Venture Finance SIG: Trends in VC Investing



  • The Monthly Meeting of the Venture Finance SIG

    Pre-registration is closed -- please register at the door!


    Presentation Overview

    ASPs, Peer2Peer, B2B, B2C, consumer, prosumer, optical, nano, security, storage, telecom, speech recognition, anti-spam, internet portal, semantic Web, VOIP, G3, search, social networking, blogging, RSS, materials sciences, outsourcing.... These are all examples of trends in Silicon Valley that arrived with a splash and created buzz among the entrepreneurial and VC community. Some of these ideas crashed, many remain hot sectors today, and some left and now have returned stronger than ever. Join us for an evening of lively panel discussion that will include interactive dialogue and audience Q&A. You will hear from VCs as they discuss trends in venture investing and from entrepreneurs who have recently raised venture funding.


    About the Panel

    Ajit Nazre, Ph.D, Kleiner Perkins

    Ajit joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in August 2003. His areas of investment include enterprise software and services, material science pertinent to energy, environment and life sciences. Before joining KPCB, Ajit was with SAP for 5 years. He started working for SAP in 1998 as Assistant to the CEO, Chairman and cofounder, Dr. Hasso Plattner. Ajit played a key role in formulating and executing SAP's internet strategy ( In 1999, he helped SAP partner with several US based technology companies, including TopTier (which was later acquired by SAP), Tibco, CommerceOne, and others. He co-founded SAPMarkets, a fully owned company of SAP, focused on Marketplace applications and technology. As Vice President and later MD of SAPMarkets Americas, Ajit grew the business from 0 to $100 million in six quarters. After SAPMarkets was reintegrated into SAP in May 2002, he laid the foundation for SAP Inspire - SAP's New Venture Unit. SAP Inspire is responsible for creating new businesses within SAP. SAP Inspire initiated ten venture projects within a year from inception.

    Ajit has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering Poona, India. He holds a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, a Ph.D. in Biomechanics from the Technical University of Hanover, Germany, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Ajit holds seven U.S. and four European patents and has published/presented over 15 articles in peer-reviewed journals and conferences.


    Des Cahill, CEO, Habeas,

    Des Cahill brings extensive executive-level experience in marketing, sales and operations from some of America's best-known technology companies-Apple Computer, America Online, Netscape-and as an entrepreneur driving from some successful startups-Autonomy, BridgeSpan and Cahill is currently CEO at Habeas, Inc. responsible for all company operations and is a member of the board of directors. Habeas provides a set of services to senders and receivers of volume email for the classification, authentication and tagging of legitimate email streams.

    Immediately prior to joining Habeas, Cahill was senior vice president of corporate strategy at BridgeSpan, a Benchmark-Sequoia real estate-services firm, where he was in charge of all marketing, business development and corporate development activities. As a member of the original management team, Cahill helped grow the company to 250 employees and $30M in annual revenues. Cahill was also founder and principal of Element Group, a strategic sales and marketing consultancy working both with startups and major players in Silicon Valley.

    Cahill received his MBA from Apple University/San Jose University and his bachelor-of-arts degree in economics from Union College in Schenectady, New York.


    Tom Fountain, Mayfield,

    Tom Fountain's focus at Mayfield is security, networking, and software. Given this emphasis, Tom co-led Mayfield's investment in Webroot and works with portfolio companies including Determina, Elemental Security, Mendocino Software, and Tasman Networks.

    Prior to joining Mayfield in 2003, Tom was Co-founder and Director of Engineering, Business Development, and Corporate Development at Ingrian, a leading provider of network and database security solutions. Tom joined Ingrian from Stanford University where he served on the faculty of both the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science departments. He authored a required course textbook and taught core graduate and undergraduate courses ranging from programming to systems architecture. Before joining the Stanford faculty, Tom was Founder, President & CEO of a software development and retail sales firm with operations in four states. He is the co-inventor of 10 U.S. and 4 international patent-pending inventions in networking, security, and operating systems. Tom was a PhD student in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, where he earned an MBA with distinction as an Arjay Miller Scholar from the Graduate School of Business, an MS in Electrical Engineering, an MS in Computer Science, and a BS in Computer Systems Engineering.


    Farouk Ladha, SVB Capital,

    Farouk Ladha is a Director with SVB Capital and focuses on Silicon Valley BancVentures, a stage-neutral direct equity fund. Farouk leads the Fund's software and services investments.

    Previously he worked at Broadview International, a leading technology M&A firm and private equity investor. At Broadview, Farouk worked on buyside and sellside M&A transactions for middle market technology companies, and he helped source opportunities for potential investment. Before Broadview, Farouk worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers's turnaround consulting practice for large businesses in crisis, where his projects included operational and financial restructurings for multi billion dollar enterprises. Prior to PwC Farouk acquired and ran an inventory management technology business focusing on the healthcare space. Farouk is also currently a Corporate Finance instructor at the U.C. Berkeley extension school. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, from Dartmouth College.


    Jake Seid, Lightspeed Venture Partners,

    Jake focuses on investments in systems, components and software. Prior to Lightspeed, Jake was a product line manager for Cisco Systems. He was responsible for launching and managing the industry's first DOCSIS-based cable modems and routers and led his product to win "Best of Show" and "Best Networking Hardware" at Comdex. Previously, he worked in business development for Boston Technology (Comverse) in Tokyo.

    Jake serves on the Venture Capital Advisory Board for the Fabless Semiconductor Association. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and a M. Eng. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. At MIT, he earned the Karl Taylor Compton Prize, the highest honor given to an MIT student.


    Philip Korn, Silicon Valley Bank,

    Philip is National Practice Leader for SVB's Emerging Tech Division and a team leader in the bank's Peninsula office based in Palo Alto. His group manages 600+ client relationships with technology and life sciences companies and provides a unique combination of products and services specifically geared towards very early stage companies. These services include access to industry specific entrepreneurial and investor events and referrals to key partners and alliances. Philip has worked at Silicon Valley Bank since 1998 and previously focused on trade finance at commercial banks and the Federal Reserve System. Philip holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Maryland and an MBA from Thunderbird.


    Event Logistics

    Pre-registration is closed -- please register at the door!


    DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary LLP.

    2000 University Avenue

    East Palo Alto, CA 94303

    Tel: 650.833.2000


    6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Registration / Networking / Refreshments

    7:00pm-8:30pm Progam


    $20 SDForum members

    $30 Non-SDForum members

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