26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Scott Lenet, co-founder and president, Touchdown Ventures
In 2014, Scott Lenet co-founded Touchdown Ventures, a venture capital firm which manages corporate venture capital (CVC) programs for numerous companies including professional services provider Aramark, adhesive material producer Avery Dennison, packaged food producer Kellogg’s and media company Tegna and pharmaceutical element supplier Colorcon.
The firm is present in three US cities: Los Angeles (LA), Philadelphia and San Francisco, with Lenet running the LA office, overseeing the CVC activities on behalf of entertainment group 20th Century Fox which is headquartered in the Californian city. He has multiple investment interests such as media, information services, consumer products and healthcare.
Lenet is concurrently managing partner for VC firm DFJ Frontier, which he co-founded in 2002 and is backed by Calpers (California Public Employees’ Retirement System), investment firm Blackstone, the US state of Oregon and other institutional limited partners. The firm concentrates on early-stage companies based in the US west coast on behalf of the DFJ Network (now Draper Venture Network).
David Horowitz and Rich Grant, other co-founders of Touchdown, had been working for a corporate venturing unit Comcast Ventures, which invests on behalf of mass media group Comcast – the former for 14 years from 2000 while the latter for more than seven years since 2007.
Touchdown currently focuses on opportunities in food and beverage, consumer packaged goods, education, human capital, digital media, entertainment and retail technology developers.
The firm’s goal is to deliver strategic synergy between entrepreneurs and corporates with professionalism and financial returns in mind. The Touchdown team facilitates commercial transactions, bridging the gap between large and small companies.
In 1992, Lenet began his VC career as the first associate at Geocapital Partners, a fund targeting late-stage technology deals.
After his early VC stint, Lenet worked in product marketing for Austin-based software company Trilogy and later co-founded and took up chief executive role for SmartFrog.com, an e-commerce cash-back rewards scheme operator which he sold to online direct marketing and advertising company Cybergold.
Lenet, who sits on the board of Kenley Jansen Foundation that provides entertainment and technology for children’s hospitals, holds a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Princeton University and earned an MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurial management at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
Lenet co-founded the Entrepreneurship Centre at University of California (UC), Davis, where he had been an adjunct professor for more than six years at the Graduate School of Management and served on the advisory board for the Dean of the College of Biological Sciences.
He now teaches corporate innovation at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and VC and entrepreneurship at University of Southern California’s Marshall School to MBA and PhD candidates as well as postdoctoral researchers.