Internet Capital Group
I’ve been partnering with visionary entrepreneurs and early stage companies as an operator, investor and founder for 15+ years. After I graduated from Stanford in 1996, I wanted to get involved in entrepreneurship. Because I wasn’t an engineer or a 35 year old sales guy, it wasn’t clear to me where I’d fit at a startup company. Not to mention, there was very limited tech coverage so it was tough to figure out what the best companies were without an insider’s perspective.
I thought that going to work at a venture firm for a few years would be the best way to learn about business building and technology, but there weren’t any openings for someone with my background. Then, my luck changed, I met Ken Fox, who was starting a venture firm called Internet Capital Group (ICG), at a bar and convinced him to give me a shot. While many of my friends were taking nice stable jobs, I was joining ICG as an unpaid intern.
Then, in 1997, I was hired as ICG’s first investment professional, and shortly thereafter made my first angel investment at the age of 23 in VerticalNet, a B2B ecommerce marketplace. I ended up going to join the company after leaving ICG, helping take the company public in 1999 and running M&A/Strategic Partnerships. After making tons of mistakes and learning invaluable lessons along the way, I returned to angel investing to help entrepreneurs benefit from what I’d learned first hand.
I took a different approach to investing; my focus was on investing in one or two companies per year, working closely with founders, and over time, acting as the lead investor and board member. Seeing the success of this investment model, I decided I wanted to do it at a slightly larger scale, so in 2006, after 8 years of angel investing, I founded MHS Capital with support of an exceptional group of tech entrepreneurs and seasoned industry executives.