Eridani Ventures

Eridani Ventures' mission is to create socially positive impact through clarity and innovation. We help founders and CEOs expand the space of the possible with new ideas, and then use our experience as founders and operators to help them clarify and communicate their goals.

Coaching

As a coach, Tom combines leadership mentoring and business expertise with the deeper support that comes from having been an entrepreneur himself. He is unafraid to go directly to the root of a sticky issue, and productively helps CEOs see issues they are avoiding. He uses his entrepreneurial experience to help brainstorm multiple solutions, often taking different points of view to explore the issue completely. Most importantly, he helps dig into the emotional and social context that underlies the issue, not just the surface content. He then helps clarify and prioritize the possibilities, and holds the CEO accountable for the outcome.

Innovation

Tom has been co-Founder of two successful companies, and continues to generate new ideas and products. He works with founding teams to help take advantage of new technologies, find product-market fit, and communicate effectively. He works well with engineers and product managers, having spent a decade as a professional coder in C, C++, Java, and Perl, and with a degree in Computer Science from Harvard. He particularly enjoys working with founding teams to get off the ground.

Investments

Tom has been investing since 1999 in a wide variety of vehicles. He most visibly invests in seed and early stage technology companies, typically in Silicon Valley. His current focus is on socially impactful companies, with particular emphasis on sustainable and nutritious AgTech. Entrepreneurs choose to work with him because of his experience creating clarity and innovation, but also because he knows that sometimes he adds the most value by staying out of the way.

Tom Shields

About Tom Shields

Tom Shields focuses on driving innovation and clarity into organizations. He works with CEOs and founders to get unstuck, clarify goals, and drive acceleration. A serial entrepreneur, he has co-founded two highly successful companies, NetGravity (IPO 1998) and Yieldex (acquired by AppNexus/AT&T in 2015). As Managing Director of an early stage venture firm, he has been a board member and investor in dozens of startups ranging from network equipment to design automation. He has decades of experience in enterprise software, high performance transaction systems, and big data/machine learning, and more recent experience in blockchain and sustainable agriculture technology. He focuses primarily on technology companies in Silicon Valley, with roles ranging from advisory board member at 3-person startups to Strategy Advisor to AT&T’s Xandr unit.

Tom has a CS degree from Harvard, and still enjoys coding on the side. For fun he plays basketball, sings a cappella, and backpacks in the Sierras with his kids. He lives near San Francisco, with his wife and three children, who keep him young at heart despite his gray hair.

About Our Name

Eridani Ventures is named after Epsilon Eridani, a star in the southern constellation of Eridanus. Because it is relatively nearby (in cosmic terms), is Sol-like, and has a known planet, it is most likely the first extra-solar system we would try to visit. Epsilon Eridani is featured in science fiction novels such as Greg Bear’s Eon, Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space, and even Asimov’s Foundation’s Edge among many others.

We think science fiction can expand the space of the possible, and inspire creative and driven people to reach for their full potential. Our name, Eridani Ventures, represents these ideals, and how the entrepreneurs we work with continually reach for the stars.

Get in touch

We especially love to hear about driven entrepreneurs and interesting investment opportunities.