanthropy on children's health, including building UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland, as well as on public education, homelessness and other social issues. Benioff believes that businesses are the greatest platforms for change in the world. He has embraced World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab's multistakeholder approach to leadership, serving not only shareholders but all stakeholders--including customers, employees, partners, communities and the environment to make the world a better place. Benioff is also inspiring fellow business leaders to do the same. He led a group of CEOs and business leaders in opposing state legislation that discriminated against LGBTQ communities and instituted a company-wide salary assessment at Salesforce to ensure men and women were being paid equally for comparable work. Benioff is a 35-year veteran of the software industry. Prior to launching Salesforce, he spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation. He founded his first company, Liberty Software, which created video games, at the age of 15. He also worked as an assembly language programmer in Apple Computer's Macintosh Division. Benioff received a B.S. in Business Administration in 1986 and an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in 2014 from the University of Southern California. He is the author of three books, including the national bestseller, Behind the Cloud. He is also an Angel Investor. He also served as Advisor at Datawallet and DoubleRock.