To anticipate who will succeed and invest wisely, investors spend a lot of time trying to understand the longer-term trends within an industry. In a panel discussion, top-tier VCs look over the horizon and consider the big trends in big data, explaining what they think the field will look like a few years (or more) down the road.
Michael Dauber is a general partner at Amplify Partners. Previously, Mike spent over six years at Battery Ventures, where he led early-stage enterprise investments on the West Coast, including Battery’s investment in a stealth security company that is also in Amplify’s portfolio. Mike has served on the boards of a number of companies, including Continuuity, Duetto, Interana, and Platfora. Mike’s investments include Splunk and RelateIQ, which was recently acquired by Salesforce. Mike began his career as a hardware engineer at a startup and held product, business development, and sales roles at Altera and Xilinx. Mike is a frequent speaker at conferences and is on the advisory board of both the O’Reilly Strata Conference and SXSW. He was named to Forbes magazine’s 2015 Midas Brink List. Mike holds a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
Jake Flomenberg is a partner at Accel, where he focuses on next-generation infrastructure, enterprise software, and security investments. Jake is part of the team responsible for Accel’s Big Data Fund and led investments in Demisto, Origami Logic, Sumo Logic, Trifacta, and Zoomdata. Previously, Jake was director of product management at Splunk, where he was responsible for the product’s user interface and big data strategy; worked at Cloudera, where he helped the founding team tackle a broad array of sales, marketing, and product issues; and was a member of Lockheed Martin’s Engineering Leadership Development Program. Jake hails from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Sarah Catanzaro is a principal at Amplify Partners, where she focuses on investing in high-potential startups that leverage machine intelligence and high-performance computing to solve real-world problems. Previously, Sarah co-led investments in Kinetica, Platform9, and Fluxx at Canvas Ventures. Sarah has several years of experience in developing data acquisition strategies and leading machine and deep learning-enabled product development at organizations of various sizes: As head of data at Mattermark, she led a team to collect and organize information on over one million private companies; as a consultant at Palantir and as an analyst at Cyveillance, she implemented analytics solutions for municipal and federal agencies; and as a program manager at the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, she directed projects on adversary behavioral modeling and Somali pirate network analysis. Sarah holds a BA in international security studies from Stanford University.
Rama Sekhar is partner at Norwest Venture Partners, where he focuses on early- to late-stage venture investments in enterprise and infrastructure, including the cloud, big data, DevOps, cybersecurity, and networking. Rama’s current investments include Agari, Bitglass, and Qubole. Previously, Rama was an investor in Morta Security (acquired by Palo Alto Networks), Pertino Networks (acquired by Cradlepoint), and Exablox (acquired by StorageCraft). Before joining Norwest, Rama was with Comcast Ventures; a product manager at Cisco Systems, where he defined product strategy for the GSR 12000 Series and CRS-1 routers—$1B+ networking products in the carrier and data center markets; and a sales engineer at Cisco Systems, where he sold networking and security products to AT&T. Rama holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a double major in finance and entrepreneurial management and a BS in electrical and computer engineering, with high honors, from Rutgers University.
Cack Wilhelm is a principal at Scale Venture Partners, where she focuses on investments in early-stage software companies, with an eye toward those helping businesses better utilize data, automate workflows, incorporate AI, and build more resilient software. Looking further ahead, Cack is watching closely as platforms such as virtual reality and augmented reality take shape. Cack cut her teeth selling 11g databases at Oracle and Hadoop clusters at Cloudera in the months before Hadoop reached Version 1.0. Cack has since transferred that operational and go-to-market experience into helping Scale portfolio companies such as Treasure Data, Realm, and CircleCI. Cack was initially drawn to the technology and software sectors while at Montgomery & Company, where she helped advise on software acquisitions and capital raises. Cack holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA from Princeton University. She is also a dedicated runner, racing professionally for Nike for two years at the 5,000m distance and competing in 12 of 12 athletic seasons at Princeton (cross-country, indoor track, and outdoor track). While at Princeton, she was named the Princeton Female Athlete of the Year and was a seven-time All-America recipient.
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