Experienced. Entrepreneurial. Engaged.

The ONSET Ventures team is a group of seasoned investment professionals who have held executive positions in both start-ups and large corporations. We’ve been in the real world, and we know the challenges entrepreneurs face. Our experience gives us the expertise required to help propel early-stage companies to new heights. In short, we’ve been there. We know what it takes to help you succeed.

  • Stephen Bernardez

    Vice President, Information Technology


    Steve Bernardez joined ONSET Ventures in 2006, bringing more than a decade of experience in the IT industry. He has had director-level management responsibility in business development and market strategy at both large technology companies and startups. Steve came to ONSET from Microsoft, where he sourced and developed go-to-market alliances with venture-backed software startups. Prior to Microsoft, Steve led the business development function at an early stage ecommerce search startup. He also was a strategy management consultant at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) where he advised large software and hardware vendors on corporate strategies including new market entry, acquisition, and licensing strategies.

    At ONSET Ventures, Steve specializes in evaluating and nurturing IT investments.

    Steve holds B.S. and MBA degrees, both from Stanford University.

  • Taher Elgamal

    Venture Advisor, Information Technology


    Taher joined ONSET Ventures after five years as a Venture Advisor with Diamondhead Ventures. He is a leading expert in computer, network and information security. Taher is currently the Chief Security Officer of Axway, was the Chief Technology Officer of Tumbleweed Communications, was the Founder/Chair of Securify, and was the Chief Scientist of Netscape. He is recognized in the industry as the “inventor of SSL”. He wrote the base algorithm used in SSL and helped establish SSL as the Internet Security standard within standard committees and within the industry.

    Taher invented several industry and government standards in data security and digital signatures area including the DSS government standard for digital signatures. Several thousand publications have been written in the space referred to as “the Elgamal Cryptography”. He developed security software that was used in commercial products by approximately ten companies as well as in the DSS government standard for digital signatures.

    Taher has public Board of Director experience with RSA Security, hi/fn, Phoenix Technology and Tumbleweed. He has a Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

  • Hector Garcia-Molina

    Venture Advisor, Information Technology


    Hector joined ONSET Ventures in 2007. He is the Leonard Bosack and Sandra Lerner Professor in the Departments of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He was the Chairman of the Computer Science Department from January 2001 to December 2004. Hector previously was on the faculty of the Computer Science Department at Princeton University. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

    Hector serves on the Board of Directors of Oracle Corporation. He was the Principal Investigator for the Stanford Digital Library Project in the 1990′s and the Google search engine emerged from that project. From 1997 to 2001, he was a member of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC).

    Hector’s research interests include distributed computing systems, digital libraries and database systems. He earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

  • Shomit Ghose

    Partner, Information Technology


    Shomit Ghose joined ONSET Ventures in 2001 after 19 years of working at high-tech companies in the Silicon Valley. During his career he participated in several successful IPOs, including those of Sun Microsystems and Broadvision.

    Prior to joining ONSET, he was Sr. VP of Operations at Tumbleweed Communications, where he managed the marketing, professional services, applications engineering and corporate development departments. He helped the company through a successful IPO in 1999. Previously, he was VP of the Worldwide Professional Services Organization at BroadVision and helped that company through a successful IPO in 1996.

    His first job was as network protocol engineer at Metaphor Computer Systems, a company acquired by IBM. Later, he was an engineer in the original pre-IPO software development team at Sun Microsystems. He has also been Director of Marketing and then Director of Asia/Pacific Operations for nCUBE, a manufacturer of video-on-demand servers, and a board member of Alier, a data integration software company that is now part of webMethods.

    Shomit was awarded two academic scholarships to the University of California, Berkeley, at age 15. He graduated in 1982 with a degree in Computer Science.

    At ONSET Ventures, Shomit focuses on software, networking and infrastructure companies. He also mentors and provides management resources to portfolio companies to help maximize their success.

    Shomit represents ONSET on the boards of Adara, Gridstore, Talena, Vidder and Vindicia, and also led ONSET’s investments in AdsNative, Netseer, Pancetera (acquired by Quantum), Sentilla and Truviso (acquired by Cisco).  He is an Industry Fellow and lead venture coach at UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering, and serves on the entrepreneurship advisory board at the University of San Francisco.

  • Rob Kuhling

    Partner, Information & Medical Technologies


    Rob Kuhling came to ONSET Ventures in 1987 after experience in a variety of technology marketing, strategic development and management positions. Rob was Director of Marketing at Sun Microsystems, where he spearheaded the company’s expansion into the design automation marketplace. He also served as VP and Manager of General Electric-Calma’s $100 million electronic design automation business and was a team leader for Boston Consulting Group, where he oversaw the development of a range of corporate business strategies.

    At ONSET Ventures, Rob invests in communications and networking companies and medical device companies. Rob serves on the boards of several public and private companies, and has led ONSET Ventures’ investments in companies like Access Closure, Aneurx, Clarify, Conceptus, Alteon, Packeteer, Embolic Protection, Endotex Interventional Systems, and Gadzoox Networks. Rob’s current board memberships are Apama Medical, BAROnova, ClariPhy Communications, Neuronetics and Uptake Medical.

    Rob received his A.B. from Hamilton College and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

  • Steve LaPorte

    Venture Partner, Medical Technology


    Steve LaPorte joined ONSET in 2005. Steve has 26 years of experience in the medical device industry, and spent the past 17 years as an executive at Medtronic, a global leader in medical technology. From 2002 until his retirement in August 2005, Steve served as the Vice President of NeuroVentures and Business Development at Medtronic.

    Prior to this, Steve served as Vice President and General Manager of Medtronic’s Drug Delivery Division from 2000 to 2002, Vice President and General Manager of Medtronic’s Electrophysiology Systems Division from 1994 to 2000, and VP of Operations for Medtronic’s Neurological Division from 1988 to 1994. Mr. LaPorte began his career at Medtronic in 1978.

    Mr. LaPorte received his MBA from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelors of Science in mathematics and computer science from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.

  • Terry Opdendyk

    Partner, Information & Medical Technologies


    Terry Opdendyk founded ONSET Ventures in 1984 and has specialized in working with information and medical technology start-ups for more than 30 years. Prior to launching the firm, Terry was President of VisiCorp, guiding the software publishing company from inception into an industry leader. Early in his career, Terry worked as a technical manager for Hewlett-Packard and later headed Intel Corporation’s microcomputer systems business and microprocessor development activities.

    At ONSET Ventures, Terry maintains a broad spectrum of investment interests. He serves on the boards of both public and private companies and has helped guide start-ups from initial concepts to world-class companies, including Adaptive Insights, APX, Arcot Systems, Callidus Software, Nektar Therapeutics, NetSeer, Sentilla and Truviso.

    Terry received a B.S. from the Michigan State University Honors College and an M.S. from Stanford University. Terry also is a Fellow at the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.

  • David Pann

    Venture Advisor, Information Technology


    David is General Manager for Microsoft’s Search Business Group, where he is responsible for Microsoft’s search network strategy, product planning, product management, marketing and monetization.

    David’s career in the computer software industry spans over 20 years at private and publicly held technology companies. Prior to joining Microsoft, David was at Yahoo! where he was the Vice President and GM of the North American Search Advertising Marketplace. He held several senior roles at NetIQ Corporation including Vice President and General Manager of the VoIP Business Unit, Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Vice President Product Marketing, Management and Business Development. David began his online career at Netscape as the product manager for Netscape’s Windows NT web server.

    David received his degree in Computer Science and Business Administration from the University of Vermont.

  • John Ryan

    Partner, Medical Technology


    John Ryan joined ONSET Ventures in 2008 after focusing throughout his career on the founding, building and financing of companies across many sectors of the healthcare industry at stages ranging from the earliest company formation to the largest industry leaders. Prior to ONSET, John led the venture investing efforts in the medical device sector for Panorama Capital, JPMorgan Partners and Chase Capital Partners. During that time, John led investments in and served on the board of directors of companies such as CardioKinetix, FlowCardia (acquired by C.R. Bard), Novasys Medical and PowerVision. Prior to that, John worked with Morgan Stanley Venture Partners where he participated in investments in companies such as Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG), R2 Technologies (acquired by Hologic) and Rita Medical Systems (acquired by AngioDynamics). Earlier, John worked with Morgan Stanley’s investment banking group as part of a team that was a leader in M&A and financing business for health care companies globally.

    At ONSET Ventures, John focuses on helping to create companies or invest in companies in the medical technology and health care information technology sectors. John is a board member or board observer for Relievant, Valeritas, Vertos Medical and Visioncare. John also serves on the board of directors of Mills-Peninsula Health Services hospital organization (a Sutter Health affiliate), the business advisory board for the University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office, the medical device screening committee for the Life Science Angels investment group, and the advisory board for the Medical Innovation & Competitiveness Coalition.

    John holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science degree with high honors from the University of Colorado.

  • Rick Schell

    Venture Partner, Information Technology


    Rick joined ONSET Ventures in 2006 after thirty years of being at the forefront of major technology business transformations. He was most recently at NetIQ where he was Chief Technologist and Senior Vice President for product planning, strategy and process. Before NetIQ, he founded internet start-up, iSharp. Earlier at Netscape, Rick served as the founding Vice President of Engineering, taking the company from start-up to commercial success. He began his career with Intel, then Sun Microsystems and Borland.

    Rick holds a B.A. in Math and Computer Science and M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science, all from the University of Illinois.

  • Ikhlaq Sidhu

    Venture Advisor, Information Technology


    Ikhlaq Sidhu is the Chief Scientist for the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership in the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley and has been the primary architect of its T-shaped curriculum and applied research program.  He joined UC Berkeley in 2005 as founding Director of UC Berkeley’s highly successful Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology, which has grown to become the cornerstone of the Fung Institute.  Ikhlaq received recognition as the 2009 Emerging Area Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at UC Berkeley for his contribution to this new research and teaching area.  He brings valuable insight to the Berkeley community by building the connections between teaching and current innovation topics within Silicon Valley.

    Within industry, Ikhlaq has established new businesses and developed new technologies at U.S. Robotics Corporation, 3Com Corporation, and Cambia Networks.  He was 3Com’s “Inventor of the Year” in 1999, and has been granted over 60 US Patents in networking technology, IP telephony, and PDA functionality.  Technology and intellectual property from his work has been cross-licensed to Palm Computing, 3Com, and UT Starcom.  Ikhlaq also designed hardware for the first generation of laser printers at Hewlett Packard.

    Ikhlaq received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his master’s degree and doctorate in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University.