Semil Shah

Semil Shah

Semil Shah is a venture advisor at Bullpen Capital and GGV Capital as well as an investor through a small fund called Haystack. He was previously involved in mobile product development, marketing, and distribution at Swell while working as a formal paid consultant to a variety of venture capital firms, focused on deal evaluation, due diligence, marketing, and special operations.

Shah is also a public speaker, an official contributor to TechCrunch, and TV show host for “In The Studio.” He also writes for Haywire and produces interviews to be aired on iTunes. Before moving to the Valley in 2010, Shah helped start a life sciences company (MegaCell Therapeutics) in Boston, wrote for Harvard Business Review, and worked for Harvard University and a non-profit organization. He was also employed as a cook at Bi-Rite Market and professional bartender in New York City.

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Latest from Semil Shah

  • In The Studio: Vinny Lingham

    “In the Studio,” Gyft’s Vinny Lingham Presents A Brilliantly Dead-Simple Idea For Holiday Gift-Giving

    “In the Studio” powers through Black Friday by welcoming a serial entrepreneur, originally from South Africa, who has now started his third company out of Palo Alto and timed his moves perfectly for recent advances in mobile hardware and the holiday season. Vinny Lingham, the CEO and co-founder of Gyft, has devised a brilliantly dead-simple idea to attack the growing gift card… Read More

  • In The Studio With David Merrill

    “In the Studio,” Sifteo’s David Merrill Unveils “Sifteo Cubes” To The World

    “In the Studio” presents the first of two special holiday segments this Thanksgiving holiday by welcoming one of the co-founders of one of my personal favorite startup companies. Almost five years ago, Sifteo’s David Merrill and his cofounder, Jeevan Kalanathi, embarked on a long journey that would take them from MIT’s Media Lab to San Francisco’s Dogpatch… Read More

  • “In the Studio,” MkII’s Ron Palmeri Puts His Own Spin On The VC Model

    “In the Studio,” MkII’s Ron Palmeri Puts His Own Spin On The VC Model

    “In the Studio” kicks off some special holiday episodes this weekend by hosting a repeat entrepreneur, a product maker and marketer, a technology operator, a venture capitalist, an innovator in the venture model space, and a longtime friend of TechCrunch. Ron Palmeri, founder of MkII Ventures (pronounced “Mark 2” Ventures) is one of my favorite kind of entrepreneurs… Read More

  • Iterations: The Unbundling Power Of Mobile

    Iterations: The Unbundling Power Of Mobile

    The act of “bundling” and the unleashed energy created by “unbundling” are both powerful forces. As consumers, we’ve all been subject to the bundling powers held by companies with unfair regulatory advantages, price collusion, and less competition every time we look over our monthly cell phone bills or cable bills. Years ago, the first software product I worked on… Read More

  • “In the Studio,” Lightspeed’s Bipul Sinha Is Looking For Founders With An Edge

    “In the Studio,” Lightspeed’s Bipul Sinha Is Looking For Founders With An Edge

    “In the Studio” welcomes an engineer, originally from India, who came to the U.S., earned an MBA, worked stints as a software engineer, investment banker, and database architect before becoming a venture capitalist and now, up-and-coming investor who makes big bets on both consumer and enterprise IT products. Bipul Sinha, a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, is a rare breed… Read More

  • Iterations: Putting Entrepreneurial Risk In Perspective

    Iterations: Putting Entrepreneurial Risk In Perspective

    In today’s world of popularized tech entrepreneurship, especially the consumer-facing variety, the constant (social) media attention maintains a fever pitch. In this current lifestyle wave, the plethora of online publishing and distribution tools means that folks with knowledge can openly share it with others, and one of the most popular topics people in this ecosystem enjoy creating… Read More

  • “In the Studio,” Quizlet’s Andrew Sutherland Quietly Built A Classroom Juggernaut

    “In the Studio,” Quizlet’s Andrew Sutherland Quietly Built A Classroom Juggernaut

    “In the Studio” welcomes someone who created a project during his sophomore year of high school, released it to the world two years later, spent three years in college before dropping out to work on the company full-time, and now, almost eight years later, is continuing to build technologies and products for millions of students and teachers worldwide. Andrew Sutherland, the… Read More

  • Iterations: All The News That’s Fit To Reinvent

    Iterations: All The News That’s Fit To Reinvent

    If there was a time-lapse video chronicling how humans have shared and received news information throughout history, the transcript of that video would go something like this: Chest-thumping. Hand gestures. Screaming. Cave paintings. Language. Carrier pigeons, or personal messengers. Scrolls and the printing press. Pamphlets, periodicals, telegrams, and newspapers. Eventually, television, and… Read More

  • “In the Studio,” Bump’s David Lieb Discusses Flock And A Shift To Background Services

    “In the Studio,” Bump’s David Lieb Discusses Flock And A Shift To Background Services

    “In the Studio” this week hosts a first-time founder and entrepreneur who began his career as an engineering student at two of the country’s finest universities and played baseball for his college team, after which he worked at one of the country’s largest technology research and product companies before enrolling in and dropping out of business school to work on building… Read More

  • Iterations: “It’s Delicate, But Potent”

    Iterations: “It’s Delicate, But Potent”

    very now and then, I’ll get sucked into the distracting, immersive, emotional habit of flipping through pictures online. Rifling through albums can stop time. It’s disorienting, like stumbling upon an old photograph in your drawer, the type of visually arresting trigger that takes you back through time. For me, I keep a small cigar box full of all my old photographs, dating back… Read More

  • “In the Studio,” Sosh’s Rishi Mandal Wants To Attack Offline Monotony

    “In the Studio,” Sosh’s Rishi Mandal Wants To Attack Offline Monotony

    “In the Studio” hosts an entrepreneur who, after studying astrophysics, went on to handle various product management roles at a small startup eventually acquired by Google and who know, most recently, helped launch a venture-backed mobile application startup based in San Francisco. Rishi Mandal, co-founder and CEO of Sosh, has brought a team together to bring real web scale… Read More

  • Iterations: The Harsh Realities Of iOS App Distribution

    Iterations: The Harsh Realities Of iOS App Distribution

    In this post, I’m going to try illuminate a tactical problem many application developers face, but unfortunately, I must claim upfront that I don’t know if any solution exists without a fundamental change occuring. The topic for this week’s column is to peel back the layers on mobile app distribution in Apple’s iOS, and in doing so, hopefully illuminate areas developers… Read More

  • “In the Studio,” TwitSpark’s Davy Kestens Carves Out His Own Path

    “In the Studio,” TwitSpark’s Davy Kestens Carves Out His Own Path

    “In the Studio” continues this week by welcoming a young founder, originally from Europe, who started tinkering with computers a decade ago, taught himself programming languages, began working and consulting while in high school, dropped out of college, bought a one-way ticket to Silicon Valley, and now, at the ripe age of 23, is the co-founder and CEO of a venture-backed… Read More

  • Iterations: Finding Your Signal In The Noise Of Fundraising

    Iterations: Finding Your Signal In The Noise Of Fundraising

    There’s no shortage of blog posts, message threads, and Coupa- & Creamery-inspired banter around the topic of fundraising for early-stage startups. And, as nearly every founder knows all too well, the mantra is “always be fundraising.” And yet, at the same time, something doesn’t feel quite right with respect to the manner in which investors and founders court… Read More

  • “In the Studio,” Graphicly’s Micah Baldwin Leafs Through the Future of Books

    “In the Studio,” Graphicly’s Micah Baldwin Leafs Through the Future of Books

    “In the Studio” rolls into the fall months by hosting a jack of all startup trades, someone who has founded a company (and is CEO), but who also is extremely generous with his time as an advisor, coach, and storyteller to startups. Micah Baldwin, CEO and founder of Graphicly, not only knows a lot about books, but also where books are headed. At Graphicly, Baldwin and his team focus… Read More

  • Iterations: Reinvention And Re-Rolling The Dice

    Iterations: Reinvention And Re-Rolling The Dice

    The topic of this week’s column is time-honored when it comes to business, perhaps even overused in many cases, and in the startup world, sometimes mocked, and at others, romanticized, but usually only in hindsight: The Pivot. This is a loaded word, so I should be clear that its more to describe a business decision on a spectrum, with “slight shift” on one end and… Read More

  • “In the Studio,” Kiip’s Courtney Guertin Keeps His Midwestern Ethic

    “In the Studio,” Kiip’s Courtney Guertin Keeps His Midwestern Ethic

    “In the Studio” enters Q4 by welcoming someone who picked up computer science because he was bored in college, went on to build products and bootstrapped businesses before eventually packing his bags and heading out west, where he landed at one of the Valley’s most talented startups and eventually met his future co-founder for his next business. Courtney Guertin, the founder… Read More

  • Iterations: We Know About B2B And B2C, But Don’t Overlook B2D

    Iterations: We Know About B2B And B2C, But Don’t Overlook B2D

    Consumer and enterprise. Software and hardware. Infrastructure operations and user experience. Products and services. No matter the focus, innovation in technology, and especially around Silicon Valley, has ebbed and flowed across these areas. Some new companies focus on building solutions for the enterprise, and perhaps nowadays it’s too easy to take the consumer route. The purpose of… Read More

  • “In the Studio,” Maynard Webb Pays It Forward With WIN

    “In the Studio,” Maynard Webb Pays It Forward With WIN

    “In the Studio” welcomes this week a seasoned operational executive, a board member at some of the Valley’s largest companies, and long-time angel investor who, upon leaving behind his work in industry became so interested in early-stage startups, he not only started his own seed-stage technology fund, but also elected to put his own personal twist on his model. Maynard… Read More

  • Iterations: Recruiting The New Labor Force

    Iterations: Recruiting The New Labor Force

    Most Apple fans become slightly uncomfortable at the sight of Apple’s latest television commercials featuring celebrities talking aimlessly to their iPhones. A subtle message in these ads is that consumer technologies can now place virtual assistants in the palms of our hands. The advertising logic is as follows: get a new iPhone, ask it for information or to run tasks, and it will oblige. Read More

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