Daniel Chalef, CEO
Daniel drives KnowledgeTree’s ambitious goal to unlock the value of sales and marketing collateral. He co-founded KnowledgeTree in South Africa and led the company through its relocation to the US and major series A and B funding rounds. He was an early employee at South Africa’s highly successful and first Internet Service Provider.
Daniel is recognized internationally for his opinions on technology and business, and has been quoted in TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Business Insider, eWeek, and The Guardian (UK). He is also an active supporter of the local technology community, where he frequently guest speaks and advocates for start-ups. Follow Daniel on Twitter: @danielchalef
Petra Weishaupt-Smith, CFO
Petra Weishaupt-Smith has more than two decades of financial experience in software and internet technology companies. She joined most recently from Digitalsmiths Corporation, a video discovery technology company, where she served as COO and CFO, and electronic medical records software company A4 Health Systems, where she served as CFO. Prior to that, she served as principal financial officer of Total Sports Inc., and held senior financial positions at SEER Technology/Level 8, Maxm Systems Corporation and BSG, Inc., a subsidiary of Medaphis, Inc. She has also served as a senior accountant and consultant at Ernst & Young International in Stuttgart, Germany and Raleigh, North Carolina. Ms. Weishaupt-Smith is a licensed CPA and holds a B.S. in Accounting from St. Leo University.
Petra has a successful track record in guiding early-stage technology companies through fund raising, growth, acquisitions and IPOs. She brings a great skill set and a dynamic approach to our executive team.
Bill Dalton, VP of Engineering
Bill has over 15 years experience assembling and running highly productive, cohesive technical teams to solve challenging large scale problems. Prior to joining KnowledgeTree Bill led 100+ programmer teams delivering online entertainment services for Electronic Arts, Sony Online Entertainment and other publishers. In these roles Bill was responsible for technical execution and delivery of virtual world simulators, customer support services, quality of service monitoring solutions, digital delivery systems, web presence, community management systems, SaaS integrations, content creation tools and pipelining processes.
Prior to entering the online field Bill lectured in Astronomy at the University of Virginia and authored a number of astrophysical research papers.
Peter Mollins, VP of Revenue Generation
Peter brings 15 years of experience marketing technology companies in an international setting. At Micro Focus he was head of product marketing across the Application Management and Quality division, which was created from the acquisition of Borland plus Compuware’s ASQ division. Previously, he drove marketing for Relativity Technologies, where he was responsible for product and corporate marketing. He has held a variety of marketing roles in Europe and the US with Netscape, iMediation, and TogetherSoft. He holds a Masters of International Management from Thunderbird. Follow Peter @petermollins
Daniel Wideman, VP of Product
Daniel Wideman joins KnowledgeTree with 14 years experience in product development and product management for both early growth and industry-leading technology companies. At Lulu.com, he ran product management for a $40M business serving 1.5M customers across 180 countries, and was responsible for launching Lulu’s new eCommerce and open publishing platforms. Previously, he was Director of Information Architecture at Relativity Technologies. Daniel has a track record of success working with globally distributed product teams. He is a widely published author across many genres who began his IT career in information development. Daniel brings a unique appreciation for the power of great documentation along with a passion for building and taking disruptive products to market.
Advisors and Board Members
Marc Balkin, Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa
Marc has lead Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa since its inception in 2008. Prior to HPVA Marc co-founded O2 Capital in 2000 and has periodically consulted to several South African Investment Banks. He began his professional career as an attorney with Werkmans Inc and holds a BA and LLB degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand. Marc has extensive experience in private equity management, having served as non-executive Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Enablis Khula Acceleration and Loan Funds and serves as member of the First National Bank Enterprise Development Fund Board.
Daniel Chalef, CEO
Daniel also sits on the KnowledgeTree board.
Will Dunbar, Core Capital
Will Dunbar co-founded Core Capital Partners in 1999. Prior to Core, he was founder and CEO of Pebble Hill Capital, an investment company providing early-stage funding to information technology and communications companies, including webMethods, a leading business integration software company that went public in 2000 and was successfully sold in 2008.
Previously, he was a senior executive at Allied Capital, a family of publicly traded private equity funds, from 1987 to 1997 and served on the Investment Committee of each fund during that time. He was President and a Board Member of Allied Capital Corporation II, a $100 million publicly traded private equity fund for five years. Under Will’s watch, Allied II invested in or acquired 46 privately-held growth companies. He also served as Executive Vice President of Allied Capital Advisers, the management company for the Allied family of funds, and as Chief Investment Officer for Allied’s private equity activities for five years.
Will holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from Davidson College. He lives with his wife and three children in Alexandria, Virginia.
Ed McCarthy, River Cities Capital Funds
Ed entered the venture capital industry in 1984 and joined the River Cities team in 1999. He heads River Cities’ Raleigh office where he maintains an extensive network of contacts through the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states.
During the five years before joining River Cities, Ed served as executive vice president and director of the corporate general partner of a private equity/venture capital partnership in North Carolina. Previously, Ed was a principal with a venture capital firm with offices in Virginia and North Carolina. Ed began his career in the Information Systems Sector of the Harris Corporation in Melbourne, Florida. Initially serving as a design engineer, Ed went on to spend twelve years in engineering management and product-line management positions. He has extensive experience on a number of boards of directors of private and public companies. He has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the National Association of Small Business Investment Companies (NASBIC) and is a past President of the Southern Regional Association of Small Business Investment Companies. He has also been a speaker and panelist at NASBIC Annual Conferences and other industry events. Ed holds a BSEE from Northeastern University, an MSEE from Florida Institute of Technology, and an MBA from Stetson University.
Ed also serves on board of the Atlanta Venture Forum and is also the current chair of the board of Follow the Child Montessori School in Raleigh, NC.
Phillip Merrick, Bibury Partners
Phillip is the founder and managing partner of Bibury Partners, an early stage technology investment and advisory firm. Previously, Phillip was co-founder and CEO of webMethods, Inc., a leading vendor of business integration software. Under his leadership, the company pioneered web services and XML-based software integration technologies, demonstrated the strongest revenue growth of any US software company in the period 1998 through 2002, and achieved the most successful software IPO to date in February of 2000. More recently he served as Chairman of EnterpriseDB Corporation and RollStream, Inc. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Melbourne, Australia.