Rob is a seasoned business executive with over 25 years of experience as a consultant, entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Rob is a Managing Partner with Serra Ventures and Serra Capital. Prior to joining Serra Ventures, Rob was a Managing Director at Illinois Ventures, and is a founding member of the Illinois Emerging Technology Funds. At Illinois Ventures, Rob helped start and fund companies that commercialized technology invented at the University of Illinois. He was the founding investor of ShareThis, the largest sharing network in the world.
While at IllinoisVentures, he helped grow the firm from start-up to $70 million under management. Earlier in his career, Rob was the founder and CEO of DigitalWork, Inc., a SaaS based marketing automation company. As CEO, Rob led the company in building an award-winning service, raising substantial funding from top-tier venture firms, leading the Company through an IPO process, hiring over 140 talented employees, acquiring over 10,000 customers and developing partnerships with such leading companies as AOL, Dell, Office Depot, and Wells Fargo. Rob’s first entrepreneurial venture was when he founded Nequity, as a subsidiary of Signet Bank that was acquired in 1997. Rob began his career as a consultant with McKinsey and Company and then Deloitte and Touche. In 2000, Rob was a Year 2000 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. He was named as one of the “100 most important executives, decision-makers, financiers and idea people in the Chicago Internet community” by Crain’s Chicago Business and one of the “top 100 people who put the ‘new’ in Chicago’s new economy” by i-Street Reporter. Rob has been a frequent guest lecturer at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business since 1994, the University of Illinois since 2003 and is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago.
Education: Rob holds a B.A. in Economics from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. in Finance and Statistics from the University of Chicago.
Board Memberships/Observer: Champaign County Economic Development Corporation (2004 to 2012); University of Illinois Technology Entrepreneurship Center (2004 to present); Urbana Champaign Angel Network (2011 to present); DigitalWork (Chairman, 1998-2002); iCyt Mission Technologies (sold to Sony, 2006-2008); ShareThis (2004-2014); RiverGlass (sold to ASG, 2005-2012); Tekion (2004 – 2012); Mobitrac (sold to Fluensee, 2004-2007); Fluensee, (2006-2013); Personify (2010-present); Diagnostic Photonics (2011-2013); Caterva (sold to InfoChimps, 2010-2013); Adrenaline Mobility (sold to Twitter, 2012-2014); Ringr (2014-present); Spinlight Studios (sold to Codagami, 2014-2015); LabelInsight (2015-present); Clearstream.tv (sold to Engine Group, 2013-2105); 640 Labs (sold to Monsanto, 2014-2015); Beekeeper Data (2015-present); Persio Inc. (2015-present)