Ron Conway

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Ron Conway
Ron Conway 1.jpg
Born
Ronald Crawford Conway

(1951-03-09) March 9, 1951 (age 69)
Alma materSan Jose State University
OccupationAngel investor
Spouse(s)Gayle Conway

Ronald Crawford Conway (born March 9, 1951) is an American venture capitalist and philanthropist, often described as one of Silicon Valley's "super angels".[1] Conway is recognized as a strong networker.[2]

Early career[edit]

Conway graduated from San Jose State University[3] with a bachelor's degree in Political Science.

Conway knew little about technology on his first entry to the business, but became one of the most influential tech investors in American history.[4] Conway worked with National Semiconductor Corporation in marketing positions from 1973 to 1979, and at Altos Computer Systems as President and CEO from 1988 to 1990.[5] He was the CEO of Personal Training Systems (PTS) from 1991 to 1995. PTS was acquired by SmartForce/SkillSoft.[6]

Investing[edit]

Conway began angel investing in the mid-1990s, with investments in Marimba Systems, Red Herring magazine, and others. He raised $4 million for his first venture capital fund, called Adam Ventures, in 1997. In December 1998 he started Angel Investors LP, a venture capital firm. Within two months he had raised $30 million for its first fund, Angel Investors I. Angel Investors closed on its second fund, Angel Investors II, at the end of 1999, raising $150 million. Angel Investors LP was an early investor in Google, Ask Jeeves, Loudcloud, Napster, and PayPal.[7] Conway was recognized for his success with Angel Investors LP by inclusion in the 2006 Forbes Midas list of top dealmakers.[8]

Conway was a special partner at Baseline Ventures from 2006 through 2009.[9] In 2009 Conway turned his personal investment vehicle, SV Angel, into a venture capital firm, raising $10 million from outside investors.[10] SV Angel raised six funds through 2018. In 2018 Conway announced SV Angel would not raise another fund and that he would step back from investing.[11]

List of investments[edit]

Among Conway's 650[12] or more investments are:

Philanthropy[edit]

Civic and Public Health[edit]

Conway is active in community and philanthropic activities, serving as Vice Chairman of UCSF Medical Foundation in San Francisco and also as co-chair of the "Fight for Mike" Homer and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. He is on the development committees of UCLA, St. Francis High School, Sacred Heart Schools, The UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco, Packard Children's Hospital, Legacy Ventures, and Ronald McDonald House at Stanford. He serves on the Benefit Committee of the Tiger Woods Foundation.[20]

Gun Violence[edit]

Conway is on the advisory board of Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit organization founded by the parents of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Conway donated $1 million to fund the Firearms Challenge of the Smart Tech Challenges Foundation, a nonprofit organization he founded with the mission to promote firearms safety through technology and innovation.

Politics[edit]

Conway has been highly critical of President Donald Trump, especially on the issues of gun control and immigration. He was reported to have spent more than $1 million and raised millions more to support efforts to win Democratic control of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018. Recode named him one of ten major Silicon Valley donors and fundraisers for the 2018 November midterm elections [21]

Conway was the single largest campaign contributor to Ed Lee in his successful campaign for Mayor of San Francisco in November 2011; Conway raised $600,000 for Lee through independent expenditure committees. Since then questions have been raised about whether Lee has taken actions to benefit companies in which Conway has investments.[22]

Conway was also an early supporter of Mayor London Breed, though in 2018 his focus remained on national issues over local San Francisco elections.[23] However, his wife, Gayle, donated $200,500 to a political action committee that attacked Breed's opponent Jane Kim.[24]

In 2014 Conway, along with fellow Airbnb investor Reid Hoffman, donated a total of $685,000[25] to David Chiu in support of Chiu's tightly fought Assembly campaign against current San Francisco supervisor and 2015 Prop F supporter David Campos.[26]

In April 2013, a lobbying group called FWD.us (aimed at lobbying for immigration reform and improvements to education) was launched, with Ron Conway listed as one of the supporters.[27]

In 2012 Conway founded the San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology and Innovation, or sf.citi, a 501(c) organization that advocates for the technology community and is involved in a number of public initiatives, and private/public partnerships involving tech companies partnering with public agencies such as the San Francisco Health Department., the Office of Emergency Management, the police dept., and the school district.[28]

Angelgate[edit]

In September 2010, Ron was involved with Angelgate.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ricadela, Aaron (April 2, 2007). "VCs Aim to Out-Angel the Angels". Business Week.
  2. ^ Hodge, Patrick (February 26, 2010). "Ron Conway raising $10M to invest". San Francisco Business Times. American City Business Journals. Retrieved September 30, 2011. Conway is a former computer company chief executive and uber-Silicon Valley networker...
  3. ^ Ron Conway stays invested
  4. ^ Gary Rivlin on the 'Godfather of Silicon Valley'
  5. ^ Miguel Helft (February 10, 2012). "Ron Conway is a Silicon Valley startup's best friend". CNNMoney. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  6. ^ Belsener, Elin. "San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee And Ron Conway Are Ready To Rock Out At Disrupt SF". TechCrunch.
  7. ^ Rivlin, Gary. The Godfather of Silicon Valley: Ron Conway And the Fall of the Dot-coms. 1st ed New York: At Random.com, 2001.
  8. ^ "The Midas List". Forbes. January 25, 2007. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  9. ^ "Baseline Ventures is Making Bold Moves in Venture Capital". Bold Business. December 7, 2018. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  10. ^ Michael Arrington (February 26, 2010). "Ron Conway Raising $10 Million Angel Fund to Expand SV Angel/". TechCrunch. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  11. ^ Sara Salinas (June 1, 2018). "One of San Francisco's top tech power brokers is taking a step back from tech investing". CNBC. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  12. ^ "Ron Conway Stanford Startup School 2012 Part 1 of 3".
  13. ^ Attributor scans web for copyright violations
  14. ^ Blippy Shows Its Own Funding On Blippy. And Now Everyone Can See.
  15. ^ Ron Conway Investments
  16. ^ [1] Ron Conway's Big Deals: How He Found Google and Facebook
  17. ^ [2] Ron Conway's Big Deals: How He Found Google and Facebook
  18. ^ Alyson Shontell (March 23, 2012). "Ron Conway Saved OMGPOP's Life Over And Over Again - Business Insider". Articles.businessinsider.com. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  19. ^ "Fundraising for Reddit". September 30, 2014.
  20. ^ O'Reilly Conferences on Ron Conway
  21. ^ Schleifer, Theodore (August 20, 2018). "Ten big Silicon Valley money players behind this November's U.S. midterm elections". Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  22. ^ Smith, Matt (March 31, 2012). "As Mayor Cultivates New Business, Treatment of Backer Is Questioned". The New York Times / Bay Citizen. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  23. ^ "Ron Conway says he's too busy to get involved in SF's mayor race". San Francisco Chronicle. March 4, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  24. ^ "Some big Silicon Valley names are throwing money around ahead of next week's mayoral election in San Francisco". Vox. May 27, 2018.
  25. ^ "Pro-Airbnb Campaign Racks Up Political Endorsements". SF Weekly. July 27, 2015.
  26. ^ "2015 Prop F San Francisco". KQED. October 6, 2015.
  27. ^ "Our supporters". FWD.us. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  28. ^ "JusticeMobile app development process calls into question sf.citi involvement". San Francisco Examiner. January 16, 2014.

External links[edit]