Neal is Senior Partner at Bay, responsible for 9 board seats and driving the company’s investment towards liquidity, together with his partners. Through cycles of change, Neal’s investment approach has remained constant – the best investment is the entrepreneur with passion and perseverance and who understands the art of listening. Passion brings the life and energy required to drive innovation. Perseverance keeps the company going, no matter what obstacles come along. The art of listening will ensure the flow of creativity and resilience needed to weather shifting markets and customer needs. His eye for passion, perseverance and listening has served him well, as evidenced by his investment in industry-changing companies like Guidewire, Eloqua and DropCam.
With 26 IPOs in 20 years and 17 significant M&A deals, Neal and his team have generated significant results by working with companies that altered the way the technology industry works, such as Red Brick Software, a first in data warehousing, Exodus, which delivered the first web hosting services, Brocade, which defined the storage market, and Informatica on of the first data mart technologies. Neal is comfortable not only advising a company at the initial stage, but also getting involved during trying times to help re-direct and find a profitable path to liquidity. This ability to drive successful portfolios has made Bay’s 2006 vintage fund currently one of the Industry’s best performing funds and its 2006 vintage fund ranked the #2 top performing fund in 2014 by Pitch Book.
Neal finds great passion and joy in being a VC because it allows him to mentor entrepreneurs. Before joining Bay Partners, Neal served as the CEO of Qubix Graphics, which he took through an initial public offering. His experiences as a CEO molded his skills as a VC and mentor.
Mentoring people is so important to Neal that he volunteers his time as an advisor to non-profit organizations. He created the Dempsey Foundation to focus on his three areas of interest: higher education, children and the environment. Through his foundation and volunteer time, he has served organizations for children such as Families First. His commitment to higher education led him to establish the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program at the University of Washington Business School. The foundation also funds scholarships for students, athletes, and junior faculty.
Through his life experiences, Neal has learned that going after the goal that scares you the most is not only what makes people feel alive, but drives them to do greater things than they previously thought possible. In that spirit, Neal is an avid sailor and has circumnavigated the globe and regularly runs marathons. He has also scaled the majority of the highest peaks on the seven continents. As a serious college sports fan, Neal is actively involved with The University of Washington basketball and football programs. Neal not only admires passion and perseverance in others, he strives to be a living example of those qualities.
B.A., University of Washington
American Leadership Forum (SV)
U of W Foundation
School of Business