Dafina Toncheva of Tugboat Ventures was born and raised in a small town in Southern Bulgaria. She moved to the United States at the age of 18 to attend Harvard University. She completed her BA degree in Computer Science with special focus on cryptography, efficient algorithms, and database systems.
Upon graduation, Dafina joined Microsoft and for several years worked on the development of some of the world’s most widely used software applications. She led the development of several major components of Microsoft’s online authentication system Passport, and managed the design and delivery of key collaboration and security features in Office Suite and SharePoint. Drawn to the start-up world and the entrepreneurial community in the Bay Area, Dafina attended Stanford Business School.
Through Stanford and the classes of Peter Wendell, Andy Rachleff and Mark Leslie, she gained exposure to Venture Capital and subsequently joined Venrock. Mentored by Ray Rothrock, Dafina helped expand the firm’s software investments in the areas of SaaS, virtualization, security, infrastructure and enterprise applications. Dafina worked closely with and was an observer on the boards of PGP, Imperva and RedSeal.