CompanyBoard of Directors & Investors

Board of Directors

John W. Thompson

John W. Thompson was named CEO of Virtual Instruments in April of 2010. He has been an investor and member of the Virtual Instruments Board of Directors since 2009.

Prior to joining Virtual Instruments, John was chairman of the board and CEO of Symantec Corporation, the leader in internet security, from April 1999 to April 2009. During his 10-year tenure as CEO of Symantec, Thompson transformed the company into a leader in security, storage and systems management solutions, delivering world class products to a global customer base, from individual consumers to many of the world's largest enterprises. He helped grow revenues from $600M to over $6B in ten years. He continued to serve as chairman of the board until October 2011. John also served in a number of senior leadership roles at IBM Corporation, including general manager of IBM Americas, prior to assuming the CEO role at Symantec.

Thompson has served on the National Infrastructure Advisory Committee (NIAC), making recommendations regarding the security of nation's critical infrastructure, and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the cause of the 2008 financial collapse and to make recommendations to Congress on steps to avoid or mitigate the impact of a reoccurrence. He is an active investor in early-stage companies and currently serves on the board of directors of Liquid Robotics, the world's first wave-powered autonomous platform,  and is an advisor to PernixData, a Flash Virtualization Platform (FVP) provider. John also serves on the board of Microsoft, the world's largest software company, and is a trustee for Wetlands America Trust.

He has also served on the boards of NIPSCO (Northern Indiana Public Service Company), Fortune Brands, Seagate Technologies, and UPS.

Thompson has been recognized by a number of industry and business associations for his leadership and public service. In 2012, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group recognized him with the Spirit of Silicon Valley Lifetime Achievement award, the Silicon Valley Education Foundation named him Pioneer Business Leader in 2010 and in 2008 Junior Achievement recognized him as a Business Hall of Fame Laureate. Thompson was also awarded the David Packard Medal of Achievement from TechAmerica Foundation for his contributions to the high-tech industry.

Thompson completed his undergraduate studies at Florida A&M and holds a Master's degree in Management from MIT's Sloan School of Management. In 2008, he received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business.

James I. Cash Jr., PhD

Until his retirement in 2003, James I. Cash Jr., PhD, was the James E. Robison Professor of Business Administration, senior associate dean and chairman of publishing at Harvard Business School (HBS). During his tenure he taught in all the major HBS programs: MBA, the Program for Management Development, the Program for Global Leadership and the Advanced Management Program. Jim has published books on information systems management and technology as well as many articles in accounting, business and computer journals. Jim currently serves as director for a number of prominent organizations, including General Electric, Wal-Mart, Chubb, The Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Boston Celtics and the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation. In 2011 he was inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received his BS in mathematics from Texas Christian University, his MS in computer science from Graduate School of Mathematical Science at Purdue University and his PhD in management information systems from the Krannert Graduate School of Management at Purdue University.

Jim Davidson

Jim Davidson is Co-CEO of Silver Lake, which he co-founded in 1999. He has been an active advisor to and investor in the technology industries for more than 25 years. Prior to Silver Lake, Mr. Davidson was a Managing Director at Hambrecht & Quist, a technology-focused investment bank and venture capital firm (now part of JP Morgan Chase & Co., "H&Q"). Mr. Davidson managed several businesses at H&Q, including the Technology Investment Banking business and the Mergers and Acquisitions business. Prior to H&Q, Mr. Davidson was a corporate-securities attorney for Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro. Mr. Davidson serves on the boards of Skype Limited, Flextronics International Ltd. and Avago Technologies Limited. Previously, he was a director of Seagate. Mr. Davidson also serves on the boards of a number of non-profit organizations. He holds a B.S. from the University of Nebraska and a J.D. from the University of Michigan.

Craig Hanson

Craig Hanson is a partner of Next World Capital has 15 years of private equity, venture capital, operating and investment banking experience with a focus on technology. Most recently, Craig was a Vice President with FTV Capital, a growth-stage venture capital firm with $1 billion under management investing in enterprise software and business services companies worldwide. He was also a Principal at Vista Ventures, a technology venture capital firm, and a Vice President at Berenson Minella & Company, where he worked on large growth capital and buyout investments, as well as completed several acquisitions and financings, through the firm's private equity and investment banking operations. He has also been the CFO of a venture-backed technology company, and began his career as an investment banker with Credit Suisse First Boston.

Craig has served on the Boards of or been involved with a number of investments, including: LeftHand Networks (acquired by HP), MX Logic (acquired by McAfee), Dante Software (acquired by webMethods), Host Analytics, DynamicOps, SenSage, PSS Systems, Cloudmark, Nimsoft/Indicative Software (acquired by CA), StrionAir (acquired by Carrier), Rally Software, Thought Equity, DAFCA (acquired by Ceallaigh), SiGe, Fitness Holdings Worldwide (acquired by Forstmann Little), FM Precision and Stratavia (acquired by HP).

Craig received a BA magna cum laude from Carleton College and an MS from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was a Sloan Fellow.

Steve Mankoff

Steven Mankoff is an independent director and advisor in the technology industry and currently serves on the Boards of ConvergeOne, Insurity, Netsmart Technologies, Nomis Solutions SignalDemand, and Virtual Instruments. Steve also serves on the strategic advisory boards of C3 and Genstar Capital and is an advisor to Cloud9 Analytics, GramercyOne, Kepha Partners, Nuevora, and TD Fund. Previously, Steve worked as Senior Vice President Global and Technical Services at Siebel Systems, Inc. which was acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2006. Steve was a member of the Founder's Circle of first employees and the Siebel executive management team. At Siebel, Steve was responsible for Professional and Technical Services, Technical Support, Education, Quality Engineering, and Offshore Development. The combined organization had over 2,100 employees, over 700 dedicated contractors and annual revenue approaching $1 billion. Prior to Siebel, he held various product, marketing, and sales management positions at several software companies including Oracle. He earned a Master of Science in Management from the MIT Sloan School and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Brown University.

Chris Schaepe

Chris Schaepe is managing director at and a founder of Lightspeed Venture Partners, covering infrastructure technologies and services. He has eighteen years of venture capital experience and four years of operating experience. Prior to Lightspeed, Chris served in corporate finance and capital markets roles at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Previously, he was a software engineer at IBM.

Chris has frequently been named to the Forbes Midas List of top venture capital investors. He serves on a number of private company boards and one public board, Riverbed Technology, Inc. Selected investments include:  Brocade, Avamar, Ciena, Fusion-IO, Aprius, Aerohive, eHealth, LightLogic, Transmeta, and Terayon.

Chris holds BS and MS degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from Stanford University.

Jeff Parks

Jeff Parks is a founding General Partner of Riverwood Capital. Riverwood Capital is a globally-focused private equity firm that invests in high-growth businesses in the technology and services industries, across a variety of verticals and geographies. Founded in 2008, Riverwood has raised over $1 billion since inception.

Prior to co-founding Riverwood, Jeff was an investment executive at KKR. At KKR, Jeff worked on large scale leveraged buyout investments across all major technology verticals. Prior to joining KKR, Jeff was an investment professional in the Principal Opportunities Fund at Oaktree Capital Management, where he specialized in private equity investment in distressed companies. Earlier in his career, he was an investment banker at UBS Investment Bank in Los Angeles.

Jeff earned a Dual BA in Economics and Mathematics from Pomona College (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Claremont, California. He is also a director of SintecMedia (Chairman), Nutanix and Accellion.

Hemant Taneja

Hemant Taneja is a managing director at General Catalyst Partners, in their Palo Alto office, with a focus on technology intensive early stage companies. Previously, he was founder/CEO of Isovia, a mobile software company that merged into JP Mobile in 2002 and was acquired by Good Technology in 2005.

He serves on the boards of a number of private companies. Selected investments include CleaResult, Humedica, Hunch (acquired by eBay), Jumptap, m-Qube (acquired by Verisign), Sand9, Siteadviser (acquired by McAfee), Stripe and TuneIn.

He is co-founder and co-Chairman of Advanced Energy Economy, an NGO focused on advancing innovation and public policy in the US advanced energy industry.

Hemant is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning an M.S. in Operations Research, an M.Eng. in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, a B.S. in Mathematics, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, and a B.S. in Biology & Biomedical Engineering.


Virtual Instruments is funded by a select group of highly-regarded, experienced investors, including both private individuals who are IT industry veterans and leading venture investors. Venture investors include:

General Catalyst Partners is a venture capital firm that invests in exceptional entrepreneurs who are building the technology-based companies that will lead innovation and transform industries. Founded in 2000, General Catalyst Partners leverages its principals' extensive operational, business development and technological expertise to provide portfolio companies with a catalyst for success through business-building and partnership development assistance. General Catalyst has offices in Cambridge, MA and Palo Alto, CA. For more information, please visit:

Lightspeed Venture Partners is a leading global venture capital firm that manages over $2 billion of capital commitments. Lightspeed VIII, an $800 million fund, was closed in 2008. Over the past two decades, our investment professionals have backed more than 150 companies, many of which have gone on to become leaders in their respective industries. Our team invests in the U.S. and internationally, with investment professionals and advisors located in Silicon Valley, China, India, and Israel.

We are proud to have partnered with many exceptional management teams. Our investment professionals have contributed domain expertise and operational experience to help build high-growth, market-leading companies such as Blue Nile (NILE), Brocade (BRCD), Calista (acquired by MSFT), Ciena (CIEN), DoubleClick (DCLK), eHealth (EHTH), Galileo Technology (acquired by MRVL), Growth Networks (acquired by CSCO), Informatica (INFA), Kiva Software (acquired by AOL), Lightlogic (acquired by INTC), Maker Communications (acquired by CNXT), Metasolv (acquired by ORCL), Openwave (OPWV), Quantum Effect Devices (acquired by PMCS), Sirocco (acquired by SCMR), and Waveset (acquired by SUNW). Some of our recent exits include the top-performing tech IPO of 2006, Riverbed Technology (RVBD), and the top enterprise software acquisition of 2006, Virsa Systems (acquired by SAP).

Next World Capital (NWC) is an international venture capital, growth equity and asset management firm. We invest globally out of a large evergreen capital base and take a long-term view to creating sustainable value. Our Venture Capital and Growth Equity group invests in growth-stage companies primarily in the US and Europe. Our Financial Asset Management group develops and maintains global financial portfolios, highly diversified across all asset classes. Next World Capital has offices in San Francisco, CA and Brussels, Belgium. Next World Capital's Venture Capital and Growth Equity group invests internationally in growth-stage companies out of a $200 million evergreen capital allocation.

We focus on leadership companies propelled by long-term, positive trends in the world and work closely with management to help them realize the company's potential for a substantial and sustainable impact. NWC invests in companies transforming the world through enterprise software, consumer software & internet, and cleantech software. NWC takes a strategic, research-intensive approach to analyzing how its investment themes intersect these markets and which companies are leading the positive disruption.

Riverwood Capital is a globally-focused private equity firm that invests in high-growth businesses in the technology and services industries, across a variety of verticals and geographies. Riverwood was established by a talented group of private equity and technology industry executives, which gives Riverwood a unique combination of operational, strategic, financial and technical insight into investment candidates.

The Riverwood team benefits from a long operating and investing history in the technology and services industries. Coupled with the Riverwood Network, our team has strong domain expertise across the fields of: Electronics Systems and Components (includes hardware, semiconductors, semiconductor capital equipment and related upstream sectors), Software (includes enterprise, consumer & small business software applications), and IT Services (includes domestic and offshore IT implementation, consulting, outsourcing and related industries).