Investors, Advisors & Speakers

John Giddings, The Silicon Valley Angels

John GiddingsFounders Space Speaker & Advisor

John Giddings is the co-founder of The Silicon Valley Angels (now Tech Angel Group), which focuses on high tech seed stage opportunities and Clean Tech issues.

He also is Principal of Clean Tech Integration, a consulting practice specializing in technology, business plan and funding services for clean tech start-ups, due diligence projects for venture capitalists, and analysis on the clean tech industry for Wall Street. John recently joined the adjunct Faculty of Santa Clara University’s Graduate School of Engineering as a professor of entrepreneurship.

Gareth Keane, Qualcomm Ventures

Gareth Keane is an Investment Manager at Qualcomm Ventures and Kauffman Fellow.

He’s also an early stage technology investor and enthusiast.

He has a deep technology background with experience in strategic investment, venture capital, operations, R&D, product development, marketing, strategy, innovation, and M&A. Broad experience from semiconductors/cleantech to software.

Sumeet Jain, Director at Intel Capital

Sumeet Jain is an Investment Director at Intel Capital. He joined the firm in 2013. At the Intel Capital, Mr. Jain focuses on the consumer Internet, mobile enabled consumer services and products, and virally distributed software investments. He serves as an Observer of Pixazza and Blekko. He was a Board Observer of Luminate and LiveOps.

Semil Shah, Angel & Entrepreneur

Semil Shah is currently working on several projects: (1) product marketing and distribution for Swell; (2) venture capital and investing in Developer Auction, Paddle8, Instacart, Hashicorp, Exitround, HelloFax/HelloSign; (3) a long-time columnist for TechCrunch; and (4) Haywire Media.  

Previously, he spent six months in 2012 as an EIR with Javelin Venture Partners, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm investing in software startups for consumers and the enterprise, as well as in cloud technologies and infrastructure. Prior to this, he held operational roles at Votizen and Rexly (acquired by Live Nation).

Seth Goldstein, Angel & Entrepreneur

Co-Founder & CEO, DJZ
Chairman, Turntable.fm
Co-Founder, Majestic Research
Entrepreneur in Residence, Flatiron Partners
Co-Founder & CEO, SiteSpecific
Independent Director, Valassis (NYSE: VCI)

Active angel investor and mentor to young entrepreneurs.

Charles Hudson, Partner with SoftTech VC

Charles Hudson is a Partner with SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed stage investors in Web 2.0 startups. He is focusing on mobile and gaming investments, and supporting SoftTech portfolio companies on business/corporate development matters. He was also the Co-Founder and CEO of Bionic Panda Games, a mobile games startup based in San Francisco, CA.

Ramneek Gupta, Managing Director of Citi Ventures

Ramneek Gupta is the Managing Director of Citi Ventures. His focus is primarily on identifying opportunities and investment themes in an increasingly connected world and partnering with leading entrepreneurs as they change the way we interact, consume, purchase and otherwise engage with people, content and businesses around us.

Bob Ackerman, Managing Director, Allegis Capital

Bob Ackerman is the Managing Director & Founder, Allegis Capital. He currently sits on the Boards of Apprion, DriverSide, Purewave and Shape Security. Prior investments include LGC Wireless, IronPort Systems (CSCO), iBeam Broadcasting (NASDAQ), Comparnet (MSFT), StepUp Commerce (INTU) and Classroom Connect (ENL).

Dong-Su Kim, Ph.D., Director of Investment at Samsung Ventures America

Dong-Su Kim, Ph.D. is a Director of Investment at Samsung Ventures America. He covers semiconductors, displays, renewable energy and “emerging” businesses, which includes healthcare and biotech.

He has over thirteen years of investment, strategy, planning, and technology experience. Prior to joining Samsung Ventures, he was a director of Asia Evolution, an investment bank in Korea covering mid-market financing, private placement, and M&As. Before joining Asia Evolution he was a Senior Manager at Technology Strategy Office in Samsung Electronics. As the CTO’s staff, he was responsible for strategic venture investments and technology alliance. He also worked in technology planning for Samsung’s Telecom R&D center, responsible for discovering new research topics.

Una Ryan, Managing Director Golden Seeds

Dr. Una Ryan is Managing Director Golden Seeds (Silicon Valley), an angel investing group focused on women-led companies. She is also a member of Astia Angel, investing in women-led ventures while targeting above-market investment returns.

She recently joined The Angels’ Forum, a group of 25 high net worth individuals, all of whom have been CEOs, founders of successful entrepreneurial ventures and who are now dedicated to investing in, mentoring and advising Silicon Valley Start ups. She was previously President and CEO of Diagnostics For All (DFA), a non-profit organization developing inexpensive diagnostics for global health and agriculture.

Sarah Cone of Illuminate Ventures

Sarah Cone of Illuminate Ventures brings a broad interdisciplinary background, prior investment analyst experience and hands-on startup operating skills in the tech sector to her role as a venture associate with Illuminate.

Sarah developed her passion for high tech and belief in the value of entrepreneurship early in her career – as one of the early employees at Amazon, as a public policy advocate for entrepreneurship with Public Knowledge, as a research analyst at Omidyar Network and as a policy strategist at Google.

Jeff Tannenbaum of BlueRun Ventures

Jeff Tannenbaum joins BlueRun Ventures with over 15 years leadership experience building consumer web companies in the entertainment, mobile and technology industries. He has structured partnerships with companies including the New York Times Company, Perseus, as well as numerous online/offline publishers.

Jeff founded and oversaw all business activities at PhotoCrank. In less than three years, he grew the company from a Silicon Valley start-up to the leading social photo entertainment platform. Before PhotoCrank, Jeff was Co-Founder at DreamFront where he transformed the company’s vision of interactive books into the widely popular series, the Digital Detectives Mysteries.

Philip Engelhardt of PhilQuo Ventures

Philip Engelhardt is the Managing Partner of PhilQuo Ventures as well as a Senior Advisor and Angel Investor at Plug and Play Tech Center. He is also an Investment Partner at Tech-Rx. His team at PhilQuo Ventures seeks opportunities in seed rounds of early stage companies, with a focus on consumer-facing, web-based startups , digital media, and independent film production.

Isaac Babbs, Handmade Ventures

Isaac Babbs

Isaac Babbs

Isaac Babbs is Founder and CEO of Handmade. Handmade is a mobile-only seed fund that creates new start-ups in a co-founding partnership with great entrepreneurs.

Handmade helps teams by adding expertise, relationships, and capital from inception through series A funding and ultimately a liquidity event. Handmade specializes in companies with mobile platforms, systems, and services among the following areas: marketplaces, advertising, monetization, sensors, productivity, entertainment, and cloud.

Josh Breinlinger of Sigma West Venture Capital

Josh Breinlinger joined Sigma West Venture Captial in 2010, bringing six years of startup experience. He has expertise in online marketing, marketplaces, and crowdsourcing. Josh was the 4th employee at oDesk, running Sales, Marketing, Product, and Business Development over five years and contributing to the company’s growth from almost nothing to $100M in annual services.

Blair Silverberg of Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Blair Silverberg is an Investment Professional at Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Prior to joining DFJ, Blair worked as a product manager at Intuit where he ran the successful launch of Mint.com’s first paid offering.

Prior to Intuit, Blair co-founded an online tutoring marketplace, called TutorCloud, as part of education incubator Imagine K12’s first class of ed-tech startups. Blair graduated from Stanford University with a BS in Product Design, where he built a variety of products including an aluminum scooter and snowshoes that telescopically collapse into skis. He also served as the head of marketing for IDEAS, a non-profit promoting on-campus sustainability initiatives at universities in Europe and Asia.

Brian Ascher, Partner at Venrock

Brian Ascher joined Venrock in 1998 as a Kauffman Fellow and is currently a partner based in Venrock’s Palo Alto office.

Brian focuses on a broad range of Internet (both consumer and B2B) and Healthcare IT investments and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Vocera (NYSE: VCRA), as well as several private companies, including Awarepoint, Retail Solutions, Inrix, and Billfloat.

Steve Goldberg, Partner at Venrock

Steve Goldberg

Steve Goldberg

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.

Sharon Wienbar of ScaleVP

Sharon Wienbar

Sharon Wienbar invests in Mobile and Internet companies at ScaleVP. She sits on the boards of Actiance, BeachMint, Everyday Health, PlayPhone, Reply.com and uTest. Prior to ScaleVP in 2001, Sharon was Vice President, Marketing for Critical Path and Amplitude Software.

Sharon spent most of the 1990’s at Adobe Systems, starting as Product Manager for Asian Products and later led marketing for many of Adobe’s applications, and spearheaded numerous cross-product initiatives.

Cynthia Ringo, Managing Partner of DBL Investors

Cynthia Ringo

Cynthia Ringo is a Managing Partner of DBL Investors, which she joined in April of 2008. Ms. Ringo currently sits on the board of directors of Solexant and View and works with LiveScribe, Kateeva and Ecologic.

Ms. Ringo was formerly a Managing Director of VantagePoint Venture Partners from 2002 to 2008 where she was Group Leader of the Communications, Systems, Internet and Media practice. Ms. Ringo served as a Board Member of the following VantagePoint portfolio companies: Entrisphere, Klipsh, Tymphany, Widevine, Livescribe, Provina and Meriton.