Female Venture Capitalists

San Francisco Bay Area Female Venture Capitalists

Sharon Wienbar, Managing Director Scale Venture Partners
Sharon Wienbar, Scale

Sharon invests in Mobile and Internet companies at ScaleVP. She sits on the boards of Actiance, BeachMint, Everyday Health, PlayPhone, Reply.com and uTest.   Prior to ScaleVP in 2001, Sharon was Vice President, Marketing for Critical Path and Amplitude Software. She spent most of the 1990’s at Adobe Systems, starting as Product Manager for Asian Products and later led marketing for many of Adobe’s applications, and spearheaded numerous cross-product initiatives. Before her technology line experience, Sharon practiced strategy consulting at Bain & Company for nearly five years.  Sharon holds an A.M. and an A.B. in Engineering from Harvard University, and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Sharon also serves on the board of directors of the non-profit Myelin Repair Foundation and on Microsoft’s Venture Advisory Committee. You can contact Sharon on Twitter @wienbarLinked InFacebook or Scale Venture Partners.  Check out my interview with Sharon @SFVentureSummit

Heidi Roizen, Venture Partner Draper Fisher Jurvetson

She has spent her life immersed in the Silicon Valley ecosystem – as an entrepreneur, corporate executive, venture capitalist, educator and member of the boards of directors of private and public companies, trade associations and nonprofit institutions.  After receiving her undergraduate and MBA degrees from Stanford University, Heidi co-founded T/Maker Company (an early personal computer software company) in 1983, where she served as CEO from inception through its acquisition by Deluxe Corporation in 1994. In 1996, Heidi joined Apple as Vice President of Worldwide Developer Relations. From there, Heidi entered the venture capital world,  Heidi is also a Fenwick and West Entrepreneurship Educator in the Department of Engineering at Stanford University, where she teaches the course Spirit of Entrepreneurship. Heidi is a member of the board of directors of TiVo (NASDAQ: TIVO) and Prysm, Inc. and serves on the advisory boards of Springboard Enterprises and the National Center for Women in Information Technology.  You can contact Heidi @DFJ or through her website Heidi Roizen

Rachel Sheinbein, Partner Energy & Materials CMEA Capital

Rachel Sheinbein CMEA

She is a board member for Arcadia Biosciences, Contour Energy, Danotek Motion, Reel Solar (observer) and Solaria. Before CMEA, Rachel was a consultant for start-ups in the areas of bio-plastics, solar and water. For 9 years prior, Rachel worked at Intel, in wastewater systems, Environmental Health & Safety, and Supply Chain IT.  Rachel is the President of the board of Expanding Your Horizons Network, a non-profit that encourages girls in math, science, engineering and technology. In addition, Rachel volunteers in various roles for Astia, the California Clean Tech Open and Imagine H2O – a not-for-profit that is turning water problems into entrepreneurial opportunities.  Ms. Sheinbein holds a Chemical Engineering degree with a concentration in Environmental Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Rachel was also a sponsored fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she received an MBA and a Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering, with a focus on operations and supply chain.  You can contact Rachel on Twitter @RachelSheinbein, on the CMEA blog & @CMEA. Check out my interview with Rachel ‘Women’s Collaborative Style Can Succeed in Venture Capital’

Dimple Sahni, Fund Principal Hattery

Dimple brings over 16 years of experience in investment banking, technology, emerging markets, and venture capital. My operating and investment experience spans Technology, IT Services and Cleantech in both the US and India including the “Bottom of the Pyramid” (BOP) market segment.  Most recently she was the lead consultant responsible for Unilever Corporate Ventures’ Emerging Asia Strategy (India/SE Asia/China) in both fund and direct investments across venture capital and private equity from inception to implementation.  Previously, Dimple was a Manager of Investments at the Omidyar Network where she was instrumental in developing the firm’s emerging markets venture strategy with a specialization in India and the “base of the pyramid” market segment. Prior to joining Omidyar Network, Dimple completed her Kauffman Fellowship at L Capital Partners in New York City. There she served as a technology generalist, making investments across data storage & connectivity, RFID and the semiconductor space. Prior to business school, Dimple focused on clean technologies as a strategic consultant to Earth Water Group in India. She co-founded Epylon.com, an IT services company directed at the public sector, which was sold to Accenture in 2001. Dimple began her career at Goldman Sachs working in both investment banking and sales & trading.  Dimple has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a BA in both economics and South Asian studies from the University of Chicago.  You can contact Dimple on Twitter @dimple_sahni Check out my video interview with Dimple ‘Art of Venture Seduction’

Rachel Pike, Senior Associate Draper Fisher Jurvetson

She is active in the clean technology and internet sectors. Prior to joining DFJ, Rachel completed her Ph.D. in atmospheric chemistry computer modeling at the University of Cambridge. During her time there, Rachel served as President of the Gates Scholars, worked on a field campaign in Malaysia, and gave a short TED talk on the scale of scientific research behind climate headlines. Rachel also gave a TEDx talk on climate, technology, and innovation.  Previously, Rachel earned a B.A. in chemistry and a minor in African studies at Northwestern University. As an undergraduate, Rachel was a co-founder of Fusion Dance Company. She also spent a year in Tanzania, where she studied at the University of Dar es Salaam and gained experience working on a Bus Rapid Transit planning project as an assistant consultant.  You can contact Rachel on Twitter @rachelpike & @DFJ.


Steph Palmeri, Partner SoftTech VC

Steph invests in early stage consumer internet companies including next generation commerce, mobile services, and saas. She has over a decade of experience working at the intersection of marketing and technology. At SoftTech VC, Steph’s work includes opportunity reviews, due diligence, market analysis, and dealflow management, in addition to active involvement with SoftTech VC portfolio companies.  Prior to joining SoftTech VC, Steph was an active member in New York City’s emergent VC and entrepreneurial community where she was an Associate with early-stage venture fund NYC Seed and launched the NYC SeedStart incubator. Additionally, she worked with Lot18 on business development and marketing initiatives. Steph’s early experience includes working for Accenture and Estee Lauder as well as building SaaS applications for customers including SAP AG, JP Morgan, and Diageo. Steph holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and graduated magna cum laude from Villanova University with joint degrees in Marketing and Management Information Systems. In her spare time, Steph enjoys bikram yoga, skiing, and getting lost in foreign countries.  You can contact Steph on Twitter @stephpalmeri & @Softtech VC

Nancy E. Pfund, Founder & Managing Partner DBL Investors

DBL is a venture capital firm located in San Francisco, whose goal is to combine top-tier financial returns with meaningful social, economic and environmental returns in the regions in which it invests.  Ms. Pfund currently sponsors or sits on the board of directors of several companies, including; BrightSource Energy, SolarCity, Solaria, Primus Power, Eco.logic Brands, OPx Biotechnologies, Powergenix and, prior to their public offering, Tesla Motors and Pandora Media.  Originally a regional venture capital group within JPMorgan, DBL Investors spun out as an independent firm in January 2008.  Ms. Pfund joined JPMorgan (then Hambrecht & Quist) in 1984 first as a securities analyst and then as a Venture Capital Partner and Managing Director. Ms. Pfund is also a member of the board of directors of the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF); Advisor to the CalCEF Angel Fund; member of the Advisory Board of the UC Davis Center for Energy Efficiency; member of the Advisory Council of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University; member of the Advisory Council of the Milken Institute’s Center for a Sustainable Energy Future; a C3E Ambassador to the U.S. Clean Energy Education and Empowerment Program, led by the U.S. Department of Energy in partnership with the MIT Energy Initiative; and is a founding officer and director of ABC2, a foundation aimed at accelerating a cure for brain cancer. Ms. Pfund is the author, along with Benjamin Healey of the widely cited report on the history of U.S. energy subsidies entitled, “What Would Jefferson Do? The Historical Role of Federal Subsidies in Shaping America’s Energy Subsidies”.  Ms. Pfund received her BA and MA in anthropology from Stanford University, and her MBA from the Yale School of Management.  You can contact Nancy @DBL Investors.  Check out my interview with Nancy “Female Venture Capitalists Don’t Drink the Kool Aid”

Cynthia Ringo, Managing Partner DBL Investors

DBL is a double bottom line venture capital firm delivering strong financial returns together with positive social, environmental, and regional economic benefits, which she joined in April 2008. Ms. Ringo currently sits on the board of directors/observers of Solexant, Soladigm, Kateeva, Ecologic Brands and Maiyet, and works with Livescribe. Ms. Ringo was formerly a Managing Director of VantagePoint Venture Partners where she was Group Leader of the Communications, Systems, Internet and Media Practice. Ms. Ringo is a mentor to Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.  She also serves as an advisor to several organizations including: the SVForum, a Silicon Valley leadership forum, Astia, supporting women-led entrepreneurs, and the Defense Venture Catalyst Initiative (DeVenCI).  Ms. Ringo received a BS in Legal Systems from Georgia State University and a JD from Emory University School of Law. You can contact Cynthia @DBL Investors & on Twitter @CynthiaRingoDBL.

Sonja Hoel Perkins, Managing Director Menlo Ventures & Founder of Broadway Angels

Considered one of the best performing and most senior women in venture capital, she invests broadly in all stages and areas of information technology. Sonja began her career in venture capital in early 1989 when she joined TA Associates as an Investment Analyst. She then joined Symantec in Business Development; joined Menlo Ventures in 1994; and founded Broadway Angels in 2010. Sonja has invested in over 50 companies throughout her career including “home runs” like AcmePacket (APKT), F5 Networks (FFIV), McAfee Associates (acquired by Intel) and Q1 Labs (acquired by IBM). Many of her investments achieved multi billion dollar valuations in the public markets. Selected current investments include Flurry, 3VR, Ditto, HealthTap, Kitchit, Mee Genius, Minted.com, nCircle, Prism Skylabs, Sky Channel, and UrbanSitter.

 Sonja graduated, with Distinction, from the University of Virginia and from the Harvard Business School.
In her spare time, Sonja focuses on her family and community. She is the founder of ProjectGlimmer, a non-profit organization that improves self-esteem of teens and women by providing holiday gifts. She also is an adviser to “She Means Business”, a documentary film featuring women entrepreneurs. She serves or has served as a director of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists (WAVC), the Foundation Board of the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and Meals on Wheels of San Francisco. She is also the past President of the WAVC. Her husband is an avid competitive sailor and the family can often be found on the water in San Francisco Bay.  You can contact Sonja @MenloVC

Cindy Padnos, Founder & Managing Partner Illuminate Ventures

Illuminate Ventures is a Bay Area-based early stage micro venture capital firm. Illuminate focuses on finding, funding and accelerating great teams in the B2B cloud computing space with a particular emphasis on SaaS applications, solutions that leverage Big Data and/or mobility for improved business results and consumer technologies that are being applied to the enterprise. Current active investments include BrightEdge (AlwaysOn Top 100), CalmSea, Influitive, Hoopla, and Xactly (Wall Street Journal Top 50). Cindy has deployed over $100 million in venture funding to help dozens of start-ups reach successful outcomes, including recent portfolio companies Red Aril (acq: Hearst Corporation) and WildPockets (acq: Autodesk).
Named one of the Most Influential Women in Technology (Fast Company) and a Power Player in Cloud Computing (AlwaysOn), Cindy’s high tech career includes prior successful stints as a management consultant, VP of Marketing (Scopus, IPO) and founder/CEO (Vivant, acq: EVLV/ORCL).
Cindy is on the Board of Advisors for Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business where she received her MBA/MSIA, a Steering Committee member for the Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE) and is an advisor to nonprofit accelerators Astia and Springboard Enterprises. She is also a graduate of the University of Michigan where she recently offered the College of Engineering commencement address and is the author of the widely cited white paper “High Performance Entrepreneurs: Women in High-tech.” You can contact Cindy @IlluminateVC  Check out my interviews with Cindy ‘Venture Chemistry’Tips for Women Sourcing Venture‘ & ‘Women Venture Capitalists

Patricia Nakache, General Partner Trinity Ventures

Since joining Trinity Ventures in 1999, Patricia Nakache has focused on funding companies launching innovative Internet services around fundamental business or consumer needs.  Her passion is partnering with entrepreneurs to nail their value proposition and develop a scalable business model.  Patricia has active investments in BeachMint, Care.com, Kixeye, PayScale, Ruby Ribbon, and ThredUp, and was previously involved with Affinity Labs (acquired by Monster Worldwide), LoopNet (LOOP), MyNewPlace (acquired by RealPage) and Sabrix (acquired by Thomson Reuters, TRI).  Prior to Trinity Ventures, Patricia worked at McKinsey & Company, helping enterprises in technology, financial services and retailing identify and address their strategic and operational issues.  Previously, she also contributed to FORTUNE magazine and other publications on management best practices in technology companies.  Patricia is a member of the Stanford Business School Trust Investment Committee.  Patricia received her M.B.A from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and her A.B. in Physics and Chemistry from Harvard University. You can contact Patricia on Twitter @pnakache  Check out my interview with Patricia ‘Investing in the Woman’s Web

Ann Winblad, CoFounder & Managing Director Hummer Winblad Venture Partners

Hummer Winblad Venture Partners is a leading venture capital firm focused on software investing and manages over $1 billion in cumulative capital.  Since Hummer Winblad Venture Partners’ inception in 1989 the firm has launched over 100  new software companies across the enterprise software sectors.  Ann has over 30 years of experience in the software industry as a successful software entrepreneur, strategy advisor, technical author and venture capitalist. Her background and experience have been chronicled in many national business and trade publications.  Ann has a BA in Mathematics and in Business Administration.  She has an MA in Education with a focus in International Economics from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota.  Ann also has an honorary Doctorate of Law degree from the University of St. Thomas.  Ann served and serves as a Director of numerous start-up and public companies. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of St. Thomas, Director and former Chairperson of SVForum and serves as an advisor to many entrepreneurial organizations. Ann is currently on the Boards of Ace Metrix, Karmasphere, MuleSoft, Sonatype, Star Analytics and Voltage Security.  You can contact Ann on Twitter @Humwin or Hummer Winblad  Check out my interview with Ann @SF Venture Summit.

Rohini Chakravarthy, Partner NEA

Rohini focuses on information and energy technology investments. She is on the boards of Aerospike, Agni Energy, Aquantia, EnVerv, Liveloop, Luxtera, NetCitadel, and Pinnacle Engines, and works closely with Aerohive, SuVolta, Vuclip, and other NEA portfolio companies.Her prior board involvements include Plusmo (acquired by AT&T) and Fusion-io (NYSE: FIO). Prior to joining NEA, Rohini’s career included investment, management, and engineering positions with Cisco Systems, Intel Capital, and Bay Networks. She received an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, an MSEE from Case Western Reserve University and a B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology–Madras, also in electrical engineering.  You can contact Rohini  at NEA.

Renee DiResta, Associate O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV)

Renee invests in technology companies at the seed stage. OATV is a theme-driven fund with a focus on innovative technology that ultimately creates new markets and long-term value. Renee’s role spans the entire investment process: opportunity review, diligence, market landscape analysis, and work with the portfolio companies. Prior to joining OATV, Renee was an emerging market equity derivatives trader at Jane Street Capital, a quantitative proprietary trading firm in New York. She has a B.S. in Computer Science and Political Science from the Honors College at SUNY Stony Brook. She is also active in social venture as a member of the Leadership Council of The Resolution Project, a nonprofit that empowers young people to enact social-change projects across the globe. You can reach her on Twitter at @noUpside, or on LinkedIn  Check out my video interview with Renee ‘Wall Street to Venture Capital’

Christine Herron, Director Intel Capital

Christine joined Intel Capital in 2010. Previously, Christine was a Principal with First Round Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm, where she worked with companies such as BillFloat, Double Verify, Get Satisfaction, Mint.com, and Xobni. As a Director at Omidyar Network, she developed  the Media practice strategy and led deals such as Common Sense Media and Socialtext.  Christine serves on the advisory boards for 500 Startups, Rebel Unit Media, Roominate, and StartX, and is a frequent speaker. She has also served on the Nonprofit Technology Conference (N-TEN), Typepad, and Web 2.0 Expo advisory boards and Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet Board of Directors. Christine earned her MBA at Stanford University, and her BA in English at Columbia University, Columbia College.  You can contact Christine on Twitter @christine & @Intel Capital  Check out my video interview with Christine Women Have Equal Access to Capital

Cathy Lego, Lego Ventures

Cathy is currently the chair of the audit committee for Lam Research a $4 Billion semiconductor equipment company.  She also chairs the audit committee for SanDisk Corporation, a $5 Billion company specializing in removable storage products based on NAND semiconductors. Last year she joined the board of Cosworth Group a private UK company specializing in precision motors and electronics. Over the past 30 years Cathy has sat on the boards of a number of other public technology companies, namely Etec Corp, Uniphase Corp, WJ Communications, MicroLinear Corporation and Zitel Corp as well as a dozen private companies. In the eighties Cathy was a partner at Oak Investment Partners and then in 1992 started her own ventures funds, Lego Ventures,  an angel fund and in 1999, The Photonics Fund.  She began her career at Coopers and Lybrand where she was a CPA on the audit staff. She has a BA in economics and biology from Williams College and an MS in accounting from NYU School of Business.  Check out Cathy on TIE panel Success, Failure & Being a Mom

New York Female Venture Capitalists

Jalak Jobanputra, Managing Partner FuturePerfect Ventures

jalakJalak is a venture capitalist with 20 years experience in digital media, enterprise software, communications, broadband infrastructure, healthcare IT, ed tech, mobile and Internet in NYC, Silicon Valley, Boston, India, Africa, Europe. Investments include Outside.in (sold to AOL), TxVia (prepaid card processing platform, sold to Google), Thumbplay (mobile music subscription service), Imagespan (digital media monetization platform), Datasynapse (enterprise grid and cloud computing, sold to Tibco), Viacore (enterprise partner integration, sold to IBM), Demantra (demand chain management, sold to Oracle), Yodlee (online banking), Zinio (magazine ereader). She spearheaded formation of NYCSeed in 2008, seed fund for early stage startups in NYC. Served on its Investment Committee and Venture Advisory Board. Portfolio includes Enterproid, Seatgeek, Magnetic,Ticketfly. Selection committee, mentor and speaker for 2010 Seedstart, NYC’s first accelator bootcamp.  You can find Jalak on Twitter @jalak & her blog Barefoot VC  Check out my interviews with Jalak It Can Still Be Challenging for Women to Be Heard, Women Startups & Venture Capitalists & European Startups & Venture

Sarah Cone, Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund

Illuminate Ventures is a Micro VC firm in Silicon Valley that invests in B2B cloud computing. Sarah has over 10 years of experience in high tech, beginning her career at Amazon.com. She has worked in technology public policy both at the non-profit Public Knowledge and at Google. Sarah was the founder and CEO of a social news start-up. She began her venture capital career at Omidyar Networks in the emerging technologies investment group. Sarah has a JD from U.C. Berkeley.  You can find Sarah on Twitter @sarah_cone & @Illuminate Ventures.



European Female Venture Capitalists

Eileen Burbidge, Partner Passion Capital

Eileen was ranked #11 in The 100 most influential technology investors in Europe by “online social capital” by the Telegraph (2011) and more recently #18 in the WIRED 100 list of most influential figures in Britain’s digital economy. She was investment director for private early stage VC firm Ambient Sound Investments, founded by the Skype founding engineers. Prior to that, Eileen was products director for both Yahoo!’s largest global property Yahoo! Answers, and Skype. Before moving to London in 2004, she was in the Bay Area for 11 years and held various positions at Palm, Openwave, Sun, Apple and other technology companies.  You can contact Eileen on Twitter @eileentso, Linkedin & Passion Capital.


Elaine Coughlan, Partner Atlantic Bridge

Elaine cofounded Atlantic Bridge Technology  Fund in 2004 in Dublin, Ireland. They have successfully raised two technology funds with over €250m under management. The fund invests in technology companies at growth stages in Ireland, Europe and the US. Elaine has over 20 years operational experience in technology companies. She has been involved in three successful initial public offerings with Parthus, Iona Technologies and Smartforce raising more than $1.6 billion in capital. She was a co-founder and a director of GloNav, a GPS semiconductor company which was sold to NXP for $110m. She also served as the CFO of semiconductor company Parthus (now CEVA Inc., a NASDAQ-listed company),. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and is a member of the Institute of Directors in Ireland. She was recently named as one of Europe’s Top 100 Women in Technology and is a lead mentor and advisory board member of Going for Growth an initiative with Irish Government support for the advancement of women entrepreneurs in Ireland.  You can contact Elaine @Atlantic Bridge & on Linkedin  Check out my video interview with Elaine ‘Women can’t Screw up any Worse than Guys who ran Irish Banks’