SDForum Brown Bag - Lessons from the Battlefield



  • Pre-registration is now unavailable. Please register at the door.


    Program Overview

    SDForum presents Lessons from the Battlefield-what early stage companies are getting funded and why. We have assembled a diverse panel which will answer that question. Joining us will be several venture capitalists who are actively investing in early stage companies, each with a different approach. They will talk about those differing investment focuses and the rationale behind it. Some of those differences are based on the size of their fund, how far into the fund they are, and the fund’s sweet spot for investments. Issues such as sector, market opportunity, competitive landscape, company stage of development, team, and customer traction will all be discussed. The VC’s will also discuss the “gotcha” of a particular company that they recently funded-what was it that got them (and their partners) to fund the company at the time.



    Jon Baer, Principle, Threshold Ventures

    Peter Dumanian, Partner, Red Rock Ventures
    Eric Dunn, General Partner, Cardinal Ventures
    Jim Marshall, Chairman & Managing Director, Selby Venture Partners
    Thomas Toy, Managing Director, Pacrim Venture Partners


    Speaker Bios

    Jon Baer has significant experience evaluating, launching and managing early stage technology based businesses. This includes experience in business planning, strategy development and the evaluation, negotiation and structuring of investments. As a principal of Threshold Ventures, he has successfully founded and launched two venture backed businesses. The first, eBoomerang, Inc. is an enterprise software company providing sophisticated rules based functionality for large corporations to manage product returns. The second company, Artificial Muscle, Inc. is a components company based upon SRI’s proprietary electro-active polymer technology. Additionally, Jon was a General Partner at Oscco Ventures where he made and managed investments in early stage companies in software and communications. Investments included Landec, Peerless Systems, Coinstar and Hybrid Network, Inc. Jon has been an active angel investor and is on the Executive Council of Software Development Forum.

    Currently Jon is working with New Venture Partners ( a venture capital firm that specializes in creating high value venture backed companies from corporate technologies. The group has its origins as the New Ventures Group within Lucent Technologies where the team successfully created over 30 venture backed companies based upon Lucent/Bell Labs/Western Electric technologies. The fund currently has exclusive relationships with British Telecom and Philips Electronics along with a number of non-exclusive relationships with other major corporations.

    Jon holds a B.S. in Engineering Science and a B.A. in Biology from Tufts University as well as an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College.

    Peter Dumanian is a General Partner with Red Rock Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm focused on investing in information technology companies. He co-founded Red Rock in 1997 after senior positions in product marketing and management at Intuit and @Home Network. Mr. Dumanian has a B.A. in English and a M.B.A. from Stanford University

    Eric Dunn, General Partner, Cardinal Ventures Eric joined Cardinal Venture Capital in 2003. Prior to joining Cardinal Venture Capital, Eric was an independent private investor, making investments in early-stage software and technology companies. Previously, from 1986 to 2000, Eric was a member of the senior management team of Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ: INTU) during its growth from a four-person startup to a leader in financial software with over $1 billion in annual revenue. At Intuit, Eric served as CFO, VP/GM and SVP/CTO, while also leading the initial development efforts for Quicken for Windows and Quicken for Macintosh. Eric was CFO during Intuit's IPO and the company-shaping acquisition of ChipSoft (Turbotax) and also initiated many of Intuit's activities in electronic financial services and its international expansion.

    Before working at Intuit, Eric was a management consultant at Bain and Company, and also worked at IBM for two years as a software engineer.

    Eric serves on the boards of Corillian (NASDAQ: CORI), Tibco (NASDAQ: TIBX), BitPass, Debitman (where he serves as Chairman), Success Factors, PayCycle, and Environmental Software.

    Eric graduated Summa Cum Laude with an A.B. in Physics from Harvard College and received his MBA from Harvard Business School where he was a Baker Scholar.

    Jim Marshall,Chairman & Managing Director, Selby Venture Partners
    Jim says that what he enjoys most is working with enthusiastic, bright entrepreneurs with whom he can share his forty years of Silicon Valley business experience. Drawing on his own time as an entrepreneur, as the co-founder and founder of highly successful companies such as Tandem Computers, Diablo Systems, and InfoGear Technology, and driven by his interest in exciting new technology, Jim offers seasoned guidance tempered with deep respect for the challenges young companies face. By tapping into his extensive network of technical and management associates, as well as his personal relationships with many of the leading venture capital firms, Jim ensures that Selby Venture Partners is uniquely positioned to provide entrepreneurs with a value-added partner through their critical early growth phase. Jim is currently on the board of Bay Microsystems, Fabric7 Systems, OnSite Systems, QuickSilver Technology, Triformix and Sierra Monitor. He has a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from Heald Engineering, and received his MBA from Pepperdine University. In his off hours he enjoys golf, fine wines, and spending time with his eight grandchildren.

    Thomas Toy is Managing Director and co-founder of PacRim Venture Partners. From 1987 to 1999, he was at Technology Funding, a professional venture capital firm focused on information technology and life sciences companies. While at Technology Funding, Tom was a Partner, managing director of the firm's investment group and chairperson of the firm's investment committee. Prior to Technology Funding, Tom was a vice president at Bank of America in Silicon Valley and Chicago from 1979 to 1987.

    Tom is a director of UTStarcom (NASDAQ: UTSI), an international telecommunications equipment company; White Electronic Designs (NASDAQ: WEDC), a designer and manufacturer of advanced semiconductor packaging solutions, ruggedized display products and interface assemblies; and, an Internet merchandising company.

    Tom also teaches a course on New Venture Finance at San Francisco State University MBA school. He is a regular volunteer panelist for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Job Forum, and he is on the Business Advisory Board of the Myelin Repair Foundation (, a research foundation for multiple sclerosis.

    Tom holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Management degrees from Northwestern University.


    111 West Saint John, Suite 200
    San Jose, CA 95113
    Phone: 408-494-8378


    11:30am-12:00pm - Registration
    12:00pm-2:00pm - Program


    (Refreshments & Chips included; NOT lunch, please bring your own!)
    $15 SDForum Members
    $30 Non-SDForum members
    *at the door add $10 to member and non-member prices

    Pre-registration is now unavailable. Please register at the door.