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Hillcrest Labs, Backed by Grotech Ventures and Columbia Capital, Raises $4M

Hillcrest Laboratories Inc. has raised $4 million, or 72 percent of a $5.5 million offering of debt and convertible securities, according to an SEC filing.

Principals named in the filing by the Rockville-based maker of electronics products are:

· Founder, Chairman, President and CEO Daniel Simpkins;
· CFO Peter Jackson;
· Director Peter Barris of Menlo Park, Calif.-based New Enterprise Associates;
· Director Frank Adams of Vienna, Va.-based Grotech Ventures; and
· Director R. Philip Herget of Alexandria, Va.-based Columbia Capital.

Hillcrest Laboratories licenses its motion control technology, called Freespace, for use in electronics products including remote controls, computer peripherals, game controllers, mobile handsets and virtual reality systems. It also sells interactive TV applications and content delivery solutions to power Smart TV devices. Hillcrest's licensees include LG Electronics, Logitech and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Reg D filing:

Bios from Hillcrest site:

Daniel S. Simpkins
Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Dan Simpkins is CEO of Hillcrest Labs, which he founded in 2001. Under its Freespace brand, Hillcrest is the leading provider of inertial motion sensing solutions. Hillcrest's award-winning products include the Loop pointer and the Kylo browser for TV. Prior to founding Hillcrest, Dan was vice president and general manager of the SALIX Switching Division of Tellabs, Inc. The division was established in 2000 when Dan sold VoIP leader SALIX Technologies, the company he founded in 1990, to Tellabs for $300 million. In 2010, Dan was recognized by The Gazette of Politics and Business as one of the top 25 CEOs in the Washington, D.C. area. Hillcrest was recognized in 2010 and 2011 as one of the "Exceptional 53" companies in the state of Maryland.

Dan is a former executive in residence for New Enterprise Associates (NEA), one of the country's premiere venture capital firms, and is an advisor to LaunchBox Digital, an early stage investment firm. He is a frequent speaker at industry events, has authored papers on both technical and business subjects, and is a member of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Dan has ten issued U.S. patents in the fields of interactive television and telecommunications.

Dan earned a bachelor's of science degree in electrical engineering with distinction, and a master's of engineering degree in electrical engineering, both from Cornell University. He currently serves on the Cornell Engineering College Council, an advisory group to Dean Lance Collins.

Peter Jackson
Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration

Peter Jackson is a founding member of the Hillcrest management team and has almost 20 years of financial management experience.

Prior to Hillcrest, he directed the Switching Division finance team at Tellabs, Inc. Prior to Tellabs, as Vice President of Finance for SALIX Technologies, Inc., Peter played a key role in building the company, raising venture capital and negotiating its sale to Tellabs, Inc. for $300M. Previously, he served in several key financial management roles including Director of Financial Planning and Controller for Filetek, Inc., a data management systems company. Peter began his career with the public accounting firm of Price Waterhouse.

Peter is a Certified Public Accountant, an Elijah Watt Sells national award winner and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with summa cum laude distinction from the University of Maryland. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) professional organization.


Peter J. Barris
Managing General Partner, NEA

Peter joined NEA in 1992 and specializes in information technology companies. Present board memberships include Boingo Wireless, Broadview Networks, eCommerce Industries, eZiba, Hillcrest Labs, Laurel Networks, Mainstream Data, Megisto Systems and Natural Tandem. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association and the National Venture Capital Association. Prior board memberships include UUNET Technologies (sold to MCI), AMISYS (acquired by HBO), CareerBuilder (acquired by Knight Ridder/Tribune Co.), Mobius Management Systems (NASDAQ: MOBI), SALIX Technologies (acquired by Tellabs) and Tripod (acquired by Lycos, Inc.). Peter is a member of the Board of Trustees, Northwestern University; Board of Overseers, Tuck School at Dartmouth College; Board of Advisors, Tuck's Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship at Dartmouth; and Board of Directors, Venture Philanthropy Partners. He has an MBA from Dartmouth College and a BSEE from Northwestern University.

Frank Adams
Managing General Partner, Grotech Ventures

Frank A. Adams founded Grotech in 1984 and is the Managing General Partner. He is the principal architect of the Grotech investment and portfolio management strategy. His prior experience includes hands-on operating experience as a senior executive of high-growth firms ranging in size from start-ups to New York Stock Exchange companies.

At Grotech, Mr. Adams is responsible for investments in both information technology and consumer businesses. Mr. Adams currently serves or has served on the boards of Bluefire Security, DIGEX, Global Software, Healthscribe, Hillcrest Labs, iBiquity Digital Radio, Interspec, Lloyds Foods, Master Power, MEDecision, Sagittarius Brands, Thunderbird Technologies, and USinternetworking. He was the co-founder of the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association and currently serves as its Chairman Emeritus. In addition, he is also a member of the boards of several area non-profit and collegiate organizations.

Mr. Adams holds Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Baltimore. He has also completed advanced management programs in Finance and Information Technology at Stanford University and Harvard University.

Phil Herget
Partner, Columbia Capital

Phil joined Columbia Capital in 1992. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Hatteras Networks, Hillcrest Laboratories, Imagine Communications, Mangrove Systems, and Vibrant Solutions and is actively involved with Broadsoft, Rivermine Software, and Sandbridge Technologies. Former Columbia Capital portfolio companies that Phil managed include Altiga Networks (acquired by Cisco Systems), Call Technologies (acquired by 3Com), Columbia Spectrum Management (acquired by P-Com), NMP (acquired by AppNet / Commerce One), Ocular Networks (acquired by Tellabs), Riverbed Technologies (acquired by Aether Systems), Saville Systems (NASDAQ: SAVLY subsequently acquired by ADC Communications), Taqua (acquired by Tekelec), Telular (NASDAQ: WRLS), and Torrent Networking Technologies (acquired by Ericsson). In 1993, Phil joined Telular Corporation as its Chief Financial Officer where he led the company through an initial public offering, returning to Columbia in 1994. Prior to joining Columbia Capital, he served in various financial management positions for Energy Service Company, Energy Insurance International, Marsh & McLennan, and Lloyd's of London broker C.T. Bowring & Co. in London, England. Phil received his B.A. from the University of Virginia and his M.B.A. from Kenan-Flager Business School at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.