Paul Maeder - General Partner, Highland Capital Partners

Before co-founding Highland, Paul was a general partner at a Boston-based venture capital partnership where he concentrated on technology investments. Prior to entering venture capital, he held operating positions for six years in high-growth technology companies. At Novacor Corporation he managed several projects in the development of an implantable artificial heart. Later, Paul was responsible for the development of a complex visual field examination instrument at Synemed Corporation where he also headed the company's mechanical engineering and software development. Earlier in his career, Paul was the Energy Analyst at Brown University.

Paul is a former director of Amp Resources (acquired by Enel), Avid Technology (Nasdaq: AVID), CheckFree (Nasdaq: CKFR), Chipcom, HighGround Systems, (acquired by Sun Microsystems), Mainspring (acquired by IBM), Relicore (acquired by Symantec), SCH (acquired by Legato Systems), SQA (acquired by Rational Corporation), Sybase (Nasdaq: SYBS), VistaPrint (Nasdaq: VPRT) and WebLine Communications (acquired by Cisco Systems).

Paul holds in Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences from Princeton, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford, and M.B.A with Distinction from Harvard Business School. He is an avid pilot, ocean sailor, and skier. He holds a commercial pilot license and flies a homebuilt ultralight. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Overseers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the Boston Museum of Science, and The New England Aquarium. He also serves on the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Advisory Committee at Princeton. Paul is a past board chair of The Nature Conservancy and Buckingham Browne & Nichols School. He holds both Swiss and U.S. passports and is fluent in Swiss-German.

Michael Goguen - Managing Partner, Sequoia Capital

Michael Goguen is a managing partner at Sequoia Capital.  Sequoia Capital was an original investor in Google, Yahoo, YouTube, PayPal, Flextronics, Network Appliance, NVIDIA, Netscreen, Cisco, Oracle, and Apple Computer.  Michael is the global head of Sequoia’s cleantech investment efforts, which are particularly focused on finding capital efficient cleantech businesses with strong IP.  Michael is also active in semiconductor, systems and internet businesses, and has served on the boards of over 40 companies including Advanced Power, Avanex, Ikanos, NetScreen, Redback Networks, SynapSense and ThinkCash.  Prior to joining Sequoia Capital in 1996, Michael spent 10 years in various engineering, research, and product management roles at DEC, SynOptics, and Centillion, and was a director of Engineering at Bay Networks (NT).  Michael also served as a Technical Chairman of the ATM Forum.  Michael has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and an MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

David Fialkow - Managing Director of General Catalyst Partners

As a Managing Director of General Catalyst Partners, David invests in both new and existing technology businesses.  Areas of special interest include: consumer services; security/defense; and travel. David and General Catalyst co-founded Upromise and David is also a board member of: BBN Technologies; CCP Games;; Retail Convergence and ViTrue.

Prior to co-founding General Catalyst Partners, David Fialkow co-founded and operated numerous businesses focused on building applied technology-based platforms and tools for the travel, information services, financial services, specialty retail, and payment processing industries. These businesses include:  National Leisure Group, one of the largest leisure travel technology and distribution companies in the U.S.; Alliance Development Group (sold to, a company that creates enhancement and loyalty programs; Retail Growth ATM Systems (sold to PNC Bank), a national ATM and interactive network provider; and Starboard Cruise Services (sold to LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Inc.), the operator of more than 300 duty-free retail stores on 100 cruise ships and owner of the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale Airport duty-free stores.

David is a former associate of Thomas H. Lee Company and U.S. Venture Partners.  He is a member of the MIT Leadership Center Advisory Council and serves on several non-profit boards, including: Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, New England Chapter; Facing History and Ourselves; The Steppingstone Foundation; The Pan-Mass Challenge; and The Boys and Girls Club of Boston.  He is a graduate of Colgate University and Boston College Law School.

David Skok – General Partner, Matrix Partners

David Skok joined Matrix Partners as a General Partner in May 2001. He has a wealth of experience running companies. David started his first company in 1977 at age 22. Since then David has founded a total of four separate companies and performed one turn around. Three of these companies went public. He joined Matrix from SilverStream Software, which he founded in June 1996. Prior to its July 2002 acquisition by Novell, SilverStream was a public company that had reached a revenue run rate in excess of $100m, with approximately 800 employees and offices in more than 20 countries around the world.

David's work as a value added investor is best known for helping JBoss take its Open Source business to a successful exit with its sale to Red Hat, and for helping AppIQ, Tabblo and Diligent Technologies from their inceptions to their successful acquisitions by HP and IBM. David serves on the boards of Digium (makers of the very popular Asterisk Open Source PBX/telephony software), OpenSpan, Solidworks, VideoIQ and Virtual Iron Software. In addition to his broad focus on enterprise software, David is specifically focused on the areas of cloud computing, open source, software as a service and utility computing products for the data center.

David holds a B.SC Honours Degree in Computer Science from the University of Sussex, England.


Dan Primack – Journalist, Thomson Reuters

Dan Primack is Editor-At-Large with Thomson Reuters, publisher of Buyouts Magazine, PE Week and Venture Capital Journal. He also is the creator and editor of both the PE Week Wire, a daily email publication read by over 46,000 subscribers, and of, an industry news and analysis site.

Primack's daily column has become mandatory private market reading, and he has given keynote addresses at events hosted by organizations that include Merrill Lynch, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. He also appears regularly on television networks like CNBC. Prior to hitting the private equity beat in 2000, Primack covered private debt for Private Placement Letter and served as Editor and Cofounder of The 'Bury, a Roxbury, Mass.-based newspaper catering to teenagers and young adults. Primack is a graduate of Haverford College, with a degree in political science. (

Dr. Jamshed J. Irani - Director, Tata Sons

Dr. Jamshed J Irani, is a Director of Tata Sons, one of India’s oldest, largest, and most respected business conglomerates.  The Group’s business is spread over seven sectors in six continents, comprises 96 companies, and employees over 350,000 people.  Dr Irani is a renowned personality in the Iron and Steel Industry and was the CEO of Tata Iron and Steel Company Ltd (TISCO) for almost a decade. He currently serves as a Director on the Boards of Tata Steel, Tata Motors Ltd., Tata Teleservices, BOC (India) Ltd., Electrosteel Castings Ltd., Repro India Ltd., and HDFC. He is Chairman of Tata Refractories Ltd., TRF Ltd., and Kansai Nerolac Paints Ltd.

Since the 1970s, Dr. Irani has received several national and international awards in metallurgy.  More recently, he was awarded Michael John Memorial Gold Medal for the year 1998 for fostering harmonious employee-management relations in Industry, and received the Indian Merchants' Chamber's Juran Quality Medal for 2001.  He is also the recipient of the ‘Ernst & Young's Lifetime Achievement Award' 2001, and in 2007, he was honored by the President of India who conferred on him the award of "Padma Bhushan" for his services to Trade and Industry in the country.

Dr. Irani was the National President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in 1992-93, Co-Chairman of the Indo-British Partnership in1993-1998 and he currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet (SAC-C) Government of India. He was Chairman of the Expert Committee set up by the Government to draft the new Companies Act.  In 1997, Queen Elizabeth II conferred on him honorary Knighthood (KBE), for his contributions to Indo-British Trade and Co-operation.

Eran Egozy - Co-Founder & CTO, Harmonix

Eran is the co-founder and chief technical officer of Harmonix Music Systems, one of the pre-eminent game development studios in the world, having developed over a dozen critically acclaimed music-based video games. Harmonix was founded in 1995 on the principle that non-musicians should be able to experience the sheer joy of music creation – normally something only afforded to accomplished musicians. Beginning in 2005, Harmonix developed Guitar Hero, following with Guitar Hero 2, Rock Band, and Rock Band 2, fueling the explosive growth of the music games category to over $1 Billion in sales. In 2006, Harmonix was acquired by MTV/Viacom. In 2008, Eran and fellow co-founder Alex Rigopulos were named in the Time 100 -- Time Magazine's list of the one hundred most influential people in the world.

Eran brings extensive technical and musical expertise to the Harmonix’s management team. Eran manages the company's engineering staff, directs intellectual property development, contributes to game design, and helps drive corporate strategy. Prior to co-founding Harmonix, Eran conducted research on combining music and technology at the MIT Media Lab. He performed frequently in MIT's Balinese Gamelan, Chamber Music Society, and Symphony Orchestra. He currently spends most of his spare time playing clarinet in Boston's Radius Ensemble. Eran earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Scott Kirsner - Columnist, Boston Globe

Scott Kirsner has been writing about innovation for more than a decade. His “Innovation Economy” column appears in the Globe every Sunday, and he also maintains a companion blog at Scott’s writing has also appeared in BusinessWeek, Variety, Wired, Fast Company, Newsweek, CIO,, the San Jose Mercury News and the New York Times.

Scott is the author, most recently, of the book Inventing the Movies, a technological history of Hollywood. Earlier, he wrote The Future of Web Video and was the editor of The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England. He was a contributing essayist to The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston.

Scott was part of the founding team of from 1995 to 1997, as its lead content developer, working with software developers and designers. Prior to that he was the editorial director of Lochridge & Company, a management consulting firm, where he built the firm’s first Web site. He is a graduate of Boston University’s College of Communication, and can be reached at [email protected].

  11th Annual MIT Venture Capital Conference: Reinventing Venture Capital. Dec 6th, 2008 | design by dbp