Ray is a partner at Venrock for nearly 25 years. He has initiated 53 investments mostly in technology and recently in energy and provided support for scores of others. 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. 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), advertising technology with an investment in DoubleClick, ecommerce with FogDog, web-hosting and ISP with DIGEX and an original SaaS company, USinternetworking. With a wide variety of investment experiences including materials and energy, in 2004 he began to assemble a team to seriously consider investments in energy. He continues to invest in Internet security technology companies, the latest being Shape Security.
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. He spent several years in the nuclear power business particularly as the nuclear transient safety engineer for Yankee Atomic Electric for the Yankee Rowe Plant in Rowe, Massachusetts. There was a short stint at Exxon Nuclear in their fuel business but as everyone knows, the nuclear industry began to decline in the early 80s and he moved to California in search of start-up experience.
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.
Ray’s interest beyond investing and building companies is largely focused on service to education oriented organizations. He has served on numerous boards including a recent trustee of the Texas A&M Foundation, Association of Former Students of Texas A&M, Portola Valley Schools Foundation, and the Woodside Priory School Board. He presently serves as the Chair of the National Venture Capital Association.
Venrock is a premier venture capital firm with offices in Palo Alto, New York, Cambridge, MA, and Israel. Originally established as the venture capital arm by Laurance Rockefeller and family in 1938, Venrock continues the eight-decade tradition of partnering with entrepreneurs to establish successful, enduring companies. Having invested $2.5 billion in over 450 companies resulting in more than 120 IPOs in 41 years, Venrock’s investment returns place it among the top tier venture capital firms that have achieved consistently superior performance. With a primary focus on technology, healthcare, and energy, portfolio companies have included Adify, Adnexus Therapeutics, Apple Computer, athenahealth, Centocor, Check Point Software, DoubleClick, Gilead Sciences, Idec Pharmaceuticals, Illumina, Intel, Ironwood, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, PGP Corporation, Sirna Therapeutics, StrataCom, and Vontu. For more information, please visit Venrock’s website at www.venrock.com.