Board of Directors

The Board of Directors consists of venture capitalists and experienced senior executives with successful track records in memory and start-up industries.

Petro Estakhri CEO/President/Founder/Director

Petro Estakhri co-founded and has served as Chief Executive Officer for Avalanche Technology since August 2006. Prior Estakhri served as the Chief Technology Officer of Lexar Media, Inc. which he founded in 1996. Lexar Media is a pioneer in flash memory technology for the digital photography, consumer electronics, and communications markets and grew from a private start-up to the 55th largest company in Silicon Valley prior to its acquisition by Micron Technology, Inc. in June 2006. From 1993 to 1996, Estakhri served as the Senior Director of Mass Storage Controller Engineering at Cirrus Logic, Inc., a supplier of semiconductors for Internet entertainment electronics, where he developed one of Cirrus Logic's primary micro-controllers and co-founded the mass storage memory group. Estakhri also worked at IBM and National Semiconductor. Estakhri has served as a member of a number of boards, including Lexar Media's as well as Silicon Stor, a company that Estakhri co-founded in 2002. He currently sits on the board of Apixio. Estakhri is a co-author of more than 100 patents related to magnetic media, flash storage controller and systems architecture. Estakhri holds a B.S. and an M.S. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California at Davis.

Umesh Pavel Chairman of the Board

Umesh Pavel, Venture Partner at Thomvest Ventures focusing on investments in security and enterprise IT-focused sectors.

Prior to joining Thomvest, Umesh was a successful entrepreneur, investor and CEO of a public company. He most recently worked for over 8 years at Bessemer Venture Partners. Prior to Bessemer, he worked as an executive vice president at LSI after its acquisition of a public video infrastructure and distribution company, C-Cube Microsystem. At C-Cube, Umesh served as president and CEO and grew the company profitably to over $300m in revenue and 500 employees with a global presence.

Previously he was a board member at C-Cube Microsystem (Public, Sold to LSI), Entropic Communications (Public, Sold to Maxlinear), Silicon Image (Public, Sold to Lattice), Elantec (Public, Sold to Intersil), Berkeley Design Automation (Private, Sold to Mentor Graphics), Monolithic Power systems (Public), Tilera (Private, Sold to EZ chip) and PA semi (Private, Sold to Apple).

Umesh holds a Bachelor in Technology from Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai and a Master’s degree in engineering from Stanford University. He served on several advisory boards at Stanford University and currently serves on the board of Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Sutter Medical group.

Eric Stang Director

Eric Stang is the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Ooma (NYSE: OOMA). Eric joined Ooma from Reliant Technologies, a medical technology company, where he served as President and CEO and member of the Board of Directors. Prior to Reliant Technologies, Eric acted as Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Lexar, now a subsidiary of Micron. Under his leadership, Lexar became one of the 50 largest public technology companies in Silicon Valley, before its acquisition by Micron. Eric also serves as Chairman of the board of directors of Rambus (Nasdaq: RMBS) and is a member of the board of directors of Invensense (NYSE: INVN). He is a graduate of Stanford University and the Harvard Business School.

Will Stewart

Will Stewart is an investor and Avalanche Board Member since October 2006. Mr. Stewart is a General Partner at Rogers Venture Partners ( and is a board member of PokitDok, Docurated, and Trapit. He is the former Co-Founder and Chairman of Mezzanine Capital Partners ( which specializes in providing venture debt and equity financing to venture backed IT companies. Concurrently, he is the former Founder and President of Asia Pacific Ventures (APV – 1990 and has advised over 350 U.S. venture backed IT start-up companies in entering the Japan/Asia marketplace, raising more than $3 billion in equity, debt and joint venture financing over the past 20 plus years. Mr. Stewart was also the founding General Partner of APV Technology Partners I, II and III with over $200 million in early stage venture funding under management. Some of Mr. Stewart’s prior venture capital and venture debt successes include SiliconStor (acquired by LSI), Lexar Media (acquired by Micron), SecureTax (acquired by Intuit), Okena (acquired by Cisco), Sharewave (acquired by Cirrus Logic), Packet Engines (acquired by Alcatel). Other past investments in which Mr. Stewart has played a key role as venture capitalist, venture debt provider, and personal investor as well as securing additional global investors and business partners include WebTV (Sold to Microsoft), (Sold to Barnes and Noble), Capstone (NASDAQ: CPST), Epiphany (IPO), Good Technology (acquired by Motorola), Arcot Systems (acquired by CA), Nexabit (acquired by Lucent), SoonR (, Successfactors (acquired by SAP), Plastic Jungle (, Coremetrics (acquired by IBM), Transitive (acquired by IBM), Tessera (NASDAQ: TSRA), Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN), RSA (acquired by EMC), Wink (acquired by, Certicom (acquired by RIM), JiWire ( and Versata (acquired by Triology). Prior to founding APV, Mr. Stewart was a senior executive for NEC Corporation in Tokyo, Japan. Mr. Stewart has a B.A. in Economics from St. Anselm College, Manchester, NH and an MBA in Finance from Suffolk University, Boston, MA.
Rogers Venture Partners

Don Butler

Don Butler is a Managing Director with Thomvest Ventures. In addition to his work with Avalanche and several other technology companies, Don’s past investments have included Lending Club (NYSE: LC), FlashSoft (acquired by SanDisk), GuardianEdge (acquired by Symantec), and Okena (acquired by Cisco). Prior to Thomvest, Don led the Asian business development efforts for several start-up companies in the software and networking industries as part of his work with Asia Pacific Ventures. He also spent three years as an Analyst with Lehman Brothers, where he worked with clients in the software and semiconductor industries. Don received a B.A. in Chinese from UCLA and M.A.s in both East Asian Studies and Political Science from Stanford University.
Thomvest Ventures

Stewart Nagae

Stuart Nagae is a Partner in the early stage venture capital group at Vulcan Capital. Mr. Nagae has worked for Paul Allen at Vulcan since 2002 and during his tenure has invested across multiple asset classes including private equity and hedge funds, but ultimately chose to focus on venture capital where he enjoys working with start-up management teams to grow their businesses. Prior to Vulcan, he worked in the technology investment banking group at JP Morgan. Mr. Nagae received a BA in international relations from Stanford University and currently serves on the Boards of 4Info and Avalanche Technology. Stuart is also actively involved in the arts community serving on the board of Seattle-based music non-profit KEXP and the theatre production group OnwardHo Productions.


Thomvest Ventures
Vulcan Capital
Rogers Venture Partners
VTB Capital