Kevin Surace
Board Chair

Appvance CEO Kevin has repeatedly led organizations to substantial growth in innovation, technology, revenue and investor value including Serious Energy (grew from 0 to 420 employees), Perfect Commerce (leading provider of supply chain software/services), CommerceNet (industry consortium), General Magic (cloud based virtual assistant), WebKnight (Java authoring system) and Air Communications (wireless hw/sw). He has been featured in nearly every major publication including BusinessWeek, Time, Fortune, Forbes and CNN as well as nearly every major network. He has been recognized by dozens of organizations for outstanding leadership including Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. Magazine, listed as one of the top 15 innovators of this decade by CNBC, awarded Tech Pioneer by World Economic Forum – Davos, nominated as Innovator of the Year by PlanetForward and inducted into the Innovation Hall of Fame (RIT). He also serves on the boards of Array Power, Zeta Communities, Yap.TV, and BioSmart Sciences. Kevin has been awarded 20 US patents with 10 additional pending. He received his BS in Engineering Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Steve Goldberg
Past Chair

Steve joined Venrock in 2009 after having been CEO of several early stage companies including DataRunway, Vidient, Arcwave and CoWave Networks. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Research and Development at Nokia Internet Communications and Vice President and General Manager of the Wireless Communications Division at Cylink Corporation. Steve also held senior management and engineering positions at Trimble Navigation and Hewlett Packard. At Venrock, Steve focuses on investments in the wireless, mobile and energy sectors. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Asoka, FutureDial, Newport Media, Kineto Wireless and Quantenna Communications. Previous board seats include Canesta (Acq by Microsoft) and Teranetics (Acq by PLX Technology).

Steve received his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Washington University and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Claire Hayes

Claire has over 15 years of experience with PwC serving technology and life science companies ranging from emerging companies to public entities; and is based in Silicon Valley in the Emerging Company Services Practice. Claire has extensive SEC experience and assists public and private companies in addressing complex issues including equity transaction accounting, revenue recognition accounting, preparing for an IPO and Sarbanes Oxley 404 implementation. Claire is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of CPA’s; she is also a Chartered Accountant. Claire is an active community leader participating on non-profit boards and related committees.

Adiba Barney
Board Member

For nearly two decades Adiba has worked within startup and innovation ecosystems, in Europe and in the United States, through her own companies as well as through non-profit public agencies - educating and creating relationships within the technology and startup community. Prior to joining SVForum she was the Executive Director of Silicon Vikings, a non-profit business networking organization connecting the Nordic´s innovation and startup ecosystem to Silicon Valley. Prior to Silicon Vikings, Adiba initiated, developed, and launched Innovative Sweden, a world tour exhibition promoting Sweden as an innovative country by showcasing a new generation of Swedish innovations. That is what brought her from Sweden to Silicon Valley in early 2011. Prior to the Innovative Sweden project, Adiba worked for 13 years within the Swedish innovation ecosystem (science parks, incubators, regional and government development agencies) where she focused on creating sustainable networking platforms, developing/executing high-profile PR projects, and coaching hundreds of startup entrepreneurs in international marketing, business development, market entry, communication, PR and branding. She is also a two-time entrepreneur.

Brian Goncher
Board Member

Brian joined Deloitte & Touche in 2004 as part of their growing Emerging Growth Company Practice. Brian has 30 years of financial and operating experience, including stints at Bank of America, four high-growth companies (Buyers Club, Gear 1, ArtSearch and Astoria Software), Coopers & Lybrand (C&L), Frontier Ventures and Crystal Ventures. In 1991, Brian began a new consulting practice for C&L called Emerging Company Services, which provides financial and strategic consulting to many Silicon Valley start-ups, including Polycom, Network Appliance, Grand Junction Networks and iband Communications.He was founder and president of Frontier Ventures, general partner at Crystal Ventures and served as COO of Astoria Software. Brian has also served for 20 years on the board of SVForum, the largest software industry group in Silicon Valley. 

Brian has an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Chris Yeh
Board Member

Chris Yeh is the VP Marketing for PBworks, co-founder and General Partner of Wasabi Ventures, and has been working with high-tech startups since 1995.
As described in The Start-up of You, Chris' mission statement is "To help interesting people do interesting things."  He has been blogging since 2001, both on his personal blogs and as a guest author in outlets like TechCrunch, Mashable, and VentureBeat, and has written over 2,000 posts on topics ranging from the psychology of entrepreneurship to achieving happiness in Silicon Valley.
Chris earned two Bachelor's degrees with distinction from Stanford University (Product Design Engineering and Creative Writing) and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was named a Baker Scholar.
Previously, he was the first investor in and interim CEO of Ustream.TV, which provides an open and distributable platform for live interactive online video. He also helped start numerous other companies, including Symphoniq Corporation, TargetFirst, and Juno Online Services and FarSight Financial Services (divisions of D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P.).
Chris is an active angel investor and advisor to a wide array of startups ranging from network equipment makers to vertical search engines. He is also the founder and Chairman of the Harvard Business School Technology Alumni Association (HBS Tech: and the author of the popular blogs, Adventures in Capitalism (, and Ask The Harvard MBA (

Debbie Brackeen
Board Member

Debbie is Managing Director, Head of Incubation in Citi Ventures.  She is responsible for driving growth through innovation by identifying and executing new business incubations in partnership with Citi businesses globally.  Debbie joined Citi from HP where she was most recently Vice President, Strategic Alliances responsible for HP's worldwide relationship with Adobe.  Debbie is a versatile technology executive with over twenty years experience at Fortune 500 companies in Silicon Valley including Apple, Sun, Cadence, and eBay.

Jitendra Kavathekar
Board Member

Jitendra Kavathekar leads Accenture Open Innovation within Accenture’s Global R&D organization, transforming technology innovation from vibrant ecosystems, such as startups, universities, and corporate labs around the globe, into transformative business results for Accenture’s clients. As Managing Director, Jitendra leads the entrepreneurial team whose mission is to build a bridge between the rapidly growing supply of innovation in the world today found in these ecosystems to the demand for that innovation expressed through the corporations, governments, and organizations that serve the developing regions thereby helping economies and societies move forward in rapid and transformative ways.  Prior, Jitendra formed and led Accenture’s Digital Health organization within Accenture Technology Labs. He was responsible for exploring and implementing emerging, disruptive and transformative technologies that will shape the frontier of global health.

John Wolpert
Board Member

John Wolpert leads product development for the Watson Ecosystem, with responsibility for setting the development roadmap, curating and ensuring the quality of available services, and keeping the organization focused sharply on the user. He also crafts and tells the Watson story to partners, leaders and audiences world-wide, using that regular contact with people outside IBM to gain insights for innovating and improving the end-to-end Ecosystem experience. He works out of the IBM Bluemix Garage incubator in San Francisco, where he has access to dozens of startups every day.

John is a three-time entrepreneur and founder of the popular Taxi App, Flywheel. He has created new lines of business for several Fortune 100 companies, ran an international consortium of research labs, and has been an IBMer three times — in the past running the ground-breaking alphaWorks organization and the Extreme Blue incubator lab, one of the most patented labs in IBM history.

John has taught Lean Startup practices at UC Berkeley, and his work on collaborative business model innovation is published in Harvard Business Review and Harvard Business School Press. He has delivered keynotes to the Australian Parliament, the European Commission, and for numerous corporate and top industry events.

Matt Thompson
Board Member

As General Manager of Microsoft’s developer & platform evangelism efforts, Matt has the first hand opportunity to both observe and work with a number of Silicon Valley’s most unique technology startups. His time is split between working with this influential community of technologists as they adopt Microsoft technologies (including Microsoft's cloud offering, Windows Azure, and new phone platform, Windows Phone 7); advising a number of early stage startups; and working with Microsoft customers & partners as they implement solutions on top of the breadth of the Microsoft platform offerings. Previously, as Sr. Director of Sun's Cloud engineering organization Matt was responsible for the development of Sun's platform as a service offering and related cloud developer tools. In a previous role, Matt was responsible for Sun's developer program and technology outreach worldwide. When not working you’ll likely find Matt off an island somewhere following his passion, underwater photography. Twitter: @developerfish

Michael Torosian
Board Member

At DLA Piper, Michael Torosian focuses on a wide variety of corporate and securities law matters in the high technology, clean tech and life sciences industries. He has represented both private and public companies, venture capital and private equity firms and investment banks.

Michael regularly acts as outside general counsel to public and private companies at all stages of development, and his general company representation includes advising management and boards of directors regarding assisting with business plans, company formation issues, equity and debt offerings and credit facilities, federal and state securities law compliance, employment matters, equity incentives, commercial arrangements, public company compliance and disclosure matters and corporate governance matters.

His transactional finance practice consists of venture capital and growth equity financings, private equity transactions, public securities offerings and mergers and acquisitions.

Michael has represented companies and investors in all stages of financings and has completed a large number of venture capital and growth equity financings, recapitalizations and reorganizations, strategic corporate investments, bridge financings and private equity transactions.

His public securities experience includes representing companies and investment banks in initial public offerings, follow-on and secondary equity offerings, and registered 144A debt offerings.

Michael's mergers and acquisitions experience includes representing private and public acquirers and targets in numerous merger and acquisition transactions.

Purnima Kochikar
Board Member

Purnima has over 20 years of experience leading application development, marketing and technical-engineering management for startups and leading mobile companies such as Nokia and Verizon. She was responsible for the strategy and growth opportunities for the Nokia portfolio of devices in small- and medium-sized businesses, enterprises, and public sector companies around the globe. Currently, Purnima serves as Director for Google Play's Apps and Games division. 

Victor Hwang
Board Member

Victor W. Hwang is CEO and co-founder of T2 Venture Creation, a Silicon Valley firm that builds startup companies and designs the ecosystems that foster entrepreneurial innovation. T2VC mentors and invests in innovative companies with breakthrough technologies. But unlike any other firm of its kind, T2VC also leverages the practical know-how of company-building to design innovation ecosystems around the world. This expertise includes capital formation, innovation policy, and entrepreneurial development for partners such as the World Bank, USAID, and numerous governments and corporations.

Victor is Executive Chair, Acting CEO, and co-founder of Liquidity Corporation, a company that makes the world's most technologically advanced filters for healthy drinking water. Victor is Executive Director of the Global Innovation Summit, a conference on building innovation ecosystems that attracts delegates from nearly 50 countries. 

Rachel Proffitt
Acting Secretary

Rachel Proffitt is a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where she practices corporate and securities law. Her practice covers a broad range of general corporate and transactional matters, including start-up company representation, venture capital transactions, public offerings, mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions, and public-company disclosure and corporate governance counseling.