Board of Directors
Klaus Besier has more than 35 years of technology industry experience. He was formerly the Chairman and CEO of RES Software. Under his leadership, revenue increased exponentially and the company diversified its global footprint so successfully that countries outside of the Netherlands market now account for more than 50 percent of the company’s revenue. Previously, as President and CEO of SAP America, Inc. he built and led the strategic direction of the global software leader, growing SAP Americas from $50 million to $1 billion in revenues in less than five years. He also served as President and CEO of Firepond Inc., which he took public in one of the most successful IPOs of 2000. Earlier, Mr. Besier held the role of President and CEO of Neoware, Inc. where he drove a transformation of the business that improved corporate structure and topline growth, resulting in its acquisition by HP in 2007 with a transaction value of more than $300 million.
Longworth Venture Partners
Nilanjana joined Longworth in 2003 and focuses on infrastructure, software and mobile investments. Prior to joining Longworth, Nilanjana was a Vice President, Mergers & Acquisitions, at Broadview (now Jefferies), an investment banking firm where she led buy and sell side transactions for several hi-tech companies in software, services and digital media. Nilanjana began her career at Object Design Inc., an object-oriented database and B2B software vendor. At Object Design, she held several positions through the company’s fast growth from a venture backed, Inc. #1 Private Company in 1994 to a successful IPO in 1996 and beyond, including running the professional services organization for the Americas, in which role she was in charge of delivering a third of the company’s annual revenues.
Founder, CEO & Director
Joe Essenfeld is the Founder and CEO of Jibe. Prior to starting Jibe, Joe was COO of Insomnia Cookies, where he was responsible for hiring hundreds of employees. It was his experiences with those hires that led him to start Jibe. Beyond Joe’s hands-on hiring experience, his relationships with senior recruitment executives at the Fortune 1000 have shaped the recruiting solutions Jibe has built.
Joe received his Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and currently resides in New York City with his wife and daughter.
Peter Flint joined Polaris in 2003 and brings over 25 years of experience as an operating executive in the executive search and consumer media industries.
Prior to joining Polaris, Peter was a managing director with Ramsey Beirne Associates, the leading provider of executive searches to high growth, leading edge information technology companies. Peter has enjoyed a successful 15-year sales and marketing career in the cable television industry, initially with Showtime Entertainment and MTV Networks. He also worked with the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins to develop and launch the New England Sports Network and was vice president of Sales and Marketing for QVC Network, where he managed a team to secure long-term distribution agreements with the nation’s largest cable companies. Peter was an early entrant in the interactive television marketplace as vice president of Video Jukebox Network, the company that built out the first nationally distributed, on-demand television network.
Doug manages and led Sapphire Ventures’ investments in LinkedIn (LNKD), Endeca (acq. by ORCL), Black Duck, Imprivata, iYogi, Return Path, SAVO, Spring Mobile Solutions and Convercent. He brings both operational and investment experience to his role. Prior to Sapphire Ventures, Doug ran worldwide business development and strategic partnerships at CollabNet. He also launched the business development group for Lucasfilm, creating strategic partnerships for Star Wars prequels. Doug started his career in investment banking, with a focus on technology, at Robertson Stephens. More recently, he managed the Intel 64 fund at Intel Capital. Doug has lived in Madrid, Spain, Santiago, Chile and Walker, Minnesota. He graduated with a BA from Duke University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, both with high honors.
Don Wood is a Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Don’s primary investment focus is consumer web, enterprise IT, and cleantech. Don also leads DFJ’s Global Network of Funds which has grown to include 16 firms managing over $7B on four continents, with 140 professionals, and hundreds of active portfolio companies. Don has been a venture investor for 15 years. Prior to joining DFJ, Don was a General Partner at Vanguard Ventures where he invested in IT, consumer internet, and cleantech.
Ross Goldstein is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Gotham Ventures, which has been investing in early-stage tech companies since 2000. He focuses on business and consumer investments in a variety of areas including digital media, ad tech, ecommerce and data services.
Prior to co-founding Gotham Ventures, Ross was EVP, Chief Financial Officer of Interactive Imaginations, Inc., one of the East Coast’s pioneering Internet companies, and the predecessor company to 24/7 Media, Inc. Ross helped manage Interactive Imaginations through the challenges of the early Internet advertising industry toward its IPO as 24/7 Media, prior to its acquisition by WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY). Prior to joining Interactive Imaginations, Ross was with Morgan Stanley for 13 years, where he had most recently been a senior banker responsible for equity financings for the firm’s technology, telecom and media clients.