Over 65 collective years of experience

Prior to forming the firm, Azure's General Partners had focused their careers specifically in the consumer, communications infrastructure, software and systems domains, with over 65 collective years of experience. Azure partners have built highly successful track records as investors, industry thought leaders and strategic advisors to technology management teams. Since founding Azure, we have built out our team with a strong, highly qualified group of supporting investment professionals and trusted advisors.

 
 
 
 

Paul Ferris

GENERAL PARTNER

Paul Ferris is a founding General Partner with Azure Capital Partners and has over 20 years experience working with high growth technology companies, with the past 16 years investing directly in consumer, communications technology, mobile, cloud applications and infrastructure, IoT, gaming and digital media related companies for Azure.  

During his career Paul has helped drive over 30 very successful venture backed outcomes, both as an investor and adviser.  Over the course of his career, Paul has provided strategic and investment advice to numerous leading technology companies. Notable firms include The Bouqs, Broadcom, Calix (IPO in 2010), Cerent (acquired by Cisco Systems), Com21 (IPO), Cyan (IPO in 2013; acquired by Ciena in 2015), Efficient Networks (acquired by Siemens), Eight Sleep, Matter.io, Native, Nortel Networks, Packet Engines (acquired by Alcatel), Phanfare (acquired by Carbonite), Phone.com (IPO), Ranovus, Shinesty, Siara Systems (acquired by Redback Networks), Siemens, SilkRoad, Sliderocket (acquired by VMware), SubPac, and Yik Yak.   Prior to founding Azure in 2000, Paul worked at several investment banks, including Credit Suisse First Boston, where he was the Global Head of the Communications Investment Banking Group, and at Deutsche Bank Securities and Morgan Stanley, where he focused on emerging technology companies. 

Paul received his B.A. degrees in Computer Science and English from Amherst College, where he graduated summa cum laude.

 

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Mike Kwatinetz

GENERAL PARTNER
 

Mike Kwatinetz is a founding General Partner with Azure Capital Partners where he specializes in software and related infrastructure technologies. His current board memberships are Chairish, Education.com, Julep, JumpStart, Le Tote, Medsphere, Open Road and Silkroad and he led Azure's investment in FilterEasy, Maker Media, Coffee Meets Bagel, Sprinklr and Tripping. He also served on the boards of Bill Me Later (acquired by eBay), BlogHer (acquired by SheKnows), Cooking.com (acquired by Target), Rooftop Media (acquired by Amazon.com), TripIt (acquired by Concur), TopTier (acquired by SAP), Wildseed (acquired by AOL), Prospect Park, and Woodbury Computer Associates (acquired by JWP).  Other representative investments include VMware (acquired by EMC).  Mike’s blog, SoundBytes II, is a continuation of his widely read technology investment strategy newsletter.

Prior to Azure, Mike was Group Head of Technology Research, a Managing Director and the senior software and hardware analyst at several major investment banks, including Credit Suisse First Boston, Deutsche Bank Securities and PaineWebber. Mike was also a senior research analyst at Sanford Bernstein & Co.

Prior to his career in technology research, Mike was CEO of Woodbury Computer Associates, a software products and consulting firm, which resulted in a 160x cash-on-cash return.

Mike, prior to Azure, has provided research coverage and strategic advice to numerous technology companies and has consistently been viewed as a top resource on many, including Microsoft, Compaq, Dell, Apple, Hewlett Packard, VA Linux and Gateway. His coverage universe also included e-business software and internet devices and infrastructure. His theories on the shift of industry control to Microsoft and Intel, "The 4th Wave of the Web," the advantages of Linux, and the need for PC vendors to go "Beyond the Box" were considered agenda setting for the investment community and contributed to his upgrade of Apple to a "Buy" in 1999.  He was top-ranked by Institutional Investor in PC Hardware and ranked second in PC Software and was the only sell-side analyst to ever be top three rated in both software and hardware, doing so for six straight years before leaving to form Azure in early 2000. In 1997 and 1998, Mike was rated Institutional Investor's No.1 Large-Cap "Home-Run Hitter" for stock selection among all Wall Street analysts and remained among the Top 5 in 1999. Furthermore, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal have selected him as the No.1 PC analyst.

Mike received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Mathematical Modeling from the University of California Berkeley and his M.B.A. in Finance & Accounting from New York University. He sat on the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) advisory committee for a number of years. He is also author of "The Big Tech Score," published by John Wiley & Sons.

 

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Paul Weinstein

GENERAL PARTNER

 

Paul Weinstein is a founding General Partner of Azure with over 28 years of investment experience across numerous sectors of technology. Paul's primary investment focus is on communications technology, data center, cloud infrastructure and applications and mobility solutions.  Paul is currently representing Azure on the boards of Fonality, InterModal Data, K2 Software, Virtual Instruments, Switchfly and Unitas Global.  Paul previously represented Azure on the following investments: Broadlight (acquired by Broadcom), NeoNova Network Services (acquired by NRTC), Tutum (acquired by Docker), World Wide Packets (acquired by Ciena), Vapps (acquired by Citrix), and Zend (acquired by Rogue Wave Software).  Paul has served on the Ericsson North American Advisory Board and the Citrix Startup Accelerator Advisory Board.

Prior to Azure, Paul was a Managing Director and communications equipment analyst covering the Data Communications and Network Equipment sectors at Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) in San Francisco. Prior to CSFB, Paul was a Managing Director and held a substantially similar position with Deutsche Bank Securities in San Francisco. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Paul was a Managing Director and held a substantially similar position with Paine Webber in New York and San Francisco. Prior to PaineWebber, Paul was a Senior Vice President and equity research analyst at Kidder Peabody in New York and Boston, where he was responsible for the Data Communications and Data Storage sectors. For four consecutive years (1995-1999), Paul was a top ranked analyst in the Institutional Investor and Greenwich Associates surveys.

Paul has provided strategic and investment advice on numerous communications equipment and data networking companies. Notable firms included; 3Com, Alantec Networks (acquired by Fore Systems), Aspect Telecommunications, Bay Networks (acquired by Nortel), Broadcom, Cabletron, CacheFlow (name changed to Blue Coat), Chipcom (acquired by 3Com), Cisco Systems, Conner Peripherals (acquired by Seagate), Efficient Networks (acquired by Siemens), EMC Corporation, Fore Systems (acquired by GEC), Juniper, Komag Corporation, Latitude Communications (acquired by Cisco), Maxtor Corporation, MMC Networks (acquired by AMCC), Newbridge Networks (acquired by Alcatel), Nortel Networks, Packet Engines (acquired by Alcatel), Quantum Corporation, Read-Rite Corporation, Seagate, SynOptics, WellFleet (acquired by SynOptics) and Xylan (acquired by Alcatel).

Paul received his B.S. degree in Finance from Babson College, where he graduated with highest honors. Paul has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
 

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Andrea Drager

VICE PRESIDENT

Andrea is a Vice President at Azure Capital Partners based in our Calgary office and is responsible for evaluating investment opportunities across Canada. She works with all our Canadian investments and selected consumer investments in the US.

Immediately prior to joining Azure, Andrea was co-founder of a start-up fashion and travel e-commerce company that designs and produces customizable travel bags and curates travel essentials. Prior to founding her own company, Andrea was a Director with strategy Consulting firm Monitor Deloitte, where she worked with clients in consumer businesses (innovation, marketing strategy, marketing transformation) and healthcare (healthcare delivery, pharmaceutical and medical device sectors). She has lived in Paris, London, and Toronto, and worked across North & South America, Europe and Africa.

Andrea received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University.

 
Andrea Drager Nov 2016.jpg
 
 
 

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Ali Wasti

PRINCIPAL

Ali Wasti is a Principal at Azure Capital Partners specializing in B2B/SaaS, consumer internet and mobile technologies. He serves as a Board Member for Convercent, and Board Observer for SwitchFly, Le Tote, Chairish and Unitas Global. In addition, he has led or co-led Azure's investments in Yik Yak, PredictionIO (acquired by Salesforce), Tutum (acquired by Docker), Coffee Meets Bagel, Sprinklr, Tripping, IrisVR, Eight Sleep and VIDA.

Ali is a successful technology executive and investor. He has over 10 years of operating experience in various leadership positions in the technology sector. Prior to joining Azure, Ali led global business development for IBM’s Information Management and Analytics software businesses. In this capacity, he launched IBM’s OEM software business and led deals with companies of all sizes worldwide. In the past, he has held senior product and engineering roles within enterprise software. Ali has also spent time at Mohr Davidow Ventures, where he focused on enterprise and cloud infrastructure investments. He started his technology career building large scale databases.

He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School where he won the Venture Capital Investment Competition, was the CFO of the Venture Capital and Private Equity club and was the Assistant Producer of the HBS Show. Ali is global chair of the HBS Alumni Angels, the largest university-affiliated angel group in the world.  He received his B.S. in Computer Science from McMaster University.

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Steve Gillan

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
 

Steve Gillan is the Chief Financial Officer of Azure.  He serves as a Board Observer for Open Road Integrated Media and Rooftop Media.

Prior to joining Azure, Steve was Chief Financial Officer at Mercantila, an e-commerce start-up where he was responsible for finance, human resources, administration and legal functions. Previously, Steve was a member of the Board of Directors and the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Fathom Online, a search marketing services and technology company where he led the company through its acquisition by Geary Interactive, a full services digital marketing agency. Previously, Steve was Chief Financial Officer at Alibris, a leading online marketplace for independent sellers of books, music and movies, where he led the company’s IPO efforts. Prior to his roles at these start-ups, Steve held a number of international and senior level finance positions with publicly traded manufacturing companies.

Steve currently serves on the CFO Task Force of the NVCA and served two terms on the board of VCBC, a 300+ member organization of finance professionals in venture capital and private equity.  Steve received his M.B.A. in Finance and Business Policy from the University of Chicago and his B.S. degree in Accountancy from the University of Illinois-Urbana, and is a CPA.

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Lisa McNamara

CONTROLLER

 

Lisa McNamara is the Controller for Azure Capital Partners.   Lisa is responsible for managing financial accounting and reporting for the firm’s limited partnerships, managing the capital call and distribution processes and analyzing Portfolio Company performance and valuation.

Prior to joining Azure, Lisa spent over 20 years in management and financial roles at large corporations and non-profit organizations.  Lisa spent 15 at IBM in management and staff positions in finance and accounting and product management.   More recently, Lisa worked as the Controller for two non-profit organizations where she was responsible for accounting and financial planning. 

Lisa holds an M.B.A. in Finance with highest honors from Marist College and a B.S in Commerce and Engineering from Drexel University.   She has held numerous board positions for various volunteer organizations.

 
 
 
 

Dan Park

VENTURE PARTNER

Dan Park is General Manager, UberEverything at Uber, and is a Venture Partner at Azure Capital Partners.  He currently serves as a Board Member for FanXchange.

Immediately prior to joining Uber Canada, Dan was a Principal at Azure where he evaluated investment opportunities across Canada and selected investments in the US.  Prior to Azure, Dan was a Vice President and a founding member of Foros Group, a technology-focused investment banking advisory firm based in New York.  In this capacity, he helped launch the firm and was responsible for business development and transaction execution.  Prior to Foros, Dan worked at Deutsche Bank Securities in New York focusing on technology, media & telecommunications, and healthcare and at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto.

Dan received an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Honors Economics & Finance (First Class Honors) from McGill University, where he served as President of the Management Undergraduate Society and was awarded the Scarlet Key for outstanding contribution to McGill.
 

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