My team explored every option we could imagine to elevate our strategic investment capabilities for early stage engagement to the next level. We quickly aligned around the notion of starting with a blank sheet of paper – what could we do if Cisco removed all constraints? Thus began the process of finding the right partner to help us begin filling out that sheet of paper. I had the opportunity to meet Jon Sakoda personally many years ago. He was a founder himself, having started his first company back in 2001, which he successfully exited before becoming a venture capitalist at one of the most preeminent firms in the industry for the next 12 years.What made Jon special wasn’t just the fact that he was a successful investor across a broad set of areas, from enterprise software to consumer internet companies, he had a shared vision for what we could do together. From the onset, we knew there was a unique opportunity to marry the best of early stage venture with the best of what a company like Cisco can offer. Over the course of a year, Jon and my team started filling in the blanks – leading to the formation of Decibel as the first independent, early stage venture capital firm to be created by a major technology company focused exclusively on early stage investing in the Enterprise.
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