John Stockton's Venture Capital Blog
Opinions on high tech Venture Capital Investing
Found: 3 Entries
December 28, 2006 Format for Print
1. What I've Done Since College
  How time flies!

[Note: This is what I've been up to since leaving the ARL in 1978, which I wrote it up for a submarine riders reunion party.]

After leaving ARL in 1978, I went to work for Motorola Semiconductor in Austin and worked on the computer chip project that wound up being the heart of the Apple Macintosh computer. In this role, I got to travel around the US and Europe to visit customers and discuss future products. In 1982, I married Tina Manrique, my long-time sweetheart from Houston, which I had intermittently for several years (about 10 years by the time we got married).

After being at Motorola for seven years, and facing a choice of moving to Tokyo or joining another chip company in San Jose, I decided to go for the California. The business grew and ultimately moved to Phoenix, so we sold our house and moved to Arizona for the next six years. While I was at VLSI, I created a PC Chipset business which eventually accounted for about 1/2 of the company's business. I became a VLSI-Fellow and had a VP position with the company. While I was there, I organized a new company in UK called ARM Limited. During this time, I met with many industry notables, including Steve Jobs (Apple), Allen Kay (Apple), Michael Dell (Dell), Sir Robin Saxby (ARM Ltd), Andy Bechtolsheim (Sun) and others.

After several years in the desert and commuting back and forth between Phoenix and California, we decided to leave VLSI and move back to Texas. This was mainly for family reasons, as Tina felt like our kids (one born there and another on the way) should know their relatives in Houston, and travel for them was difficult. So we packed up and moved back to Austin.

In 1991, I started work at MCC in Austin with the intention of creating a spin-off company using some of the technology they had created in their labs. The technology we picked was an optical-memory technology and we created a company called Tamarack Storage Devices. I raised Venture Capital and also US Government funds for the project and we worked on it for about four years. We ultimately decided the technology wasn't quite ready for production after all, so we licensed what we could to others and spun-off a promising LCD technology to another company.

At this point in 1996 I was approached by a top-tier Venture Capital firm called Mayfield Fund to consult on technology companies. I wound up as a Venture Partner and helped both new and existing companies for the next three years. I was interim-CEO for two of their portfolio companies and helped found another two companies. After the dot-com bubble, technology investing was on the way out and I left Mayfield to do consulting. During this time I worked with people like Dado Banatao (founder S3, SiRF and Marvell), Rod Canion (founder of Compaq), Jeff Rothschild (founder Veritas), Theresa Ming (founder Atheros) and many others.

In 1999, I soon joined the BOD of ARC Cores in London, UK and became Chairman and later Interim-CEO. ARC is another Intellectual Property Company which we took public on the London Stock Exchange in September, 2000 (just before the end of the good times). Goldman Sachs helped us with the offering and we raised $250 million, with a market capitalization of $1.5 billion.

After working with ARC and a handful of small start-up companies for the dark years of 2001 to 2003, I rejoined Mayfield Fund. I typically spend every Monday to Wednesday working in Menlo Park and the rest of my time back in Austin. I serve as a Director for Theseus Logic (Orlando, FL), DAFCA (Boston, MA - Chairman), Sirific Wireless (Richardson, TX), LV Sensors (Emeryville, CA), Ponte Solutions (Mountain View, CA), LatticePower (Nanchang, China) and Mobert (Shanghai, China). At Mayfield, famous entrepreneurs come through the door every day. Some of them include Meg Whitman (CEO eBay), Frank Quattrone (ex-CSFB) and others.

In my spare time I play with computers, work on home theater projects and read about business and technology. I try to get a run in every now and then to keep fit and usually have a long distance race planned to keep it interesting. During the past 8 years, I've managed to complete 7 full marathons. Mostly at a slow pace (PBT=3:45), but none the less, I finished them!

Category: Biography Submitted by: John
January 13, 2007 Format for Print
2. John Stockton's Biography
  A quick summary

I am a Semiconductor Industry veteran currently focusing on development-stage companies in the fields of semiconductors, MEMS, Intellectual Property and EDA. I spend the vast majority of my time as a Venture Partner with Mayfield (US and Mayfield/China), a top-ranked venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, California. When I'm not in California working with Mayfield, I work in Austin, Texas. I help with the BOD of LV Sensors in Emeryville, CA. and am on the boards of Mobert Semiconductor (Shanghai, China) and LatticePower Semiconductor (Nanchang, China). I also have some independent board roles with a number of companies including Camgian Networks, Sirific Wireless and Silicon Hive.

Prior to working with Mayfield, I was Chairman and Interim-CEO of ARC International plc (London, UK) a Semiconductor Intellectual Property Company. I have also previously been CEO of Synergy Semiconductor (high speed bipolar ICs), CEO of Stream Machine (MPEG-2 CODEC company), and have served as a senior executive of several high technology companies.

Prior to being a small-company entrepreneur, I was a VLSI-Fellow at VLSI Technology, Inc., where I co-created the PC Chip-Set Division of VLSI and organized ARM Ltd., a UK-based processor design and intellectual property licensing company.

In my spare time I read about business, emerging technolgies and I try to get a run in every now and then. During the past 8 years, I've managed to complete 7 marathons. Mostly at a slow pace (PBT=3:45), but none the less, I finished them!

I have a BS Degree in Nuclear and Electrical Engineering with honors, from the University of Texas at Austin which I earned a long-long time ago.

Download PDF of Long Form Version: Link
Category: Biography Submitted by: John
November 1, 2010 Format for Print
3. Biographical Summary for John Stockton
  The Longer Version
Biography for John F. Stockton
512-825-3336 (cell)

Summary:  Broad experience in Venture Capital as well as being a part of start-up companies ranging from a few people to a few hundred in size.  Usually heavily in technology evaluation and selection for companies as well as financial analysis and risk assessment.  In almost every case, involved in fund raising and strategic partnerships for companies.  Recent emphasis in the VC related work has been on clean-tech opportunities that involve hard sciences, such as new semiconductor processes for solar cells and light emitting diodes, circuit design techniques for power reduction and new materials combinations for better performing power transistor devices.  Some recent assessments of new technologies include low cost fabrication techniques for Silicon Carbide and Gallium Nitride.  Also recently investigated high efficiency GaAs solar cell designs.  Evaluated multiple companies in the micro-inverter and distributed MPPT space.  Served as a director for multiple companies (public - UK:LSE and private - although almost exclusively private).

Work History:  
  • Present: Working part-time with Mayfield Fund, GSR Ventures and multiple portfolio companies.  Serving on Board of Directors for Silicon Hive (semiconductor intellectual property company based in Eindhoven, The Netherlands) and for Camgian Microsystems (defense related electronic systems company based in Starkville, MS).  Board Observer for Mayfield Fund investment called LatticePower (silicon-based LEDs based in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, China).  
  • 2001 to 2010: Worked off-and-on with multiple portfolio companies including Ubicom (consumer grade network processor), Dafca, Ponte Solutions, Arteris, Sirific Wireless, LV Sensors and Mobert Semiconductor.  Developed a smart thermostat system for Zeta Communities, a fabricator of zero-net-energy homes.  The thermostat managed a thermal mass, airflow dampers a skylight vent as well as indoor, outdoor and basement temperatures and humidity.  Did enthalpy-based control and adaptive set-back based on weather patterns.
  • 1999 to 2001: Worked in various capacities with ARC International, a UK-based semiconductor intellectual property company based in UK. Started out as an Independent Director, became Chairman and helped company go public on the London Stock Exchange in September of 2000 (just as the internet bubble collapsed).  Raised $250M on a $1B valuation.  Later became interim CEO and dealt with pressures of being a public company during a very bad economic cycle.  Managed reduction company by about 30% in size while holding revenue relative steady in a rapidly declining market.
  • 1996 to 1999:  Worked with Mayfield Fund as a Venture Partner, helping evaluate companies and later helping companies that were having financial difficulties (in a work-out and disposition mode).  Did interim management roles at multiple companies including Synergy Semiconductor (high speed bipolar components for the telecom market) and Stream Machine (MPEG-2 CODECs for the consumer electronics market).   Helped start sVISION (CTO), a Mayfield funded liquid crystal on silicon display company targeting consumer projection equipment.  Did independent consulting with Primarion, a company specializing in high performance voltage regulator modules (switching power supplies) for PC applications.  Helped to technology performance analysis (some circuit simulation using SPICE) and helped with general technology direction.
  • 1992 to 1996:  CEO and co-founder of Tamarack Storage Devices a spin-off of MCC in Austin, TX that was trying to commercialize a holographic optical storage technology invented by MCC.  Raised significant funding ($30M) from government entities to leverage a relatively small private investment.  Dealt with significant technology development and risk-management challenges.  After several years struggling with the technology, decided that it was about 20 years too early and that it was time to go onto other things.
  • 1984 to 1992:  VLSI Technology, Inc. in multiple roles ranging from strategic marketing to being an Engineering Fellow reporting to the CEO.  Responsible for technology direction and prioritization across multiple product lines.  Prior to that, co-founded a PC Chip Set business which ultimately became about 50% of the company's total revenues.  Also organized the funding and spin-off of ARM Ltd from its parent company Acorn Computers Ltd.  Sold Apple on the idea of working with the ARM 32-bit RISC processor in the Newton handheld device.
  • 1978 to 1984:  Worked at Motorola as part of the M68000 microprocessor team.  Started out in the design group and later worked in the marketing department.  Transitioned to the 8-bit embedded processor group and helped build a large part of a $2B semiconductor operation.  Did strategic marketing and product planning for multiple product lines.
  • 1974 to 1978:  Worked at Applied Research (part of the University of Texas) on submarine sonar signal processing and power supply design.  Participated in the design of a compact high reliability power supply that could achieve a 100,000 hour MTBF for use in a large submarine sonar system.  Participated in the creation of the switch-mode power supply field.
Education:  BS Engineering Science (hybrid EE and Nuclear Engineering) from University of Texas at Austin.  Graduated with honors in 3.5 years while working 20-30 hours per week at ARL.  Multiple patents (four issued, one provisional) involving IC testing, holographic optical memory and energy controller design.

Personal:  Runner (occasional do marathons - 3:45 PBT and other distance races), father of two college-age kids both at the University of Texas (Aerospace Engineering and Physics Major).  Interested in home theater, computerized home control, CNC Milling, autonomous RC helicopters and distributed tiny database/application servers for web applications.

Category: Biography Submitted by: John