Investors in data startups share their views on the landscape.
Venture Capital Roundtable
Michael Borrus is the founding general partner of XSeed Capital. An entrepreneur and former academic, he has authored three books and over 70 chapters, articles and monographs on topics including the internet and data networking, management of technology, competition in information technology industries, international trade and investment, and financial strategies for technology companies. The common thread in his varied careers has been a focus on emerging new technologies, and the business models and strategies necessary to exploit new market opportunities. Before founding XSeed in 2006, Borrus was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Mohr Davidow Ventures. He also spent five years leading the technology practice at the Petkevich Group, a financial services and investment start-up. Prior to that, Borrus was adjunct professor in UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering and a partner in the business consulting firm Industry and Trade Strategies. While at UC Berkeley, he co-founded the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy.
Jake Flomenberg has over a decade of experience building innovative software products. He focuses on early stage investments in next generation infrastructure and data-driven services and is part of the team responsible for Accel’s Big Data Fund. Flomenberg currently sits on the board of Origami Logic, provider of a visual big data analytics platform for marketers, Trifacta, creator of radical productivity software for data preparation and analysis, and Sumo Logic, a cloud-based log management and analytics solution.
Prior to Accel, Flomenberg was director of product management at Splunk, where he was responsible for Splunk’s user interface and big data strategy. Previously, he worked at Cloudera, where he helped the founding team tackle a broad array of sales, marketing, and product issues. Flomenberg holds a B.S.E. in computer science, electrical computer engineering, and economics from Duke University, an M.S.E in systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Adam Ghobarah focuses on data technologies and machine learning. He looks for disruptive startups and guides Google Ventures’ portfolio companies in these areas. Over the past fifteen years, he has applied statistics, machine learning, and new data technologies to solve problems in public health, engineering, finance, and online advertising.
Prior to joining Google Ventures in 2012, Ghobarah was at Google for six years, leading a team of statisticians focused on building models for predicting advertiser behavior and on automated model building and validation. Prior to joining Google, Ghobarah worked at Mathsoft, which developed mathematical software tools for mechanical and civil engineers. Ghobarah received his Ph.D. in government statistics from the University of Texas at Austin and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, where he focused on the application of statistics to public health and authored several highly-cited papers.
Mamoon Hamid is a general partner at The Social+Capital Partnership, a venture capital firm based in Palo Alto. Hamid has invested in and served on the boards of some of the most disruptive software companies of recent times including Act-On Software, Box, Castlight Health, Clearslide, and Yammer (acquired by Microsoft). Prior to starting Social+Capital, Hamid was a partner at US Venture Partners (USVP), where he spent six years. Hamid started his Silicon Valley career at Xilinx, where he spent six years in various engineering and marketing roles. Mamoon holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Purdue University, an M.S. from Stanford University, and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.