Investors funding Internet startups
Rodrigo is a digital native venture capitalist, formerly a strategy consultant, serial entrepreneur, and business angel. After earning his Computer Science Engineering degree at EPITA in Paris, France, he started his career working with industrial, banking, retail and media clients for two large consultancies (KPMG Consulting, Gemini Consulting) co-creating the Internet security, Internet strategy and online marketplaces practices. In the following 10 years, Rodrigo also led a number of digital strategy assignments as a free-lance consultant for public multi-billion revenue companies working closely with both the executive committees and CEOs, with clients such as AOL Europe, Capgemini and Darty. After getting two MBAs (from the Sorbonne University, and later at INSEAD and The Wharton School), he co-founded in 2002 and later ran Glowria, a video-rental and VOD service, that quickly became #1 in France and #2 in Germany. In 2005, he also co-founded and ran vpod.tv, an award-winning multimedia content management software aimed at Fortune 500, with operations in France and Spain. Both had significant venture-capital financing and were acquired. In 2009, he became an active business angel and startup mentor with a strong focus on consumers investing in companies such as Amiando, Trigami, GetAround, RecargaPay, ManifestCommerce, Tribe, Holberton School, Attach.io, etc. He is a frequent speaker at events worldwide, a regular jury member at startup competitions and occasional lecturer in top graduate schools. Rodrigo has also participated in over 300 podcasts in the past 10 years (“French Connection” at LCI Radio, “On Refait Le Mac”), always commenting on the business side of technology. In his spare time, Rodrigo is an avid traveler, B&W photographer, genealogist, wine enthusiast and enjoys opera, fine dining, biking and snowboarding. Rodrigo is a Chilean national, fluent in French, English and Spanish, and has working knowledge of German, Italian and Thai.
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) .
Brett Topche is a Co-Founder and serves as Partner at Red & Blue Ventures. Brett Topche serves as Managing Director at MentorTech Ventures. He also serves as Advisor at entreprenYOURS. He joined MentorTech Ventures in 2007 and has more than a decade of venture capital and private equity experience. He has spent much of his career primarily focusing on investments in ecommerce, digital media, mobile applications, marketing technologies and B2B software. He represents MentorTech on the Boards of Directors of Cloudmine and PayPerks and served on the Board of Wanderfly prior to its acquisition. He also serves as a Board Observer at Curalate, Quad Learning, Burrow, Soft Tissue Regeneration and TicketLeap and was a Board Observer at SeniorHomes.com prior to its acquisition by Bankrate. He also served as a member of the Investor Advisory Board of SnipSnap prior to its acquisition by Slyce. Prior to joining MentorTech, he was a member of the Fund Investments Team at Hamilton Lane Advisors, a fund-of-funds manager and private equity investment consultant. In this capacity, he evaluated private equity funds across a broad spectrum of stages and strategies on behalf of both discretionary and non-discretionary clients. During his time at Hamilton Lane, Topche reviewed more than 100 funds, including venture capital, mezzanine, buyout and real estate funds. Based in part on reports he drafted, more than $1 billion was invested into these funds. Prior to working for Hamilton Lane, Topche spent more than four years as an Associate with NJTC Venture Fund, where he focused on investments in early-stage companies in the software, Internet and communications sectors. His responsibilities included deal flow generation, initial company reviews, performing due diligence on potential investments, participating in deal structuring, reviewing legal documentation and working with companies post-investment, occasionally as an Observer on Boards of Directors. Topche is a magna cum laude graduate of the Wharton School, with a B.S. in Economics, with concentrations in Finance and Legal Studies and a Political Science minor from the College and Arts and Sciences.
Brian is a private investor and serial entrepreneur focused on the software, internet/digital media and mobile sectors. Brian co-founded and/or invested in 22 private companies. Of that group, 9 exited, 10 are independent and 3 were shut down. Some of his private investments include AdMovate (sold to Yahoo!), IMsecure (sold to Checkpoint), Pixoart Design (sold to 51.com), Ultris (sold to Saba), Fotolog (sold to Hi-Media), Qpod (sold to Groupon) and other companies which are independent (Relevad, Wheelhouse, Mixbook, Meltwater, iDentalSoft, Cleanshelf, Pinkoi, Chairish, Markable, CFOPlans). He is also an LP in Infinity Venture Partners, a Japan-China mobile Internet fund. Brian spends his philanthropic time mentoring early stage technology entrepreneurs in Ghana, Africa. He currently serves on the Board of the Meltwater Foundation which runs MEST (Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology). Earlier in his career, Brian served as Head of Corporate Development at Macromedia where he managed strategy, investments and acquisitions and facilitated the sale of the company to Adobe for $3.9 billion. He also was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley & Co. and Robertson Stephens where he closed more than 40 mergers, acquisitions and financings. Specialties: Entrepreneurship, early stage investments, M&A, corporate development and strategy. Software, internet/digital media and mobile.
Igor is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor with over twenty years of successful executive and investment experience including Internet startups and IT companies. He has funded, developed, and exited a significant number of investment projects worldwide.
Gregg Brockway is a Co-Founder and also serves as Chief Executive Officer at Chairish. He also is an Angel Investor. He is a Co-Founder of Hotwire. Brockway served as the Chief Executive Officer of Maker Media. He is a Board Member of TurnKey Vacation Rentals. Brockway co-founded TripIt and served as its President. Prior to Tripit, Brockway served at Classic Vacations and was responsible for driving its future growth strategy, overseeing all operations, and maintaining relationships within the travel-agency community. Prior to Classic, he served as Chief Product Officer of Hotwire Inc. (formerly, Hotwire.com) and led development and enhancement of its five core travel products: airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, vacation packages and cruises. Brockway is one the four founding members of Hotwire. In October 2000, Brockway helped launch the site with the financial backing of six major airlines: American, America West, Continental, Northwest, United and U.S. Airways. Before Hotwire, Brockway founded Brainstormers, a consulting organization providing Internet strategy, partnership and operations consulting. Additionally, he was a director at Hellman & Friedman, a leading private equity firm where he focused on growth investments in technology and consumer service businesses. Brockway also worked at Morgan Stanley & Company in the Merchant Banking Group as a Private Equity Analyst. Brockway is a regular speaker at numerous industry conferences, including TravelCom, Internet World, eTravel, EyeForTravel and others on the topics of travel, e-commerce and revenue management. A former member of the United States Ski Team, Brockway graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College and holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He is an Advisor at Groupize. He is also a Board Member at Insightly.
Michael brings over 20 years experience in strategy, business development and general management of technology startups and other high growth companies. Michael founded BuildingIQ in 2009 and served as its CEO until 2013. Prior to founding the company, Michael was a General Partner at Technology Venture Partners (TVP), a leading Australian venture capital firm. Prior to TVP, he was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Altos Ventures, and a senior executive at iOwn Holdings, a leading Internet mortgage company (sold to Citigroup in 2001). Previously, Michael worked with Bain & Company and Goldman Sachs. He holds a BA with Honors from Amherst College and an MBA from Stanford Business School.
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.
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.
Blackbird Ventures is a venture capital firm that is based in Surry Hills, Australia. The firm primarily invests in the consumer and social internet, software, mobile and e-commerce sectors.
Andy Sernovitz is the Founder of GasPedal and also serves as its Chief Executive Officer. He is an Angel Investor. Andy Sernovitz builds organizations that help people help each other. His company, GasPedal, builds peer-to-peer communities for people leading meaningful change at the world's biggest companies. He wrote the best-selling book Word of Mouth Marketing that teaches you how to rally fans for your business, your art, or your cause. GasPedal runs SocialMedia.org and SocialMedia.org Health, and is creating communities for people leading sustainability, wellness, and other mission-driven initiatives. Andy taught word of mouth marketing at Northwestern University and internet entrepreneurship at the Wharton School of Business. He's a serial entrepreneur who founded and advises many startups and nonprofits. And he's a rabid purist on the topic of marketing ethics.
Chris is the Founder & CEO of SignalFire, an early stage venture capital fund. He focuses on investments in consumer Internet, software and mobile with particular emphasis on seed stage investments and working with Entrepreneurs-In-Residence to launch new businesses. Previously, Chris was a Partner with General Catalyst Partners where he led the firm's successful seed investment activities and served as a Venture Partner on the firm's main fund. Previously, Chris was a Vice President with Bessemer Venture Partners where he led investments in digital media & mobile companies. Prior to BVP, he was a consultant with Bain & Co where he advised on large scale technology buyouts. Prior to Bain, Chris spearheaded the successful turnaround of Skybitz, a wireless enabled SaaS company, where he led Product Management, Finance & Business Development. Earlier in his career, Chris founded an investment advisory firm for angel investors & private equity funds and served as a Venture Advisor to an early stage venture capital fund where he led investments in SkyBitz and Applied Semantics (acquired by Google). He started his career on Wall Street in the private equity group of Cowen & Company. Chris received a BA in International Relations & Business from Tufts University & the Fletcher School of Diplomacy. He has been published in Harvard Business Review, Institutional Investor, The Journal of Private Equity and other leading publications.
Peter is a Managing Partner at Transmedia Capital, an early stage venture fund focused on: digital media, marketing automation, online marketplaces, mobile and SaaS companies. Peter founded three technology companies and has been in the early stage venture business for more than 18 years. He has completed more than 85 investments including top search engines Baidu (China) and Yandex (Russia), C2B (Inktomi), and more recently: Percolate, Domo, and Wish. Peter was a co-founder of Kicklabs, a San Francisco based seed stage accelerator. In 1998, he was a Managing Partner at Whittman-Hart (WHIT), a $1 billion global IT solutions provider. Prior, he was a founder and CEO of Axis Consulting, a leading systems integrator specializing in Internet and ERP solutions, which was acquired by Whittman-Hart in 1997 in a deal valued at $60M. He holds a BS degree in Mathematics from the Western Australian Institute of Technology. When he is not focused on his technology investments, Peter is most passionate about his family, wine, food, skiing, and fly-fishing.
Richard Yoo is a Co-Founder and serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Rackspace US. Through his vision and influence, Rackspace has become a powerhouse in the web hosting industry, leveraging its bullet-proof infrastructure and Fanatical Support offering. With a recent IPO and revenues exceeding $300 million annually, its customer list now includes names like Sony Music, GE, Hilton Hotels, Delta Airlines, Virgin and Miller Brewing. Yoo also set out and founded the perfect Self-Managed Server company. Built from the customer up, ServerBeach used custom proprietary technology to tailor the hosting product for a more technical and scrappy user. The Beach (as its often called) has become popular with influential internet hipsters such as Nick Denton of Gawker and Evan Williams of Twitter. Today, Yoo can be found functioning as an advisor to several companies including Inventables and Natuba. While he enjoys spending time advising others with their entrepreneurial endeavors, he spends most of his days at his own start-up incubator - Hush Labs. As an avid technology evangelist, Yoo can be heard via radio as a regular guest of the The David Lawrence Show. He is an active member of the Trinity University Computer Science Advisory Board, and has been recognized as one of San Antonios rising stars with the San Antonio Business Journals Annual 40 Under 40 Award for 2003. Additionally, he is a Houston Technology Centers Emerging Technology Council member, served as the Chair of the Accessibility Internet Rally for Houston and as a judge in the Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC).
Version One Ventures
Boris Wertz is the founder of version one ventures, an early-stage fund that has made over 35 investments in consumer internet, SaaS and mobile companies across North-America. Previously, Boris was the Chief Operating Officer of AbeBooks.com, the world's largest marketplace for new, used and rare and out-of print books which got sold to Amazon in 2008. Boris joined the company in 2002 after JustBooks, the German company he co-founded in 1999, was acquired by AbeBooks. Boris successfully finished his PhD as well as his graduate studies at the Otto Beisheim School of Management (WHU), Koblenz, majoring in Business Economics / Business Management. Current investments include Chloe & Isabel, Edmodo, Flurry, GoInstant (sold to Salesforce), Indiegogo, Indochino, Julep, Sparkbuy (sold to Google), Suite101, Top Hat Monocle, Wattpad and Yapta.
Volta Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests in the internet, media, mobile, ecommerce and software sectors. The firm was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Belgium, Belgium.
Entrepeneur and Angel, Mobile Internet. CEO and Co-founder of Parallel Consulting Group (sold 1999), first angel investor in Prezi and Truecaller.
Wolpert is a Co-Founder and serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Hello Tech. He also serves as an Advisor at Jukin Media. Wolpert is also a Venture Advisor at Wonder Ventures. He also serves as Venture Advisor at Zuma Ventures. Wolpert is a Co-Founder and serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Big Monday. He serves as a Venture Partner at Amplify.LA. He also serves as Venture Advisor at Accel. He has been a pioneer in the fields of consumer digital media and entertainment for several years. He is the Founder of Chance Technologies, a technology development and investment portfolio focused on technologically driven entertainment ventures including GameSpy, GameFly, Smilebox, LookOut, Mob.ly, AdECN, Universal Audio, Zetta Systems, Digital Map Products, Intent.com and AudioMill. He served as President of Disney Online from 1996-98, where he was responsible for the business and creative strategy for the company. During his tenure, he oversaw all aspects of Disney Online's internet initiatives, including the Web's most popular family website, Disney.com, as well as the development and successful operation of The Disney Store Online, Disney's prosperous e-commerce business, and Disney's Daily Blast. From 1984-94, he founded and developed several thriving technology companies, including After Hours Software, Bit Jugglers, and Mind Over Technology, among others. Many of these companies have since successfully merged with, or were acquired by, industry giants such as Adobe Systems, Compaq/HP and RealNetworks. Richard began his career at Apple Computer in 1984, where he was involved in the early development of the Macintosh. He has taught classes at both Stanford and UCLA, and he is a Board Member for the Los Angeles Chapter of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, where he is the Founder of CCFA's camps. He also serves on the board of the UCLA School of Theater Film and Television and on the Board of Governors for Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Richard earned his degree in Math and Computer Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. He also serves as Venture Partner at Amplify.LA. Wolpert is also an Angel Investor.
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