Governance, Liquidity, and Employee Retention in an Era of Capital Abundance

Rock Center and SVDX Present:

Governance, Liquidity, and Employee Retention in an Era of Capital Abundance

Register Here


7:30 am – 8:00 am – Continental Breakfast

8:00 am – 9:30 am – Program


Crown Quadrangle

559 Nathan Abbott Way

Stanford, CA 94305


Please join the Rock Center and SVDX to hear a panel of experts discuss the role of the board of directors in addressing challenges of governance, liquidity, and employee retention in an era of capital abundance. The discussion will cover trends in venture capital investments in private companies, including increased funding levels and the rising number of unicorns, the length of time companies are staying private (which is generally longer now than in the past), and exit strategy and valuation trends in acquisitions versus IPOs. In addition, the panelists will debate the governance implications and the consequences for employees of companies staying private with relatively unlimited access to capital, including:
  • Potential management misconduct
  • The effects of an immature governance structure combined with rapid growth, global expansion, and increased business complexity on culture and compliance
  • Employee morale and retention issues
  • Board and investor motivations for liquidity


This event is free and open to the public.  Registration is recommended. Click here to register for this event.

This program, like all SVDX programs, is subject to the Chatham House Rule.


Richard Blake

Partner, Gunderson Dettmer

Richard leads Gunderson Dettmer’s Public Offerings, Public Company Representation, and Corporate Governance practice group. Richard has represented public and private clients across a broad range of industries, including enterprise software, internet, media, ad-tech, retail, life sciences, telecommunications, semiconductors, entertainment, energy and clean technology, and automobiles, as well as investment banking and venture capital firms. Richard has vast experience in preparing companies for initial public offerings, as well as counseling companies and boards of directors on complex public disclosure issues, fiduciary duties, board and committee governance and structure, board leadership, takeover defenses, board audits and self-evaluation processes.

To view Richard Blake’s full bio, click here.


Jeff Grabow

US Venture Capital Leader, EY

As the US Venture Capital Leader for Ernst & Young LLP, Jeff works directly with rapidly growing, venture-backed companies and venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. He has been part of the venture finance environment on the West Coast for over 29 years and has experienced first-hand Silicon Valley’s explosive growth. Jeff is passionate about identifying opportunities for early stage companies to exploit global markets and promote sustainable growth. Jeff has written about trends in venture capital for EY Voices on, TechCrunch, Wired and other publications, and is frequently quoted in the press regarding venture finance, initial public offerings and entrepreneurship

To view Jeff Grabow’s full bio, click here.


Maha Ibrahim

General Partner, Canaan Partners

Maha spots technology trends early and partners closely with her companies to drive growth and exits. She invests in a range of companies with current focus areas in enterprise/cloud and marketplaces. A champion and mentor of women in STEM, Maha is passionate about funding and raising the profiles of female founders and entrepreneurs. She was one of the first investors to recognize the potential of social gaming and led Canaan’s seed investment in Kabam, the world’s largest developer of multiplayer social games, which was acquired by Netmarble. She is also known for her investments in e-commerce companies The RealReal and Cuyana, on whose boards she serves.

To view Maha Ibrahim’s full bio, click here.


Eric Stang

Chairman, President & CEO, Ooma; Director, Rambus and Avalanche

Eric Stang is Chairman, President, and CEO of Ooma, the #1 ranked provider of cloud based telecommunications and other connected services for small business, home, and mobile users.  As a proven leader and innovator in the high-tech industry, he has led Ooma from its early days in 2009 through to today when Ooma is a publicly listed company on the NYSE serving millions of customers.  Eric joined Ooma from Reliant Technologies, a medical technology company, where he served as President and CEO and member of the Board of Directors. Prior to Reliant Technologies, he was Chairman, President, and CEO at Lexar, now a subsidiary of Micron.  Under his leadership, Eric grew Lexar from a small private company to one of the 50 largest public technology companies in Silicon Valley.

To view Eric Stang’s full bio, click here.