Toni Schneider – CEO, Automattic (WordPress.com)
Toni Schneider is the CEO of Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, and a partner at True Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm. He serves on the boards of Bandcamp, Madefire, and Showyou, and advises Singly. Past startup credits include co-founder of Sphere (acquired by AOL) and CEO of Oddpost (acquired by Yahoo). Toni was voted startup CEO of the Year at the 2007 Crunchies. He grew up in Switzerland and studied computer science at Stanford.
Deborah Magid – Director, Software Strategy, IBM Venture Capital Group
Deborah Magid represents IBM’s $25 B software business in the company’s 12-year old Venture Capital Group. Her expertise spans several industries.
Deborah is responsible for sharing insights about emerging markets, technologies, and business models with venture firms and entrepreneurs around the world. She scouts for emerging business opportunities, and shares views on innovation and growth areas of the market. As a director of strategy in IBM Software Group, she also brings insight from the venture community to the development of IBM’s growth strategies. Deborah is responsible for fueling the ecosystem pipeline in strategic areas related to building a “smarter planet” and contributes to filling out the IBM product portfolio through M&A.
Chris Rust – Parnter, USVP
Chris’s current areas of interest include enterprise/data center infrastructure, cloud, mobile, and consumer. Chris currently serves on the Board of Directors or is an active Board Observer on Akros Silcon, Clustrix, GoPro, Kaiam and Zerto. His past investments and board seats include Abrizio (PMC Sierra), Afara (SUN), Avanex (Nasdaq: AVNX), Commerce5 (DRIV), Dune Networks (Broadcom), LVL7 (Broadcom), Mellanox (Nasdaq: MLNX), Santur, Stratalight (Opnext), SwitchOn Networks (PMC Sierra), Telera (Alcatel Lucent), and VxTel (Intel). Chris gravitates to investments pursuing high growth potential emerging markets that can yield large businesses of enduring value. He invests in the passion of the founders, and believes the best CEOs are often first time Founder-CEOs from humble beginnings. In addition to his US-focused activities, Chris is an active investor in Israel and India. He has been involved with establishing over a dozen R&D centers in these geographies.
Deepak Kamra – General Partner, Canaan
Deepak has been a venture capitalist with Canaan Partners for over 20 years. After an 11-year career growing technology startups into successful global leaders, Deepak joined Canaan Partners in 1991 and is focused on investments in digital media and software. Deepak led Canaan’s early investment in DoubleClick, the Internet’s first and leading online advertising solution; Match.com, the most popular dating site worldwide; voice-over-IP infrastructure company Acme Packet, which became one of the top-ten performing IPOs of 2006, and SuccessFactors, one of the most successful enterprise software IPOs in 2007 (acq. by SAP, December 2011, for $3.4B). Recognizing early the global nature of venture capital, Deepak initiated Canaan’s investments in the India market starting in 2001 and established a local team in India in 2006.
Vispi Daver – Partner, Sierra Ventures
Vispi’s experience includes a broad range of operational roles in the United States and India. He was in the Corporate Development group at Network Associates (McAfee, Inc.), a large-cap public company in infrastructure software, where his responsibilities covered acquisitions, divestitures and strategic investments. Prior to McAfee, Vispi was in product management at myCIO.com, a company that pioneered the delivery of desktop software online through the Internet. myCIO.com was among the first software companies to deliver a true enterprise grade Software as a Services (SaaS) product. Vispi began his career in India where he worked in an operational capacity in both public and private companies. Vispi currently serves as a guest Lecturer for an Entrepreneurship class at the Executive MBA program at Berkeley and volunteers as Venture Capital Advisor for BUILD, a non-profit that provides real world entrepreneurial experience to youth from under-served communities. Lastly, while at Sierra Vispi also served as VP of Business Development at one of the Firm’s portfolio companies, Sourcefire (NASDAQ:FIRE).
Joe Addiego – Partner, Alsop Louie Partners
Prior to joining Alsop Louie Partners, Joe was an investment partner at In-Q-Tel, the strategic venture arm of the U.S. intelligence community. While there, Joe lead investments in LensVector, Pixim, ThinKom, and LanguageWeaver, among others. Prior to that, Joe was the Executive VP of Marketing and Sales for Talarian through its IPO in August, 2000. Joe was the CEO of TakeFive Software, a Salzburg Austria-based development tools company. He also spent 14 years growing Integrated Systems Inc., and later Wind River Systems, from a start-up to a $400 million NASDAQ traded company where he held a variety of positions including VP of Marketing and Sales and VP of International Operations. Joe spent his early career at Hewlett-Packard and AT&T in sales and sales management roles.