OKAPI
People

Okapi

Marc Averitt

Managing Director

Marc co-founded Okapi in 2005 and is a Managing Director of all three of Okapi’s funds and responsible for their technology investments. He has held leadership positions of increasing responsibility in business development, legal, operations, corporate development, and strategy in the technology industry since the mid-90s. Prior to founding Okapi, Marc was with Intel Corporation first as an attorney for the Microprocessor Products Group and then as the Managing Director, Strategic Business Development for the Software & Solutions Group worldwide. Prior to Intel, Marc worked for Sun Microsystems in business development and legal roles. Marc received his bachelors from the University of Southern California, where he studied philosophy and business, and went on to earn his Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law. He also attended Stanford University Graduate School of Business executive education program. Marc’s past and present board affiliations include DATAllegro (acquired by Microsoft; NASDAQ: MSFT), Emulex [NYSE: ELX], WellTok, SignNow (acquired by Barracuda Networks; NYSE: CUDA), Transaction Wireless (acquired by First Data; NYSE: FDC), TempoAI (acquired by Salesforce.com; NYSE: CRM), Qualaroo, Pegasus Solar, Fotobom Media and Specright. He is also an investor in ArtLifting, BabyList, Connectifier (acquired by LinkedIn; NYSE: LNKD), CrowdStrike (NASDAQ: CRWD) and Templarbit and on the Advisory Board of The Don Beall Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at U.C. Irvine. Marc can be found on Twitter as “@ocvc“. He lives with his wife and two kids in Orange County, CA and is active with his kids’ school and in the local community.

John Waller

Partner

John is Okapi’s lead on our investment in Slingshot Aerospace. Prior to joining Okapi as a Partner in Okapi’s third fund, he co-founded such companies as Resume.com (acquired by Adecco S.A.) and 24/7 Real Media (NASDAQ: TFSM), and was CEO for X1 Technologies, Managing Director of New Ventures Group for Idealab, and Strategic Development and M&A for Mattel. He is also the founder and Managing Director of Green Thumb Ventures.

As an angel investor John has been an early advisor and investor in such companies as Urchin Software, Parchment, Pongalo, Dials, NowRX, DFJ Gotham, Orgoo, Live Planet, and others.

At Mattel, John was part of the Strategic Development, and M&A group, where he focused on strategy, technology integration and disruption, as well as the acquisition of technology companies.

From 2009 through 2011 John served as CEO of X1 Technologies where he led a complete restructuring & turn around. During his tenure, John spearheaded multi-million dollar software and patent licenses, created profitable verticals in the enterprise software business, and grew a robust consumer business.

From 2007 – 2009 John was running New Ventures at Idealab overseeing the creation, diligence, vetting, and managing new and existing ventures. An integral part of the management team, John was active participant at the board level of both the parent and operating companies.

In 1999, John co-founded Resume.com, and was its CEO and President. He built the company from a three person start up into a multi-million dollar business. In 2002, John sold the company to Adecco S.A., the largest staffing company in the world.

In 1994, John co-founded Interactive Imaginations, one of the first online ad networks. In 1998, Interactive Imaginations merged with two other companies to become 24/7 Media (NASDAQ: TFSM).

John began his career on Wall Street, joining Bull and Bear in New York City. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California and his MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA. He lives with his wife and 2 children in Pasadena, CA.

Jeff Bocan

Partner

Jeff is Okapi’s lead on our investments in Trackstreet and WhiteFox Defense Technologies. Prior to joining Okapi as a Partner in Okapi’s third fund, Jeff Bocan led the venture capital investment in Mophie for the venture firm, Beringea, and served on the board before being asked by Mophie’s founders to join the Executive team full time in 2013 to help manage the company’s rapid growth and global expansion. Jeff invested in Mophie when it had revenues just over $10 million in 2010 and worked with the team to help drive revenues to $250+ million in 2015, and the eventual sale of the company in early 2016 to a strategic acquirer, ZAGG (NASDAQ: ZAGG).

As Mophie’s Senior Vice President, Jeff’s primary focus was on strategic initiatives and partnerships, business development and managing the global sales team as well as working across many areas of Mophie’s operations including: marketing, corporate development, product development, legal and human resources.

Prior to joining Mophie, Jeff was a venture capitalist for 13+ years, last serving as a Managing Director at Beringea where he sourced, led or managed the technology and media investments for 35 of Beringea’s portfolio companies and served on 22 corporate boards across several of Beringea’s $50 – $150 million venture funds; including such companies as Mophie, Mergermarket, eSpotting, Steak Media and Sakti3. His work prior to Beringea involved an early-stage tech VC in London (Saffron Hill Ventures), and marketing roles for BMW of North America and startup beverage company, Honest Tea.

Jeff also served as a Lead Instructor of the National Science Foundation’s i-Corps Program, teaching at Stanford University and the University of Michigan. Additionally, during his venture capital career, Jeff was a contributing blogger for The Huffington Post where his series focused on technology and venture investing in the Midwest. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-bocan/

Jeff earned a B.A. in Government and Sociology from the University of Notre Dame, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa; and a MBA with high honors from the University of Virginia. Jeff currently resides Orange County, CA with his wife and four children.

Sharon Stevenson, DVM, PhD

Managing Director (OV1, OV2); Venture Partner (OV3)

Sharon co-founded Okapi in 2005 and is a Managing Director responsible for the life science investments in its first two funds and a Venture Partner in its third fund. Sharon was responsible for Okapi’s investment in Helixis (acq: ILMN), and serves as a Director on the boards of Okapi portfolio companies Obalon Therapeutics [Nasdaq: OBLN], WiserCare, BioTrace and Focal Therapeutics. She is also a Board Observer at WellTok and OrthAlign. Prior to founding Okapi, Sharon was the Senior Vice President of Technology and Planning for SkinMedica – a private, venture-backed, commercial stage specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the dermatology and human appearance markets. Prior to SkinMedica, Sharon was a Principal with Domain Associates, LLC – a venture capital fund specializing in life science investments. In addition to performing due diligence and working closely with portfolio companies while at Domain, she also served as President and CFO of Volcano Therapeutics (Nasdaq: VOLC) and lead the company’s growth from 1 to 14 employees and from the initial design of the first product to the first clinical trials using the device. In addition to her responsibilities at Volcano, Sharon’s past and present board affiliations on behalf of Domain include MicroVention (acquired by Terumo Corporation, OTC: TRUMF.PK), Neuropace, NuVasive (Nasdaq: NUVA), Santarus (Nasdaq: SNTS), SkinMedica, and GenVault. Prior to launching her entrepreneurial / venture capital career several years ago, Sharon was a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopedics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She is author of over 132 publications, including 2 guest editorships and has made more than 57 presentations to professional audiences. Her clinical training was in veterinary surgery and she is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS). She has served on the governing boards of the ACVS and the Orthopedic Research Society and currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Pardee RAND Graduate School of Public Policy. Sharon has been awarded a MBA from the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management; a PhD in Comparative Pathology from UC Davis; and a Master of Science in Veterinary Pathology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University.

When Sharon is not at work she enjoys designing and making her own clothes and hanging around with her husband, Dr. Jerry Finerman. When not on a horseback riding expedition to a far away place, she spends as much time as possible on a yoga mat.

Lisa Riedmiller

Controller

Lisa Riedmiller is Controller for OV3, OV2 & OV1. She has over 27 years of venture capital fund accounting, investor relations and fund administration experience. Lisa successfully built her specialized venture capital fund administration business to target the niche market of smaller and developing funds by offering her clients high level financial support without the burden of full-time overhead.

Some of Lisa’s current clients include: Amplify.LA, BioStar Ventures, Blade Ventures, Blueberry, Crosscut Ventures, Lagunita Biosciences LLC, Millennium Life Sciences Fund, MuckerLabs, Palapa Ventures, Palomar Ventures, QueensBridge Venture Partners, Rincon Ventures, , Saratoga Ventures V & VI, Siemer/Wavemaker Ventures, Tidepool Partners and Windward Ventures.

Formerly, Lisa has worked with Capstone Ventures, Enterprise Partners, and Ocean Park Ventures. Additionally, she has occasionally been retained by a variety of start-ups as a function of her involvement with their investors. From 1988 to 1997, Lisa was employed by OSCCO Ventures, one of the first VCs to break ground at Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, CA.

Ms. Riedmiller holds a BA from California State University at San Jose, graduating Summa Cum Laude.

Matt McRae

Venture Partner

As former Chief Technology Officer and Head of Marketing, Matt McRae led many functions at VIZIO including product management, program management, hardware engineering, software engineering, cloud services, quality assurance, design, marketing, PR, digital, business development, and corporate development. Joining VIZIO in 2008, his accomplishments include architecting/launching the #1 Smart TV platform in the market, creating new product categories including the award winning audio lineup, driving key strategic partnerships, and cultivating the VIZIO brand into the class leading position it enjoys today.

Matt is also the Chairman of the Board and Founder of Blossom, a startup focused on addressing water consumption and control through an IoT smart device. The Blossom controller tripled its Kickstarter goal and is now shipping to consumers.

Previously, Matt served as VP of Marketing & Business Development at Fabrik, and Sr. Director of Worldwide Business Development at Cisco Systems. Matt holds degrees in Economics and Computer Science Engineering from The Wharton School and University of Pennsylvania.