Davidson will be a part of Vator's Healthcare in Politics salon on October 7Read more...
For the latest in our series on what venture capitalists look for when evaluating deals, we traveled down to the heart of the West Coast VC industry -- Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park -- to sit down with Jim Smith and Bryan Stolle of MDV.
The firm, formerly known as Mohr Davidow Ventures, specializes in early-stage investments and is one of the oldest and most successful VC firms in Silicon Valley. MDV, which manages $1.4 billion, has backed a slew of firms that either went public or were acquired, including chip makers Rambus and PMC-Sierra, networking firms like ONI Systems and Brocade Communication Systems and early-Internet star Critical Path.
More recently, it's turned its attention to Web 2.0 plays and has a stake in Web analytics startup Genius.com, whose CEO, David Thompson, we interviewed a few weeks back.
Stolle, who co-founded Agile Software in 2005 and served at various times as its CEO and board chair, is a recent addition to the firm, joining after Oracle bought Agile, an MDV-backed firm, for $495 million earlier this year. We'll have his thoughts on that experience in a future story on Vator.tv.
Smith, who formerly developed high-performance integrated circuits and computing systems for Silicon Graphics, is an older hand at MDV, so I asked him to explain what the firm looks for in an investment.
After joking that "every deal" MDV funds has a great team with a great idea attacking a great market, Smith got down to specifics, explaining how MDV looks for "groundbreaking technology" and "entrepreneurs who look at things in great detail... and spend time obsessing about their business."
Support VatorNews by Donating
Read more from our "Interviews" series
Artificial or not, intelligence is already woven into every part of lifeRead more...
Entrepreneurship is about finding solutions to challenges in real timeRead more...