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Matthew Howard

Managing Partner

Stage: Venture

Focus: Enterprise

Location: Palo Alto

Matt brings over 30 years of experience in marketing, product management, engineering, business development, and sales in a wide range of technologies to Norwest Venture Partners. Matt has appeared on the Forbes Midas List as a top 100 investor for three years and was recently recognized by Business Insider as one of the “19 Best Enterprise Tech Venture Capitalists.” He was also featured on AlwaysOn’s list of “Power Players in the Cloud.”

Matt focuses his efforts on mobile, security, rich media, cloud based services/applications, networking and storage sectors. He currently serves on the boards of 6 River Systems, Aporeto, Avere Systems, Bitglass, Blue Jeans Network, Exabeam, Mist Systems, and MobileIron (Nasdaq: MOBL).  Previously, Matt was on the board of Airespace (acquired by Cisco Systems), ConteXtream (acquired by HP),  Exablox (acquired by StorageCraft), Hadapt (acquired by Teradata), Morta Security (acquired by Palo Alto Networks), Omneon (acquired by Harmonic), Pertino Networks (acquired by Cradlepoint), Reconnex (acquired by McAfee), Retrevo (acquired by Shopzilla), ShotSpotter (Nasdaq: SSTI), Skystream Networks (acquired by Tandberg Television), SpectraLinear (acquired by Silicon Laboratories), Spinnaker Networks (acquired by Network Appliance), Summit Microelectronics (acquired by Qualcomm), Swan Labs (acquired by F5 Networks) and Webstacks (acquired by Extreme Networks). He was a board observer with FireEye (Nasdaq: FEYE), Yipes (acquired by Reliance/Flag Telecom) and ZettaCom (acquired by IDT). He previously served on the board of the Wireless Communications Alliance (WCA).

Before joining Norwest, Matt was an early employee of Cisco. After joining the company in 1992, Matt held a number of senior positions with Cisco’s IOS organization and the Internet Business Unit. He established Cisco’s security and VPN strategy, situated Cisco as the leading firewall appliance manufacturer, and launched the first load-balancing product.

Previously, Matt was vice president of marketing at Vertical Communications, where he focused on voice over IP and launched the first MGCP enabled media gateway. In addition, Matt has held various positions at Digital Equipment Corporation, BDM International, and Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN) Communications Corporation. He began his career as a cryptological analyst with the U.S. Naval Security Group.

Matt serves on the Technical Advisory Board for In-Q-Tel’s Lab41 initiative, a challenge lab working to address mission-critical problems for the U.S. Intelligence Community in Big Data analytics. He also serves as a consultant to the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, which supports the Rapid Reaction Technology Office in assisting the Department of Defense in identifying technologies that can address critical defense needs. He is a College of Engineering Dean’s Advocacy Council Member at Carnegie Mellon University, and was previously a consultant to the Defense Venture Catalyst Initiative program for the Department of Defense. Matt holds one patent in mobility and four in cyber security. The five software patents were achieved while working with Norwest portfolio companies.

Matt holds a bachelor of business administration, with an emphasis in information systems, and a master of science degree in telecommunications management.

Get To Know Matt

  • What was your first car?

    A yellow 1972 Pinto (it didn’t explode)

  • What is your favorite movie?

    Blues Brothers

  • Do you have a favorite quote?

    “If nothing changes, nothing changes,” and “Never, never, never give up” - Winston Churchill

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