Today, Verizon Ventures is proud to announce the newest member of our investing team, Corey Gutshall, a Principal based in Basking Ridge, N.J. We sat down with Corey to get to know him better and discuss why he is excited to join the Verizon Ventures team.
Tell us about yourself. What is your background?
I am a 20-year veteran of the telecom industry, primarily with Nokia and predecessor companies. After completing my undergraduate degree at Cornell as a mechanical engineer, I returned to school for my MBA at NYU. After graduating, I embarked on a 15-year period leading teams of product managers responsible for 3G, 4G, and early 5G product portfolios. This was a very interesting, challenging, and rewarding period.
I even served important customers like Verizon through two M&A events (like Alcatel and Lucent, then Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia). This resulted in a multi-national team (U.S., Europe, and China) leading a portfolio that drove over $1 billion in annual revenue.
Two years ago, I got the opportunity to expand from the network space by joining Verizon to develop technology partnerships with startups for consumer and business applications. And here we are!
Why did you join Verizon Ventures and what will be your focus areas?
When I was in business school, my concentration was Entrepreneurship, and so venturing has been an interest of mine. I’m excited to join this team and will be focusing on companies developing the innovative network technology that Verizon seeks to continue to lead the industry and providing the best service and most innovative products to our customers.
What trends and technologies are you most excited about and why?
I'm excited about one macro trend and two micro trends that are converging to make the space where I'll be focusing very interesting, especially considering the new decade we have entered into:
The overwhelming amount of information that exists in the world and the accelerating pace that it is being created (more than 90% of the data that has ever existed has been created in just the past 2 years, according to Forbes). We know that networking multiplies the potential impact of this data, but our ability to transmit and process it, and to turn data into information into action, is lagging far behind the rate of creation. This equates to a massive opportunity for new networking technologies like 5G and techniques like Machine Learning and AI that will help people to digest it.
There is an important evolution toward tighter integration between the application layers and network layers in the technology stack. The story of 4G was the value generated by increasingly sophisticated devices and compelling over-the-top applications. The 4G network was fast and ubiquitous enough that it was taken for granted. With 5G and edge computing, the value will only be maximized for applications designed to make the most of particular capabilities in the network, and revolutionary new device types, like AR glasses.
On the smallest scale, in the network technology space, there is a recognition that we need a strong foundation of open interfaces as a framework to grow a robust, diverse ecosystem that can truly innovate. The seeds were planted many years ago and I expect we will begin to reap the benefits soon.
What inspires you to come to work every day? Why VC?
I am inspired by discovering new ideas and the entrepreneurs behind them. What brings me to work every day is helping to build the future through collaboration with colleagues at Verizon Ventures, Verizon, and the entrepreneurs we serve.
Anything else you would like us to know about you?
My wife and I live in New Jersey with our three sons, ages between 5 and 10 years old. Our sons are becoming increasingly excited about (and asking for) new technology. It’s great to see the interest in topics that I work on every day but challenging to find the right cost/benefit balance.