MENLO PARK, Calif. – In an effort to bolster its resources as a seed- and early-stage venture investor, Lucent Venture Partners, the $100 million captive vehicle for Lucent Technologies Inc., added entrepreneur Maureen Lawrence as a partner.
Ms. Lawrence, who most recently ran her own technology start-up marketing and management consulting firm, spent several years whetting her appetite before making a permanent entree into the venture capital industry. After spending her early career in senior marketing and management positions with companies such as Raytheon Co. and Digital Equipment Corp., she joined Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) as an entrepreneur-in-residence in 1992.
“The hope with [entrepreneur-in-residence programs],” she said, “is that you can catch on with one of the firm’s portfolio companies,” which is exactly what Ms. Lawrence did in 1994 when she joined Whitetree Inc., an ATM switching developer in IVP’s portfolio, as president and chief executive.
Ms. Lawrence later realized, however, that she enjoyed her experience as a de facto venture capitalist at IVP.
After Whitetree was sold to Ascend Communications in 1997, Ms. Lawrence formed Aegis Consulting, through which she met Lucent Venture Partners’ Managing General Partner John Handley. Mr. Handley soon offered her a chance to join Lucent as a partner, an opportunity Ms. Lawrence said she could not pass up.
“I felt this firm could bring some additional assets to companies” through its relationship with Lucent Technologies, she explained.
Ms. Lawrence’s background in switching technologies will bring the firm expertise in data networking, one of its key areas of focus. Lucent also is interested in network management, wireless data systems and enterprise management software, areas that help leverage the company’s core business either as potential acquisitions or technologies that Lucent could distribute.
Geoff Yang, a general partner at IVP who worked with Ms. Lawrence during her stint there, said she will be a great addition to the Lucent investment team. “Maureen brings a great balance of in-depth industry background, technical skills, marketing savvy and general management experience,” he said.
The $100 million LVP Fund I, launched in February 1998 (VCJ, April 1998, page 4), at press time had made 12 seed- and early-stage investments representing about a quarter of the fund’s resources.