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Meet Forbes Midas List Venture Capitalist Ray Rothrock, CEO of RedSeal in San Jose, CA and founding general partner of Venrock, interviewed by Grant Weston.
Ray is a graduate of Texas A&M University, MIT and Harvard University. The former Startup Aggieland Entrepreneur-in-Residence also sits on Roku's Board of Directors and served three times as a "shark" for Shark Frenzy. Ray Rothrock is currently CEO and Chairman of RedSeal
Ray has three decades of business leadership--investing in, advising and leading many of the technology and cybersecurity companies that form the fabric of today’s networks. He is partner emeritus at Venrock, the VC arm of the Rockefeller family's efforts, and the CEO and chairman of RedSeal, which provides critical cyber and business insights via its cyber risk modeling platform to more than 50 government agencies and hundreds of commercial enterprises.
During his 25-year career at Venrock, Rothrock led both the Internet and energy investment programs as a member of the Venrock management committee and invested in dozens of early-stage technology companies. His cybersecurity investments included Check Point Software, Vontu, PGP, PCube, Imperva, CloudFlare, Appthority, and Shape Security. Rothrock’s track record resulted in his being listed twice on the Forbes Midas List. A leader in the venture industry, he was elected by his peers as chairman of the National Venture Capital Association for 2012-13.
Rothrock currently serves on the boards of several organizations, including the U.S. Department of Energy GAIN (Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear) Executive Advisory Board, the DOE Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee, the Nuclear Innovation Alliance, and he’s the chairman of Transatomic Power. He also sits on the boards of the BreakThrough Institute, UTIMCO, Massachusetts of Institute of Technology (MIT), Check Point Software Technology, Roku, Inc., and several private companies including Team8, Shape Security, CTERA, Unbounded Tech, and Tri Alpha Energy.
Rothrock is author of the critically-acclaimed book Digital Resilience: Is Your Company Ready for the Next Cyber Threat (Harper Collins, Apr. 2018) and has published several industry papers and articles with publications including The Hill, MIT Sloan Business Review, Axios Codebook, and U.S. Army’s Cyber Defense Review Journal.
Rothrock holds a BS in Nuclear Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, from Texas A&M University, a MS in Nuclear Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a MBA with Distinction from the Harvard Business School. He is a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M University, Distinguished Alumnus of the MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering Department, and Distinguished Member of Tau Beta Pi. He is a Member of the Corporation for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology serving on several Visiting Committees.
Forbes Midas List Venture Capitalist Ray Rothrock is Chairman and CEO of RedSeal in San Jose, CA. Ray is a partner emeritus of Venrock, where he was a venture capitalist for 25 years. Ray is also a coproducer of the American History Channel was at Venrock for 25 years. Some of his thoughts about venture capital, innovation, and entrepreneurship are in this recent interview, American Dreams....
Forbes Midas List Venture Capitalist Ray Rothrock is Chairman and CEO of RedSeal in San Jose, CA. Ray is a partner emeritus of Venrock, where he was a venture capitalist for 25 years. Ray is also a coproducer of the American History Channel was at Venrock for 25 years. Some of his thoughts about venture capital, innovation, and entrepreneurship are in this recent interview, American Dreams. Ray also is executive co-producer of the documentary “Pandora’s Promise”; and co-producer of the widely-publicized six-hour PBS TV Series called "Chasing the Moon" for American Experience.
Ray initiated 53 investments at Venrock, originally a Rockefeller Family investment firm. His investments were mostly in technology and energy. The firm made initial investments in about 350 companies in that same 25 year period. Evolving with the market for venture investments from the late 1980s until today, he led Venrock’s entrance into the Internet with the investment in Spyglass in 1991, the exclusive licensee of MOSAIC browser technology from the University of Illinois. As the Internet lay open new opportunities for entrepreneurs and thus new investment frontiers, he led the firm into computer and network security leading an investment Check Point Software Technology (NASDAQ: CHKP). His resulting track record put him on the Forbes Midas List in 2012 and 2013.
Prior to Venrock he was at Sun Microsystems where he led the marketing programs for the design automation markets and was a founder of its Catalyst program in 1984. He was in two other startups in northern California which didn’t turn out as well as Sun. Prior to moving to California in 1981, Ray was a nuclear engineer and earned his professional engineering license.
His formal education is in nuclear engineering with a BSNE (summa cum laude) from Texas A&M Univeristy and SM from the M.I.T. and ultimately an MBA (with distinction) from the Harvard Business School. He recently was recognized by his alma mater, Texas A&M, as a Distinguished Engineer and as a Distinguished Alumnus. And also at MIT for his contributions to the Nuclear Science and Engineering department where he served on its Visiting Committee for a decade. Ray is also vice-chairman of the board of the University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Co. (UTIMCO). In addition, he serves on the National Association of Corporate Directors Northern California Board.
Ray is a former trustee of the Texas A&M Foundation and the Association of Former Students of Texas A&M. He was Chair of the National Venture Capital Association from 2012-2013. An original "shark" for Startup Aggieland's annual Shark Frenzy experience at Texas A&M University, Ray also has participated Startup Aggieland's annual VCs & VIPs Private Dinner at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Libary & Conference Center. Ray has hosted members of Startup Grind X - BCS Chapter for an annual trip to Startup Grind Global Conference in California.
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