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Dave is a 30-Year Veteran of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. He’s an entrepreneur who has started multiple companies, advisor who has raised over $15 billion for hundreds of companies, and investor in multiple billion dollar exits. He is passionate about advancing new ideas in technology and entertainment, and supporting philanthropic causes for disadvantaged groups. He’s a creator who enjoys writing books and drawing cartoons. He invites you to reach out.

BACKGROUND

I started my investment banking career at the age of 19 before I could legally attend happy hour.

I started my investment banking career working for Goldman Sachs and then joined the fledgling investment bank, Jefferies, when it had less than 200 employees and an equity market capitalization of under $200 million. Jefferies was a scrappy, entrepreneurial California-based bank that was started by an ex-cattle rancher in a phone booth and dared to challenge the incumbent giants of Wall Street. Today, Jefferies is a multi-billion dollar diversified public company (NYSE:JEF).

Over almost 25 years at Jefferies, I progressed from the proverbial janitorial suite to Managing Director co-running all Digital Media and Internet investment banking activities. I’ve worked with hundreds of companies, including IBM, Google, Microsoft, Sony, Yahoo!, and Yelp. I’ve managed all aspects of capital markets, venture capital and advisory for high growth Internet and technology companies and completed over 100 transactions for a broad range of companies in the USA, Asia and Europe. I’ve worked on almost every conceivable type of corporate finance transaction including IPOs, follow-on offerings, convertibles, securitizations, and private company sales. I’ve seen it all.

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After retiring from investment banking, I entered the world of start-ups and co-founded several companies in asset management, technology, media, and entertainment. My current and past activities include:

  • Vice Chairman of MobilityWare, one of the largest mobile, casual gaming companies in the world
  • CEO Advisor to Capacity, an artificial intelligence platform
  • CEO Advisor to Internet Brands/WebMD, a multi-billion dollar technology company
  • CEO Advisor to ProSiebenSat.1 Media, one of the largest media companies in Europe
  • CEO Advisor to TEG Live, a GRAMMY and Tony Awards winning live production company
  • CEO Advisor to Vobile, a billion dollar video software company
  • Investor in Philz Coffee, an iconic coffee retailer based in Silicon Valley
  • Investor in Stampede, a movie and TV production company

Dave is also a perspiring artist and writer who is learning how to draw and write funny. He studied creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania, Sundance Institute, and The Second City. He publishes a career advice column called “Breaking Bamboo,” and a cartoon series called “The ABC Life.”

Dave is active in philanthropy and non-profit organizations. Net proceeds from his books will go towards charities helping children born with clefts, Asian Americans, and other disadvantaged groups.

EDUCATION

Dave learned a few things at some of the world’s best schools

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Harvard Business School

I received a Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School so that I could improve my three-point shot and bench press over 300 pounds. In between time at the gym and the occasional class, I managed to raise $2 million for a software start-up that was little more than a slide presentation during the height of the first dot com bubble. I subsequently merged that business with another private company that ultimately met the same fate as the Titanic.

 

University of Pennsylvania

I have two Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Pennsylvania where I graduated with great honors from the Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology. At the Penn School of Engineering and Applied Science, I specialized in Systems Science and Engineering and analyzed manufacturing operations and built robots. At the Wharton School, I focused on Economics with a concentration in Finance so that I could balance my checkbook. I had to self-fund my education and was motivated by fear to complete the five-year program in four years. I am a member of the national engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi, and never saw the light of day during my undergraduate years.

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BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY

I enjoy being a great partner and counselor to entrepreneurs and C-level executives. It can be when they are starting out, scaling up, or seeking liquidity. I love the challenge of tough decisions with far reaching consequences!

Typical activities where I thrive include:

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    Starting a company from idea to financing and beyond

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    Developing and executing a product plan

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    Developing and executing financing strategies at all stages of growth

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    Identifying, creating, and optimizing acquisition interest from buyers

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    Developing and structuring acquisition growth strategies

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    Understanding the implications of changes in the competitive landscape

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    Seeking relationships with Internet, media, and technology companies

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    Assisting in the management of employees, investors, and customers

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    Kicking butt and having fun

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TYPICAL ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP

I believe in relationships based on trust and 100% alignment. As such, I seek arrangements that are primarily equity based where I am both investor and partner.

I believe in acute focus. I work with a limited group of companies where I can focus 100% of my energies. I typically participate as a Co-Founder, CEO Advisor or active Board Member.

TESTIMONIALS

“Dave is the smartest Internet investment banker I know. I have worked with him for many years...”

Harry Nelis
Partner, Accel
Former Goldman Sachs, Perry Capital

“David was a key man on the team at Jefferies that helped me to sell my company - TWICE!”

John Alexander

Trustee Emeritus, Cornell University; Founder, The CBORD Group

“One of the most talented, intelligent and energetic bankers with whom I have worked.”

Joseph Maly

MD, Seaport Global Securities Former Jefferies, Drexel Burnham

“Dave was really one of the most important mentors I’ve ever had professionally. Dave is an incredible manager and teacher...”

Jesse Selnick

CFO, Sight Sciences Former Blackstone, Jefferies

“David is the best. The depth of his knowledge in his space, technical expertise, transactional skills and integrity, are second to none.”

John Chiles

Former MD, Jefferies Former Dean Witter Reynolds

“Far and away, Dave has had a greater impact on my career than anybody I have ever worked with.”

Eric Hu

Director, Corp. Dev., Twilio Former Facebook, Jefferies

“I have gotten to know a number of bankers in the tech sector and worked with several firms; and I can say unequivocally that Dave Liu is among the very best.”

Don Mathis

GM, Comcast NBCUniversal Former AlixPartners, JP Morgan

“I highly recommend David to any entrepreneur looking for guidance on how to build and scale a business.”

Thomas Fang

VP, Roblox Former TrueCar, Jefferies

“I’ve worked with many i-bankers and Dave is by far the best...he’s also a very cool guy and really great to work with. I can’t recommend him any higher.”

Mark Lambert

CFO, FastSpring Former Tellme Networks, Yahoo!

“David is an extremely knowledgeable and creative thinker...he has served as a very trusted and candid source of independent advice...”

Marcus Shen

COO, B-Stock Solutions Former Yahoo!, KKR, CIBC

Current Non-Profit Activities

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    Member of the Executive Board

    Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology (M&T),
    a coordinated dual degree program offered at
    the University of Pennsylvania that combines Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science with the Wharton School

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    Member of the Trust Advisory Committee

    The Tau Beta Pi Association, the oldest engineering honor society and second oldest collegiate honor society in the U.S.

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    Chairman of Philanthropic Advisory Council

    Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft-focused organization, with a sustainable and local model of supporting surgery and other forms of essential care.

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