What are the trends? What is getting funded? What’s hot? And how does the current economic condition effect VC investing? Join us to learn the insights from some of New Mexico’s most influential Venture Capitalists and investors: John Chavez, President of New Mexico Angels; Gavin Christensen, Principal at vSpring Capital; and Lee Rand, Partner at Sun Mountain Capital.
Date: Thursday, September 17, 2009
Time: 6 – 8 pm
Location: Hotel Santa Fe
1501 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Google Map Link
- 6:00 – 6:30 pm: Hors d’oeuvres & Networking
- 6:30 – 8:00 pm: Presentation
About the Speakers
John Chavez, President of New Mexico Angels
John J. Chavez is the President of Tafoya and Brainerd Partners LLC, a nationwide business development consulting firm. Mr. Chavez is also the Vice President Business Development at Financial Management Systems, a Chicago based financial services firm. Mr. Chavez has been an active angel investor since 2003. Prior to creating Tafoya and Brainerd Partners LLC, Mr. Chavez was appointed by New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson as the Cabinet Secretary of the Taxation and Revenue Department. Mr. Chavez served as Cabinet Secretary for six years and as the President of the Federation of Taxation Administrators for one year.
Mr. Chavez is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Squash Blossom Classic – an organization that organizes a yearly adventure sport event in McKinley County.
Mr. Chavez received the following degrees from New Mexico State University.
- Master of Business Administration
- Bachelor of Art in Economics
- Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance
Gavin Christensen, Principal at vSpring Capital
Gavin heads vSpring’s New Mexico office where he is focused on funding companies in New Mexico’s technology-rich ecosystem.
Gavin joined vSpring as an associate in 2003, left in 2005 to attend the Kellogg School of Management, and in 2007 he rejoined vSpring as a Principal. Gavin’s efforts have had a significant impact on vSpring’s firm strategy and on the success of many of vSpring’s Fund I and II companies. During business school, Gavin worked as a Vertical Strategy Associate for Google’s direct sales organization. From 2000 to 2003, Gavin worked as a consultant in Monitor Group’s Boston office where he advised clients on a range of strategic, operational, and organizational improvements. Gavin began his career at Fidelity Investments as an investments representative.
Gavin is active in the New Mexico community: fostering entrepreneurship, education, and promoting the state. He is also active with his alma mater, Northwestern. He recently led an effort to create an experiential learning curriculum focused on venture capital and entrepreneurship. Gavin received a Masters of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management and a B.S. in Economics (with Honors), cum laude, from Brigham Young University. Gavin currently serves on the boards Intelisum and Symbiot.
Lee Rand, Partner at Sun Mountain Capital
Mr. Rand has over 15 years experience starting and managing technology businesses at both startups and large corporations. Prior to joining Sun Mountain, Mr. Rand founded Knogee a semantic search company, ran business development for Intel’s consumer electronics group, launched and managed the product marketing and standards team for Intel’s blade based server initiatives and led product management at semiconductor start-up Netboost which was acquired by Intel in 1999. Mr. Rand also has extensive business consulting experience having worked at Ernst and Young early in his career and more recently as an independent consultant brought in by investors and the board to work with start-ups on strategy and operations.
Mr. Rand has an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a dual BA in computer science and mathematics from Cornell University.