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The Portola Valley Partners Team

A little about us

John Majeski | CEO |

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John has experience with startups, turnarounds, and large IT companies. He was a founder/partner in 3 startups - successful exits. At HP John led the integration of a company and served as a CTO. At Dell, as VP/GM, John integrated a $1B acquisition and grew revenue from $400M to $2.3B in 3 years. At Lenovo, John was the Founder & Managing Director of a global business focused on acquiring technology to help Lenovo pivot from pure hardware to software and solutions. John has led in Product, Engineering, Sales, and M&A areas.

Steve Brown | President & COO |


Steve was the Managing Partner of Lenovo’s Global Software Business Unit and also led the SAP global alliance. For 25+ years, he was part of establishing Silicon Valley businesses including The Red Herring and CyberCash. He started three companies and invested in early stage companies. Steve has grown more than 100 businesses using operational technologies and processes to achieve sustainable business growth. Steve has led Sales, Operations, and Bus-dev functions.

Shahid Chishty | CIO |


Shahid has experience with business development, finance, investment banking, strategic advisory, private equity, venture capital, and investments at Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch. Shahid has advised private and public corporations on M&A, working on transactions valued in the multi-billions. He has experience with fundraising, capital structuring, and IPOs valued at over $500M. He managed a €2B multi-currency fund for the Rhein-Main Securitisation group.

Olivier Miranda | CTO |


Olivier’s experience in Silicon Valley includes engineering leadership, building technical teams, developing product solutions, and incorporating new technologies. Olivier led Enterprise Architecture at Snowflake Computing and helped facilitate customer and marketplace adoption of elastic cloud data warehousing. He has expertise in various development methodologies and operational excellence. His broad range of technical strength covers most technologies.

Khaim Morton | Managing Partner|

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Khaim co-leads our NextGen Grant Funding team with over 20 years of experience in the public sector. He has served as a legislative consultant, public policy specialist, and analyst. Khaim supported the Los Angeles Mayoral office, City Council President, CA State Legislators, and former Governor Jerry Brown in positions ranging from Chief of Staff to Deputy Secretary at the CA Government Operations Agency. Khaim performs deep research on companies which allows him to cast a wide, but targeted net in applying for non-dilutive funding.

Bob Karr | Chairperson of Advisors |


Bob is the CEO & Founder of LinkSV, a solution that for 30 years connects people, capital, and companies of Silicon Valley. He is an active investor, advisor to companies, and board member. Bob co-founded the Angels Breakfast Club. Bob retired from a career in the corporate liability insurance business where he was a Partner at Dinner-Levison. Bob also worked with Sedgwick as their SVP of business development & client services for emerging & pre-IPO companies in the Bay Area.

Don McCall | Chief Product Officer |

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Don comes from a strong background in entrepreneurship, community governance, and senior leadership for some of the world's largest tech companies. Before joining Portola Valley Partners Don led Dell's largest product lines from Product Management and Program Management leadership roles. Prior to Dell, Don led sales and operations at Schlumberger. His areas of expertise include software, services, and hardware.

Sal Imami | VP/MD |


Sal has 20+ years of deep technical and sales leadership experience. Prior to joining Portola Valley Partners, Sal served as a CTO for CSC and a global executive for HP and Lenovo. Sal advises our portfolio companies on sales strategies, sales execution, and strategic partnerships which includes structing compelling channel programs to accelerate revenue generations. Sal's experience extends into CRM selection and integration.

Phil Drachman | Managing Director |

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Phil has 25 years of solutions selling leadership and experience across an impressive and diverse landscape of companies. His experience ranges from start-ups, such as Nexenta, through growth-stage companies to large companies such as IBM. Phil has worked extensively within the entertainment, healthcare, financial, and large corporate industries. He attributes his highly successful track record to relationship-based engagement.


Ben Cadranel | Managing Partner|

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Ben co-leads our NextGen Grant Funding team. His diversified background as an accomplished attorney, university professor, and successful fundraiser, has helped him disrupt and revolutionize a legacy industry. Pairing and balancing non-dilutive funding with traditional funding is an area of Ben's expertise. Ben helps differentiate applications by focusing on the details that matter most to grant issuers.

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