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Joe Zell joined Grotech Ventures in 2002 and focuses on investment opportunities in the IT infrastructure, cloud services, mobile, networking, and internet and digital media sectors. Joe is active on several portfolio company boards, including Closely, Cloud Elements, CommercialTribe, DB Networks, Dizzion, Fluid, Gutcheck, LogRhythm, Parkifi, SpotRight Threat X and WebScale Networks. He previously served on the boards of Aztek Networks (acquired by GENBAND), BroadSoft (IPO Nasdaq: BSFT), buySAFE, Collective Intellect (acquired by Rightnow/Oracle), Fieldglass (acquired by Madison Dearborn/SAP), Hatteras Networks (merged with Overture Networks), HiveLive (acquired by RightNow Technologies/Oracle), Rebit (Acquired by Carbonite), SkyeTek, USinternetworking (IPO then later acquired by AT&T) and Ziptronix (acquired by Tessara Technolgies TSRA).
Prior to joining Grotech, Joe built an extensive, 20-year operating background in communications and data networking, including nine years with US West Communications (which is now CenturyLink), where he was instrumental in building US West’s Data Networking Division from startup to $2.5 billion in revenue and was the president of the division for the last four years as it grew from $300 million in revenue to $2.5 billion. While at US West, Joe was also responsible for managing a $30 million strategic investment fund. It was in this capacity that he began his relationship with Grotech as a result of US West’s A round investment and his board seat at a Grotech portfolio company, USinternetworking. Between US West and Grotech, he served as chief executive officer of Convergent Communications. Prior to US West, he held a variety of management positions at WilTel, LDXNet, United Technologies Communications, MCI Communications and Xerox Corporation.
Joe graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. He is a former member of YPO (Young Presidents Organization) and WPO (World Presidents Organization). He also serves or has served on the advisory boards of Silicon Flatirons, TiE Rockies and StartupColorado. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for The Nature Conservancy, Colorado