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Office Hour with Rob Coneybeer (Shasta Ventures), Ben Einstein (Bolt), and Cyril Ebersweiler (HAXLR8R)

Rob Coneybeer (Shasta Ventures), Ben Einstein (Bolt), Cyril Ebersweiler (HAXLR8R)
Office Hours
Location: O'Reilly Booth (Table B)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)

If you have a great (but under-funded) business idea, or you just want to understand how venture capitalists determine what makes a successful investment, you’ll want to stop by the Ask a VC discussion.

Rob Coneybeer, Ben Einstein, and Cyril Ebersweiler will answer your questions and discuss things like:

  • Investing in hardware
  • What makes a venture scalable
  • Prototyping hardware products
  • Manufacturing
  • Raising capital for hardware businesses
Photo of Rob Coneybeer

Rob Coneybeer

Shasta Ventures

Rob Coneybeer is a veteran venture capitalist who approaches start-up investing from a product perspective. At Shasta Ventures, the Sand Hill Road firm he co-founded in 2004, Rob focuses on hardware and mobile startups. Rob is particularly interested in startups that have discovered creative new approaches to connecting the “real world” to the Internet, whether via smart phones, low-cost sensors or other innovative, new devices.

Rob started his career working in the Astro Space division of Martin Marietta, where he helped build the first EchoStar spacecraft. Some of Rob’s notable investments include smart-thermostat company Nest; Relay Rides, the leading peer-to-peer carsharing marketplace; and Mocana, which provides security for smart devices. Rob earned a master of science in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia. He also holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Photo of Ben Einstein

Ben Einstein


Ben Einstein is an experienced product designer and investor. Ben is currently the Managing Director of Bolt, an early-stage seed fund focused exclusively on hardware startups. In addition to seed capital, Bolt invests full-time staff, shop equipment, and extensive expertise with manufacturing and commercialization. Prior to starting Bolt, Ben ran Brainstream Design, a product design and development consultancy in Massachusetts. Ben has been directly responsible for bringing a long list of products to market covering diverse sectors including consumer electronics, high-performance audio, sporting goods and green energy.

Photo of Cyril Ebersweiler

Cyril Ebersweiler


Cyril is a venture partner at SOSventures and the founder of HAXLR8R (the premiere accelerator program for hardware startups – Shenzhen & San Francisco), Chinaccelerator (the first mentorship-driven seed funding program in China – Shanghai) and LEAP Axlr8r (building the future of interaction design – San Francisco).