CEO & Managing Partner
As CEO and Managing Partner, Lak leads Next47, the global venture firm with $1.2 billion in backing from Siemens. He is based in Palo Alto and has spent much of his career focused on identifying industry changing disruptions and acting on them as an investor or acquirer. Having partnered with entrepreneurs building both full-stack and software businesses, Lak’s investment focus is on applications of AI/ML, vertical SaaS, robotics, mobility and other emerging areas of deep tech.
Prior to joining Next47 at its inception in 2016, Lak founded and built Hewlett Packard Pathfinder, bringing together venture investing and revenue-generating business development for portfolio companies from HP customers. He was an investor in Adallom (acquired by Microsoft), HortonWorks (acquired by Cloudera) and Mesosphere. Lak also previously worked in strategy and corporate development at Cisco Systems, where he led the acquisitions of Meraki and Starent Networks, and invested in Control4.
After cutting his teeth as an engineer working with startups during the .com era, Lak has enormous respect for the passion, vision and tenacity of entrepreneurs. As an investor, he believes in establishing mutual trust with Founders so when critical business decisions need to be made, he can support them in making the best choices for building world-class new businesses.
Lak is the author of Anticipate Failure: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Navigating Uncertainty, Avoiding Disaster, and Building a Successful Business, a practical guide for business leaders on the most common patterns of failure in innovation, featuring never-before-heard stories on how some of the most successful founders and executives in the world have navigated failure to get to success.
Lak holds an MBA from INSEAD and The Wharton School of Business. He is also a Kauffman Fellow (Class 12).