Highland Capital Partners
VC investor at Commerce Ventures. Mostly tweet about entrepreneurship/startups, VC, mobile, payments and the future of retail.
James Currier is an Entrepreneur and Investor in Silicon Valley. He was an early proponent of social media and growth systems, and founded Tickle in 1999. Tickle grew to 80 employees, nearly 200 million registered users, and $38 million in revenue before selling to Monster in 2004. In 2007, with Stan Chudnovsky, James founded Ooga Labs to incubate digital businesses. In 2008, Ooga spun out WonderHill, a casual games company, which was funded by CRV and Shasta. WonderHill's biggest game was Dragons of Atlantis. Wonderhill grew to $60M in revenue and merged with Kabam in 2010. In 2011, Ooga spun out Jiff, a secure network and marketplace for connecting the mobile health ecosystem to the heath care industry. Jiff was funded by Aberdare Ventures, Venrock, Rosemark Smart Capital, GE, J&J, and Towers Watson. The company eventually merged with Castlight (NASDAQ: CSLT) in 2017. In 2012, Ooga spun out IronPearl, a growth analytics SaaS tool which was acquired by PayPal the following year. In 2015, James co-founded NFX Guild with Stan Chudnovsky and Gigi Levy-Weiss. NFX is a seed stage venture capital firm at www.nfx.com.
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.
Andrew’s drive for creativity, innovation, and outside-the-box thinking fuels his love for brand building. He brings more than 20 years of global strategy, marketing and brand innovation experience to BrandProject. He has built businesses from scratch, repositioned business for growth and scaled business to take them to the next level. Andrew started his career working in a range of marketing roles at Cadbury Schweppes in both Canada and the US. He then joined Diageo where he worked in a variety of strategy and brand management roles in Spirits and Wine. When Global Marketing Director for the Smirnoff Brand, he supported the launch of Smirnoff Ice in 44 countries in less than two years. Andrew joined Virgin Mobile in 2005 with the mission to build the Virgin brand in Canada and deliver something fresh, exciting, and never seen before in the Canadian telecommunication market. He was the go-to guy for strategic direction, marketing communications, and development of product innovation, services, and promotion. Andrew also had the chance to live out some of his secret rock star fantasies by leading the team that put on 10 Virgin Festivals across Canada. Andrew became the Managing Director of Virgin Mobile Canada after Virgin Mobile was acquired by Bell Canada, overseeing the business through a period of substantial scaling and profitable growth. Andrew received his Bachelors degree at Queen’s University and his MBA at Southern Methodist University. He is also a Trustee of Virgin Unite- the independent charitable arm of the Virgin Group.
Founded in 2012, Capnamic Ventures is a Berlin and Cologne based venture capital firm which invests in the seed, series A and later stages. The firm primarily invests in technology sectors such as mobile, e-commerce, gaming, payment, advertising or software-as-a-service.
David Tisch is the Managing Partner of BoxGroup, a New York City-based early stage investment fund. BoxGroup is an investor in over 200 seed-stage companies, including Vine, Blue Apron, Sunrise, Warby Parker, Harry’s, Oscar, Behance, Handy and more. David is also the co-founder and Chairman of Spring, a mobile marketplace where customers shop directly within the app from a curated community of brands. Spring was named by Apple as one of the Best Apps of 2014. In 2014, David was named Head of Startup Studio at Cornell Tech, the University’s New York City-based graduate campus focused on digital technologies and the information economy. He is also Entrepreneur in Residence for Wharton’s Entrepreneurship Program. David is the co-founder of TechStars NYC and has served on numerous boards, including Mayor Bloomberg’s Advisory Council on Technology, the Investor Board of Venture for America, and the Entrepreneurship board at NYU. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and New York University School of Law, and currently lives in New York City
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.
Nenad Marovac has more than 25 years of venture capital and private equity investment experience in the technology and media sectors. Nenad is the Founder and Managing Partner of DN Capital. Prior to DN Capital, Nenad was a Partner at Advent International in London, where he focused on TMT investments. Nenad focuses on investments in marketplaces, software as a service (SAAS), fintech, consumer mobile applications and digital health companies. Amongst his select investments are Shazam Entertainment (sold to Apple), Auto1 (largest online marketplace for used cars), Apsmart (acquired by Thomson Reuters), Datanomic (acquired by Oracle), Endeca, (acquired by Oracle), Eve Sleep (IPO London), Happn, Hometogo, Hostmaker, Joblift, Mister Spex, Performance Horizon Group, Purplebricks (IPO London), Tbricks (acquired by Orc) and Quandoo (acquired by Recruit Holding). Nenad is also the Chair of Invest Europe and an active member of YPO in London and Berlin. Nenad received an M.B.A. from Harvard 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.
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.
Bessemer Venture Partners is a venture capital firm based in Redwood City, California. The firm focuses on investing in companies operating in the clean technology, energy, healthcare, financial services, mobile, data security, cloud computing, software, communications and manufacturing sectors.
Initial Capital is a venture capital firm that prefers to makes investments in seed and early-stage technology companies with a focus on games, social media, digital, mobile, consumer services and technology enablers. The firm was founded in 2010 and is based in London, United Kingdom.
Partner6 Investment Group
Nikhil is CEO of CoVenture Crypto and Partner at CoVenture. CoVenture Crypto is a multi-strategy cryptocurrency asset management firm backed by SBI Holdings and a group of former Goldman Sachs Partners. CoVenture is an alternative asset manager, focused on emerging technology-driven asset classes. CoVenture executes this theme across three principal investment platforms: Venture Capital, Speciality Lending and Cryptocurrency. Nikhil was previously a Partner at Vast Ventures, led early stage investments at SoftBank Capital, Founded Partner 6 Investment Group, a hedge fund in Boston and then joined the founding team of Localytics, a mobile application analytics provider. Nikhil is a recovering engineer with several years of experience in front-end design and development focused on mobile and web UX before completing his MBA at Harvard Business School.
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.
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.
Dev brings nearly twenty years of operating, entrepreneurial and investment experience in India and the U.S. to his role as Managing Director of Lightspeed India Advisors Partners LLP (LSIP). Investments include Byjus, Darwinbox, Innovaccer, Oku Tech and Sharechat. He is a Charter Member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE). Prior to Lightspeed, Dev was an investment professional at venture capital firm Venrock in Silicon Valley where he focused on early-stage investments in Internet, mobile and software startups. While there, he served on the boards of Aha Mobile (acquired by Harman), Appia, Lavante, Slideshare (acquired by LinkedIn) and Turnhere. He also was board observer and supported investments in Aria Systems, BillFloat, INRIX and Redbeacon (acquired by Home Depot). Prior to Venrock, Dev led market development at Symbol Technologies’ Mobile Software Division (now part of Motorola). In 2003, Symbol acquired Covigo, a Silicon Valley-based mobile application software company that Dev co-founded in 1999. Prior to Covigo, Dev worked in product management at CrossWorlds Software and Aditi Technologies as well as in corporate finance at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Jefferies & Company. Dev holds a BS in Economics from Wharton, a BS in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
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.
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.
Robert Siegel serves as Partner at XSeed Capital. He is the Advisor at Pixlee. He serves as Board member at Sparta Science. He served as Advisor at K5 Ventures. His investment areas include enterprise software, business operations where computational technology helps automate / improve company performance, and computing platforms that shape both business and consumer behaviors. He sits on the Board of Directors of Zooz, Lex Machina, Cape Productions and DropThought, and he led XSeed's investments in CirroSecure (acquired by Palo Alto Networks - NYSE: PANW), Chatous, Dispatcher, Breezeworks, The League, Teapot, Smart Coffee Technology, Neon, Pixlee, Caller Zen and SIPX (acquired by ProQuest), and also supports other portfolio companies such as Citrine Informatics. He is currently on the faculty at the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he teaches Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation, Formation of New Ventures, The Industrialist's Dilemma and Entrepreneurial Finance. In these classes he has led research and written cases on companies including Google, Box, AngelList, SurveyMonkey, Medium, Wikimedia Foundation, Zuora, Minted, 500 Startups, TrueCar, Axel Springer, General Electric and Starbucks (La Boulange), amongst others. Robert is the Co-President of Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs, an alumni association that fosters relationships to strengthen the Stanford startup community, as well as the Chairman of the Strategic Advisory Board for TTTech in Vienna, Austria. He has co-authored several articles for California Management Review, is a Wall Street Journal Startup Guru, and is a frequent contributor to Forbes and VentureBeat. Prior to joining XSeed, Robert was General Manager of the Video and Software Solutions division for GE Security, with annual revenues of $350 million. Robert was also Executive Vice President of Pixim, Inc., a fabless semiconductor firm specializing in image sensors and processors (acquired by Sony). Before Pixim, Robert was Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Weave Innovations Inc. (acquired by Kodak), a network services developer that invented the world's first digital picture frame, and delivered photos and other digital media to PCs and internet / mobile devices. Robert served in various management roles at Intel Corporation, including an executive position in their Corporate Business Development division, in which he invested capital in startups that were strategically aligned with Intel's vision. Previous to Intel, Robert was promoted to a series of senior sales and marketing positions at GeoWorks, which went public in 1993. Robert holds a BA from UC Berkeley, an MBA from Stanford University, is the co-inventor of four patents and served as lead researcher for Andy Grove's book Only the Paranoid Survive.
Hummingbird ventures is a venture capital firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom. The firm makes transactions in seed round, early stage, growth capital and later stage funding. It specializes in the information technology, online service and focuses on digital media, social media, e-commerce, cloud computing, infrastructure software, enterprise software, gaming and mobile application sectors.