Executive-in-Residence Program at Norwest Venture Partners — Two Recent Case Studies
May 22, 2013

A win-win opportunity for exceptional growth-oriented CEOs

At Norwest Venture Partners, we have actively been sponsoring two types of “EIR’s.” The first is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, which essentially focuses on partnering closely with exceptional entrepreneurs to start and incubate new companies.  The second is possibly lesser known, but just as impactful.  We call this an “Executive-In-Residence” program.  This program is much more focused on partnering with growth-stage CEO’s who will not look to start a company, but join one which is in need of a growth-focused CEO and potentially growth capital.  For NVP, this program is more nascent than the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, but we have seen exceptional results.  Below are two recent examples of NVP Executives-In-Residence who have moved on to join very successful NVP growth companies.

John Herr:  John Herr and I have a long relationship that dates back to our eBay days in early 2001.  John is a very talented CEO who knows how to accelerate businesses through his focus on sales, marketing, business development, and inorganic growth/M&A opportunities. John and I kept in touch after we both left eBay, and when the opportunity arose to welcome John as an NVP EIR in late 2010, we both knew it was a win-win.  John wanted to take a year to study the SaaS world and find a private company with single digit millions in revenue that he could help grow and potentially take public.  Through our collaboration, and after a full year of diligence, he decided to join Adaptive Planning (not an NVP company at the time) in 2011.  Shortly after that, he and the Adaptive board allowed us to invest in Adaptive Planning.  In fact, today we announced that Adaptive grew bookings in the last 12 months over  90% year-over-year and has raised $45M in new growth financing led by Byron Deeter at Bessemer Venture Partners.  John and the Adaptive team have truly accelerated the growth of the company and are on track to take the company public in the coming years.  John has also been instrumental as an outside board member in two other NVP portfolio companies: Clarus and 1010Data.  According to John, the NVP experience was incredibly helpful in many ways.  As he describes, “My time at NVP allowed for steady deal flow, while simultaneously enabling me to diligence new opportunities and offer guidance as an outside board member.  This experience at NVP has proven to be useful even today, as we continue to grow Adaptive Planning into one of today’s most successful SaaS companies.”

Today’s Adaptive $45M funding Announcement here:


Ken Comée:  Ken and NVP’s Senior Managing Partner, Promod Haque, have had a long and trusted relationship.  NVP was an early investor in a cloud integration company called Cast Iron Systems.  Promod sat on the board, and was instrumental in recruiting Ken to be the CEO of that company. Much of Ken’s career has focused on sales, marketing and channel execution roles, which are vital to the growth and culture of early and late stage companies.  Promod knew that Ken’s tremendous experience in building and scaling disruptive technology platforms and leading teams to support them would be extremely valuable to Cast Iron. Cast Iron was acquired by IBM in April 2010, and continues to be a critical piece of IBM’s cloud strategy today. Ken led a ten-fold increase in revenue and acquired more than 700 new customers during his tenure there. After Cast Iron, Ken joined as CEO of another company called Power Reviews, which was acquired by Baazarvoice in 2012.  Shortly after, Ken made the decision to join us at NVP as an Executive-In-Residence.  Like John, Ken provided his expertise through his contributions on various boards helping both Badgeville and CareCloud.  After several months, Ken was asked to take the helm as CEO of Badgeville to scale the company to meet global enterprise demand for gamification from CMOs and CIOs. Badgeville is the #1 gamification and behavior management platform and a promising NVP company.

Badgeville announcement of Ken Comée’s appointment as CEO:


These are two great cases studies of how we at NVP work with seasoned, growth-oriented executives to continue to help them grow their careers.  We continue to look for exceptional CEO’s who want to work with us in building durable and exceptionally successful companies.


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