Christopher B. Lucas Founder and Managing Director
Chris Lucas founded Black Diamond Ventures with a vision: to provide individual investors the ability to invest alongside first-tier venture capital firms and institutional investors in privately-held companies. Over the last twenty years, his expertise has guided BDV’s growth through raising capital, holding board positions, and managing several portfolio companies through successful IPO’s or acquisitions, including Force10 Networks (Acquired by Dell), DexCom, Inc. (DXCM), DivX Networks, Inc. (DivX), Overture, Inc., and Preview Systems, Inc. (PRVW). Chris currently serves on the board of several privately-held companies and foundations, including Avinger, Inc., Tela Innovations, Inc., NEI Treatment Systems, LLC, Capella Photonics, Inc. and The Lucas Brothers Foundation.
Prior to founding Black Diamond Ventures, Chris held executive positions for over 20 years, in several venture-backed or privately held companies, including Global One Distribution and Merchandising, Inc. and Peripheral Systems, Inc. Through his venture and family relationships, Chris was previously an investor in Advanced Fibre Communications, Inc., (AFC); Cadence Design Systems (CDNS); Cerus Corporation (CERS), Coulter Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CLTR), Infinera Corporation (INFN), Macromedia, Inc. (MACR), Quantum Health, Inc. (QNTM) and Vixel Corporation (VIXL).
Chris received his MBA in Finance from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude, in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California Los Angeles.email@example.com
John Kispert Managing Partner
As Managing Partner, John Kispert heads up our Silicon Valley office. John is a recognized leader in Silicon Valley on achieving sustainable corporate growth both organically as well as through mergers and acquisitions. John will lead fundraising efforts, expanding its “deal by deal” structure into a unique investment model, which will provide a broader investor base with a myriad of investment opportunities. As a seasoned executive and entrepreneur with over twenty five years of experience, John offers expert guidance to our entrepreneurs throughout their company’s lifecycle.
Prior to joining BDV, John was CEO of Spansion, Inc., and completed a merger of Spansion with Cypress Semiconductor in March 2015. John served as CEO since joining the company in 2009. Spansion was a developer and manufacturer of embedded semiconductors found in tens of thousands of products across many industries, including the transportation, industrial, consumer, communications and gaming industries. John led Spansion’s turnaround out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early 2009 into a growing, profitable company that employed nearly 4,000 people worldwide with annual revenues of over $1 billion. In May 2013, John successfully acquired Fujitsu’s Microcontroller and Analog businesses. John also has extensive experience working with corporate and government leaders throughout Asia and Europe including: China, Japan, Germany, Belgium, Singapore, Israel, Taiwan, Thailand and Korea. John currently serves on the board of several public companies (Cypress Semiconductor, TriNet, Gigamon and Extreme Networks) and one private company (Tela Innovations). He previously held leadership roles for SEMI, a global industry association representing the Semiconductor Equipment industry on issues worldwide.
Prior to joining Spansion, John spent 13 years in a number of operational roles at KLA-Tencor including president, COO and CFO and helped lead the semiconductor equipment company’s growth from $300 million in annual revenues to over $3 billion. Before his tenure at KLA-Tencor, John held several management positions at IBM. John received his MBA from the University of California at Los Angeles and completed his undergraduate work at Grinnell College where he played basketball for all four years and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.firstname.lastname@example.org
Ana Quintana Principal
As Principal, Ana Quintana’s insight and ability to identify potential value are vital components adding to Black Diamond Ventures’ success. Coupled with generations of entrepreneurial foresight and the ability to recognize early growth opportunities, Ana’s passion deeply informs every aspect of the dedication she has brought to BDV for over 14 years.
The same sense of entrepreneurial drive from her father’s business ventures motivates her commitment to provide the necessary support and capital, growing businesses need. True to BDV’s founding principles, Ana works one-on-one with our portfolio companies, providing tactical support on communications, capital raising, and marketing initiatives, with a particular focus in Medical Devices, Mobile Applications and Telecommunication sectors. Ana drives all of BDV’s corporate affairs, and works closely with investors, entrepreneurs and portfolio companies.
Prior to joining Black Diamond Ventures, Ana was a Senior Editor at Goto.com, the first company to successfully provide a pay-for-placement search service and acquired by Yahoo (YHOO) for $1.6 billion. Prior to her tenure at Goto.com, Ana worked in the corporate finance division of investment banking firm ING Barings, where she focused on mergers and acquisitions.
Ana earned a B.A. degree in English Literature from California State University, Los Angeles.email@example.com
Rob Ukropina Managing Partner
As Managing Partner, Rob Ukropina leads our Newport Beach office. Rob is a seasoned entrepreneur with over twenty five years of experience and has been involved in several successful startups. In addition to leading fundraising efforts and portfolio management, Rob brings a network of relationships and business partnerships, while providing our companies with entrepreneurial and strategic advisement. Rob currently serves on the board of several privately-held companies, including Consumer Brands, LLC, C2-Imaging, PropertyRate and The Bromwell Company.
Rob’s range of expertise—creating, managing, and selling companies—provides a solid foundation for connecting new ventures with our investors. Prior to Black Diamond Ventures, Rob founded Overnite Express, the premier west coast overnight delivery company competing with FedEx and UPS serving California, Arizona and Nevada—which was successfully sold to Norco Corp. in 2008. Rob is a regularly featured guest lecturer at USC and UCLA and is also a frequent speaker at various organizations, including The Young Entrepreneurs Organization, The Entrepreneurship Institute and the Orange County Business Forum. Rob is a past keynote speaker at the Harvard Business School Annual Entrepreneur Conference and the USA SBE conference.
Rob is a graduate of the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business.firstname.lastname@example.org