Scaling Companies to Exit or Legacy – What’s the Magic?

Date: Thursday, May 17, 2018
Time: 6:00pm-8:30pm
Location: Wipro
Silicon Valley Innovation Center
425 National Ave.
Mt. View, CA 94043



Companies go through three phases according to Cringely. In the first phase, early employees are like commandos establishing a beachhead – special forces who take on impossible tasks. In the second phase, companies grow rapidly and take on ambitious yet less extreme employees – more akin to infantry than commandos. In the third phase, companies stabilize and take on more peaceful, risk-averse staff who are more like police than infantry.

Few companies make it to the finals, can we define and quantify the steps along the way? How important is leadership? How important is funding? Where does all the discussion of knowing when to pivot come into play? What about advisors and employees? What can companies in different phases learn from each other?

Please join ACG Silicon Valley for an exciting evening as our decorated panel of veterans share their experience.


Our Distinguished Panel


Dr. Charles M. Geschke

Chairman of the Board
Adobe Systems, Inc.

Dr. Charles Geschke co-founded Adobe in 1982 with Dr. John Warnock, driving technology innovations that forever transformed how people create and consume content across every screen. A respected and inspiring industry leader, Geschke was instrumental in developing some of the software industry’s most pioneering technologies.

Through his vision and passion, Geschke helped build Adobe from a start-up into one of the world’s largest software companies. He was chief operating officer of Adobe from December 1986 until July 1994 and president from April 1989 until his retirement in April 2000. Geschke served as chairman of the board with Warnock from September 1997 to January 2017. Today, he and Warnock remain members of Adobe’s board of directors.

Prior to co-founding Adobe, Geschke formed the Imaging Sciences Laboratory at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and was a principal scientist and researcher at Xerox PARC’s Computer Sciences Laboratory.

Among many awards, Geschke, along with Warnock, was the recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, one of the nation’s highest honors bestowed on scientists, engineers and inventors. Geschke holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University as well as a master’s degree in mathematics and an A.B. in classics, both from Xavier University.


Katharine (Coco) Brown

Athena Alliance

With broad experience across F1000 companies, start-ups, and nonprofits in the roles of CEO/President, COO, advisor, and Board member, Coco possesses a unique understanding of the breadth of challenges and opportunities of leadership. She has deep expertise in building the links between a company’s strategy and the organizational design and environment required to execute successfully.

In the spring of 2016, Coco founded and became CEO of The Athena Alliance, an organization dedicated to advancing diversity in the boardroom with a robust membership and match delivery model anchored in her deep connection to community building, executive consulting, and professional services. Coco’s genuine and strong industry relationships and ability to articulate and drive value have resulted in over $1,000,000 in contributions in just under two years and a network of over 1000 C-Level women, VCs, and CEOs from over 100 companies including Microsoft, Autodesk, Intuit, OpenView Venture Partners, Accenture, Deloitte, and PwC. Athena’s model integrates into and guides the intimate networks through which boards seek directors. It also offers high-touch, white glove executive coaching to the top 10% of female leaders nation-wide.

In addition to leading Athena, Coco is an Executive Advisor to c-suite executives and their teams, guiding strategy and execution. She designs and runs the visioning, organizational design, and strategic planning process, with notable clients including FireEye, Honeybook, Jitterbit, GlobeTouch, Riverbed, and SGI.

Prior, Coco served as President, COO and Board Director of Taos, a prominent in IT Services business, serving hundreds of F1000 companies such as Apple, Cisco, eBay, Facebook, and Silicon Valley Bank.


Manuel Terranova

CEO & President
Peaxy, Inc.

Peaxy CEO and President Manuel Terranova is a technology veteran with a long track record of bringing emerging technologies to market. He has a broad range of P&L and technical leadership experience in oil and gas, subsea equipment, software application development, pipeline inspection robotics, telemetry systems and IT infrastructure.

Before co-founding Peaxy, Terranova was a Senior Vice President at General Electric’s Drilling and Production business, where he led a $5.2 billion portfolio. In that role he managed the company’s commercial and regional resources worldwide, which included the creation of a $200 million subsea equipment joint venture in sub-Saharan Africa. During his 13 years at GE, he led a number of successful software development efforts, including a GIS software business, remote pipeline monitoring and SupportCentral, a knowledge-based portal he co-founded that grew to become the company’s second most used application worldwide. Terranova served as CIO of GE’s Oil & Gas division from 2002 to 2006. In that role he led efforts to migrate the entire business from legacy applications to ERP and a contemporary application stack.

Jeff Immelt awarded him the Chairman’s Award for Technology and Innovation in 2010. That year—as head of GE’s subsea portfolio—he led a series of successful product launches, including a remotely enabled subsea control system that set industry records for market-share gains in a single year.


Sanjiv Goyal

Droisys, Inc.

Sanjiv is an active angel investor with a successful high-tech portfolio. Sanjiv has been pivotal in mentoring promising new entrepreneurs and has won awards for several of his innovations; most note-worthy, is the location based contesting platform. Every single bottle of Heinz ketchup served in restaurants is labeled with it. He has architected first automatic vehicle location system of Singapore in 1996, since then he is focused on Innovation.

As Angel Investor, he is looking for startups leveraging mobile in Digital marketing, Retail, Healthcare, Gaming, Hospitality. He has invested in Vriti, Fanminder, Admaxim, Appgravity, Gameloot, Raffity, Ebsavvy, Pregame, Mobifusion, Edseva, Demars Group, Mobiglue, Pyxa, SampleUP, iShopthrifty, Mobiglue, and Direct 401K.

He believes in supporting our youth and focuses his philanthropic duties on children’s charities.

Sanjiv holds Master’s degree in Technology from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi, India.


Our Distinguished Moderator


Quin Garcia

Managing Director
Auto Tech Ventures

Quin has a passion for forming ground transport startups, assembling teams of complementary people, raising capital, and growing via partnerships with corporations. He was part of the founding team at Better Place, responsible for partnerships with automakers and auto parts suppliers while living in Israel, Japan, and China.

Prior to that, he was a management consultant at Strategic Management Solutions, serving automaker and consumer electronics clients. While earning his MS degree in Management Science and Automotive Engineering from Stanford, he worked at Stanford’s Dynamic Design Lab developing autonomous vehicles.
While earning his BS degree in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell, he was a leader of the Cornell Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team.

Quin previously served as board member of Connected Signals and served as board observer of IQTaxi. He also served as board advisor for Peloton Technologies and Lyft.