Venture Partner Program

The Ascent Venture Partner Program is designed to leverage the expertise of top entrepreneurs in whom we have invested. Our Venture Partners are proven technology executives with extensive experience in start-up formation, market assessment, distribution strategy, operations management, and corporate governance. The Ascent Partners have backed each of these individuals in their prior successful ventures and these relationships typically date back 10 – 12 years or more.


Jack Blaeser was the President and CEO of Concord Communications, a publicly held developer of application and network management software until its merger with Computer Associates in 2005. Jack led Concord through its successful initial public offering in October 1997 and growth to approximately $100 million in annual revenues. Prior to joining Concord Communications in April 1995, Jack was a Managing General Partner at EG&G Venture Management. While at EG&G, Jack focused on investments in emerging high technology companies. Prior to that, he was Executive Vice President of Gould Inc. where he built a $600M Electronic Systems business unit through organic growth and five successful acquisitions. Jack joined Gould when it acquired Modicon Corporation, an industrial automation company where Jack served as President. Jack began his career in 1964 with General Electric Company where he held various marketing and sales roles before being recruited in 1973 as Vice President Sales & Marketing of Modicon Corporation.

Michael D'Amelio is currently the Managing Partner of JMC Venture Partners, a private equity firm founded in 1999. JMC focuses on investments in middle market companies. Prior to JMC, Michael was the CEO of TACC International Corporation (TACC), a privately held developer and manufacturer of proprietary industrial adhesives. Michael led TACC through an acquisition and organic growth campaign to become the second largest privately held adhesive manufacturer in the US, until its sale to Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW) in 1998. Michael currently serves on numerous boards of both public and private companies.

Chane Graziano is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Harvard Bioscience, a publicly held developer and distributor of laboratory instrumentation products. Prior to joining Harvard Bioscience in 1996, Chane served as the President of Analytical Technology, an analytical electrochemistry instruments company, from 1992 to 1995 and the CEO of ATI Orion from 1990 to 1993. Chane previously served as the President of Waters Corporation, a major analytical instrument manufacturer, from 1986 to 1989. Chane has over 36 years of experience in the laboratory products and analytical instruments industry.

Nick Grewal is an experienced entrepreneur and investor in the communications systems industry. Nick was the Founder and CEO of Nashoba Networks, a developer of token ring switching solutions. Nick led the Company from inception through its acquisition by Cisco Systems for $100 million in 1996. Prior to Nashoba, Nick served as the SVP Operations of CrossCom. He also served as the VP Engineering of Proteon from 1989-1992, and the General Manager for the Spartacus Group of Fibronics International.

Hugh Kelly was formerly Vice President of Marketing for Network Engines (NASDAQ: NENG). Prior to Network Engines, Hugh was President and CEO of West Ridge Networks, a start-up company that developed a software-based solution to enable the world's largest network service providers to improve the operational efficiency and service quality of their networks. Prior to West Ridge, Hugh was the Senior Vice President, Marketing & Business Development at Celox Networks, a developer of highly scalable Internet protocol switching systems. Prior to Celox, Hugh was Vice President Marketing for Visual Networks, a publicly held developer of network management solutions. Hugh previously served as the Vice President of Marketing for Net2Net, a developer of asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) network testing solutions and as the Director of Marketing at Nashoba Networks, a developer of token ring switching solutions.

Robert Mazzarella was the Chairman and CEO of Pyxis Mobile (now called Verivo). He has over 33 years experience in the securities industry and more than 18 years at Fidelity Investments. Before he retired from Fidelity Investments in February, 2002 he was president of Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC. During his tenure at Fidelity, he was also president of Fidelity's Institutional Brokerage Group which included Fidelity Capital Markets, correspondent clearing services, Registered Investment Advisor services, and market data distribution services. Mr. Mazzarella joined Fidelity in 1983 as vice president of client services for National Financial Correspondent Services. He is now serving on the boards of Placemark Investments, an RIA in Wellesley, Massachusetts, M & O, Inc., a technology firm providing database services to financial firms, Siebert Financial Corporation, a public financial services firm. He chairs the Boston Options Exchange Regulatory Board and is a member of the Board of the Boston Stock Exchange. He is, also, providing consulting services to a number of major financial services firms and advises Venture Capital firms regarding financial services investments.

Edward Schmid founded eCopy, Inc. in 1992, as Simplify Development Corporation. Prior to eCopy's formation, Schmid worked with LaserData, Inc., a Tyngsboro, Massachusetts-based developer of document imaging systems for PC LANs. At LaserData, he served as director of marketing and vice president for application marketing. Schmid started his career in applied technology at Digital Equipment Corporation in 1975. Among other assignments, he ran a DEC standards group that worked with Apple and Microsoft to establish the international ISO-9660 standard that allows CD-ROMs to be read across different PC and computer platforms. Schmid holds a master's degree in business administration from New York University. 26

Eric Schultz currently serves as the Executive Chairman of Hubcast, an Ascent portfolio company. He is the former Chairman and CEO of Sensitech, a developer of supply chain information systems and services, where he led the company through its sale to United Technologies in 2006. Sensitech was named twice to the Inc. 500 and three times to the Deloitte and Touche Technology Fast 50. Eric has served as COO of First Step Designs, President/COO/co-founder of American Radiosystems, and SVP of American Cablesystems. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School.