Managing Director, Blackwolf Ventures
Mr. Walker has spent over 30 years working as an entrepreneur and/or venture capitalist specializing in early stage situations. Historically, he was based in San Francisco, but recently moved back east to focus on start-up opportunities on the Atlantic seaboard and in Europe. His main interest these days is in helping fellow entrepreneurs get off the ground, and to that end, has advised and or invested in the following: an investment fund in Amsterdam focused on socially conscious enterprises; a boutique rum distillery in Washington, DC; an early stage vascular medical device company; and a Haute Savoie, France based watch design company.
As an investor, Mr. Walker has been personally involved with or invested in a series of successful venture backed enterprises, spread across a variety of industries: natural gas power generation (Polsky Energy, a.k.a. SkyGen Energy, sold to Calpine), clean tech (U.S. Windpower, an IPO), outdoor recreation (SRAM Corporation, privately held), computer chip distribution (Bell Microproducts, an IPO), prenatal blood analysis (Verinata, sold to Illuminata), and telecommunications systems (Cadant CMTS, sold to Arris).
Institutionally, Mr. Walker founded, staffed, and operated several venture funds, both for Hambrecht & Quist ($800 million for two late stage technology venture funds that operated from 1998-2006), and for Allstate Insurance Company ($750 million for a Clean Tech fund, which operated from 1994-2000).
Operationally, Mr. Walker got his start as an entrepreneur in the early 1980s, having founded three consumer oriented enterprises: automotive repair (Oilex, a ten minute oil change chain), premium cookie mix (Bear’s Brown Bag of Cookie Mix), and window furnishings (Auréal).
Mr. Walker is a graduate of Brown University (Mathematical Economics) and Northwestern Law School (and attended University of Chicago’s 190 MBA program). He currently serves as a Director of BlackBag Technologies, a San Jose based computer forensics firm focused on the law enforcement and national security markets, serves on the Board of Advisors of Cotton & Reed (a DC based rum distillery) and is a Brand Ambassador for Klokers, a French based watch designer.