Experience, connections and commitment

Our team

Verizon Ventures combines Verizon’s collective technological expertise with a history of developing market-leading products to deliver a thoughtful approach to adding value. Verizon Ventures builds relationships that last so you can leap to the next level, navigate through the challenges and land on success. Learn about us to get a sense of how we can help you.

John Doherty

John Doherty

Senior Vice President, Corporate Development

John Doherty is a Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Verizon Ventures.  John is responsible for corporate-wide joint ventures, strategic investment activity, acquisitions and divestitures.  John is a longstanding leader in international finance, strategy, and corporate and business development with experience in fixed, mobile, broadband, video consumer and enterprise businesses spanning the globe.  John has been involved with Verizon and its predecessor companies since 1986, and has been the Chief Financial Officer of four different Verizon business units, developing strategy and driving financial results for each. John resided in the UK and Thailand for 7 years and conducted business in approximately 30 countries.  At Verizon Ventures, John focuses on early stage investments and is interested in supporting entrepreneurs through their initial business challenges in order to create prosperous established business units. John earned a BA in Economics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a Masters of Business Administration with a focus on Finance from City University of New York - Brauch College–Zicklin School of Business. He is based in the New York metro area.

Mark Smith

Mark Smith

Executive Director

Mark Smith is an Executive Director at Verizon Ventures. Since joining Verizon Ventures in 2007, Mark has been involved in strategy formation, business development, deal negotiation and due diligence, investing in BlueKai (acquired by Oracle), Kiip and Payfone, among others. Mark’s investments span across industries, but all focus on moving Verizon’s mobile products forward, from advertising tech to infrastructure. Mark has over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, beginning his career as a CPA at Deloitte & Touche and later researched telecoms companies at Lehman Brothers before joining Verizon. Mark earned a BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from New York University. He is based in Palo Alto, CA.

Jeffrey Black

Jeffrey Black

Director

Jeffrey Black joined Verizon Ventures in 2012. Prior to Verizon Ventures, Jeffrey joined Verizon in 2009 and was involved in numerous M&A and strategic investment transactions. Previously, he worked in investment banking at J.P. Morgan, structuring debt, equity, and M&A transactions. Prior to J.P. Morgan, he worked in the corporate finance department at Delta Air Lines. Jeffrey received a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.

Roni Burrell

Roni Burrell

Director, Verizon Ventures Israel

Roni Burrell is a Director at Verizon Ventures. Roni is also an Investment Director at Nautilus, Aol’s early stage investment arm in Israel, which she co-founded in 2014. Roni brings to the team over 20 years of experience in Product Management, User Experience and Design, with roles and projects for leading brands and technology companies around the globe, such as Nokia Design UK, Phillips CE, Aol Video (formerly 5min media), and an array of successful video and social media companies. Roni is an active member of the Israeli Product and Design community, helping to grow the next generation of professionals. Roni earned her MDes from the University of Westminster, London, and her BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design Jerusalem, and is based in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Vijay Doradla

Vijay Doradla

Director

Vijay Doradla is a Director at Verizon Ventures and is currently a board member of seven portfolio companies.  Mr. Doradla has over 17 years of experience in the Technology industry, spanning a diverse set of roles including engineering, research, and investments. He started his career as an engineer at Bell Labs and then spent the next decade on Wall Street as an analyst and investor. Prior to joining Verizon, Mr. Doradla was Managing Partner at SilverString Capital, a crossover hedge fund he founded that specialized in technology investments. Mr. Doradla has two Masters degrees, one in Physics and Electrical Engineering.

David Famolari

David Famolari

Director

David Famolari is a Director at Verizon Ventures. Prior to Verizon, David was Vice President at Rutberg & Company, a mobile-focused investment bank, where he headed the private company practice. He also co-founded GoodCompany Ventures, a venture incubator that uses the tools and resources of the venture capital community to help entrepreneurs implement innovative ideas for social impact, and served as a mentor to the Women Innovate Mobile Accelerator program and to the Pipeline Fellowship. David brings extensive product and engineering expertise to Verizon Ventures, having spent more than 12 years in advanced R&D creating new technologies, leading joint ventures and overseeing innovation programs for commercial, military, and federal clients at Telcordia Technologies, Bellcore and Bell Labs. David has authored more than 50 published papers and is an inventor on over 70 granted and pending patents. David earned a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers followed by an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. David is based in the New York metro area.

Michelle McCarthy

Michelle McCarthy

Director

Michelle McCarthy identifies, evaluates, and closes strategic investments for Verizon’s venture capital group, in addition to overseeing the venture team’s operations and processes. She has been with Verizon and its predecessor company GTE since 1995. Before joining Verizon Ventures, Michelle headed acquisitions and asset management of a large portfolio of affordable housing tax credit investments and, prior to that, was involved in corporate strategy formulation and domestic and international business development. Michelle earned an MBA in finance from Georgetown University and a B.A. in International Studies from American University. 

Merav Rotem Naaman

Merav Rotem Naaman

Director, Verizon Ventures Israel

Merav Rotem Naaman is a Director at Verizon Ventures and manages our office in Israel. Merav is also the Managing Director of Nautilus, Aol’s early stage investment arm in Israel, which she co-founded in 2014. Merav has over 18 years of experience in the Tech industry, with transactional and strategy roles. Prior to joining Aol in 2014, Merav was Head of Strategy and Operations at Better Place and helped shape strategy and alliances from the very early startup days. Merav started her career as the Head of Regulatory Affairs for Israel’s leading Telco - Cellcom, and then spent a few years at Bain & Co. in The SF Bay Area, advising companies about strategy, business development and M&A. Merav earned her MBA at Harvard Business School and holds a law degree from Tel Aviv University. Merav is based in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Ed Ruth

Ed Ruth

Director

Ed Ruth is a Director at Verizon Ventures and is responsible for strategic investments and venture development activities. Ed has been with Verizon for nearly a decade and has been leading Verizon’s business presence in Silicon Valley for the past five years. In addition to designing and opening the Verizon Innovation Center in San Francisco, Ed identified strategic partnerships in the startup community focusing on new technologies, developer platforms and API’s. He has experience in mobile content, previously leading all negotiations, programming and partnership activities with artists, music labels, gaming publishers and app developers for Verizon Wireless. He began his career at Verizon in retail sales and then moved on to head up youth marketing for the West Area Marketing Organization. Ed earned a BA in Communications from University of California, San Diego. He is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Daniel Chui

Daniel Chui

Manager

Daniel Chui joined Verizon Ventures in 2013 and is part of the Venture Development team. In addition to sourcing new investment opportunities and managing business development deals for existing portfolio companies, Daniel also manages Verizon’s sponsorship of Techstars’ Mobility and IOT accelerator programs. He is an experienced business professional in the emerging technology and media space, specializing in partnership management, strategy, competitive intelligence and analysis, and financial analysis. Prior to joining Verizon Ventures, Daniel worked at Alcatel-Lucent, Datamonitor Inc. (now Ovum), and Motorola. He holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from London Business School.

 

Andrew Der

Andrew Der

Manager

Andrew Der joined Verizon Ventures in 2013 and focuses on strategic marketing and business development for the firm. Andrew has over 10 years of experience in innovation, strategy, digital marketing, and emerging technologies, focusing primarily on consumer products and web / mobile products. Before coming to Verizon Ventures, he was the Senior Manager of Digital Strategy & Innovation at American Express and worked at futurethink, Coty, EffectiveBrands, and Aon Hewitt.  Andrew received his BBA in Corporate Strategy & International Business from the University of Michigan. 

Marah Dudenhoeffer

Marah Dudenhoeffer

Manager

As a member of the venture development team, Marah Dudenhoeffer is responsible for sourcing new innovative solutions for Verizon Ventures, as well as strategic development of the Ventures portfolio. Marah joins the Verizon Ventures team from her role as technical lead for the Verizon Innovation Center in San Francisco, which is focused on fostering innovation in the IoT ecosystem. Prior to joining Verizon, Marah served as Junior Trade Commissioner for the Consulate General of Canada in Silicon Valley, where she was focused on finding venture capital and business development opportunities for Canadian technology companies. Marah has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz - Crown College of Science and Emerging Technology. Marah began working with Silicon Valley start-ups during her junior year at UCSC, and she has a real passion for helping cutting edge technology companies get their products to market.

Paul Heitlinger

Paul Heitlinger

Manager

Paul joins Verizon Ventures with a track record of launching businesses and entering new markets for companies large and small in the technology, media and finance industries. He brings over 15 years of experience gained as an entrepreneur, product manager, strategy and technology consultant. Prior to joining Verizon Ventures, Paul was with Verizon Digital Media Services where he managed the launch of live streaming services supporting major Media & Entertainment clients such as ESPN and Verizon FiOS. He was also a lead negotiator on complex partner and vendor deals, and undertook due diligence on strategic acquisitions to enable Verizon to enter new markets and launch new products. Before Verizon, Paul founded and then sold a consumer-focused digital media company, worked for Citigroup, was a strategy consultant with Ernst & Young (then Cap Gemini) and IBM Global Services. A native of Australia, Paul has an MBA from Melbourne Business School and a Bachelor of Information Systems from Monash University.

Alden Mahabir

Alden Mahabir

Manager

Alden Mahabir joined Verizon Ventures in 2013 and supports its strategic marketing and venture development efforts, while also evaluating investment opportunities across industries. Alden brings over 12 years of experience in corporate venture capital, investment banking, and investment research, all focused on technology, media, and telecom. Prior to Verizon Ventures, he worked at Goodrich Capital, where he advised startups and private companies on their business strategies and helped them to raise growth equity capital. He has also held leadership positions at Utendahl Capital Partners, CIBC World Markets, Lehman Brothers, and C.E. Unterberg, Towbin. At a young age, Alden co-founded Vintage Research (age 25), an investment research & consulting firm, and Good Buy Realty (age 19). Alden received his B.A. in Economics at Rutgers University and his MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Christie Pitts

Christie Pitts

Manager

Christie Pitts joined Verizon Ventures in 2015 and is part of the Venture Development team. Christie works with the Verizon Ventures portfolio companies to create compelling new value propositions for Verizon, source new technology, and identify emerging technology trends. Christie has been with Verizon for over 10 years and has held a variety of sales, marketing, and operations leadership roles. Most recently, Christie focused on developing fruitful relationships in the startup community, with a focus on IoT and the sharing economy. Christie began her career in retail sales and moved on to lead the marketing and sales operations teams for the Northern California/Nevada/Hawaii market. Christie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from San Jose State University and a MBA from University of Phoenix. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Gal Ringel

Gal Ringel

Investment Manager, Verizon Ventures Israel

Gal Ringel is an Investment Manager at Verizon Ventures and at Nautilus, AOL's early stage investment arm in Israel.

Gal has deep insight into everything tech. He brings over 12 years of experience as an entrepreneur, CTO, and investments analyst. Gal started his journey as a young cyber engineer-turned-captain and cyber team leader (with honors) in Israel’s prestigious 8200 cyber intelligence unit, and then started his own venture. He then joined “Nielsen Innovate as a Technology Director and was both part of the deal team as well as an advisor to the Incubator’s portfolio companies.

In addition to sourcing and evaluating deals, Gal also works with our portfolio companies in Israel and helps them on topics such as strategy and technology. Gal Holds a BSc. in Computer Science from IDC Herzliya.

Gal is based in Tel-Aviv, Israel.