• Reed Smith LLP (map)
  • 101 Second Street, Suite 1800
  • San Francisco, CA 94105


Join us for a networking reception & discussion of the hidden keys to success in Silicon Valley:

  • Tips for accessing venture capital in Silicon Valley
  • The what and how of building and scaling great companies
  • What rules can and should be broken in the course of building a global business
  • Ways to successfully leverage the resources, capital and expertise of Silicon Valley
  • The hidden rules of Silicon Valley that are critical to your company's success
  • Effective networking in Silicon Valley
  • When it's the best time to bring your Nordic company to Silicon Valley
  • How to most effectively present your company story to investors




Jon is a senior executive who brings a unique perspective to the world of startups. He has been both a venture capitalist as well as the founder and CEO of two venture backed companies, eBoomerang, an enterprise software company which was sold in 2006 and Artificial Muscle, Inc., a spinout from Stanford Research Institute (SRI). As a principal and founder of Threshold Ventures, Jon works with companies around the world, serving as an advisor/mentor, working on specific projects and when appropriate, taking on interim operating roles. He has worked with a wide range of software, telephony, hardware and services businesses. Earlier in his career Jon was a General Partner at Oscco Ventures, a Sand Hill Road early-stage venture capital firm which was one of the pioneering firms in Silicon Valley. He has invested in a range of companies including Landec, Peerless Systems, and Coinstar.

Jon started his career at Exxon Enterprises where he was responsible for creating and managing new businesses for the corporation. He has also worked at Gartner Group and Prudential Securities, where he managed a portion of a $240 million fund. He has a BA in Biology and a BS in Engineering Science from Tufts University and as an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. Jon has been an active angel investor and was on the Executive Council of Software Development Forum, where he is a frequent panelist and mentor to startup companies.  



Michelle E. Messina is CEO of the international consulting and advisory firm, Explora International LLC, focused on accelerating entrepreneurs and their companies, while developing sustainable ecosystems worldwide. As a serial entrepreneur and consultant, Michelle leverages a strong revenue and operational background, and the best practices of Silicon Valley, to help companies develop sensible strategies and viable tactical plans. She has deep experience with corporate and government startup acceleration programs designed to help companies find repeatable business models and leveraging the best practices of Silicon Valley. During the past 6 years, Michelle has assessed 1000’s of startups in more than 25 countries around the world, including post-war and transitional economies. She pioneered the Silicon Valley best practices training of startups in 2004 and has worked in more than 35 countries.

Michelle is a sought-after speaker and travels regularly supporting public private partnerships benefitting SME’s, women, and entrepreneurs. She speaks on the topics of innovation, entrepreneurship, business acceleration, market readiness, technology commercialization, regional development and ecosystem enhancement. Bilingual in English and Spanish, Michelle is on the Board of LatinaVIDA, Innovation Center Denmark Silicon Valley and the ConnectiMass Foundation of Jamaica. She also mentors companies with Endeavor Global and Telefonica’s Wayra Academies.