Looking back at 2016

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We can look back with satisfaction at a busy growth year. During 2016, we invested in 17 deals including 13 new financings: AEye, Abtum, Ciel Medical, iBeat, Bioxiness, Forensic Logic, Lumenari, OtoSense, Shift Mobility, ShopInbox, Starflow Networks, Tenacity, and TinyKicks, and 4 follow-ons that formally presented: The Detection Group, Social Standards, Practice Fusion and TwineData. Many Band portfolio companies received direct follow-ons. Some exits include the sale of UStream (August 2007 Dinner), which raised >$400K from the Band, to IBM for $130M in cash and the acquisition of CogENT (January 2014 Dinner) by Entellus Medical.

It has also been an active year in everything else the Band does: three new Special Industry Groups (SiGs) started: AgFood Tech, Accelerators, and Digital Disruption. Scores of Band members have attended the diverse and hugely educational events put on by the SiGs. These include meetings with: Dennis Whyte, the Head of MIT's Nuclear Science and Engineering; Jenya Meydbray, VP of DNV-GL on trends in solar; MIT Professor Valerie Karplus on energy in China; Roger Werne, Deputy Director of Industrial Partnerships at LLNL on energy technologies; and Erik Daehler, Director, Product Innovation Network of Boeing. We took a tour of tour of Cyclotron Road and Connect Homes in Orinda. And we heard talks from:  Arun Majumdar, Stanford Professor and Co-Director of Precourt Institute, Ajay Chopra of Trinity Ventures, and Tom Langan, CEO of Practice Fusion. “The Great Energy Debate” at Xerox PARC was sponsored by our Energy SiG and was attended by 180 persons. We toured Powerhouse, an incubator and accelerator dedicated to solar, and held office hours at Acceleprise, an accelerator for SaaS startups, Highway 1, which focuses on hardware, and SkyDeck, UC Berkeley’s accelerator, as well as attended the Demo Days ofAngelPad, StartX, Y-Combinator, The Alchemist, and Google Demo Day: Women’s Edition.

The Software SiG led an outstanding Mentor Day, which this year was organized in partnership with the NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center, where we mentored 50+ companies. We held our 8th annual Portfolio Day and launched the “Second Look” Lunch in San Francisco as a venue for follow-on fundraising pitches from our existing portfolio companies, in addition to having an extended Q&A with the 3 deals that present at the Band Deal Dinner the previous evening.

The Band was approached by many international events for speakers and members flew the Band flag in many exotic locations: Paul Russo mentored a number of companies in Brazil in June, Juan-Antonio Carballo spoke to angels in Mexico in May, Neil Shroff spent two days from 8 AM to 8 PM engaging with Malaysian startups in Kuala Lumpur last month, and Ron Weissman just returned from Armenia where he gave a speech on helping startups.

Our social events included the largest Band ski trip ever at Alpine Meadows in Tahoe (thanks to Robert Kyle and Rich Juelis), our Annual Summer Party at Allied Arts Guild, which was attended by 120+ members and spouses, and we picked grapes at Craig London’s Woodside Farm Vineyard while being serenaded with piano jazz music!

It’s been a good year and will end with good cheer at our Holiday Party on December 6th. We wish you Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year!