10 Jan 2018

Harvard Business School Names 18 Venture Capitalists as 2018 Rock Venture Capital Partners


BOSTON—Harvard Business School’s (HBS) Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship has named 18 people to its inaugural group of Rock Venture Capital Partners, who provide in-person mentoring and advice to HBS student entrepreneurs.

“The Rock VC Partner Program brings leading managing and general partners from the top early stage VC firms to Harvard Business School to build relationships with student founders” said Jodi Gernon (MBA 1991), Director of the Rock Center. “We are delighted to have these outstanding venture capitalists share their wisdom and insights with student entrepreneurs. Thanks to this program, HBS students will have unprecedented access to feedback from top investors regarding their ideas, testing plans, fund-raising activities, and more.”

The 2018-Rock Venture Capital Partners are:

Ajay Agarwal (MBA 1995), Managing Director of Bain Capital Ventures in Palo Alto, focuses on early stage software, mobile, and internet investing.

Jerry Chen (MBA 2004) joined Greylock in 2013 as an investor and currently sits on the board of Docker, Awake Security, Attic Labs, Cato Networks, Gladly, and Rhumbix.

Anne Dwane (MBA 1998) is co-founder and Partner at Village Global, an early stage venture fund backed by some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. She also co-founded Military.com, CEO of Zinch and CBO at Chegg.

David Frankel (MBA 2003), founder and Managing Partner of Founder Collective, a seed stage fund based in Boston and New York City, specializes in early stage funding and has provided the first capital for companies like Seatgeek, Pillpack, and Coupang.

Rob Go (MBA 2007) is a cofounder and Partner at NextView, an early stage venture capital firm that champions founders using technology to redesign the largest categories of the everyday economy, including transportation, food, housing, apparel, money, health, and entertainment.

Dayna Grayson (MBA 2006) is an Investing Partner at New Enterprise Associates, where she examines the overlap between business and consumer behaviors and focuses on how design accelerates both consumer and enterprise adoption of new products. She occasionally invests in consumer services as well.

Jason Green (MBA 1994), a founder and General Partner of Emergence Capital, has been an early investor in leading companies such as ServiceMax, Box, Yammer, SteelBrick, SuccessFactors, Visual Networks, DoubleClick, and aQuantive, among other ventures.

Chip Hazard (MBA 1994) is a General Partner at Flybridge, where his investment interests and experience broadly cover companies and technologies in the information technology sector. He is also an investment partner in XFactor Ventures, a Flybridge community fund focused on investing in female founders.

Maia Heymann is a cofounder and General Partner at Converge, an early stage, business-to-business, technology-focused venture capital firm based in Cambridge, MA, where she invests in software application, infrastructure, and data-enabling companies.

David Hornik, a General Partner at August Capital, joined the firm in 2000 and has invested in dozens of companies across the software spectrum, including a number of enterprise software and SaaS, consumer services, and payments-related businesses. He is a Forbes Midas List member.

Steve Kraus (MBA 2008) is a Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, where he leads the firm’s healthcare investing activities. He currently sits on the boards of Welltok, Bright Health, Health Essentials, Docent Health, Allena Pharmaceuticals, Alcresta, and Docutap and has been recognized by Forbes as one of the top healthcare investors in the industry.

Samir Kaul (MBA 2002) is a cofounding General Partner at Khosla Ventures, where he focuses primarily on renewable energy, clean technologies, food and health, and life sciences investing. A Forbes Midas List member, he has been a cofounder/founding investor in Calera, Cogenra, CoSkata, Gevo Kior, Lanza, and Sakti3. He has also led the firm’s investments in Amyris, Ausra, Draths, PRAJ Industries, Stion, TransonicCombustion, Segetis, NanoH20, View, and a number of early stage science projects.

Mike Maples Jr. (MBA 1994) is a Partner at Floodgate, has been on the Forbes Midas List since 2010, and was named one of “8 Rising Stars” by Fortune. Before becoming a full-time investor, he was a founder and operating executive at Tivoli Systems and Motive.

Dan Nova (MBA 1991) joined Highland Capital Partners as a Partner in 1996 to establish and build the firm’s internet investment practice. He has led the firm’s investments and served on the boards of a number of successful companies. He is a Forbes Midas List member.

Rudina Seseri (MBA 2005), a founder and Managing Partner of Glasswing Ventures in Cambridge, MA, has experience in investing in startups, working with founders and executive teams, and developing strategies for growing businesses.

Michael Skok, who cofounded Underscore VC to empower entrepreneurs to realize their vision in building impactful businesses, has been a serial entrepreneur for more than two decades and an investor for more than a decade.

Alex Taussig (MBA 2009) joined Lightspeed Venture Partners in 2016 as a Partner, concentrating on consumer technology. He led Lightspeed’s investment in online wedding registry Zola and focuses on online commerce, digital media, and emerging consumer platforms.

David Tisch is the Managing Partner of BoxGroup, a New York City-based angel capital firm that has invested in more than 200 seed stage startups, including Blue Apron, Stripe, Warby Parker, Harry’s, Oscar, Flexport, Classpass, Vine, and Handy.

Ellie Wheeler (MBA 2011) is a Partner at Greycroft Partners, based in the firm’s New York City office. Before joining Greycroft, she was in a similar role at Lowercase Capital, evaluating investment opportunities. She also worked at Cisco in corporate development, doing acquisitions, investments, and strategy within the communications, enterprise software, mobile, and video sectors.

Russ Wilcox (MBA 1995), a General Partner at Pillar VC, has 20 years of startup operating experience, having founded three companies and raised $150 million of capital. At E Ink Corporation, he commercialized the electronic paper invented at the MIT Media Lab. E Ink conducted materials research, filed patents, scaled a factory, and shipped tens of millions of displays for the Amazon Kindle and other devices.

Since 1947, the study of entrepreneurship has been a vital part of the Harvard Business School MBA program, which includes a required course in the first year curriculum, numerous electives in the second-year, and a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem that includes the annual New Venture Competition, the Rock Accelerator Program, Rock Summer Fellows, Rock Loan Reduction, and the Rock 100.

The Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, which has earned accolades as the top provider in the nation of programs for entrepreneurial studies, supports faculty and their research in the field of entrepreneurial management as well as provides the HBS community with the energy and spirit needed for new ideas and innovations to thrive and grow. Through a community that provides support, access to content, and a gateway to entrepreneurial ecosystems everywhere, the Rock Center helps students and alumni create ventures that revolutionize in both the for-profit and social enterprise sectors


Jim Aisner

Cullen Schmitt

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.