Paul Ahlstrom is an entrepreneur and investor who focused most of his career on the early-stage startup process. Paul has founded multiple high-technology startup companies and investment funds in the United States and Mexico.
Paul’s current focus is opening up capital sources to Mexican entrepreneurs and supporting Mexico’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. As a leader of Mexico’s venture capital industry, Paul and his partner, Rogelio de los Santos, have launched Alta Venture Mexico located in Monterrey, Mexico. (www.altaventures.com)
Prior to founding Alta Ventures Mexico, Paul co-founded vSpring Capital (2000) and Kickstart Seed Fund (www.kickstartseedfund.com) (2007) in the Rocky Mountain region and Alta Growth Capital (www.agcmexico.com) (2007) in Mexico. As an entrepreneur and through his funds, Paul has founded and invested in more than ninety startup companies.
Some of these companies include Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com, NASDAQ:ACOM); GlobalSim (www.globalsim.com), which was sold to Kongsberg Maritime (KOG – Oslo Stock Exchange); Senforce, which was sold to Novell (www.novell.com, NASDAQ: NOVL); and Altiris (NASDAQ:ATRS), which went public and was then sold to Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC). Paul has also served on the boards of many successful venture-backed startups. including Rhomobile (www.rhomobile.com); Public Engines (www.crimereports.com); Aeroprise (www.aeroprise.com); 7degrees (www.mypeoplemaps.com); The American Academy (www.TheAmericanAcademy.com); and FamilyLink (www.familylink.com ).
In addition to fund creation and investment experience, Paul has direct entrepreneurial and operating experience, having personally founded multiple startups, including Knowlix in 1997. Knowlix was a knowledge management IT company which raised venture capital financing in 1998 and sold to Peregrine Systems in 1999. Peregrine in turn sold to Hewlett Packard (www.hp.com) (NYSE: HPQ).
Paul was a founding advisory board member of Brigham Young University’s Rollins eBusiness Center, and he is listed as one of the Founders of Brigham Young University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. Paul also serves on the executive committee and board for the University of Utah’s Technology Commercialization Office (http://www.tco.utah.edu), which is ranked number one in university-generated spinouts in the United States.
Paul previously served as trustee for the Utah Technology Council and other community boards and has also served multiple years as a member of Motorola Corporation’s Visionary Research Board (NYSE: MOT). Paul earned his BA in Communications from Brigham Young University. He has also received an honorary doctorate from the Netanya Academic College in Netanya, Israel.
Nathan Furr earned his PhD from Stanford Technology Ventures Program at Stanford University and is currently an entrepreneurship professor at Brigham Young University (recently ranked in the top five entrepreneurship programs nationally).
Nathan has acted as the founder or advisor to startups in web 2.0, clean technology, professional services, retail and financial services industries. Nathan also sits on the investment board of the Kickstart Seed Fund, an innovative early-stage venture fund and is an expert contributor to Forbes. Nathan also worked as a consultant at Monitor Group, a premiere international strategy consulting firm, working with senior executives on a range of strategic and market discovery initiatives.
Nathan’s research focuses on market development and early stage entrepreneurship, including leading the Lean Startup Research Project and the “e-school” approach to rethinking how we teach entrepreneurship. His current research examines how both startups and existing firms successfully adapt to enter a new market. Nathan has co-authored papers on the process by which firms develop innovative business models, the determinants of success for firms changing industries, and the impact of organizational learning on international entry.
Nathan writes a blog for Forbes, “The New Entrepreneur.” http://blogs.forbes.com/nathanfurr
In addition to his doctoral studies, Nathan has a BA, MA, and an MBA.