Investing in Women: WITI San Diego Investor Panel

Barbara Bry CEO Blackbird Ventures incubates early stage technology companies. She was on the founding team of Provide, and Atcom/Info, a software company that pioneered high-speed Internet access in hotel rooms. In addition, she and her husband teach entrepreneurship at UC San Diego and write a weekly column on entrepreneurship for the San Diego Union-Tribune. She is also the founder of San Diego Athena, the leading organization for women in the San Diego technology and life sciences community, she was the first editor of the non-profit investigative news site Voice of San Diego, and she was the first associate director of CONNECT which has received international recognition for its role in nurturing early stage tech and life sciences companies.

Vern Yates experienced CEO, Advisor, Mentor and Investor in early stage companies.  Vern founded the San Diego Network of Tech Coast Angels and has served as Chairman of its Board of Governors.  Vern is currently CEO of Ameranth, a wireless software company, and a board member of Virtual Metrix, Filmetrics and Controltec, and was a board member of Tourmaline Networks until its sale.  Vern spent his working career in telecommunications, computers and software and is a member of the George Washington University Engineering Hall of Fame.

Mark Suster Partner GRP Partners Mark was Vice President, Product Management at following its acquisition of Koral, where Mark was Founder and CEO. Prior to Koral, Mark was Founder and CEO of BuildOnline, the largest independent global content collaboration company focused on the engineering and construction sectors, which was acquired by SWORD Group. Earlier in his career, Mark spent nearly ten years working for Accenture in Europe, Japan and the U.S.  Mark received a BA in Economics from the University of California, San Diego, and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Mark led the investment in Factual and currently sits on the Boards of the following companies in GRP’s portfolio:,, Burstly, Factual, GumGum, Pose and Ring Revenue.