Lak is the founding CEO and Managing Partner of Next47. He has spent his career in service to the entrepreneurial pursuit, identifying industry changing disruptions and acting on them as an investor or acquirer. Lak’s investment focus is on applications of AI/ML, vertical SaaS, robotics, mobility, and other emerging areas of deep tech.
Prior to Next47, 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 dot-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 also the author of Anticipate Failure, a brutally honest roadmap for any business founder, executive, or manager to conquer their toughest challenges, change how they innovate, and launch a product or business that actually succeeds. Lak holds an MBA from INSEAD and The Wharton School of Business. He is also a Kauffman Fellow (Class 12).