As a Partner at Venrock in New York, David focuses on early stage venture investing in consumer and enterprise tech companies with a recent focus on robotics, crypto, consumer products and AI. His active investments include Dstillery, Smartling, Misty Robotics, Simbe Robotics, Amino Apps and Dapper Labs. He led both the Series A and Series B rounds in Dollar Shave Club and sat on the board until that company was acquired by Unilever for $1B in July of 2016. He served on the Board of Crunchyroll (acquired by The Chernin Group) and led Venrock’s investment in Klout which was acquired by Lithium Technologies. In April 2017, he was named the 55th top venture capitalist in the world by CB Insights.
Previously, Pakman was the CEO of eMusic, the world’s leading digital retailer of independent music, second only to iTunes in number of downloads sold. Pakman transformed the business from an obscure also-ran with 50,000 subscribers to the second largest digital music retailer in the world, with more than 400,000 subscribers, $68M in revenue and more than 12% market share. Prior to joining eMusic, Pakman was Co-Founder and President of Business Development and Public Policy at Myplay, Inc., the company he co-founded in 1999 in Redwood City, CA that introduced the “digital music locker” and pioneered the locker category. In 2001, Myplay was sold to Bertelsmann’s ecommerce Group. Before Myplay, he was Vice President at N2K Entertainment, which created the first digital music download service. He also was the co-creator of Apple’s Music Group and a product manager at Apple.
Pakman is a graduate of and a former member of the Board of Overseers at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science with a degree in Computer Science Engineering and is an avid musician and songwriter. He testified in front of Congress regarding internet music streaming in 2012, 2016 and 2017. He also served on the Board of POTS, a human services non-profit in the Bronx helping low-income families and is a Trustee of St. Luke’s School in Connecticut.
Check out David’s blog or follow him on Twitter at @pakman.
Nicole joined Venrock in 2010 and oversees marketing and communications for the firm, in addition to advising portfolio companies. She brings a combination of agency and corporate experience to her role at the firm, having worked with a range of technology companies to shape their brands and raise visibility over the past 18 years. Most recently, Nicole was a Vice President at communications firm Horn Group, where she led the Venrock, Emergence Capital, Taleo, Tealeaf and CollabNet accounts. Prior to Horn Group, she spent several years at Autodesk, where she led corporate communications, including executive visibility, crisis and international communications. Earlier in her career, she worked at PR firms Blanc & Otus and Neale-May & Partners, where she worked with eFax, Entrust, Interwoven, MyPoints, among others.
Nicole received her B.S. in Marketing from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
As Associate General Counsel, Sherman works on a variety of legal matters arising from Venrock’s investments, operations and regulatory compliance. Sherman joined Venrock in 2009 from Cooley, where he was a member of the firm’s business department, in the emerging company practice group. Sherman’s practice at Cooley focused on the formation, financing and representation of emerging growth companies, with an emphasis on securities transactions, including private equity financings, public offerings and mergers and acquisitions. Additionally, his practice included the representation of public companies in public offerings, private placements, mergers and acquisitions and periodic reporting requirements. These practice areas complement each other well and serve Venrock and our portfolio companies.
Sherman is a member of the State Bar of California and the American Bar Association. He earned his B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Colorado and his J.D. at the Duke University School of Law.
Bob Kocher, MD is a Partner at Venrock and focuses on healthcare IT and services investments. He currently serves on the Boards of Virta Health, Aledade, Renew Health and Lyra Health as well as Devoted Health, both of which he also co-founded, and the Blue Cross insurance company Premera. He is a Board Observer at Grand Rounds, Stride, Doctor on Demand, and Suki. He is formerly a Director at Jiff and Castlight Health (CSLT).
Additionally, he is an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and a Senior Fellow and Advisory Board Member at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at USC. He serves on the Advisory Boards of Harvard Medical School Health Care Policy Department and National Institute of Healthcare Management (NIHCM). He is also a member of the Health Affairs Editorial Board.
Prior to Venrock, Bob served in the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to the President for Healthcare and Economic Policy on the National Economic Council. In the Obama Administration, Bob was one of the shapers of the Affordable Care Act focusing on cost, quality, and delivery system reform and health IT policy. He was one of the leaders of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” childhood obesity initiative, led the formation of the Partnership for a Healthier America, and served on the Federal Advisory Panel charged with developing a national obesity strategy. He also co-founded the Health Data Initiative with Todd Park, a joint effort of HHS and the Institute of Medicine, to release healthcare data to spur private sector innovation to improve healthcare cost and quality. For five years, he served as Co-Chair of the Health Datapalooza.
Before the White House, Bob was a Partner at McKinsey & Company where he led McKinsey Global Institute’s healthcare economics work. He has worked widely across the US and international healthcare systems to improve regulatory policy, economic performance, labor productivity, clinical outcomes, and patient experience.
Bob received undergraduate degrees from the University of Washington and a medical degree from George Washington University. He completed a research fellowship with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Institutes of Health, and went on to complete his internal medicine residency training at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Harvard Medical School.