Relay Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on Series A and seed investments, has announced its first executive in residence — Norman Winarsky, co-founder of Siri.
Winarsky is the former president of SRI Ventures at SRI International, a nonprofit independent research centre founded by Stanford University. In his role, Winarsky led SRI’s venture strategy and process, which has resulted in more than sixty ventures worth over $25 billion, including companies like Nuance, Intuitive Surgical, and Siri. Overall, Winarsky said that SRI has launched over 70 companies.
At Relay Ventures, Winarsky will act as advisor to entrepreneurs in the firm’s portfolio, and will support the firm’s investment team with due diligence on potential investments. Relay Ventures’ portfolio includes companies like ecobee, TouchBistro, and FreshGrade, which recently raised an $11.6 million Series A.
“My own experience has been to create and build startups based on market and technology breakthroughs, in areas ranging from artificial intelligence, robotics, medical devices, new materials, and biotechnology,” said Winarsky. “Having worked with hundreds of companies and entrepreneurs, as an EIR I can help provide my experiences and insights to entrepreneurs within the Relay Ventures portfolio. I can be of assistance in diligence of companies, particularly in offering a deep understanding of technology innovations.”
Entrepreneurs in Relay Ventures’ portfolio companies will also have the opportunity to learn from Winarsky, including identifying large market opportunities, building teams, and creating a business plan. Relay Ventures has offices in Menlo Park, California and Toronto. Winarsky will be based at the Menlo Park location.