October 20, 2011: State of Venture Capital in New Mexico

August 23, 2011

in Events,Investing

Join us at The Inn at Loretto in Santa Fe for the annual CVF update on the State of Venture Capital New Mexico.


Todd Hand

Todd Hand, Managing Partner
Talent Capital Group

Todd Hand, a CVF Board member since 2006, is the Managing Partner at Talent Capital Group, a venture capital-backed executive search firm in Boston. Consulting with company boards and founders, Todd specializes in identifying “high impact” leaders to drive the success of technology start-ups. Todd stepped away for two years to be COO & VP of Sales & Marketing at CleanSwitch, a solar technology integrator. CleanSwitch was a client of the company of Talent Capital Group. Prior, Todd recruited management teams for Idealab, a creator and operator of technology companies. He moved there from the Yankee Group, a Boston-based technology market research firm, where he opened sales offices throughout the US, hired and managed the inside sales and marketing teams, and built the company’s recruiting department. Since 1994, Todd has filled hundreds of technology management positions. Todd has been invited as a guest writer for NetworkWorld. He holds a BA from Penn State and is a two-time Ironman finisher.


Brian Birk

Brian Birk, Managing Partner
Sun Mountain Capital

Brian Birk has over 20 years experience as an operating executive and investor. Mr. Birk co-founded Sun Mountain Capital, a boutique private equity firm focused on the Southwest and Rocky Mountain regions, in 2006. Since that time Sun Mountain has grown to be one of the largest PE firms in the region, and currently manages direct investment funds and fund of funds vehicles. Prior to forming Sun Mountain Capital, Mr. Birk was a Vice President and Director of Private Equity at Fort Washington Capital Partners where he helped the firm establish and manage a number of private equity direct investment funds, secondary investment funds, and fund of funds programs.

Mr. Birk was a founder or senior executive at several high profile start-ups, including MetaWeb (acquired by Google), Applied Minds and BiosGroup. In addition, Mr. Birk has held a senior manager position at the Boston Consulting Group and finance manager positions at General Electric and GE Capital. Mr. Birk has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a BS in economics from Carleton College.

Mr. Birk is a Board Member of Sun Mountain Capital portfolio companies Aspen Avionics, American Clay, Exagen Diagnostics, Lumidigm and Puente Partners. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Rocky Mountain Venture Capital Association.

David Blivin

David Blivin
Cottonwood Technology Fund

David Blivin is a founder and managing director of Cottonwood Technology Fund (CTF). CTF is a seed and pre-seed stage venture capital fund focused on the Rio Grande Technology Corridor, and focused on identifying and supporting compelling emerging technology companies based in the region. In addition, Mr. Blivin is managing director of Cottonwood Technology Group (CTG). CTG is focused on supporting and creating programs and the ecosystem related to successful technology commercialization in Los Alamos and throughout New Mexico. Prior to founding the Cottonwood entities Mr. Blivin had a long and successful investment and entrepreneurial career. Dave founded and served as Managing Director of Southeast Interactive where over a five-year period he successfully built the team that established the first and largest information technology-focused fund based in the Southeast. During his tenure, Southeast Interactive raised three funds totaling over $175 million. He was directly involved in fund raising and exit transaction events totaling in excess of $1 billion across the portfolio and generated cash on cash returns on his directed investments of over 4X.

Before founding Southeast Interactive, Dave served as the Chief Financial Officer of Montrose Capital Corporation, a merchant-banking firm that formed and managed over 20 limited partnerships representing in excess of $100 million in equity and $350 million in total capitalization. Prior to joining Montrose Capital Corporation, he worked as a Senior Auditor with Arthur Andersen LLP where he audited several companies in the technology and communications fields. Dave has also participated on numerous boards of directors including The Pantry (nasdaq-PTRY), Opensite (sold to Siebel), Accipiter (sold to CMGI), Nitronex, Channelogics (sold to Scientific Atlanta) and Buildnet. He is an MBA graduate of the Duke University Fuqua School of Business.

Katie Szczepaniak Rice

Katie Szczepaniak Rice
Epic Ventures

Katie Szczepaniak Rice is a Senior Associate with Epic Ventures, a venture capital firm headquartered in Salt Lake City specializing in early-stage technology investments. Prior to joining Epic, Katie was a strategic market analyst at Cabot Corporation in advanced materials for alternative energy markets. Before Cabot, Katie was a consultant with Kline & Co., a business consulting firm serving Fortune 100 companies as well as emerging businesses. Before Kline, Ms. Szczepaniak Rice was a field engineer in the energy sector for Schlumberger in France.

Katie earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Materials Science & Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an MBA from the University of Chicago. She is on the board of DOTGO, serves as an observer on the boards of Iosil and Intern Inc., and assists on the boards of BrightTag, Aspen Avionic and Lumidigm. Katie also serves on boards and committees for several community and industry organizations including Astia, SVForum, NMBio, and New Mexico TechGYRLS.

Francine Sommer

Francine Sommer, Special General Partner
Village Ventures Fund II

Francine Sommer, a CVF Director since 2006, is a Special General Partner of Village Ventures Fund II, responsible for investments in New Mexico. She is a founder of the predecessor to newyorkangels.com and is a past President of the Venture Investors Association of NY. She was during the Giuliani administration on the Board and Executive Committee of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. She is a Board member of the NMVCA and was Chairperson of the Board of New Mexico Angels. She also serves on the the Board of Directors of The Lensic Performing Arts Center, Santa Fe. She was formerly Senior Vice President, Head of the Angel Funds Group, Wit Capital, General Partner, Gabelli Multimedia Partners, Managing Director, First Security Management, President of 655 Associates and Vice President, Research & Science Investors. Ms. Sommer is a graduate of the Columbia Business School.

Date: Thursday, October 20, 2011
6-8 pm
Venue: The Inn at Loretto, 211 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM
Directions: Map
Cost: $22.50 in advance (credit card payments); $25 at the door (cash and check only).


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