Board of Directors
John Dean, Chairman Emeritus
John is a Managing Director of Startup Capital Ventures. Prior to founding the firm in 2005, he has spent more than 30 years as an executive in the financial services industry, serving as CEO of five financial institutions throughout the country.
In 2010, John joined Central Pacific Bank, leading the recapitalization effort that paved the way for the bank's recent successes. From 1993 to 2001, he served as the CEO of Silicon Valley Bank, a leading provider of financial services to early-stage technology companies and venture capital firms. John grew Silicon Valley Bank's market capitalization from $65 million in 1993 to over $3 billion in 2000. Also, he led the creation of the company's own venture investment business, with the launch of the company's first two venture capital funds in 2000. This included a $150 million fund of funds, and a $65 million direct equity fund.
In 2001, Forbes ranked him as one of the "50 most powerful dealmakers." In 2001, Fortune ranked Silicon Valley Bank, under John's leadership, among the "100 Fastest-Growing Companies" based on growth in revenues, earnings per share, and total market return over three years.
John also has many years of experience investing in technology companies. He has served as Managing Director of Tuputele Ventures Fund, LLC, a small private equity fund investing in early-stage technology companies and venture capital funds. He is an investment director for various venture capital firms, both in the U.S. and overseas, including Advanced Technology Venture (ATV), Institutional Venture Fund (IVP), Walden International, and Authosis Capital. John serves as an advisor or director of various technology companies.
Timothy W. Dick, Chairman
Tim is a Managing Director at Startup Capital Ventures. He serves, or has served as a Director of several of the firm’s investments including PlayFab, Adama Materials, Silvertail Systems (acquired by EMC), TagArray (acquired by MXIM) and TuneIn. He is also a limited partner in Advanced Technology Ventures.
Prior to SCV, Tim led the turn-around of Dali Wireless, a wireless carrier equipment company, as its CEO and Chairman. He previously founded Hawaiʻi Superferry in 2001 as CEO, a company that brought inter-island vehicle & passenger ferry service to Hawaiʻi.
Tim co-founded and was President of Grassroots.com the leading political web technology company (acquired by Edelman). In 1995, he founded WorldPages, the internet's first white & yellow pages (NYSE:WPZ, then acquired by BT). Tim also co-founded TRUSTe.org which has been the internet’s privacy standard for nearly 15 years. He was the first investor and advisor to Match.com (NASDAQ:IACI) and a Director of Accept.com (acquired by AMZN).
After earning his MBA, Tim was a principal at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) where he led CEO-level strategy consulting work building the high-technology practice. Previously, Tim was an electrical engineer at Beckman Instruments, where he developed the first electronic speech synthesizer for use in intensive care units, and the world's first medical & scientific instrument-on-a-chip.
Tim holds an MBA from Stanford University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine where he founded the UCI Cycling Team. Tim is a board member of HiBEAM (nonprofit), and is an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at the University of Hawaiʻi Association and serves on the selection and mentoring committees of Blue Startups, and the Energy Excelerator. He is a founding Board Member of Reef Check Hawaiʻi and a member of the Hawaiʻi Venture Capital Association (HVCA). In between meetings, Tim is an avid sailor and cyclist.
Omar Sultan, Vice President
Omar is Co-Founder of Sultan Ventures, a company that offers consulting to startups and venture capital firms. Sultan Ventures has helped startups form and raise millions of dollars, file/receive patents and trademarks, and establish strategic partnerships. Omar has over 15 years of experience in information technology, business, and life sciences. He has worked with and led several startups, and has professional ties with hospitals, pharmas, and biotech companies in the US & ME.
As part of his work, Omar has personally designed, programmed, and implemented technologies ranging from hospital information systems to electronic medical record applications to radiology imaging systems. Currently, Omar is CEO of Protekai, a biotech company specializing in near infrared fluorescent proteins, and VP of Ala Wai Pharma, a drug delivery company focused on increasing the bioavailability of polar drugs. In addition, Omar helps manage the UPSIDE Fund, a venture fund focused on commercializing University of Hawaii intellectual property, and is a founding member of XLR8HI, a Hawaii science and technology accelerator. He holds a BSM in Finance from Tulane University’s AB Freeman School of Business and an MBA from the Shidler College of Business.
Creighton is Director of Strategic Planning at Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (HEI). HEI provides essential energy and financial services to the communities of our island state through its subsidiaries, Hawaiian Electric Companies and American Savings Bank. He is also actively involved in the utility’s transformation efforts and serves as the company’s key liaison with the Energy Excelerator, the Hawaiʻi-based accelerator program.
Creighton has more than 20 years’ corporate-level strategic planning, implementation, and performance management experience. He was previously Manager of Healthcare Strategy and Analysis with Hawai‘i Medical Services Association, and Director of Strategic Planning and Projects for Kaiser Permanente-Hawai‘i Region.He has given his time and resources to support his community. Since 2010, Creighton has served as an active volunteer with Hospice Hawai‘i; six years as a member of the Board of Directors and several officer positions including Board Chair. He continues to be an active volunteer on several committees. In 2015, Hawaiian Electric Industries recognized Creighton as the HEI Kokua Community Champion.
Born and raised in Hawaii, he has a BBA and Executive MBA from the University of Hawaiʻi.
Chenoa Farnsworth is the managing director of Blue Startups, Hawai‘i’s only venture accelerator. She also manages the Hawaii Angels investment network and is the founder of Hi Impact – an impact investment and social entrepreneurship organization launched in 2010. In 2006, she co-founded Kolohala Ventures, a Hawai‘i-based venture capital firm that invested $50 million into Hawai‘i-based technology startups.
Prior to that Chenoa provided strategy development and business planning consultation for startup companies and high-growth businesses through her company Farnsworth Consulting. She has held positions in health policy and legislative affairs in Hawai‘i and Washington DC. Chenoa has served as chair of the Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i, director of the Hawaii Women’s Business Center and judge and coach for the University of Hawai‘i business plan competition. She earned a BA in political science from the U.C. Santa Cruz and an executive MBA from the University of Hawai‘i.
Carnet, a serial entrepreneur, is the founder/CEO of fi.tt, which helps people be more active. He is also founder of Sockpost and founder and former CEO of Sprout (acquired by InMobi). He was previously Executive Director of HiBEAM, Director of Clean Trade at The Nature Conservancy, Director of Academic Technology at Stanford University, Associate Dean of Information Technology at Stanford Law School, Director of Business Development at TurboLinux, founder/CEO of tactics.com, and founder and Executive Director of NetCorps. Carnet says, “You name it, I’ve done it or built it. Professional snowboarder, online ecommerce (tactics.com), social games (versus apps), online advertising (Sprout, InMobi), cook (chef), and much more. Throughout my journey it has always been about changing the world by building a great business making a bet on where the future will go. Sometimes that has worked and other times I have been just too far ahead. My teams have been my family and we try to have fun every day.”
Steve Sue is the author and founder of BizGym.com. Steve was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, educated at UCLA (computer animation & fine art BA) and UC Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law (JD). While wooed by both industries, Steve went entrepreneurial from the start as a small real estate developer. Within 8 years, his development company was recognized as the 6th fastest growing company in the San Francisco Bay Area with separate architectural and construction departments. As the key idea guy within his business, Steve was eventually pulled to other industries as a conceptualist of consumer experiences with significant works in retail, themed environments, live entertainment, hospitality and Internet-based environments. In the first decade of the millennium, Steve dedicated most of his energies as a conceptualist of casino mega resorts around the globe. Such projects involved orchestrating the combination of dozens of business types together into new eco-environments. This experience set the stage for Steve’s unique perspectives on business modeling and pitch development which are built into BizGym.com, a reinvention of traditional business planning that allows users to pitch and plan at the same time. BizGym.com currently manages thousands of business plans and has spawned two additional Honolulu-based projects: Lemonade Alley, a K-12 kid business competition, and Leihut.com, an online shopping mall that helps local entrepreneurs get their stuff out to the world through the Internet.
Donavan is a Senior Associate at Startup Capital Ventures, working alongside the fund’s partners in all aspects of potential and active investments. Donavan is also a 2x entrepreneur and community organizer. In 2010, Donavan co-founded Adama Materials, Inc., a venture-capital backed materials science company that develops proprietary nanotechnology-based advanced materials for use in composites and other applications. Donavan is also the co-founder of Asio Corporation, a software development consulting firm, specializing in software and systems engineering and community building strategies and implementation.
Donavan is active in various community organizations in volunteer and leadership capacities. More recently, Donavan co-founded The Purple Mai’a Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, focused on providing after school school technology maker and coding programs that are culturally-engaging and community focused in rural, socio-economic disadvantaged communities in Hawaii.
Donavan is a licensed attorney, and holds a BA and JD/MBA from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Prior to starting Adama Materials, Donavan worked as an associate at a Hawaii-based private equity firm.