William A. Sahlman
Harvard Business School
Dimitri V. D’Arbeloff – MBA Class of 1955
Professor of Business Administration
Senior Associate Dean for External Relations
Mr. Sahlman is the Dimitri V. d’Arbeloff – Class of 1955 Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. The d’Arbeloff Chair was established in 1986 to support teaching and research on the entrepreneurial process. Mr. Sahlman received an A.B. degree in Economics from Princeton University, an M.B.A. from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Business Economics, also from Harvard.
His research focuses on the investment and financing decisions made in entrepreneurial ventures at all stages in their development.
Mr. Sahlman has written numerous articles on topics including entrepreneurial management, venture capital and private equity, deal structuring, and the role of entrepreneurship in the global economy. He is completing work on a trade book tentatively titled "Being Entrepreneurial," which describes lessons learned from studying hundreds of successful and unsuccessful ventures over the past 25 years. Mr. Sahlman has published over 150 case studies on entrepreneurial ventures around the world.
Mr. Sahlman and an HBS co-author, Paul Gompers, published a casebook in 2002 entitled Entrepreneurial Finance (Wiley). In 2000, he helped introduce and teach a new course in the first year called The Entrepreneurial Manager. In 2006, he and HBS co-authors, Michael J. Roberts, Howard H. Stevenson, Paul Marshall, and Richard G. Hamermesh, published a casebook entitled New Business Ventures and the Entrepreneur (McGraw Hill – Irwin).
Mr. Sahlman is Senior Associate Dean for External Relations. He was co-chair of the Entrepreneurial Management Unit from 1999 to 2002. From 1991 to 1999, he was Senior Associate Dean, Director of Publishing Activities, and chairman of the board for Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation. From 1990 to 1991, he was chairman of the Harvard University Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility. He is a member of the board of directors or board of advisors of several private companies and not-for-profit organizations.
Chairman – W2 Group, Inc.
Mr. Weber is a globally known expert in public relations and marketing services. Passionate about the convergence of technology, the web and communications, he is a frequent public speaker on the future of marketing, the social web and building communities online. Mr. Weber enjoys helping global brands and emerging companies harness social media strategies to enhance brand reputation, create and extend partnerships, and increase demand generation. He founded one of the industry’s first interactive marketing agencies, Thunderhouse, and has worked with world-class clients including Coca-Cola, Pfizer, General Motors, IBM, General Mills, Siemens, and many more.
In 1987, Mr. Weber started his own public relations company, The Weber Group, which within a decade became the world’s largest public relations firm. The Interpublic Group of Companies purchased The Weber Group in late 1996, and in early 2000, he was named chairman and CEO of Interpublic’s Advanced Marketing Services, a $3 billion unit with 12,000 people and including the company’s public relations, research and analysis, and entertainment holdings.
Mr. Weber serves on a number of Boards of corporations, non-profit organizations and academic institutions. He is the co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange (MITX), the largest interactive advocacy organization in the world. Larry’s first book, The Provocateur: How a New Generation of Leaders Are Building Communities, Not Just Companies, was published by Random House/Crown Business in 2002. He is currently at work on his second book, Marketing to the Social Web: How Digital Customer Communities Build Your Business.
Partner, Idea Works
Mr. Mathews is a consumer-focused inventor specializing in mobile, convergence and digital entertainment. He has worked at the startup stages of Boxee, Slingbox and is an inventor of the CueCat consumer bar code reader. In addition to holding over 65 U.S. patents, Dave has appeared as a technology expert or host on some 300 television shows, written for PC Mag, and is a founding contributor of O’Reilly’s MAKE Magazine. He has designed a mobile game which became the #1 grossing app in Feb 2010 and created a storyboard "make your own TV" application with Will Wright, founder of SIMS on the iPhone, Android and the iPad.
After the dot-com bubble burst, he was tapped by the Chairman of RadioShack to help re-kindle the spirit of innovation within the retail giant. Through his efforts, several products made it to market and many technologies were created with the help of his Asian and US based teams.
Dave is a frequent public speaker, technology expert for broadcast media outlets and sits on the advisory board of several early stage companies.
Executive Vice President, Software Solutions & Services
Online Resources Corp.
Mr. Ryan is currently Executive Vice President at Online Resources responsible for the Software Solutions & Services group. This group encompasses the company’s custom software and solutions, including Architect Online Banking and the award-winning Virtual Collection AgentTM. Additionally Steve manages the Payment Operations organization at Online Resources which processed $110B in payments and 235M transactions in 2011.
Mr. Ryan joined Online Resources in 2011 with more than 20 years experience developing and launching new financial technology products in U.S. and global markets. Prior to Online Resources, Ryan held executive roles at NationsBank (now Bank of America), First Data, Visa USA, GeoTrust (acquired by VeriSign) and Arcot Systems (acquired by Computer Associates).
Most recently, he was the senior vice president and co-founder of IronKey, a mobile security solutions provider for online banking financial services. Mr. Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree in management information systems from Old Dominion University.
Managing Partner, Technology – DavenportMajor
Ms. Major is the co-founder and Managing Partner of DavenportMajor. Her expertise working in the technology industry spans more than 18 years with global high growth companies coupled with 10 highly successful years in executive search completing C-level executive placements for public and emerging, pre-IPO corporations.
Ms. Major specializes in the wireless, telecom, software and semiconductor sectors and serves global Fortune 500 companies like Telstra, T-Mobile, Motorola and Qualcomm. Prior to DavenportMajor, she served as Managing Director for Slayton International’s west coast offices. Prior to that, she managed the San Diego office for A.T. Kearney Executive Search.
As an active industry and community member, Ms. Major sponsors the annual Women in Wireless Breakfast at CTIA and she serves on private and public boards. She graduated from Northeastern University with a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Kevin A. Werner
Founder, Abalone Capital Advisors, LLC
Mr. Werner has 25+ years experience in evaluating business objectives and structuring, negotiating and closing complex strategic transactions. From 2007 – 2011, he served as SVP of Corporate Development & Strategy for VeriSign, Inc., during which time he sold 15+ non-strategic business units and generated more than $2B cash proceeds.
From 2004 – 2007, Mr. Werner served as SVP, Strategic Development Activities at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) where he was responsible for acquisitions, strategic investments, divestitures, and joint ventures. From 2000-2004, Mr. Werner was President and Managing Director of SAIC Venture Capital Corporation, where he managed a $1.3 billion corporate VC fund with a portfolio of over 60 investments in early stage technology companies. Mr. Werner joined SAIC as Associate General Counsel in 1995. Prior to SAIC, he spent 10 years at the San Diego law firm Seltzer Caplan McMahon & Vitek, becoming a partner in 1990.
Ronald D. Fisher
Managing Partner, Softbank Capital
Mr. Fisher joined SoftBank in 1995, overseeing its U.S. operations and its other activities outside of Asia, and was the founder of SoftBank Capital. He is currently Vice Chairman of SoftBank Holdings, Inc. and also serves as a member of the board of directors of SoftBank Corp., Japan. Mr. Fisher has over 30 years of experience of working with high growth and turnaround technology companies.
Prior to joining SoftBank, he was the CEO of Phoenix Technologies Ltd., the leading developer and marketer of system software products for personal computers, from 1990 to 1995. Mr. Fisher joined Phoenix from Interactive Systems Corporation, a UNIX software company that was purchased by the Eastman Kodak Company in 1988. At Interactive Systems he served for five and one-half years as President, initially as COO and then CEO. Mr. Fisher’s experience prior to Interactive Systems includes senior executive positions at Visicorp, TRW, and ICL (USA).
Mr. Fisher serves on the boards of several public and private companies, including E*Trade Group, GSI Commerce, DoveBid, and LiteScape Technologies. He is also on the investment committee for the SB Asia Infrastructure Fund.
Mr. Fisher earned an MBA from Columbia University, New York, and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Witwatersand in South Africa.
Mr. Ruda is leading the green revolution with Wingpower, a company that develops small vertical wind turbines: a market whose installed capacity in the US alone is projected to grow 10 fold by 2015. Previously, Mr. Ruda was CEO of Desktone, Inc. an early stage provider of an end-to-end virtual desktop platform that enables desktop computing at large enterprise to be delivered, on demand, as a network-based service.
Mr. Ruda’s career spans over thirty years in the information and communications technology marketplace. Mr. Ruda co-founded Softricity as its CEO in June, 1999 when the company was still in the business planning stage and continued in that role until March, 2006, when he assumed the role of Chairman. In April, Softricity agreed to be acquired by Microsoft and the transaction completed in July. This was considered one of the most strategic acquisitions Microsoft has ever made and it was one of the largest software transactions in New England, valued at greater than 17x previous year’s revenue. Since Softricity’s inception, Mr. Ruda had raised over $60 million from top-tier venture funds all of whom realized significant returns on their investments.
Prior to Softricity, Mr. Ruda was President and CEO of ITS, a manufacturer of video access equipment for IP and ATM networks. ITS was acquired by Artel Video in March 1999, just prior to the closing of its first round of funding. Mr. Ruda also co-founded and was VP Sales and Marketing for a VC-backed start-up, Network Switching Systems, a manufacturer of integrated voice and data switching equipment which was later acquired by BBN Communications. Post-acquisition, Mr. Ruda served as BBN’s VP for Integrated Network Sales, responsible for worldwide deployment of integrated T1 networks to enterprise accounts. Mr. Ruda also founded and operated a global telecomm consulting business, Global Technologies, whose clients were composed of many of the world;s leading telecomm service providers; including, Bellcore, NYNEX, France Telecom, PacBell and GTE Services.
Mr. Ruda has also held the following positions: VP Field Operations for Bell Atlantic (a NE public communications carrier), VP Sales and Marketing for Bridgeway Corporation (a network management software company based in Redmond, WA) and President and CEO of Glyph Systems (an Andover-based software company specializing in international software and typefaces).
Mr. Ruda serves on several private company boards as an Independent Director and also sits on several Advisory Boards for early stage companies.
Mr. Ruda holds an MBA from Boston College, and MS in Operations Research from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and a BS in Management Science from RPI.
President, Eastbridge Partners
Mr. Daniels has over twenty-four years experience in engineering, manufacturing operations, marketing & sales, finance, regulatory compliance and international business development. He has lived and worked in China and the Republic of Korea.
Mr. Daniels was the Director of Asian Operations of Rogers Corporation a USD300M manufacturer of advanced materials used in the computer, handheld electronics, office automation and telecommunication industries. During his tenure, Mr. Daniels established a network of commercial offices, service centers and a manufacturing campus in Mainland China. In a seven-year period, he increased sales from USD6M/USD109M.
Mr. Daniels also worked in executive roles for GE Plastics and Taconic Plastics, where he launched several successful subsidiaries and joint ventures in the Asia-Pacific region. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and holds a combined Environmental Engineering and Regional Planning degree.
Mr/ Daniels lives with his wife and twin children in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a board member and trustee of several non-profit organizations in the Boston area.
Client Director, Cisco Systems
Mr. Buttermore is a well known and respected veteran of the cable and satellite industry. In his current role with Cisco systems, Tom has responsibility for all sales activities and customer relationships with Charter Communications, the nation’s 4th largest cable MSO. Prior to Joining Cisco, Mr. Buttermore was VP Sales and Operations for Dish Networks Commercial business segment where he led Public/Private, MDU, Hospitality and private broadcast lines of business. Buttermore was the VP & GM, Global Carrier Solutions for Nortel, where he was responsible for the architecture of Nortel’s carrier solutions, global market development, and all global carrier marketing activities. Mr. Buttermore has more than 20 years of senior technology development and operations experience within the Multiple System Operator (Cable), Local Exchange Carrier (LEC), Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC), and consumer software segments. He has demonstrated tremendous leadership and success in engineering, deploying, scaling and operating new digital and packet services for various networks including VoIP, DSL and Cable Modem, and Digital Video, spending the last 10 years focused on the cable MSO industry.
Mr. Buttermore was also the vice president of Data and Voice engineering and operations at Adelphia Communications Corporation, where he was responsible for implementing comprehensive provisioning, change management, baseline reporting, and operational metrics systems across the enterprise, while simultaneously replacing and upgrading all aspects of the high speed network. In addition, Mr. Buttermore implemented mission-critical applications such as a complete security re-engineering effort to include Digital Signing capability, firmware and IP management software suites to prevent hacking of service levels, and Sarbanes-Oxley compliant internal data security. He also standardized product definitions, service definitions and rate codes for all Small and Medium Enterprise products.
Before joining Adelphia, Mr. Buttermore was president and COO at Ucentric Systems, a leading provider of software to the cable industry for the on-demand delivery of digital entertainment services throughout the home. Mr. Buttermore was also founder, chairman and CEO at BroadRiver Communications, Inc. where he was responsible for the strategic planning and day to day tactical operations of BroadRiver, a next generation CLEC. BroadRiver offered small and medium sized businesses integrated high-speed Internet access, local and long distance voice services and secure virtual private network solutions using a QoS (Quality of Service) enabled IP platform.
Mr. Buttermore holds an M.B.A. in general management from Georgia State University and a B.S. in computer science from University of Georgia.
Fenwick & West Consulting Professor
Stanford Technology Ventures Program
Tom Kosnik is a Consulting Professor, Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), in Stanford School of Engineering. He currently serves on the teaching teams of three courses: Global Entrepreneurial Marketing, Global Entrepreneurial Leadership, and the Draper Fisher Jurvetson Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Program. He is a member of Board of Advisors of the Business Association of Stanford Engineering Students (BASES) and the National University of Singapore Entrepreneurship Association (NUSEA). He has provided guidance for the Stanford Entrepreneurs’ Challenge (a business plan competition) since 1996, and numerous Global Business Plan competitions since 2000.
Kosnik has worked with over 100 startups since 1978. He also provides consulting and executive education to global companies in imagination-intensive industries. Some of his past clients include: American Management Systems; Apple Computer; Applied Materials; Electronic Arts; Ericsson; Ernst & Young; Genesys; Hewlett Packard; Microsoft; Nuance Communications; and numerous startups.
Kosnik earned a BA in History and International Relations from Duke University (1972), an MBA from the University of Virginia (1977) and a Ph.D. from Stanford Graduate School of Business (1986).
Partner, Rembrandt Ventures
Michael is a technology industry entrepreneur, innovator and investor actively working with start-up companies. He has gained a reputation for his knowledge of how to build great companies, create and win markets and assemble A-player teams. Michael is currently an advisor and board participant at Loggly, Mu Dynamics, NewTree, Rezopia, TrackSimple and Veloxum.
Michael was the founding CEO of Splunk, the infrastructure software company that invented IT Search. Splunk enables enterprises to index, search and report across all of their machine data to troubleshoot issues, find root causes, investigate security incidents and meet compliance reporting requirements. Michael’s vision and leadership grew Splunk from an idea to a$50M, pre-IPO company, and the undisputed leader in managing all aspects of IT data. Prior to Splunk, he served as VP e-Commerce Services at Yahoo!, VP e-Commerce at InfoSeek/Disney and was co-founder of Collation (acquired by IBM), dotBank (acquired by Yahoo!) and Reality (acquired by Reuters).
Michael holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Computer Science from Drexel University.
Susan E. Pravda
Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP
Susan E. Pravda is office managing partner of Foley & Lardner’s Boston office, chair of the firm’s Emerging Technologies Industry Team, and a member of the Private Equity & Venture Capital and Transactional & Securities Practices, and the Life Sciences and Nanotechnology Industry Teams. Prior to joining Foley, she was co-managing partner at Epstein Becker & Green’s Boston office.
Ms. Pravda’s practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, venture capital and securities transactions. She represents high-growth and emerging businesses, including companies in the telecommunications, Internet, software, wireless and service industries, as well as life science and biotechnology companies, from start-ups to public companies.
Ms. Pravda also frequently acts as special mergers and acquisitions counsel for "middle-market" private and public companies in the manufacturing, service, consulting and technology sectors, including buyers, sellers and management groups. She advises clients with respect to valuation issues, stockholder relationships, incentive compensation plans, director and officer liability and contractual issues.
Ms. Pravda lectures frequently to businessmen/ businesswomen and professionals on buying and selling middle-market companies and is a frequent keynote presenter for Vistage International meetings nationwide. Her articles on mergers and acquisitions, creative financing tools, and negotiating techniques appear in a variety of business publications. Ms. Pravda’s extensive knowledge as a negotiator of mergers and acquisitions is highlighted in the book, "Swim with the Dolphins: How Women Can Succeed in Corporate America on Their Own Terms," by Connie Glaser and Barbara Steinberg Smalley. She is the co-editor of MCLE’s Buying and Selling a Privately Owned Business in Massachusetts.
Ms. Pravda received her J.D. from Harvard Law School (cum laude, 1983) and a B.A. from Wesleyan University (magna cum laude, 1980).
Ms. Pravda is a director of the Boston Public Library Foundation and the YWCA Boston, and serves on the boards of a number of technology and life science companies. In 2004, 2005 and 2006, Ms. Pravda was named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer, an honor received by only 5% of Massachusetts attorneys. She has also been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2007©.
Ms. Pravda is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, New York, and the District of Columbia. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association and Boston Bar Association, where she is co-chair of the Mergers & Acquisitions Committee.
Founder & CEO, Hanson Maslen Group
Mr. Hanson is CEO of Hanson Maslen Group and Chairman of CRH & Associates. Mr. Hanson is known for the impact he made as Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft, where he created and executed the company’s highly acclaimed branding strategy. Especially noteworthy is the market introduction of Microsoft’s most popular product, a graphical interface that Hanson insisted must be named "Windows". Several books published on the history of Microsoft credit his strategies with leading to the dominance of the Microsoft and Microsoft Windows© brands.
Prior to Microsoft, Mr. Hanson served as Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for Neutrogena Corporation, a skin-care and cosmetics company. After achieving phenomenal growth during his tenure through new product introductions and global joint ventures, the company was acquired by Johnson & Johnson for a significant premium, largely attributable to the value of the Neutrogena brand. It was Hanson’s success at Neutrogena that attracted the attention of Bill Gates, who personally recruited him with the expressed mission of developing and executing an equally effective brand strategy for Microsoft.
Mr. Hanson’s other achievements include the following:
- Served as President, CEO, and Chairman of Amaze Inc., a multi-media software publisher with such popular products as The Far Side, Trivial Pursuit, Bloom County, and Berlitz theme computer calendars and screen savers
- Negotiated the sale of Amaze to Delrina Corporation
- Founded and served as CEO and Chairman of iTravel Corporation, an exclusive developer of multi-media travel guides for United Airlines, United Vacations, and the travel agency network
- Negotiated the successful sale of iTravel to StarPress
- Fulfilled roles of business development consultant, branding consultant, and board member of ColdHeat, where the company’s "instant heat, instant cold" proprietary material science led to the successful introduction of consumer small appliances
- Served as business development consultant, branding consultant, and board member of The Nautilus Group, developer and marketer of such brands as Bowflex, Nautilus, Schwinn Fitness, and StairMaster
In January 2002 Mr. Hanson founded The b EQUAL Company. The company’s mission is to strengthen the bonds between children and parents by creating games that make learning a fun, interactive, family event. Its partners include A&E (The History Channel / Biography), National Geographic, DreamWorks and Discovery, to name a few. The company recently merged with Specialty Board Games of Toronto Canada. SBG partners include the popular TV show CSI, NASCAR, and the World Wrestling Entertainment. Together, SBG/bEQUAL, is now one of the leading companies in digital games designed specifically for the entire family.
Prior to launching his business career, Mr. Hanson earned a BBA from Loyola University and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Andrew I. Fillat
Venture Partner, Leapfrog Ventures
Mr. Fillat is a Venture Partner at Leapfrog Ventures. Previously, he worked with several venture capital and private equity firms, including Rembrandt Venture Partners and American Capital Strategies, in a variety of capacities. From 1989-2004, Mr. Fillat was at Advent International Corp. leading their venture operations starting in 1996.
Mr. Fillat personally focuses on companies in the telecommunications equipment, wireless, infrastructure, software, and services sectors. He has been directly responsible for approximately 40 deals and had active roles in another 50+ as group manager, mentor, sponsor, and advisor to non-US technology dealmakers at Advent. Before Advent, he spent four years as a partner at Fletcher Spaght working with their venture capital clients, and 13 years in operations, including 3 years as CTO of Fidelity Investments and 2 years as CEO of an early stage information services company.
Mr. Fillat holds an MBA degree from the Harvard Business School, as well as a Master of Sciences and Bachelors of Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a major in computer science.
Managing Director, ICT168 Capital LLC
Mr. Belk is Managing Director of ICT168 Capital, LLC, focused on developing and guiding global growth opportunities in the Information and Communication Technology space. Formerly, Mr. Belk spent almost 14 years at Qualcomm, where prior to his departure in early 2008, he was SVP of strategy and market development.
From 2000 until 2006, Mr. Belk was senior vice president, global marketing, leading a team responsible of all facets of the company’s corporate messaging, communications, and marketing worldwide. In 1999-2000, Belk was SVP & GM of Qualcomm Eudora Products, Qualcomm’s award winning email client. In 1997, Mr. Belk was named VP, marketing of Qualcomm Consumer Products, and initiated the company’s global branding and communications efforts.
Prior to Qualcomm, Mr. Belk spent ten years in the early growth years of the PC industry, primarily with Proxima Corporation. Mr. Belk joined Proxima in 1983 when the company was less than 25 employees, and was with the company through its IPO in the early 90’s in several key distribution, product management, and international roles.
Mr. Belk has an MBA from The Paul Merage School of Business at University of California in Irvine and a BA in Economics from the University of California in San Diego.
Mr. Belk currently serves on the Board of Directors of Peregrine Semiconductor, InterDigital Corporation (Nasdaq: IDCC), and the Wireless Life Science Alliance. Jeffrey is known globally as a commentator and writer on wireless, mobile broadband, and technology evolution.