I live in Palo Alto, am a Venture Advisor to Bullpen Capital and GGV Capital and also invest out of a small fund called Haystack. This is my best attempt at a resume:
- Haystack: I am currently a direct investor (via Haystack) in the following companies in Haystack I: Hired, Paddle8, Instacart, Hashicorp, ExitRound, HelloSign, Gyft [acquired by First Data], Vnera, Burner, Coin, DoorDash, Sidebar, Bond, Envoy, Refresh, Vaurum Labs, Highlight, Mortar Data, Gliph, Grid Wireless, Navdy**, 3Gear Systems [acquired by Facebook], Weaved, Velo Labs**, Airenvy, Altspace, Golden Gate Games, LAST, BlockScore, Sigmod Labs, Cambly, MightyText, Emissary, Addy**, Narvar, Dextro, and Giphy. Haystack I is now closed! (** denotes AngelList syndicated).
- Haystack II: Bolt; BRANDiD; Totspot; SFOX; Chain; Vessel.io [acquired by Marketo]; FLYR; MTailor; DatOSCloud; Unwind.me; Yo; [Redacted-SF]; Auxy; Filecoin; Narvii; StoryWorth; Simpledesk; Chameleon (ShopPad); Boomtown; Chariot (Board Observer); Gyroscope; Cointures; Trippeo; Managed By Q, CloudPeeps; eShares; WedPics; ALCF; Super Home; Haven (advisor); Asseta; VSporto.
- Mobile Technology: Until recently, I worked on mobile product (iOS and Android), marketing, and distribution for Swell, built by Concept.io (acquired by Apple). I’ve worked at two companies in operations in the Valley, Rexly (acquired by Live Nation) and Votizen (acquired by Causes), been a consultant to IFTTT on their mobile apps and platform, and was an EIR for six months with Javelin Venture Partners in San Francisco.
- Venture Capital Work: In the past, I have been a formal paid consultant to a variety of venture capital firms on Sand Hill Road assisting with deal evaluation, due diligence, marketing, and special operations — those firms have included General Catalyst, Kleiner Perkins, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Trinity Ventures, Javelin Venture Partners, Bullpen Capital, GGV Capital, and a few others. (Currently, I’m a Venture Advisor to GGV and Bullpen only.)
- Public Speaking: I am happy to consider speaking or moderating at events, though I will not participate in large events that require paid registration. My personal preference is to speak at events that are small and private (and focused on a specific topic), at events where there is only one panel on a specific topic, or moderating conversations over smaller dinners.
- Media: Previously, I was an official contributor to TechCrunch from January 2011 to April 2014 [link to column], where I wrote a weekly column every Sunday at 10am PST and created and hosted TV show called “In The Studio,” which ended after 70 consecutive episodes. Today, I write on Haywire and currently produce interviews as “Sunday Conversations,” which airs bi-monthly or so [iTunes] [SoundCloud].
- Reading List: For RSS trigger list (powered by IFTTT) of the bloggers I read religiously, click here.
- Previous lives: Before moving to the Valley in 2010, I helped start a life sciences company (MegaCell Therapeutics) in Boston, wrote for Harvard Business Review [link to my posts] and Knowledge@Wharton, worked for Harvard University in a variety of capacities (including in India) while attending graduate school, worked in the finance field on the nonprofit side (for the NCEO) in Oakland (2002-2006), worked for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, and spent one year as a cook at Bi-Rite Market off Dolores Park in San Francisco and another as a professional bartender in NYC near Gramercy Park at a bar that no longer exists. I have also spent considerable time traveling in and doing business in Asia, specifically China and India, for many years.
- Twitter: @semil | LinkedIn | @Medium, for personal writing
- Contact: I’m kindly asking people emailing with question to instead post them here. I will answer them, and the questions and answers will be public. If you need me directly, first.last@gmail, emails over 1,000 characters in length will not be returned. For potential investments, I try to answer all emails but tend to pay more attention to those sent through someone I know. Please feel free to explore our mutual connections on Facebook and LinkedIn.