Don is an Advisor to Xfund. Don’s career began with his first post‐college job at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. He later became a ski instructor in Vail, Colorado. After graduate school, Don became a consultant with McKinsey & Company in San Francisco and Sydney. Later he was SVP of Sales and Marketing at International Power Technology, a firm that designed, financed, installed and operated co‐generation power plants. He later ran marketing at Octel, the company which invented voicemail. He was also President of Metricom, which pioneered the first mobile, wireless internet service called Ricochet.
Don spent 22 years as a venture capitalist with Vanguard and DFJ which invested in over 500 technology startups, including 35 companies that have achieved valuations of over $1 billion (Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity, Vocera, Netapp, Cienna, Box, Redfin, Twilio, Skype). He has worked and invested in the communications, enterprise software, consumer web, and sustainable energy industries. Don has served on 15 public and private boards. He has a passion for helping entrepreneurs refine their products and strategy. Don is now on the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he teaches courses in entrepreneurship and clean energy.
Don earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Stanford University, and a MBA degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Don won the “Nonprofit Board Leader Award” from The Volunteer Center of San Francisco. Don is still trying to improve his surfing, golfing, skiing, and tennis. Don is married with two daughters and lives in Palo Alto.