President and Chief Executive Officer
David’s a seasoned Silicon Valley veteran who’s helped start, grow and lead numerous successful technology companies. He has extensive experience helping organizations of all sizes establish business models, build product/marketing strategies, and meet their go-to-market challenges. All while defining models of leadership, communication and culture.
Prior to launching Aktana, David was Executive in Residence with Mohr Davidow Ventures, and before that served as CEO of ParAccel, an early pioneer in the field of analytic databases. David’s also held senior level positions with NetIQ Corporation, Visual Networks, Inverse Network Technology, and McKinsey and Company, where he played a leadership role in the firm’s Asian Telecommunications, Electronics, and Media Practice.
In addition to being an angel investor and advisor to early stage technology ventures, David currently serves as the Executive Chairman of Reso Holdings, Inc. and is on the Board of Trustees of San Francisco’s Brandeis Hillel Day School. David also spent over a decade on the Board of Directors for Travelzoo, Inc., where he served as Chair of the Audit Committee and Lead Independent Director. And David was a member of the Board of Directors for Infravio, Inc.
David received a BA degree in Sociology with Honors and Distinction from Stanford University, an MS degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Co-Founder; Vice President of Products
Derek is responsible for product strategy and direction. Prior to co-founding Aktana, he was a Strategy and Innovation Associate in the Small Business Division at Intuit, where he drove initiatives to enter new markets and develop new products. Derek has also served as a Senior Associate at The Boston Consulting Group, where he developed and implemented strategies for a diverse range of public and private sector clients. Prior to BCG, Derek worked in several large law firms in Australia and Hong Kong and co-founded a medical IT company in Australia, applying his expertise in sales force optimization, change management and IT systems development and implementation.
Derek has dual degrees in Computer Science and Law (Honors) from the University of Melbourne.
Investment Director, Starfish Ventures
John Dyson is one of the founders of Starfish Ventures. John has personally overseen and managed investments in a range of technologies and industries. John has achieved numerous exits for his portfolio companies including a NASDAQ listing, ASX listings, and trade sales to local and overseas companies.
In May 1995, John was appointed General Manager (Australia) of JAFCO Investment (Asia Pacific), a Singapore based private equity manager. In this role John was responsible for establishing the Australian office, recruiting a team of investment professionals, overseeing investments into 24 companies totaling $95 million invested, and achieving 19 exits. Prior to joining JAFCO, John worked in the investment banking and stockbroking industries for Schroders, Nomura Securities, KPMG, and ANZ McCaughan.
John holds a Bachelor of Science from Monash University, a Graduate Diploma in Finance and Investment from Securities Institute of Australia, Master’s of Business Administration from RMIT University and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. John attended the Stanford University Executive Program in 2010.
John has been an active participant in the Australian venture capital industry. From 1997 to 2002, John was a Director of the Australian Venture Capital Association Limited, including Deputy Chairman in 1998 and Chairman in 1999. John is currently a Director of Aktana, Atmail, Audinate, DesignCrowd, Echoview (Myriax), Hearables 3D, and Nitro Software.
Gary Kurtzman, MD
Managing Director, Safeguard Scientifics
Gary Kurtzman, MD is Managing Director at Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE:SFE), which provides capital and relevant expertise to fuel the growth of technology-driven businesses in healthcare, financial services and digital media.
Gary has more than 30 years of experience in operations and investments, leveraging his medical expertise to enable businesses to enhance their products and grow their services, as well as to discover new partnering potential in developing entrepreneurial companies. Gary joined Safeguard in 2006, where he is responsible for identifying, deploying capital in and supporting emerging healthcare companies. Gary is a board member of MedCrypt (Chairman) and Oncora Medical (Chairman), as well as Safeguard’s partner companies Aktana, meQuilibrium, Prognos, Propeller Health, Syapse (Chairman), Trice Medical (Chairman) and Zipnosis.
Throughout his career, Gary has realized value for companies through a series of successful IPOs, M&A and turnaround transactions. A board-certified internist from Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, MO, with a hematology sub-specialty, Gary has authored more than 40 research articles, book chapters and reviews, and is credited as inventor on twelve issued United States patents. Presently, Gary serves on various academic and biomedical committees and boards. He is also a lecturer in the Health Care Management Department at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he teaches entrepreneurship in life sciences.
Jared Kesselheim, MD
Managing Partner, Leerink Transformation Partners
Jared Kesselheim, MD is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Leerink Transformation Partners (LTP) and co-leads the firm’s growth equity investing in healthcare information technology and services. Jared has over 10 years of experience in healthcare as an investor and physician.
Prior to founding LTP in 2016, Jared was a Partner and the leader of the healthcare investing practice at Bain Capital Ventures, where he focused on growth equity investments in healthcare information technology and services companies. At Bain Capital Ventures, Jared worked on investments in such companies as: Apixio, Remedy Partners, MedHOK (acquired by Hearst), Liazon (acquired by Towers Watson), Ability Network (acquired by Summit Partners), and National Cardiovascular Partners (acquired by Fresenius Medical Care).
Prior to his investing career, Jared completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. As a resident physician, Jared oversaw a primary care panel of 300 patients and directed care teams within the hospital’s general medical wards and the medical intensive care unit.
Jared graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard College. Jared also received an MD from Harvard Medical School and an MBA from Harvard Business School where he was a Baker Scholar.
Doug has been running enterprise SaaS companies since he took over the CEO role at WebEx after its acquisition by Cisco Systems in 2007. Following WebEx, Doug was President of SuccessFactors, the leader in the HCM suite of Performance Management software, which was acquired by SAP for $3.2 billion in 2011.
He also was the CEO of Alfresco and has been the CEO and Chairman of the Board for BetterWorks since 2018.
Before 2007, Doug worked at 3Com in multiple roles, including running Asian Operations from Hong Kong. Following 3Com, he spent 11 years at Cisco Systems in numerous senior executive positions, including running the US Enterprise sales team for seven years and seeing growth from $2 billion to $40 billion in revenue.
Robert Mittendorff, MD
Partner, Norwest Venture Partners
Robert Mittendorff, MD is a partner at Norwest Venture Partners where he leads investments in the healthcare sector. He has been involved in acquisitions and investments with public equity value exceeding $5 billion. A board-certified emergency physician and former public company operating executive, Robert is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (FAAEM.)
He currently serves on the boards of Impel Neuropharma, Avalyn Pharma, Qventus, TigerConnect, VisitPay and Neocis, and is a board observer at Talkspace, Omada and Route92. Previously, Robert was a board member at Silk Road Medical and iCardiac (acquired by eResearch) as well as a board observer at Intersect ENT and iRhythm Technologies.
Prior to Norwest, Robert served as an executive officer and the vice president of marketing and business development at a publicly traded medical robotics company. He also worked in portfolio strategy at Merck and as a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group.
Robert graduated with general and departmental honors in Biomedical/Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He also received an MD from Harvard Medical School, where he was recognized as a Howard Hughes fellow, and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. He completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine.