David Ehrlich

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.

Derek Choy

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.

John Dyson

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.

Eric Salzman

CEO, Safeguard Scientifics

Eric Salzman is the chief executive officer of Safeguard Scientifics, which provides capital and relevant expertise to fuel the growth of technology-driven businesses in healthcare, financial services and digital media. Eric was appointed CEO in October 2020 and currently represents Safeguard on the boards of Aktana, Infiobionic and MediaMath.

For more than 25 years, Eric has helped tech companies drive growth and navigate major periods of transformation, leading the implementation of strategic operating plans, corporate finance transactions and M&A. He has served as executive chairman, non-executive chairman, special committee chair and independent director at more than 20 public and private companies including portfolio companies of Ares, Athyrium, Blackstone, Carlyle, Francisco Partners and KKR. Presently, Eric also serves as an independent director on the board of 8×8, Inc. (Chairman of the Compensation Committee), SolAero Technologies, Inc. (Chairman of the Board) and Zenefits.

Earlier in his career, Eric spent nearly ten years employed by Lehman Brothers as a Managing Director in the Private Equity and Principal Investing Group as well as a Managing Director in the Global Trading Strategies Division. Eric earned a B.A. Honors from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Harvard University.

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 Dennerline

CEO, BetterWorks

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.

Ryan Harris

General Partner, Norwest Venture Partners

Ryan Harris is a general partner at Norwest Venture Partners where he specializes in growth equity investments in the healthcare sector. An industry veteran with deep medical knowledge, he has more than thirty years of healthcare experience and twenty years as a growth equity and buyout investor. 

Prior to joining Norwest in 2010, Ryan was a principal with The Carlyle Group. During his tenure at Carlyle, his deals led to realized profitable exits of more than $2.4 billion in equity value. Ryan was also a venture partner with Industry Ventures, where he focused exclusively on healthcare services, pharmaceutical and medical device investments from large-cap buyouts to growth equity and venture. Previously, he served as a consultant in the West Coast Healthcare Practice of McKinsey & Company, where he advised biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies on corporate, R&D and marketing strategies.

Ryan graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in psychology and an M.S. in health research and policy. He earned an M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco and has authored more than 25 peer-reviewed comparative effectiveness articles in publications such as JAMA, Lancet, Annals of Internal Medicine and the Journal of Health Economics.