Venture capital firm DFJ just announced that Silicon Valley entrepreneur, VC, educator and board member Heidi Roizen will be the firm’s new Operating Partner.
By Betsy Mikel (Contributing Writer, Women 2.0)
Just after announcing DFJ Venture XI, a $325 million early-stage venture fund that will invest in passionate entrepreneurs who “Think Big,” DFJ has promoted a big thinker to its executive leadership team.
Heidi Roizen, who has long been active in Silicon Valley as a tech entrepreneur, venture capitalist, educator and board member, has been promoted to a new Operating Partner position at the firm.
It’s not enough to call Heidi Roizen an early adopter of technology. When the term Silicon Valley first began to gain popularity in the early ‘80s as software companies started innovating, she was already hooked.
She has both her undergraduate and MBA from Stanford University. In 1983, Roizen co-founded an early personal computer software company called T/Maker Company and served as CEO until its acquisition by Deluxe Corporation. She has also served as Vice President of Worldwide Developer Relations at Apple and Managing Director of Mobius Venture Capital.
"I was born in Silicon Valley. While not a technologist by training, I fell in love with computers during the early days of the personal computer,” Roizen said. “It is not the technology that drives me, as much as the idea that a small group of us can get together and create meaningful products that can change lives.”
In her new role as Operating Partner at DFJ, Roizen will oversee talent, marketing, business development and investment support roles. She will also work with DFJ’s portfolio companies to provide strategic advice, manage portfolio investments and help identify new investment opportunities.
"I’m looking forward to bringing some of our CxOs together for discussions with experts in their fields,” Roizen told Women 2.0. “I'm also trying to help identify fantastic women to serve on some of our pre-IPO boards."
Roizen has quite the experience serving on boards — it’s already rare to see women on boards (although that’s changing), but she holds board positions at several companies: TiVo and DMGT, as well as DFJ portfolio companies XTime, Eventful and ShareThis.
"I really enjoy serving on boards,” Roizen said. “I love the team dynamic, the group of us all pulling for the same cause yet each providing a different strength, talent or perspective. I love tackling hard problems with smart people. I love seeing something come from nothing.”
In addition to her new role as DFJ Operating Partner and board member for tech companies, Roizen also teaches Stanford’s Spirit of Entrepreneurship class. The course covers topics such as starting new businesses, building a team and getting funding.
"We have a long history of working with Heidi both as an entrepreneur and a colleague and she’s proven to be a great asset to our team,” said Steve Jurvetson, Managing Director said in a statement issued by DFJ. “Her deep expertise as an operator and investor makes her a perfect fit for this new role.”
What changes do you hope Heidi Roizen can help bring to Venture Capital in her new role?
About the blogger: Betsy Mikel is a freelance copywriter and content strategist who helps brands, businesses and entrepreneurs tell their stories. A journalist at heart, her curiosity drives her to find something new to learn every single day. Follow her on Twitter at @betsym.