Don Wood serves as a Senior Advisor to Piva. Don has been in the venture industry for the last 25 years as a managing director at DFJ and Vanguard Ventures. These firms have funded over 400 companies including 30 that have achieve billion dollar or greater valuations (SpaceX, Tesla, Ring, Anaplan, Redfin, Twilio, SolarCity, Twitter, Box, AthenaHealth, Vocera, Baidu, NetApp, Skype, etc.). Don’s primary investment focus has been sustainable energy, consumer Web, and enterprise IT.
He is also on the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he teaches classes in both Sustainable Energy and Entrepreneurship. He is also a venture partner at Energy Impact Partners. Don has served as Board member for 15 public and private companies.
Don’s career began with his first post-college job at the US Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC. He later became a ski instructor in Vail, Colorado. After graduate school, Don became a consultant with McKinsey & Company in its San Francisco office. Later, he was Senior VP of sales and marketing at International Power Technology, which designed, financed, installed, and operated co-gen power plants. Don ran marketing and service at Octel Communications (OCTL), the inventor of and worldwide leader in voicemail systems. He co-founded Wood-Howard Products with his patent for a laminated publishing format, which he later licensed to Simon & Schuster, FastMark, and Rand McNally; more than 100 million products were sold under these licenses. Don served on the board and was President of Metricom (MCOM), which provided wireless smart grid systems to utilities and pioneered the first wireless Internet service known as Ricochet.
Don earned a BA in economics from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Don won the “Nonprofit Board Leader Award” from The Volunteer Center of San Francisco. Don is still trying to improve his surfing, golfing, skiing, and tennis.