Alexander Lloyd is the founder and managing partner of Accelerator Ventures, a venture fund focused on seed-stage investments. Prior to founding Accelerator Ventures, Alexander was a venture partner at Rustic Canyon Partners, where he oversaw the development of their seed-stage investment strategy. Before working in Venture Capital, Alexander was the Business Development Manager in Microsoft's Silicon Valley office responsible for Microsoft's relationships with the West Coast venture capital and startup community. Alexander has also worked as a Product Manager in SGI's workstation division and has held marketing positions at Activision and Apple Computer. Alexander began his career at Goldman Sachs, where he spent three years as a financial analyst.
Born in New York City, Alexander was raised in Paris, France, and is fluent in French. Alexander earned a BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School. Alexander is very involved in arts and education. He recently joined the board of SlideLuck and has previously sat on the boards of SF Camerawork and Junior Achievement of San Francisco, as well as the Contemporary Extension of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA). In 1998 he founded the San Francisco Media Arts Council (SMAC) and for 3 years he served as a commissioner for the San Francisco Art Commission.
Ben Smith is a Venture Partner at Accelerator Ventures. Before joining Accelerator Ventures, Ben served as President of Reply Media which acquired MerchantCircle where he had been a cofounder and CEO. Ben cofounded MerchantCircle and incubated it at Rustic Canyon Partners while he was an Entrepreneur in Residence with Alex Lloyd. Prior to cofounding MerchantCircle, Ben was the SVP of Corporate Development at Borland through four acquisitions and drove the spinoff of their subsidiary, CodeGear, as their CEO through the separation and startup. Additionally, Ben co-founded the company Spoke and is still serving on its board. Ben also holds a seat on the board of Glu Mobile (Nasdaq: GLUU). He is a long time angel investor with over 40 early stage investments, often alongside of Accelerator, and is an LP at a number of venture funds.
Ben previously served the White House as the Senior Advisor for Strategy and Planning to the Secretary of Transportation, assisting with the creation of the Transportation Security Administration after 9-11. Among his other accomplishments, Ben was a Vice President in Electronic Data System's A.T. Kearney management consulting subsidiary, leading the West Coast operations of the Kearney/EDS Venture Development Group, was one of the youngest partners in the history of the firm, and was named one of the 25 most influential strategy consultants in 2002.. As a Partner in the High Technology and Strategy Practices at A.T. Kearney, he advised leading technology companies on business, acquisition, investment and marketing strategies.
Ben holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Davis and a MBA from Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business.
Tom Cervantez is a Venture Partner at Accelerator Ventures. Tom has worked with Accelerator Ventures since its formation and with Alex Lloyd on reviewing, analyzing and negotiating angel and venture investments since 1999. Tom brings a strong deal background to AVC from the legal perspective, having practiced law as a venture capital lawyer in Silicon Valley since 1992, as well as being a founder of a corporate/venture law boutique, Business Counsel Law Group, LLP – in San Francisco.
On the investment side, Tom has been an active angel investor since the early 1990s, with early investments including Open Table (IPO), Friendster (acquired by MOL Global), Knowledgeweb (acquired by iVillage), Virtual Chips (acquired by Phoenix Techologies), Three Rings (acquired by Sega) and Geonet (acquired by Level 3 Networks). Tom also was the co-founder of the HBS Alumni Angels, the global angel alumni group for Harvard Business School. Tom is also on the Board of the HBS Alumni Association of Northern California and is Co-Chair of the Venture Capital SIG of the SV Forum. Tom speaks frequently on the topics of venture investment and deal structuring, and has done that at UC Berkeley, Stanford and Harvard.
Tom holds a BA in Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University and a JD/MBA from Harvard.
John Paul Milciunas
John Paul Milciunas is CEO of Enlight Research. Throughout his career he has played key roles in strategy and business development for both early stage startups and large technology corporations. He most recently was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Accelerator Ventures. Prior to joining Accelerator Ventures, John Paul was at Yahoo! in Strategic Partnerships and Business Development at Yahoo!. While at Yahoo! he was part of the Strategy and Emerging Businesses team where he focused on creating innovative strategies for content distribution, audience development, and monetization. Before joining Yahoo!, John Paul worked as a product strategy consultant for Checkfree during the company’s merger and integration with Fiserv.
John Paul has over 15 years experience working with technology companies. John Paul was CEO of SPI Dynamics, an Atlanta based web security start-up that was acquired by Hewlett-Packard for $90MM. John Paul also spent 3 years in Silicon Valley working for Scient as a business strategy consultant. He began his career at S1 and was part of the team that created the world’s first Internet bank, SFNB.
John Paul is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology.
VR/AR Venture Partner
Linda Jacobson is the Virtual and Augmented Reality Venture Partner at Accelerator Ventures. Linda has collaborated with Alex Lloyd since 1998, marketing 3D computer graphics systems, and producing events and publications exploring the impact of digital media on culture. She is considered a pioneer in the application of virtual reality technologies to solve business problems. Linda's experience includes serving as the first professional Virtual Reality Evangelist (for Silicon Graphics), teaching VR classes at SFSU and UC Berkeley, and producing virtual environments for Treasure8, Bechtel, Sun Microsystems, artists, and architects. In the '90s, Linda co-founded the Bay Area’s first VR meetup group, wrote the books CyberArts: Exploring Art & Technology and Garage Virtual Reality, and performed live as a virtual puppet touring with world music ensemble, D'Cuckoo. Linda also has led marketing and communications for Xerox's PARC, where she helped launch and promoted [email protected] for entrepreneurs. Linda holds a BS in journalism from Boston University.
In reviewing and analyzing investment opportunities, Linda brings strong vertical marketing expertise, especially in manufacturing, healthcare, education, and AEC industries. Her expertise in journalism (co-founding editor of Wired) and intellectual property (she wrote dozens of patent applications for Xerox) enables her to help innovators convey value and growth potential. She loves working with founders, thought-leaders, and executive teams who are making a positive difference in their communities and shaping the future.