Where did you work before Trinity Ventures?
Prior to co-founding Trinity, I was with three venture backed tech companies and served as CEO of two of them, Covalent Systems and Acurex. All were high growth companies that were eventually acquired. My longest CEO gig (10 years) was with Acurex, which reached revenues of $65 million during my tenure.
What is your investment focus and why?
My focus at Trinity is in enterprise software and B-to-B commerce. It is the area that draws best on my experience from my operating days, and has been an attractive investment domain since we first launched Trinity.
What unique contributions would you make to a company as a VC?
I believe my greatest contribution to the companies we back is in the area of CEO mentoring. I draw on both my operating and venture capital experience in this regard. I have made or seen just about every mistake a CEO can make, and I try to share my knowledge with my CEO’s to help them avoid the same missteps. The CEO’s job is a lonely one, and I enjoy being able to counsel them in matters of strategy, team building, financing, business model evolution, etc.
What role should a VC play with an investment company?
The VC’s role is to be a resource to his portfolio companies across a broad spectrum of areas. In addition to financing, a VC should serve as a source of information on industry trends, threats and competition as well as a connector to outside resources, people, potential partners and a helper in recruiting. The mentorship role is an invaluable one, but a VC must never forget that he is a service provider, and that the CEO is running the company and is ultimately responsible and accountable for all decisions.