John Zeisler

Technology Venture Investor and Advisor

San Francisco Bay Area
Venture Capital & Private Equity

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John Zeisler's Overview

  • Chairman, President and CEO at Pensoft
  • Cofounder and VP Marketing at Claris Corporation
  • Marketing Director at Apple Computer
  • CEO at Boston Video
  • Product Manager at Advent Corporation

500+ connections


John Zeisler's Summary


Private investor/advisor with early stage technology companies. Source opportunities with local venture firms, assist portfolio companies, and advise on new market development.

Trustee for leading SF Bay Area non-profit education and health care institutions.

Recent investments in Boombotix (ultraportable speakers), OneID (identity management), AirPatrol(mobile intrusion detection), Boku(mobile payments), Zetta(enterprise cloud backup), Vidyo(HD video conferencing) and Jive (social media).

Past board director of Infoseek(acquired by Disney), PlaceWare(acquired by Microsoft), eVoice (acquired by AOL), NetBotz (acquired by APC), Airgo Networks (acquired by Qualcomm), Lightningcast (acquired by AOL) , and Applied Science Fiction (acquired by Kodak).

Twenty-five years of Silicon Valley investment and operating experience. Senior technology marketing executive (Apple, Claris, Netcom), venture capitalist(InterWest, Nokia), business and corporate development, and technology and consumer market development, in organizations ranging from development stage through Fortune 500. Served on the board of more than a dozen public and private companies.

John Zeisler's Experience

General Partner

Alicante Partners LP

2003Present (11 years)

In addition to direct investments, I help source new investment opportunities with local venture firms, advise portfolio companies, and consult on new market opportunities.

Some notable recent investments include:
- Boombotix (ultraportable speakers),
- OneID (identity management),
- AirPatrol (wireless intrusion detection - acquired by Sysorex - SYRX)
- Boku (global carrier-enabled payments via mobile)
- Filtrbox (real time social media monitoring - acquired by Jive Software - JIVE),
- Vidyo (H.264 SVC -based HD videoconferencing and the engine behind Google Hangouts),
- Zetta (enterprise grade cloud backup)
- Six Apart (blogging software and services - acquired by Say Media)
- NextG Networks (RF over fiber backhaul for carriers - acquired by Crown Castle - CCI)
- Vitalstream (content delivery network - VSTH - acquired by INAP).

During this time period, I was also affiliated with WaldenVC ($225mm fund in Digital Media, Services, eCommerce) and Gabriel Venture Partners ($260mm fund in Wireless, Software and Services, and Security).


Menlo School

Educational Institution; 51-200 employees; Education Management industry

2010Present (4 years) Atherton, CA

Member of the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee for Menlo School, a leading college prep school in Atherton, CA. Areas of focus include long range planning, digital learning and technology, global initiatives, and communications programs.

Trustee, Community Board

Palo Alto Medical Foundation

Nonprofit; 1001-5000 employees; Medical Practice industry

2011Present (3 years) Palo Alto, CA

Member of the Community Board of Trustees of Palo Alto Medical Foundation, a Sutter Health affiliate, and one of the largest multi-specialty medical practices in the US with over 1,300 physicians providing exceptional medical care to over 900,000 patients in the SF bay area.

General Partner

Nokia Venture Partners

Public Company; 10,001+ employees; NOK; Telecommunications industry

20002003 (3 years)

I was a General Partner responsible for mobile technology investments for Nokia’s $500 million, global venture capital fund, now known as BlueRun Ventures. I led investments in eVoice (telco software/services company; acquired by AOL), Airgo Networks (80211.n components; acquired by Qualcomm), and Lightningcast (broadband streaming media ad network; acquired by AOL). I also participated in investments in wireless IP networking, 802.1x infrastructure and services, mobile telephony infrastructure, software, components and devices.

General Partner

InterWest Partners

Partnership; 11-50 employees; Venture Capital & Private Equity industry

19962000 (4 years)

InterWest Partners is a decades-old top quartile Sand Hill Road venture capital firm. I was a general partner in the Information Technology group, and was responsible for leading investments in software and Internet services, including web conferencing (PlaceWare; Acquired by Microsoft), digital imaging (Applied Science Fiction; acquired by Kodak), and business-to-business e-commerce (Live Capital). I also participated in investments in enhanced telephony services, carrier-class switching, optical networking, wireless infrastructure, and graphics semiconductors.

Senior VP Marketing


19941996 (2 years)

Netcom exploded on the scene to become the nation's leading ISP on the first wave of the internet boom. From a small San Jose-based internet service provider to the nation's leading ISP, Netcom IPO'd in 1994 with 500,000 subscribers and $120mm in revenue. Netcom was subsequently acquired by Earthlink during an industry consolidation phase.

Chairman, President and CEO


19921994 (2 years)

Pensoft built applications for the first generation of tablet computers and personal communicators. Built on an advanced object-based database, Pensoft Perspective was awarded the coveted Byte Magazine Award of Distinction in 1992, and was licensed to AT&T EO as the underlying data engine in their products.The company was subsequently acquired by AT&T.

Cofounder and VP Marketing

Claris Corporation

19871991 (4 years)

We spun out Apple's application software business to form Claris. In just 4 years we grew from a back of envelope idea to become 4th largest application software company in the PC industry with $100 million in revenue. Apple re-acquired Claris in 1991.

It was a thrill to work with a world class management team led by Bill Campbell, including Donna Dubinsky, Yogen Dalal, Bruce Chizen, and Randy Komisar, and so many other talented individuals. I ran the marketing, product management and support organizations.

Marketing Director

Apple Computer

Public Company; 10,001+ employees; AAPL; Consumer Electronics industry

19801987 (7 years)

At Apple, I ran the Business Marketing group, responsible for Macintosh in business. Earlier I was part of the sales and marketing team that launched the original Macintosh in 1984. Previously, I was Sales Development Manager, responsible for U.S. channel marketing, development and growth. I joined Apple in 1980 to run New England sales.

We launched the Apple II in 1980 and finished the year with $100 million in revenue, as one of the fastest growing public companies. I left after 7 amazing years and $8 billon in sales to start Claris with Bill Campbell.


Boston Video

19781980 (2 years)

Boston Video Center was the first video specialty retail store in New England. We sold large screen televisions, video cameras, VCR and laser disc products to consumer, professional and industrial markets.

Product Manager

Advent Corporation

Privately Held; 201-500 employees; Venture Capital & Private Equity industry

19761978 (2 years)

Advent designed the industry's top selling loudspeaker, The Advent Loudspeaker, and introduced the industry's first projection TV's. Advent was founded by Henry Kloss, the brilliant inventor, the K in KLH, and co-founder of Acoustic Research.

John Zeisler's Skills & Expertise

  1. Start-ups
  2. Social Media
  3. Venture Capital
  4. Strategic Partnerships
  5. Business Development
  6. Global Business Development
  7. Corporate Communications
  8. Product Management
  9. Product Marketing

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