Kara Swisher

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Menlo Ventures’ Pishevar and Goldman’s Stanford to Found Sherpa, a Startup Aimed at Making New Startups

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Well-known Silicon Valley investor and entrepreneur Shervin Pishevar of Menlo Ventures and Goldman Sachs tech banker Scott Stanford are starting a new company that will focus on formulating a new model of how startups are created.

Pishevar confirmed his move, but Stanford did not respond to a query about the new effort.

That said, sources said he is poised to leave the investment bank and partner with Pishevar in a new venture called Sherpa, which has two parts.

One is called The Foundry, which is being funded by a number of major strategic corporations, who are presumably looking to gain a digital edge. It will also include well-known entrepreneur partners, but no investors or venture capital firms.

There will also be a fund related to invest in the new companies created, which will also include assets added in from the larger companies.

It’s not exactly an incubator or accelerator, said Pishevar in an interview, given the mixed record of those efforts to create startups. He would not give any more details as yet.

Pishevar will remain as a venture advisor to Menlo, as part of the change, and has also been named a strategic advisor to Uber, the fast-growing car service.

Said Pishevar: “I’m incredibly excited to announce my new endeavor, Sherpa and The Foundry. This is the biggest idea I’ve ever pursued. I’m also so excited about my new role as strategic advisor to Uber and very honored to stay as a venture advisor at Menlo to continue the epic work we have done together.”

The parting with Menlo appears to be amicable. “Menlo is excited to see Shervin’s new model come to fruition while continuing to work together in his role as a venture advisor,” said Menlo’s Shawn Carolan. “As anyone who knows him can attest, his talents in spotting great ideas, connecting and evangelizing are exceptional and his venture advisor role allows us to continue to collaborate on finding and creating value together.”

Indeed more than many in the tech scene, the incessantly networking Pishevar is perhaps well suited to such an ambitious effort like Sherpa. He’s has worked closely with a lot of Web 2.0′s hottest startups, such as Uber, Fab and Warby Parker, while also leading Menlo’s investment in Tumblr.

An active angel investor, he has also started a number of companies, such as the Social Gaming Network, which was merged with Mindjolt.

And Stanford is equally well known in Silicon Valley, having shepherded a wide variety of high-profile deals for the banking giant, while heading its global Internet investment banking business from San Francisco as a managing director.

He’s been at Goldman for a dozen years and has been involved in investments in Facebook, Zappos and LinkedIn. Before banking, he worked at pioneering search company, LookSmart.


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