Boris Wertz is the Founder and CEO of W Media Ventures, one of the most active early-stage consumer internet investors in the Pacific Northwest. He is also a venture partner of Acton Capital Partners from Munich / Germany, a large consumer Internet fund that is focused on later stage companies with an established track record of revenues and profitability.
Before founding W Media Ventures, Boris was the Chief Operating Officer of AbeBooks.com, the world’s largest marketplace for new, used and rare and out-of print books which was sold to Amazon in 2008. Boris joined the company in 2002 after JustBooks, the German company he co-founded in 1999, was acquired by AbeBooks. He successfully finished his PhD as well as his graduate studies at the Graduate School of Management (WHU), Koblenz, majoring in Business Economics / Business Management. In 2005, Boris was the Pacific Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award winner.
@bwertz on Twitter.
Chris Arsenault is Managing Partner at iNovia Capital, having spent the past 17 years of his career as an early stage investor/entrepreneur focused on the Internet and Mobile sectors. Chris currently serves (or is an observer) on the board of directors of Airborne Technology Ventures, DFT Microsystems, Fixmo, Reflex Photonics, Ryma, Well.ca and Woozworld. Chris is co-chair of the Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX), an active board member of the Canadian Venture Capital Association (CVCA) and of Silicon Valley-based the C100.
Before joining the firm in 2002, Chris founded, co-founded or funded a number of Software, Mobile and Consumer Internet technology start-up companies, including two spin-offs of telecom giants Microcell and Teleglobe. Chris' entrepreneurial and investment experience includes a number of notable exits that generated large shareholder returns, such as Airborne Entertainment, Wanted Technologies, i5, up2 and SIT Inc. His work in the mid-90's as Founder and CEO of SIT provided him with the opportunity to play an important part in the initial growth of the Internet. As one of Netscape's first external partners, SIT's security products and dial-up technology eventually grew to become an integral part of Netscape's deployment. Chris is also proud to have been instrumental in the creation of the ENABLIS Entrepreneurial Network, a $30+ million G8-sponsored venture capital seed fund.
@chrisarsenault on Twitter.
Kent joined First Round Capital as a Principal in 2008. Most recently, he was a member of the Corporate Development team at Yahoo, where he focused on M&A to support the company’s user-facing properties. In 2007, he led the company’s $350M acquisition of Zimbra. Earlier, Kent led business strategy efforts for Yahoo’s Front Page, Communications and Community products which included Yahoo.com, My Yahoo and Yahoo Mail.
Before joining Yahoo in 2004, Kent was an institutional investor focusing on early-stage consumer technology. Among the firm’s investments with which he worked most closely was Oddpost, one of the first web-based services to demonstrate the functionality of a desktop application. In 2004, Yahoo acquired the company. Oddpost’s technology now serves as the basis for the Yahoo Mail interface.
Previously, Kent was an early member of the Mergers & Acquisitions practice at Thomas Weisel Partners, where he executed transactions totaling more than $20 billion. He has also worked for Fidelity Investments in Boston and London. Kent is an avid skier and cyclist. When his knees permit, he also competes in triathlons. He is a devoted, lifelong fan of the Boston Red Sox and is a die-hard supporter of the New England Patriots. He is a graduate of Cornell University.
@kentgoldman on Twitter.
Lars is a Partner at Hummer Winblad and has played a key role in the firm’s investments in Aria Systems (SaaS billing and customer management), vKernel (Virtualization Infrastructure), Karmasphere (Big Data Analtyics) and NimbusDB (Scalable SQL database).
Prior to joining Hummer Winblad Venture Partners in 2006, Lars was involved in founding and operational roles at start-up companies. He was a co-founder of AutoFarm (now Novariant), a company focused on GPS and robotics. Lars was in charge of strategy, product marketing, business development and building the sales team across three continents. While Lars spends less time programming now, he started his technical career coding and hacking computer games. He is the holder of several US patents.
Lars is an avid sailor and a former member of the Canadian Sailing Team. He represented Canada sailing Snipes in the Pan American Games as well as other international events.
Lars has a Masters of Science (Engineering) from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of business. He also holds an Engineering Physics degree from Queen’s University (with Honors). Lars sits on the board of the SIIA (Software Information Industry Association) and is a founding charter member of the C100 (Canadians in the Silicon Valley).
Lars currently sits on the board of Kiip, Pancetera Software and Strobe.
@larsleckie on Twitter.
Christiaan joined True Ventures in 2008 after spending almost a decade working in and around early stage technology companies. After graduating college, he taught history for two years in suburban New York before moving to Boston to spend six years in a variety of roles in support of local startups. Most recently prior to joining True, Christiaan was a senior analyst in the venture capital research group at Cambridge Associates and worked in network development at BrightRoll, a True portfolio company.
@cvorkink on Twitter.
Dave McClure is 500 Startup’s fearless leader and uses his uncanny ability to function without sleep and frequent flyer miles to discover amazing geeks and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and around the world. Previously Dave managed early-stage investments for Founders Fund and ran Facebook's fbFund REV. Before that he ran developer marketing at PayPal and Simply Hired, and has founded Silicon Valley community initiatives like Startup2Startup, GeeksOnaPlane, and StartupVisa. Back in the Stone Age he was a programmer and entrepreneur. Dave also invented Fire and The Wheel.
@davemcclure on Twitter.
Mike Edwards is a Managing Director of Vancouver-based early stage investment fund, Initio Group.
A life long entrepreneur, Mike has been starting and investing in early stage technology companies for over 20 years. Prior to co-founding Initio Group, he co-founded InternetStudios.com, an online marketplace for distribution of filmed entertainment rights. Previously, he founded AreaConnect, a localized search directory, which sold to Marchex in 2007. Mike is also a co-founder and investor in Sosido.com, a network for health care professionals.
Mike is interested in people with big ideas, and thrives on helping other entrepreneurs turn a napkin sketch into a prosperous business. Recently, he has invested in more than 20 technology startups including Summify, Compass Engine, Hoseanna, CrowdRally, Punchd and Rewardlii, and has no time for people who tell him to slow down. When he is not advising entrepreneurs or writing cheques, Mike can be found hanging out with his family in Whistler or at one of his coffee shops, bakery or restaurant. Mike is also an avid cyclist and athlete, who has participated in 6 Ironman competitions.
@initiogroup on Twitter.
JS Cournoyer has been in high technology since the mid nineties both as an entrepreneur and an investor. As well as his role with Montreal start Up, JS is also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with Vantage Point Venture Partners (VPVP), a diversified technology venture capital fund based in San Bruno, CA where he focuses on investments in ITC. Before VPVP, JS was responsible for the venture capital investment activities of la Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDP), leading numerous investments in the areas of Internet, wireless, semiconductors and networking and also investing in numerous venture funds in Canada and the USA. Prior to CDP, JS was an early investor, CFO and Vice President, business development at Terrascale Technologies Inc., a storage software company that was sold to Rackable Systems (NASDAQ: RACK). Before Terrascale, JS was with Innovatech, an early-stage venture fund where he lead numerous investments in digital media, Internet, wireless, networking and software infrastructure.
JS has also co-founded two Internet companies in the Boston area and was a management consultant with Arthur D. Little, Inc., focusing on the telecommunications and energy industries. In addition to MSU and VPVP, JS is active in the Canadian high-tech community, both as an angel investor in and advisor to technology companies. He is a also a director of Techno Montreal. JS received a B.A. in Physics cum laude from Middlebury College. He is married with 5 wonderful children.
@jscournoyer on Twitter.
Roger Chabra is a partner of Rho Canada Ventures. He has more than 15 years of venture capital, operating and entrepreneurial experience. Roger has been an investor and board director in a number of successful companies including Xkoto (acquired by Teradata), Whitehill (acquired by Oracle), NetShelter and Paymentus. He currently sits on the boards of Chango and Eightfold Logic. He joined Rho in 2010 and focuses on investments in Internet, new media, software, wireless and communication companies at the early stages of development. Prior to Rho, Roger worked as a venture investor at GrowthWorks Capital and at the corporate venture arm of BCE’s wireless division. He was also previously a technology start-up co-founder & CEO at Mobilessence and worked in a variety of technology-focused roles at Rogers Wireless and Sapphire Technologies (acquired by Randstad). Roger received an M.B.A. from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.
@rogerchabra on Twitter.