Beezer Clarkson: Funding the Future of IT
Managing Director, SAP Ventures (a venture capital firm in Palo Alto, CA)
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethclarkson
Beezer leads investment activity for SAP Venture’s international fund of funds focused on early stage venture firms. She started her career in financial services 20 years ago at Morgan Stanley in its Global Infrastructure Group. Since then she has held various direct and indirect venture investment roles, as well as operational roles in software business development at Hewlett Packard. Most recently, she managed the day-to-day operations of the Draper Fisher Jurvetson Global Network, which then had $7 billion under management across 16 venture funds worldwide and 400 active portfolio companies.
Innovating in Field of Work:
• Beezer enables innovation by investing in leading early stage venture firms in the US, Europe and Israel.
• She is an investor champion (and former advisory board member) to Astia, an organization committed accelerating the funding and growth of high-potential women-led startups.
• She is also an advisory board member to Inventure, a female-led organization that supports micro-businesses in Africa and India that are typically run by women.
• At SAP Ventures, Beezer was brought on to manage the fund of funds, $405M vehicle investing in early stage venture funds in the US, Israel and Europe, as well as participate on the leadership committee helping to guide operations and overall firm growth.
• Beezer is pioneering the path to being a next generation investor in early-stage venture funds. She, and her team, facilitate and nurture connections between portfolio companies and C-level executives at SAP and among SAP customers and channel partners – one of the world’s largest enterprise IT ecosystems.
• Beyond her colleagues and peers, she maintains a strong commitment to empowering women universally. Most recently she served on the board of trustees of Wesleyan University from 2011 -2014 and of the Alonzo King Line’s Ballet from 2006 – 2011.
• On top of an incredibly vibrant and demanding career, she is also a working mother.
Reinvention / Risk / Momentum:
Within the past twenty years, Beezer has reinvented herself multiple times, creating a career by always pursuing new questions and striving to deliver meaningful answers. This has led Beezer to move multiple times cross country – its own form of physical disruption as well as move between industries, another form of disruption and self-reinvention. She began her career as an investment banking analyst in Morgan Stanley’s Global Infrastructure Group, then pursued a role as a consultant in a management-consulting group within Towers Perrin, following which she joined a venture firm/incubator in the heart of Silicon Alley in the summer of 2000. Since then she has also held various roles including software business development at Hewlett Packard, investing in emerging markets and has been in venture capital since the late 2000s.
“Beezer has always welcomed, even sought the unconventional in her career, which is reflected in her desire to take on new challenges, explore alternative answers to existing problems and work at the intersection of discrete disciplines.”