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The Midas List: 2011's Top Tech Investors

Jul 28, 2011   |   Forbes

#5 Scott Sandell

New Enterprise Associates

  • Investment sector: Technology
  • Residence: Menlo Park, Calif.
  • Education: MBA, Stanford University; AB, Dartmouth College

Former Microsoft product manager turned venture capitalist is popular among his entrepreneurs: "What you see is what you get. Integrity radiates in everything he does," says one. Sandell has been on a winning streak: He is the largest shareholder in Fusion-io, which just filed to go public, revealing NEA's 39% stake. Sandell was an active lead investor in Playdom, which sold to Disney last summer for $563 million (plus a $200 million earn-out), and Data Domain, which went public before it was acquired by EMC for $2.4 billion in 2009 (NEA maintained a 14% stake). Sandell also led early-stage investments in fuel cell maker Bloom Energy and Workday, the software company cofounded by Greylock's Aneel Bhusri. Looks to Asia for promising companies; brought Chinese chipmaker Spreadtrum Communications to the Nasdaq in 2007 (market cap: $1.1 billion).

#29 Terry McGuire

Polaris Venture Partners

  • Investment sector: Life Sciences
  • Residence: Boston, Mass.
  • Education: MBA, Harvard Business School; MS, Dartmouth College; BS, Hobart College

Press-shy life science investor cofounded three companies before launching Polaris Venture Partners in 1996. Best known for his work commercializing academic research. Has led investments in 25 successful companies, including Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (current market cap: $1.2 billion) and GlycoFi (acquired by Merck for $400 million). Current portfolio includes Adimab (protein-based drug company valued over $500 million), SustainX (energy storage) and MicroCHIPS (implantable chips that monitor diseases or dispense drug doses). Former chairman of the National Venture Capital Association serves on the board of Akamai Technologies (current market cap $7.2 billion), Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineers, MIT’s David Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and Harvard Business School. Got his start at American Research & Development, widely regarded as the very first venture capital firm. TheFunded ranked McGuire its most loved VC.

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