Naeem Zafar, Managing Director
Naeem is a faculty member at the University of California Berkeley, Center of Entrepreneurship and Technology and the professor of the Practice at Brown University. He has taught entrepreneurship and New Venture Finance at Haas Business School since 2005. He is also a serial entrepreneur and he co-founded and served as the CEO of Bitzer Mobile, an enterprise security and mobility company that was acquired by Oracle in November 2013.
Naeem started his own business at the age of 26 and subsequently went on to start, or work at, six startups. His first job out of Brown University with a degree in electrical engineering was to design chips and electronic systems. Twenty years, two kids, one IPO and three CEO stints later, he founded Startup-Advisor, a company focused on educating and advising entrepreneurs on all aspects of starting and running a business (www.Startup-Advsior.com ).
Naeem works frequently with the US State Department in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship across the world and was invited to the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship in Washington, DC to participate in a dialogue about starting an entrepreneurial ecosystem worldwide. He is on the International advisory board for the North African initiative at the Aspen Institute. He has travelled to 76 countries to understand cultures and how business is done and considers himself a global citizen.
Naeem has authored five books on entrepreneurship on topics ranging from conducting market research to seeking the right funding to successful ways to start a business. Information can be found on www.NaeemZafar.com. His books including “7-Steps to a Successful Startup” are also available on Amazon.com, Kindle and on the iTunes App store.
Rick Rasmussen, Managing Director
Rick Rasmussen is a Silicon Valley native with entrepreneurial, executive, government and academic experience focusing on startups and growth stage companies. He works extensively with governments and economic development agencies looking to connect with Silicon Valley. He is an active member of the Sand Hill Angels investment group.
He served as the VP of Business Development for nestGSV, a large-scale accelerator in Silicon Valley where he focused on International Business Development and Acceleration Programs. Prior, Mr. Rasmussen served as the Trade Commissioner for the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade with responsibility for linking Canadian IT companies to the Valley. Prior, he served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Institutional Venture Partners, Interim CEO for @Road, President and CEO for BuzMe.com. He currently advises a half-dozen companies in mobile and international social media and serves as a Director of CritterPix, an animated feature film startup in Marin County, CA.
His professional experience includes C-Cube Microsystems (LSI) where he was Vice President of Marketing and General Manager and helped drive the digital video revolution in consumer, computer and communications markets. He was a senior member of the team that took the company from startup through IPO and Fortune 500 status. Prior he spent nine years at LSI Logic where he spearheaded new development of RISC microprocessors, Digital Signal Processors and standard cell product lines culminating as the General Manager of the MIPS Microprocessor Division.
Mr. Rasmussen earned a Electrical Engineering and Computer Science degree with highest honors from the University of California at Berkeley and an dual MBA degree from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business and Columbia's Graduate School of Business in New York City with honors. He currently lectures on Entrepreneurship at both UC Berkeley and Stanford University.
Stephan Reckie, Partner
Stephan is the Co-founder and CEO of Angelus Funding, a trust-based global network of angel investors, who actively evaluate a wide range of innovative investment opportunities. Stephan serves on the board of directors of several companies and has personally made over 37 investments since 2012. .
Stephan is also the Co-Founder of Edge of Space, a company focused on exciting space based projects including developing space STEM based educational kits for students around the world. Prior to starting Edge of Space, Stephan served in several international executive roles including: COO of DigiLink Software, a China-based embedded video solutions developer, and the Director of North American Sales at India-based Ittiam Systems. As the founding Director of EMEA Operations for Telogy Networks, his company was acquired by Texas Instruments.
Stephan holds Bachelor’s and Masters of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. As the Entrepreneur in Residence for the Colorado School of Mines, he currently lectures on Entrepreneurship.
A second generation Russian and a true native New Yorker, he is fluent in 5 languages. He enjoys travelling the world and has flown over 5.5 million miles, the equivalent of 11 moon missions. Stephan is a “professional" volunteer for several impactful organizations and an active community leader.
Gloria de Lamare Hunt, Partner
Gloria Hunt is native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and a longtime resident of San Francisco with extensive experience in international business development and business analysis. As a US Executive Director for a Brazilian consulting firm and Accelerator, Gloria focuses her work in Business Development for Brazilian tech companies of all stages. In addition, Gloria coordinates acceleration programs in the US for Brazilian entrepreneurs and is a mentor to startups participants of the Brazilian government program StartUp Brazil.
While living in Brazil, Gloria’s career was highlighted by the international liaison between Brazil and the international business community. She traded commodity futures at the New York and Chicago Mercantile Exchanges, with special emphasis on gold and coffee. As a Market Analyst for the Brazilian Wood Pulp Exporters Association, she developed strategic plans for the industry in partnership with US, Canadian and Nordic producers. With an entrepreneurial spirit, Gloria created her own high-end clothing company in Rio de Janeiro and became the business manager for a national retail apparel chain, creating expansion planning and inventory management. In California, she specialized in international logistics and supply chain, managing overseas production of consumer goods, from several Asian countries while developing and implementing strategic sourcing plans for an internationally distributed manufacturer.
Gloria has a degree in Economic Science by the University Cândido Mendes in Rio de Janeiro allied with strong Relationship Building and Troubleshooting skills set.
Jennifer Asaro, Program Management
Jennifer Asaro brings to our team over 10 years experience in the technology industry. With her background in project management, and various leadership roles, her management skills are a great asset to Concordia Ventures.
Jennifer worked for Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in San Diego on the Navy Marine Corp Intranet (NMCI). She had the opportunity to move to a new location to be part of the team to startup a new Service Desk. During her tenure at EDS she developed and negotiated multi-million dollar proposals for her organization with the Department of Defense. She managed deployments of new software and hardware to several Naval and Marine bases in the United States as well as the Services Desks across the United States.
For the last few years, Mrs. Asaro has focused her time and attention on assisting startup companies/entrepreneurs jump start their business with marketing, website development and project managment.