San Mateo, California
Rick Bolander has been a private investor since 1988 launching Blue Sky Ventures, a real estate investment firm, and entering the venture capital industry in 1994 at Apex Venture Partners where he was general partner. In 1999, he co-founded Gabriel Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in and assists information technology startups.
Rick identifies the smartest entrepreneurs and works side-by-side with them to build highly successful companies from the ground up. Rick has been involved in more than 50 venture deals, and has led over $100 million in early-stage financings and has had over $200 million in realizations. Rick has served on the boards of AccessLine Communications (acquired by Telanetix), Arula Systems (acquired by Raritan), Concord Communications (IPO – NASDAQ: CCRD), Exodus Communications (IPO – NASDAQ: EXDS, then acquired by Savvis), IPWireless (acquired by Nextwave), Jacked (acquired by Roundbox), Neopath (acquired by Cisco), NetScaler (acquired by Citrix Systems), Persistent Systems (IPO – BSE India: PER EQ), Placeware (acquired by Microsoft) Tut Systems (IPO – NASDAQ: TUTS), and Chegg (IPO – NYSE:CHGG).
Rick currently serves as a board member of Kajeet, the leader in mobile service for Tweens as well as the leader in providing safe mobile education services to students. Prior to Rick’s investment career, he held various operational roles ranging from product development, operations management, regional marketing and sales management at AT&T and Lucent. After working as a design engineer at Chevron, Rick taught computer architecture at the University of Michigan. Rick fosters entrepreneurship by supporting the University of Michigan’s Center for Entrepreneurship as a board member and as a charter member of TiE. He worked with other University of Michigan alumni to launch an accredited academic program on campus that provides classroom and field experience for University of Michigan students to mentor and assist at-risk youth and was recognized as the 2010 College of Engineering Merit Award Winner. Rick received a BS in Electrical Engineering and MS in Electrical Engineering (summa cum laude) from the University of Michigan, and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.