Kinetic Ventures


Jake Tarr

Managing Director

Jake joined Kinetic Ventures in 1987. His investment activities focus on transaction-based and SaaS solutions, emerging mobile concepts, and power/clean technologies. He is a director of APX Holdings, LeaseTerm Solutions, AnyPresence, and 9Lenses. Earlier investments include SmartSynch (acquired by Itron; NASDAQ: ITRI), Clear Standards (acquired by SAP AG; NYSE: SAP), Peace Software (acquired by First Data Corp.), Innova (NASDAQ IPO, acquired by DMC), Xenergy (acquired by Energy East), and Liberty Technologies (NASDAQ IPO). Earlier in his career, Jake worked as a currency trader with the Bank of New York. He received his BA degree from Roanoke College and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

William Heflin

Managing Director

Willie joined Kinetic Ventures in 1990. His investment activities focus on communication and information technologies and software. He has led investments in Cerent (acquired by Cisco; NASDAQ: CSCO), NetCore (acquired by Tellabs; NASDAQ: TLAB), Corvis (IPO, then acquired Broadwing), Ciena (NASDAQ: CIEN), Cyan (NYSE: CYNI), Calix (NYSE: CALX), Coraid, Aztek Networks (Acquired by GENBAND), SwiftTest, and PlumSlice among others. Previously, Willie was with IBM Corporation where he sold manufacturing and engineering computer solutions to small and medium-sized businesses and Fortune 500 customers. He received his MS and BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois and his MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.

Nelson Chu

Managing Director

Nelson joined Kinetic Ventures in 1998. His investment activities focus on information and infrastructure technologies, enterprise and Internet software, and other emerging software and hardware technologies. He has led a broad range of Kinetic investments including BroadWare (acquired by Cisco; NASDAQ: CSCO), VerticalOne (acquired by SONE; NASDAQ: SONE), FoodBuy (acquired by Compass Group; LSE: CPG.L), Cardlytics, Tower Cloud, Kwarter, and LogicBlox-Predictix. Prior to joining Kinetic Ventures, Nelson was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company and a Development Manager with Oracle. Nelson received his BS in Electrical Engineering (summa cum laude) from Virginia Tech, his MS in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.

Sydney Shepherd

Chief Financial Officer

Sydney joined Kinetic Ventures in 2002. She leads the internal financial and administrative functions of the firm. Prior to joining Kinetic, Sydney was a director of finance with a start-up company in the technology field. Previously, she was the Director of Finance, Administration and Systems for the law firm of Williams & Jensen, and an accountant with the large regional accounting firm of Beers & Cutler, PLLC (Baker Tilly). Sydney received her BS in Accountancy from The Pennsylvania State University and her EMBA with honors from The George Washington University. She is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.

Senior Director

Campbell B. ("Cam") Lanier, III

Senior Director

Cam teamed with Kinetic Ventures in 2008. His activities focus on communications, software, and financial services. He is a Director of LogicBlox, Cardlytics, LeaseTerm Solutions, Tower Cloud, Red Book Connect, and LogicBlox-Predictix, and is also the Chairman of ITC Holding Company, LLC. Earlier in his career, he co-founded Interstate Communications (Telecom*USA), which grew to be the fourth largest long distance service provider when it was acquired by MCI in 1990. Cam was the founding investor and Chairman of Powertel (now T-Mobile), which was acquired by Deutsche Telecom in 2000. He was also the founding investor for Mindspring, which later merged with Earthlink, and the founding investor in Firethorn, a mobile payments company that was acquired in the fall of 2007 by Qualcomm. In addition, Cam was the founding investor of ITC^DeltaCom, Knology and InterCall.

^ Back to top