Geoff Baehr served on USVP's Technical Advisory Board before joining as a Partner in 2001. He left Sun Microsystems after 13 years and had not really considered going into venture capital. After getting to know the USVP team, he became excited about the opportunity to participate in a wide array of opportunities. "The USVP people are truly decent. I enjoy the collaborative environment."
He is formerly Sun's Chief Network Officer responsible for technical and strategic network directions. During his tenure Geoff developed advanced technical products and, with his team, obtained more than one dozen patents.
Though he clearly has a love of technology, Geoff watches for low-key companies that solve big problems in a new way.
He cites Silego Semiconductor as an example: "They find niche markets for semiconductors where they can apply their analog design skills and build a superior part, addressing a large market, for less cost."
Geoff is most interested in networks, communications and operating systems software. "The fundamental problem that has still not been resolved in computing is identity."
Geoff was a founder of the ATM Forum and has served on numerous technical and advisory boards to both industry and government. He designed large networks for government clients for TRW Information Networks Division in the 1980s. At USVP, Geoff sits on the board of Vivato.
Geoff encourages entrepreneurs to avoid business models that rely on widespread adoption to be successful. "Avoid the necessity for 'worldwide acceptance' of your idea for it to be successful. What's most compelling to me are solutions that create simplicity, that are 'just enough'— not adding more layers of complexity than necessary."
When he's not helping entrepreneurs think out of the box, he's looking through a box. Geoff practices large format nature photography using the historical wooden view cameras.
Geoff volunteers with the San Mateo County Sheriff's office and works with the Cliff Rescue/Dive/Marine Unit as Head Diver.