Engineering the Exit                                                                                 

 

Jim Opfer, Chairman & CEO

 

Mr. Opfer is Founding General Partner of LaunchPower Inc. Previously, he was Entrepreneur in Residence at Altos Ventures after selling his business news delivery service to AskJeeves. He has been helping and running startups for over 15 years also formerly serving as Venture Advisor to Accel Partners, Advisory Principal to Sterling Payot Investments in the telecommunications and wireless areas. Very active on the wireless speaking and writing circuit in the mid-1990s, Jim was known as one of the most connected persons in the world.
 
Jim retired from the Air Force as a Colonel in 1992 after 21 years building fixed and mobile telecommunications networks for the Department of Defense. His Air Force career was highlighted by serving in White House Presidential Communications for the Reagan Administration/National Security Council,  and chief architect for networks for the National Reconnaissance Office. Mr. Opfer was responsible for over 1,700 people worldwide and a $200 million/year budget where he was known in Silicon Valley as the "venture customer" who started many startups with early customer funding, to include Cisco, GRiD Systems, and NeXT Computing.
 
Mr. Opfer is a graduate of the University of Detroit in Electrical Engineering and holds an MBA from California State University.  He also was recently an advisory member of the University of Colorado Masters Program in Interdisciplinary Telecommunications.

 

Robert Lott, Managing Director

 

Mr. Lott, General Counsel to LaunchPower, is a corporate attorney and technology business executive experience in a broad range of technology sectors, including Internet, high-performance computing, enterprise applications software, SaaS, cloud computing, and network security. As an attorney, his clientele has included U.S., International, public and private entities, as well as individuals. He frequently serves as an advisor to early stage companies seeking financing, overseeing all legal matters, as well as the more practical issues typical in the investment process. 


Mr. Lott's background includes serving as a venture associate (and later in-house counsel) to venture capital firm, SVIC, where he performed project management and other duties in the early stage development of several portfolio companies, including Cloudshield, Inc., a leading packet-processing network security company acquired by SAIC for over $200 Million and ArcSight, Inc. (formerly NASDAQ “ARST”), the leading enterprise network security company acquired by HP for $1.4 Billion. 


He also served as president and in-house counsel of Pluginz, a software plug-in aggregator that was funded by Benchmark Capital UK (now Balderton Capital) and 3i, and later acquired by its primary competitor.  Mr. Lott co-founded Knowledge Market, a technology transfer and corporate development firm that was based at NASA Ames Research Center, where he Assisted private and publicly-traded companies with sourcing and licensing intellectual property (IP) from U.S. government agencies, national laboratories, and universities. He has facilitated numerous international M&A transactions, venture financings, technology licenses and patent sales.



Chris Piercy, Managing Director

Chris Piercy is an entrepreneur and manager with experience managing companies in sectors such as biotechnology, pharmaceutical, cloud computing, high performance computing, semiconductor, mobile, alternative energy, and others. He has gone through the IPO and post IPO growth phase at a number of successful NASDAQ and LSE technology companies.


Mr. Piercy was the Vice President of Sales and Business Development at ClearSpeed Technology, a London Stock Exchange (LSE) listed semiconductor firm.


Prior to that he was a managing partner at Knowledge Market, LLC, a technology transfer and corporate development firm that was based at NASA Ames Research Center, where he Assisted private and publicly-traded companies with sourcing and licensing intellectual property (IP) from U.S. government agencies, national laboratories, and universities.


Mr. Piercy was a founder and manager at Connetics, (NASDAQ "CNCT") - a biopharmaceutical company and, his team was spun out to form Intermune (NASDAQ “ITMN”); a founder of Coleman Consulting (a management consulting group for the global Fortune 500 acquired by BP Software); a researcher at Cetus Corporation (now Chiron; NASDAQ "CHIR”).


Mr. Piercy’s inventions, patents, and scientific work (at UC Berkeley, Stanford University, the Human Genome Project, and for the biopharmaceutical industry) have contributed to the development of a number of novel therapeutic drugs, AIDS and cancer diagnostics, and successful products. His work has been published in such leading journals as Nature, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, etc.


He studied Molecular Genetics and History at U.C. Berkeley and business at Harvard Business School & the Stanford Business School Advanced Management Program.