Paul Stahura, Donuts Inc.
Paul Stahura has been a technology entrepreneur for decades. He founded domain name registrar eNom in his garage in 1997 with little capital and during a time when the industry was dominated by a single combined registrar and registry. He took the company from $0 in sales to more than $80 million in total revenue in less than 10 years, and from no domain names under management to the second largest domain name registrar in the world. The company now generates more than $100 million in highly profitable revenue.
Paul sold eNom to Demand Media in 2006, on the day the now publicly-traded company was formally organized and closed on its first round of $150 million in financing. After the transaction he became Demand Media's President and Chief Operating Officer, then its Chief Strategy Officer. Paul served as a Demand Media board member until his departure in 2009.
While bringing thousands of domain name resellers and numerous ICANN-accredited registrars to the eNom platform, Paul also successfully negotiated and obtained for eNom exclusive rights to Verisign's .TV premium domain name portfolio. His fellow registrars twice elected Paul as the Registrar Stakeholder Group representative to ICANN's nominating committee. Paul has participated in more than 30 ICANN meetings, and being intimately familiar with registrar and registry operations and the domain name lifecycle, he has been invited to present on various panels during these conferences.
A renowned and respected technology innovator, Paul holds four United States patents (three in the domain name system space) and twice has been called to testify before the U.S. Congress on issues related to domain names and Internet policy. Paul is a founder of NameJet, a leading domain name auction platform (initially called “Club Drop” and a wholly-owned subsidiary of eNom), has been a member of the board of directors of AboutUs.org since that company's founding, and is an investor in and board member for several Seattle-area technology startups.
Paul earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University.
Chris Pacitti, Austin Ventures
Chris Pacitti began his venture capital career in 1995 and joined Austin Ventures in 1999 as a Partner. Chris focuses primarily on early-stage technology companies in the software and Internet sectors. He currently serves on the boards of Bazaarvoice (NASDAQ: BV), Complex Media, Credant, Dachis Group, Innography, Mindjolt, NewComLink, Noesis Energy, Troux, Virtual Bridges, and Worksoft. He has been a board member of numerous other companies including Pluck (NASDAQ: DMD), Permeo (NASDAQ: BCSI), Vovici (NASDAQ: VRNT), Powered (acquired by Dachis Group), Hire.com (acquired by Peopleclick Authoria), BetweenMarkets (acquired by Inovis) and ON Networks (acquired by Complex Media). Chris started his venture career with TL Ventures, where he was a Vice President and also focused on early-stage technology investing. Prior to TL Ventures, Chris was a Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of a technology start-up company that pioneered several industrial applications for a novel oxidizing chemistry.
Chris received his BA in Economics from Johns Hopkins University. He previously served on the Microsoft Venture Capital Advisory Board and on the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas Board.
Robert Verratti, TL Ventures
Bob joined TL Ventures as a venture partner in 1998. With the formation of TL V, Bob became a Managing Director, running TL’s Los Angeles, CA office. Most recently, Bob served as the CEO of Traffic.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRFC) since 2003 and was instrumental in developing Traffic, taking it public in 2006 and negotiating its sale to NAVTEQ Corporation (NYSE: NVT) in 2007.
Before joining TL, he was chief executive officer of e4L, Inc. (NYSE: E4L), the world's largest infomercial company. During his career, Mr. Verratti also served as the President and CEO of Total Care Systems, a group care living facilities provider; Great Western, a land development subsidiary of Hunt International Resources; and Globe Ticket, a specialty printing company, in addition to working in various H. Ross Perot enterprises, including Electronic Data Systems Corporation.
Bob’s primary responsibilities at TL include evaluating proposed investments and providing much needed operational assistance to over-stretched portfolio company management teams in executing strategic plans. Bob holds a BS degree in engineering from the US Naval Academy and served for five years as a commissioned officer in the nuclear submarine service.
Brian Jacobs, Emergence Capital Partners
Brian Jacobs founded Emergence Capital with Jason Green and Gordon Ritter in 2003. He has over 20 years of venture capital experience, a deep national network and an understanding of how technology startups can become market leaders.
Prior to founding Emergence, Brian was an early General Partner at St. Paul Venture Capital. During his 10 years there, Brian helped to grow the firm to one of the 15 largest venture investors in the country and led the firm's Silicon Valley investing activities. His prior venture capital experience was at Security Pacific Venture Capital. Brian also worked for the Raychem, RCA, Westinghouse, and Polaroid, and he holds several patents.
Brian was named to the Forbes' Midas List of the top venture capital investors in 2006 and 2007. He is an experienced board member who has served on dozens of public and private boards. He currently serves on the boards of Intacct, YouSendIt, InsideView and Bill.com.
Brian's reputation for helping entrepreneurs build market-leading technology-enabled service companies comes from his active involvement in HireRight, BigFix (sold to IBM), nQuire Software (sold to Siebel Systems), NetPerceptions (NETP), WebTV (sold to Microsoft), NextCard (NXCD) and others. Brian has backed leading companies in other sectors, including Lexar Media (LEXR), Microchip Technologies (MCHP), and many others.
Brian has a MS and BS in mechanical engineering from M.I.T. and an MBA from Stanford.
Thomas Ball, Austin Ventures
Thomas Ball, Partner, joined Austin Ventures in 2005 and focuses on software and Internet investing. Before joining Austin Ventures, Thomas was CEO and Co-founder of Openfield Technologies and Razorgator Interactive Group. While there he helped grow Razorgator to the premier secondary ticket provider and marketplace. Prior to Openfield, Thomas was the Chairman, CEO and Founder of eCoupons (acquired by Lifeminders, NASDAQ: LFMN). Thomas also has experience in private equity investing and strategy consulting from his time as a Principal at Discovery Capital and as an Engagement Manager at Mitchell Madison Group.
Thomas received an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a BS in Finance with honors from the University of Florida.
Jonathon Nevett, Donuts Inc.
Jon Nevett is widely respected as a contributor to domain name business development and policy. He recently served as President of Domain Dimensions, LLC, consulting on various domain name issues. Previously, Jon served as Senior Vice President at Network Solutions, where he was Network Solutions’ primary point of contact with ICANN, the U.S. Congress, the Department of Commerce, other federal agencies, as well as domain name registries. He also served as Chairman of the Board of NameJet, Network Solutions’ joint venture with eNom, providing domain auction and listing services in the secondary market. He also was Chairman of Central Registry Solutions, Network Solutions’ joint venture to provide registry services related to the introduction of new top-level domains.
Jon’s expertise is highly regarded within ICANN. He served on ICANN’s Implementation Recommendation Team (IRT) and the Special Trademark Issue team (STI) advising ICANN on how to protect trademarks in new top-level domains. From 2006-09, Jon served as the elected Chair of the ICANN Registrar Stakeholder Group and co-chaired the U.S. Council for International Business’ Domain Name System Working Group. In 2009, Jon was appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Online Safety and Technology Working Group related to issues of child safety and the Web.
Prior to joining Network Solutions, Jon spent more than seven years with the MCI Legal Department and more than three years at the law firm of Kirkland and Ellis. Jon received his Juris Doctor cum laude from Harvard Law School and his undergraduate degree with honors from Binghamton University.