Based in Palo Alto (CA), Jean-Francois “Jeff” Clavier is the Founder and Managing Partner of SoftTech Venture Consulting, a firm providing services to the “software ecosystemâ€?, primarily early stage consumer Internet startups. Jeff will typically get involved as an advisor, board member or part-time executive, focusing on business development, fund raising, and strategy matters. His current areas of interests include next generation search, social media (blogging, syndication, aggregation), and open source. These are also the primary topics covered on his blog, Software Only – alongside venture capital, startup and industry news, conferences,…

Jeff has spent over sixteen years in the software market, as an entrepreneur, a senior executive and a venture capitalist. Throughout his career, he got exposed to the global market: leading development teams in Europe and on Wall Street, designing products that were sold internationally and investing in software infrastructure startups across the USA and Europe. Prior to founding SoftTech VC, Jeff was the President of RVC Capital, the firm managing the Reuters Greenhouse Fund – the Corporate Venture arm of Reuters that has invested $560M in 82 companies since 1994, including Yahoo!, Verisign, Phone.com, Infoseek,… As the Partner in charge of US Operations, Jeff’s focus was on investing and managing the US portfolio, as well as supporting all companies in their commercial and business development efforts.

Jeff’s Board involvements included UltraDNS (CA), Tacit (CA) and Pathfire (GA). He was also involved in a number of other portfolio companies: Moreover (UK), Bitpipe (MA), PacketVideo (CA), SpiritSoft (UK), Epicentric (CA), Kinecta (CA), GiantBear (NY) and Epoch Partners (CA). Jeff joined the Venture arm of Reuters from its product development division, where he was leading the development of the Risk Management and Desktop unit. He had direct responsibly for 250+ staff in Paris, London and New-York, developing a number of leading front and middle office products: the ATW suite of Unix applications, the Kondor+ Risk Management offering, and the flagship Reuters Desktop Kobra/3000 Xtra, that he designed back in 1993. Jeff became instrumental in the development of the Reuters Open Systems product line since the early 1990’s, after its acquisition of Effix Systems, the Paris-based early stage startup company he joined in 1989. A seasoned speaker at events of the VC and technology community in the US, Jeff has also been for 3 years the co-producer of the RVC SoftEdge conference, a yearly gathering of the different “components� of software innovation: entrepreneurs, thought leaders, leading technology columnists, CIOs, senior executives of established technology players and venture capitalists. One of the key features of the conference was also to bring innovation from the US, Europe and Israel, hence the choice of organizing it in New-York. More recently, Jeff co-chaired the SDForum Search SIG and the affiliate Vertical Search Conference, Vertical LEAP.

Born in France, in the great city of Tours (in the Loire Valley), Jeff moved to Paris in 1987 to earn an Engineering degree in Computer Science from Paris V and a Research degree in Distributed Systems from Paris VI. He remained in Paris until 2000, spending a lot of his time between London, New York and the Bay Area. He relocated to Palo Alto in 2000, and has been happily living there with his wife and two children ever since.


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