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“Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage

PORTFOLIO
ABOUT TOM

Tom Vander Schaaff is a General Partner and leads Edison’s portfolio management. He also heads the analysis team and is cochairman of the firm’s investment committee. He joined Edison in 2003. As the leader of Edison’s analysis team for over 10 years, he guides Edison's evaluation of investment opportunities and helps determine the firm’s investment and portfolio strategies. Tom has been involved in over 100 financings by Edison, including more than forty initial investments. Tom currently serves on the boards of several portfolio companies, and previously served on the boards of HMS, Mediabrix and Telarix.

PRIOR EXPERIENCE

Tom has more than 20 years of growth equity investment, technology investment banking and entrepreneurial experience. Prior to joining Edison, Tom was a Senior Associate with MMC Capital's C&I Fund, a communications and technology-focused private equity fund created by Marsh & McLennan Companies. At MMC Capital, Tom sourced and evaluated potential investment opportunities, and worked with portfolio companies by serving as a board observer and performing special projects. Tom began his career in private equity as an Associate with CIBC Capital Partners—the private equity principal group of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce—where he worked on a broad range of investments. At CIBC, his activities included analysis and execution of investments and working with portfolio companies. Previously, Tom worked as an investment banker, meeting the capital raising and advisory needs of technology and growth company clients. Initially, he was a Financial Analyst with CIBC Oppenheimer's technology investment banking group, and later an Associate with the private placement group of E*OFFERING, a San Francisco-based online investment bank which he helped found and launch.

OTHER INVESTMENT EXPERIENCE

Billtrust; BFS; HMS; Magnetic; Netprospex; Operative; PHX

EDUCATION

BSE, Engineering and Management Systems, Princeton University, magna cum laude

POINT OF VIEW

I have heard the quote, “Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage,” attributed to a variety of people, from Machiavelli to Victor Kiam. While I am not sure who actually deserves credit for the saying, I think that the spirit of the quote captures perfectly a core entrepreneurial requirement. I look forward to exploring your company’s obstacles and opportunities with you, and, more so, how to turn them to our joint advantage in our partnership with you. To riff further on another Victor Kiam quote (and this time I think that we can all agree that he said it), I hope to be able to tell you that “I liked it so much, I invested in the company."

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