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Investor Panel to Kick Off Capital Connection ‘11

The Mid-Atlantic Venture Association announced today it will feature a panel of leading investors from a variety of private equity and venture capital firms who represent a spectrum of investment capital as the opening discussion for this year’s Capital Connection in Washington, DC on May 12 & 13. The panel, "The Stages of Capital," will feature Patrick Kerins, general partner, New Enterprise Associates;  Nigel Morris, managing partner, QED Investors; Don Rainey, general partner, Grotech Ventures; Bob Smith, managing director, JMI Equity; and Ashton Newhall, Partner, Greenspring Associates. The Plenary discussion will address an topic of importance to all privately financed companies irrespective of their stage of development, and will center around the availability, differences, interdependence and trends effecting many of today’s sources of capital.
The panel’s group of investors, all from locally-based firms, will represent a multitude of important private sources of financing that invest across stages, sectors and geographies. Their perspectives are broad in range and will cover angel; seed-stage; boutique specialty firm; institutional venture; growth capital and fund-of-fund direct investing.  The panel, moderated by Russ Garland, editor, VentureWire, will cover a wide range of topics from investing in social media to launching a tech venture to going public with an IPO.
“As entrepreneurs look to fund their companies, it is critically  important that they both fully understand the different characteristics of private sources of financing and the connections and differences between them, in order to gain access to the full spectrum of investment capital,” said Julia Spicer, executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association. “To address some of the mis-information around what’s really happening in the private equity industry this panel will provide a much needed, in-depth perspective from a group of active investors. This discussion will be one of the most crucial and timely panels in recent years as company builders and entrepreneurs are eager to learn about trends that effect the availability of important financing needed to build high growth companies – at every stage of a company’s development.”
Panelists will include:
Ashton Newhall, Greenspring Associates
In 2010, Ashton co-founded Greenspring Associates which provides access to diversified portfolios for later-stage, direct venture investors. He also manages the Company's office in Owings Mills, Maryland. Ashton is a third-generation venture capitalist. Before co-founding Greenspring, he was at T. Rowe Price Associates ("T. Rowe Price"), where he was one of the youngest marketers of the firm's investment management services to both institutions and high net worth investors. Specifically, he marketed T. Rowe Price investment management services to the general partners of venture funds and entrepreneurs in both the United States and abroad.
Ashton serves on the Board of Elon University, Bessemer Venture Partners, Domain Associates, the Limited Partners Board for QuestMark Partners.
Nigel Morris, QED Investors
Nigel Morris is the managing partner of QED Investors, a direct investment fund focused on high-growth companies that leverage the power of data strategies. In addition, he works in an advisory capacity with General Atlantic Partners and Oliver Wyman Consulting. He serves on the board of numerous for-profit companies, including TransUnion, Network Solutions, Prosper, Clearspring Technologies, Media Math, and Mobile Posse. He is also on board of the London Business School and National Geographic Ventures.
Previously, Nigel co-founded Capital One Financial Services in 1994. Under Nigel’s leadership, Capital One pioneered an information-based strategy that fundamentally transformed the consumer lending industry. Combining advanced statistical marketing techniques with nascent information technologies, the company reduced costs to conventional borrowers, extended capital to overlooked consumers, expanded internationally, and produced extraordinary returns for investors. 
Don Rainey, Grotech Ventures
Don Rainey joined Grotech Ventures as a general partner in September 2007.  With over $1B US under management, Grotech focuses on early stage information technology companies.  Don currently serves on the boards of Grotech portfolio companies ARPU, Clarabridge, LivingSocial and Zenoss, as well as the Northern Virginia Chapter of the March of Dimes.
In Fall 2008, Don was appointed for a second term as an emerging technology consultant to the Chief Information Officer of the US Department of Defense through the DeVenCi Program. The DeVenCi Program consists of a handful of venture capitalists who research and nominate companies to solve the US Department of Defenses’ unmet technology needs. Don is also an Organizing Board member of the prestigious MindShare forum. 
Patrick Kerins, NEA
Patrick joined NEA in 2006 as General Partner focusing on a broad range of information technology investments with particular emphasis on enterprise software, Software-as-a-Service, and Internet companies. He sits on the boards of ChannelAdvisor, Millennial Media, Spring Wireless and TidalTV.
Prior to joining NEA, Patrick was General Partner of Grotech Capital Group where he specialized in high-tech investments and served on a number of boards including (acquired by AOL/Time Warner), CDnow (NASDAQ: CDNW, acquired by Bertelsmann Group AG), Fieldglass Software, Hillcrest Labs, SALIX Technologies (acquired by Tellabs, NASDAQ: TLAB), and Synchrologic (acquired by Pumatech, NASDAQ: PUMA, and Nokia).
Bob Smith, JMI Equity
Bob Smith joined JMI, a growth equity firm focused on investing in growing software, internet, business services and healthcare IT companies, in 2000 and is based in Baltimore, Maryland.  He is currently a Director of AirClic, Inc., Appriss, Inc., Compusearch Software, Inc., Gemcom Software International, Inc.  and Seismic Micro-Technology, Inc.  Prior to joining JMI, Bob was a Principal at ABS Capital Partners and a Vice President in the Technology Investment Banking Group at Alex. Brown.  Bob also served as a nuclear submarine officer in the U.S. Navy. Bob received a BA in Systems Engineering from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Russ Garland, DowJones.
Russ Garland has been covering venture capital since 2000. He is an editor with Dow Jones Newswires and writes for VentureWire and Private Equity Analyst, both published by Dow Jones & Co, which is owned by News Corp. His work appears on the Venture Capital Dispatch blog and in other Dow Jones publications, including the Wall Street Journal. Previously, he was a political reporter and financial writer for the Providence Journal in Rhode Island. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.