Startup Capital Ventures has an extraordinary team of Strategic Advisors who have each chosen to become affiliated with Startup Capital Ventures because of their interest in entrepreneurship and technology. Startup Capital Ventures leverages the expertise and experience of its distinguished Strategic Advisors, and their extensive network of contacts, to provide our portfolio companies with unparalleled access to an influential audience.
Denis earned his B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT and his Ph.D. in management (computer science minor) from Stanford. In 1979 he obtained his CPA and left an academic career that featured teaching positions in Canada, the University of Hawaii, and Stanford.
In his first project, he wrote the software and ran a company that sold the first spelling checker for microcomputers. Then in 1983, he co-founded a software company now known as Symantec Corporation, the fourth largest software company in the world in 2007. He spent five years at Symantec, serving as VP of R&D for development of the initial product, Q&A. This productivity software package won many product-of-the year awards and eventually had retails sales of over half a billion dollars.
Since 1989, he has served variously as early board member, founder, software designer/developer in ten other startups, two of which had IPO's -- NEOF (online medical supply and equipment marketplace) and VSNR (hardware/software office imaging solutions, now merged with Nuance). Financial Engines (Internet based retirement investments) and Claria (Internet advertising) each achieved profitability and annual revenues in excess of $80 million. C Level Design (C language translated into ASIC hardware designs) and WealthCycle (Internet based investment advise) had successful product development but hasty exit sales to larger entities after the bubble burst of 2001.
Since 2004, he has been interested in bioengineering, particularly in the area of drug discovery and has shifted new portfolio investments and startup energies to the life sciences.
He has been a member of the Band of Angels since 1997, serving on deal screening committees and making about 12 private investments.
Dr. John Davidson
John is a former general partner of Startup Capital Ventures and is now a Special Fund Advisor. John has over 35 years of experience as a successful entrepreneur in the communications networking industry. Early in his career, John served as the University of Hawaii's liaison to the Technical Working Group for the ARPANET program, out of which the Internet was born. His role in the ARPANET program included participating in the design and implementation of the TCP/IP protocols. John founded and led two successful communications networking companies. The first company was Ungermann-Bass, Inc., the networking industry's first Local Area Networking company, which he co-founded in 1979. He served as the company's Chief Technology Officer and helped grow the company to $400 million in revenues and 1,600 employees. John led the company's development efforts through its IPO in 1983, and its $260 million sale to Tandem Computers in 1988. John left Ungermann-Bass (Tandem Computers) in 1993 to found his second company, Network Telesystems, Inc., a self-funded internet infrastructure software company, where he served as Chairman and CEO. The company supplied Internet Protocol software to ISPs, carriers and enterprise customers. NTS was acquired by Efficient Networks in 2000, which itself was acquired by Siemens in 2001.
Fred Gibbons has been a partner at Concept Stage Venture Management since 1999. Fred founded Software Publishing Corporation in 1981. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of Software Publishing from December 1987 to April 1994 and its President from December 1987 to October 1992, President and Chief Executive Officer from May 1980 to August 1987 and acting Chief Financial Officer from March 1987 to October 1987 and again its Chief Financial Officer from November 1989 to March 1990. From 1995 to 1998, Fred served as a Lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Engineering. He serves as Chairman of the Board of I-Incubator.com Inc. He served as the Chairman of the Board of Software Publishing from August 1987 to December 1987 and again served the same position since October 1992. He has been a Director of MIPS Technologies Inc. since July 1998. Mr. Gibbons serves as a Member of Advisory Board of ITM Software Corp. He served as a Director of Software Publishing since 1980. Since 2006, Fred also has been a Consulting Professor in the Graduate School of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University.
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