“The great thing about being an entrepreneur or a venture capitalist is that one gets to view many of the biggest problems the world is facing as opportunities for creativity and solutions,” says Paul Matteucci.
With a passion for creating jobs and mentoring startup teams, Paul has helped a generation of entrepreneurs learn object lessons in how to execute during difficult times. In fact, he notes, the best of them learn to use hard times as a source for innovation, and as impetus for creating cultures that are accountable, cash-efficient and focused. “When someone from this generation loses a job, you are almost as likely to find them waiting in the lobbies of venture capital firms with a business plan as in the unemployment line with a resume. The people we meet have a sense that they can take charge of their own destiny, rather than become a victim of their circumstance.”
At USVP, Paul has led or co-led investments in 3Ware (sold to AMCC), Total Beauty, Trovix (sold to Monster), PlaceIQ, Swoop, and others. He has also served on the board of Homestead (sold to Intuit) and was an Angel Investor in Fra’ Mani, a sustainable food producer. During his early tenure at USVP, Paul served as interim CEO of several of the firm’s portfolio companies. “We saved some and we lost some but, as a firm, we always remain willing to do the heavy lifting to make our companies successful.”
Prior to USVP, Paul was CEO of HearMe, taking that company public in 1998. His two decades of operating experience include eight years with Adaptec, where he was Vice President and General Manager of the SCSI storage and connectivity division leading the business to over a quarter billion in revenues, before turning it over to a team he hired and mentored. Upon leaving Adaptec, Paul served as a Resident Entrepreneur for Institutional Venture Partners in 1995 and was an advisor to Accel Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Sutter Hill Ventures in the 1990s. Paul earned an M.B.A. from Stanford University, an M.A. in International Studies from Johns Hopkins and a B.A. from the University of the Pacific. He serves as a trustee of the World Affairs Council and is a board member of the University of the Pacific’s School of International Studies and of the Business School at Montana State University in Bozeman. He is a frequent lecturer at business schools, including Notre Dame, University of Minnesota, Montana State and U.C. Davis.
Paul’s current interests on the technology landscape include: Internet-based services, data analytics, mobile computing, audience measurement and aggregation, data storage and rethinking the industrial food system. “The demographic models point to a peaking of the world’s population below ten billion by 2050. Getting from here to there without massive starvation and environmental damage is a major challenge for governments and businesses. But it is also an enormous opportunity for entrepreneurs, with creative ideas, to build valuable companies that address this issue.” He and his family have founded “Feeding 10 Billion”, a non-profit resource center for food system entrepreneurs.
On the natural landscape: “Building an American Serengeti”– an ambitious undertaking Paul is pursuing with the American Prairie Foundation (APF), to recreate and preserve three million acres of the nation’s prairie lands.
A grandson of Italian immigrants, Paul followed his heritage from San Francisco to Florence, Italy, where he attended cooking school. He blended his passions for cooking and the environment into a series of fundraising dinners for APF–“Lewis and Clark: Cooking of the Jeffersonian Era.” Checkout his website and blog at www.foodcrunch.com .
Favorite Books: A River Runs Through It by Norman MacLean, because “it reminded me of growing up with my father and brother,” and The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, which describes how industrial food is destroying our health and our planet.