TANCon2008 - October 2008 - Africa & the US: Entrepreneurial Opportunities - Taking the Leap of Faith
The African Network
Brenda Wright
Frederick E. Jordan
Guy Kawasaki
Eric M.K Osiakwan
Theogene Rudasignwa
Leila Chirayath
Eghosa Omoigui
Jacques Bonjawo
Daniel Edibe
Ike Eze
Mohamed Hersi
Jay Ward
John Njoku
Ted Okendu
Laura Roden
Luc Tengueu
AJ Patel
Anthony R. Vonsee
Lyndon Rive
Erica Estrada
Tom Arnold
Kaval Kerul
Richard Osei-Anim
Michael L. Dworkin
Almaz Negash
William Guyster
Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg
Matthew Stephen Stepka


Laura Roden

Founder & Managing Director
VC Privé

Laura Roden is the founder and managing director of VC Privé, LLC.  VC Privé is a placement agent which represents high-quality venture capital funds that are in the process of raising money.  VC Privé specializes in being a channel for private investors, including accredited individuals, family offices, and smaller foundations and institutions, to get information about and access to top-tier funds.  Typical investor commitments range from $100,000-$5mm per fund.  VC Privé represents funds in a variety of investment sectors, such as life sciences, clean energy, internet and software, consumer, and international.

Prior to founding VC Privé, Ms. Roden was the Managing Director of The Angels' Forum (TAF), a leading association of individual and corporate early stage investors. During her tenure TAF grew its private investor membership by 70% and completed 40 early stage financings.  Ms. Roden continues to do private angel investing, and has been involved in the new Harvard Angels group which is forming in the Bay area.

Prior to running The Angels’ Forum, Ms. Roden was President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs (SVASE), the largest nonprofit in Northern California dedicated to helping technology entrepreneurs. Under the four years of her leadership, SVASE experienced extraordinary growth in membership, sponsorship and service offerings, with 200+ active volunteers running 12-15 entrepreneur-focused events every month, backed by the area’s leading banks, accounting firms, law firms and technology companies.

Before taking the helm at SVASE, Ms. Roden had spent a decade co-founding and growing technology companies, the last of which, PowerTV Inc., became the world's largest provider of embedded operating systems for interactive television.  Shortly prior to announcing an IPO, PowerTV was sold to Scientific Atlanta, which was later acquired by Cisco.

Ms. Roden became interested in new technologies as a result of her work at Chronicle Publishing Company, where she spent seven years as Chief Financial Officer of the television broadcasting division and General Manager of the cellular telephone group. During that period she was responsible for executing the acquisition of two television stations and a multitude of cellular telephone services areas, as well as for the later divestiture of the cellular properties generating an extraordinary return on investment.

Her early career also included executive positions at Deloitte & Touche (management consulting), Whalen & Company (wireless infrastructure project management) and H.P. Hood/Agrimark (consumer product marketing). She has also taught 22 semesters of Fundamentals of Finance at San Jose State University’s College of Business, and has guest lectured at Santa Clara University’s MBA program. 

Ms. Roden was an original Board member of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs & Executives (FWE&E) and has held Board positions at the animal shelter Pets In Need (President) and at the Travelers' Aid Society of San Francisco (Treasurer). She was nominated as one of the "most influential women in Silicon Valley" by the San Jose Business Journal.  Ms. Roden received her undergraduate degree from Harvard/Radcliffe and her MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was elected by the faculty to the Century Club.  She holds Series 7 and 66 licenses to sell securities and provide investment advisory services.

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