Ellen Rubin has raised money not once, but twice, with just a slide deck and no product. Few men and even fewer women can say that. It can only be accomplished by those who have a major track record, which she has.
In 2001, she joined Netezza, a data warehousing company, when it was starting up. She helped it grow to $130 million in sales and helped take it public. In 2008, she founded CloudSwitch, which provided a simple connection between enterprise data centers and public clouds. She took it from an idea on a whiteboard through successful acquisition by Verizon in 2011, and integration into the Terremark cloud division. She has an MBA from Harvard. Oh, yeah, she’s also failed miserably during the dot com era when she started a company that went under.
A year ago, she co-founded ClearSky Data, a Boston tech startup currently in stealth mode, with Lazarus Vekiarides, from EqualLogic. She’s raised $12 million from top-tier VCs General Catalyst and Highland Capital Partners in a Series A round.
How to pick a co-founder
After CloudSwitch, Rubin was looking to start a new company. She was in search of a cofounder with technical expertise in the business issues she understood — enterprise cloud computing, business intelligence, data warehouses, and data centers.