The VC Exodus Continues: Polaris Partner Leaves to Start Own Company

Simeon Simeonov, a technology partner in the Boston office of Polaris Venture Partners, has left the venture firm to launch a startup meant to coach entrepreneurs and introduce them to funding sources. Simeonov joined the firm seven years ago after leaving Macromedia (now Adobe), where he was a VP. He also cofounded year-old Plinky, a Web service that aims to help visitors to blog and “tweet” more creatively and that has raised roughly $2 million from Polaris and SoftTech VC.

Simeonov is just the latest venture capitalist to leave the industry in the midst of what some see as a long overdue contraction. This morning, he told The Journal of New England Technology that “the pull to become more entrepreneurial grew stronger over time.”

Simeonov joins a long line of VCs to have left the industry. Tom Cole, who joined the  early-stage venture firm Trinity Ventures back in 1998 and was promoted to partner four years later, left to start what may be a stealth mode coupon site, Consuming Inc., in Palo Alto. Will Price, formerly a managing director at Hummer Winblad, also left the industry last year; he’s now CEO of the Hummer-backed portfolio company Widgetbox.

Other VCs to leave the industry include Vikram Kashyap, who was a junior venture capitalist at Battery Ventures on Sand hill Road from 1998 through 2001. Deciding he needed operating experience, Kashyap founded San Francisco-based Canopy Financial, which is working to move the payment process between consumers and their health car providers online. It has since raised roughly $26 million, including from Foundation Capital.

Touraj Parang is another venture capitalist-turned-entrepreneur. Years ago, he left a role as principal of Earlybird Venture Capital and more recently cofounded Jaxtr, a two-year-old, Palo Alto-based VoIP startup that’s raised $20 million so far.