Global Corporate Venturing & Innovation
Sponsored Event | January.29.2020 - January.30.2020 | 7am - 6pm (Pacific Standard Time)The Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa
Orrick is sponsoring the 5th Annual 2020 GCVI Summit on January 29-30, 2020 in Monterey.
This event will bring together over 800 business leaders from the corporate venturing and innovation professionals ecosystem.
Christina Catzoela is a Partner in the Technology Companies Group. She focuses her practice on advising emerging growth technology companies and venture capital firms on a variety of issues, including formation, venture capital financings, mergers & acquisitions, IPOs and other corporate and securities law matters.
In the four years prior to joining Orrick, Christina acted as Senior Corporate Counsel to Zillow Group, Inc. While at Zillow Group, Inc., Christina focused her practice on technology transactions, public reporting and compliance.
She started her practice as a corporate associate in the Silicon Valley office of Gunderson, Dettmer, Stough, Villeneuvue, Franklin & Hachigian, LLP.
Silicon Valley Office
Ellen has spent more than twenty years in the tech and venture ecosystem and leverages her broad network and deep understanding of both the tech sector and legal landscape to effectively and strategically advise emerging companies and investors on a wide range of critical needs.
On the company side, Ellen’s clients range from early startups to mature private companies. She advises companies and founders on formation, venture financings, governance, M&A transactions, corporate and securities matters, commercial transactions and litigation strategy. Ellen’s approach is holistic and pragmatic. Her unique skill set and business-driven approach derive from her decades-long career as a Silicon Valley lawyer and her broad experiences earlier in her career as both a successful litigator and business owner. Over her career, Ellen has represented both private and public companies and has worked with both small startups and large multinational enterprises, as well as the executives, investors and advisors involved in those businesses. As a result, Ellen draws upon a deep knowledge base and set of experiences and insights that allow her to offer practical and seasoned advice to her clients. Ellen also works closely with some of the leading venture capital and growth equity firms, whose principals she advises in connection with financings, equity structuring and corporate governance. Ellen’s company clients have represented a broad swath of the technology ecosystem, including both hardware and software, and, as a result, her industry experience is wide-ranging. Her clients have included companies in the semiconductor, SAAS, renewables, fintech, aerospace, digital retail, online sharing, biotech/biopharma, media, design and data analytics fields, among others. Ellen has a passion for working with companies making an impact in the world.
Silicon Valley Office
Gregory Heibel, a partner in the Silicon Valley office, is a member of the Technology Companies Group, which advises emerging and public technology companies, venture capital firms and other technology investors, as well as Orrick’s Energy Group.
Greg's practice focuses on the formation, financing and strategic guidance of rapidly growing technology companies, the representation of venture capital firms and other investors in private and public offerings, as well as other complex transactions related to high growth companies.
Greg has completed many hundreds of financings, mergers, acquisitions and intellectual property transactions for young companies in the networking, wireless, Internet, software, life sciences and consumer sectors. He regularly advises some of the largest technology companies in the world, including a Fortune 10 technology leader, in their global strategic investments into innovative startups. Additionally, Greg has represented numerous publicly traded companies in their public offering, mergers and acquisitions and ongoing corporate governance needs, including Life360 (ASX:360), Foundry Networks, Virage Networks, Adeza, Laserscope, Intellisync and Preview Systems.
Greg also was an Assistant Investment Manager for Genevest, a venture capital firm based in Geneva, Switzerland, where he participated in the first organizational meeting of the European Union World Wide Web Consortium. Prior to practicing law, Greg worked with a number of venture capital backed technology companies in operational and advisory roles, including Intellimeter, eT Communications and Metering Technology Corporation.
Blake Ilstrup is the founding member and leader of the Technology Companies Group practice in the Pacific Northwest. His practice focuses on advising high-growth technology and life sciences companies and their investors.
Blake brings a unique and invaluable mix of in-house, entrepreneurial, and law firm experience, having served as General Counsel and senior executive of a software company and two biotech companies (co-founding one of them), as well as outside corporate counsel in elite AmLaw Global 100 law firms.
Blake’s experience spans multiple industries, including life sciences, software, hardware, mobile, fintech, cybersecurity, manufacturing, and retail. He has counseled fast-growing companies on hundreds of venture capital financings and M&A transactions, numerous public offerings, as well as service as a trusted advisor to management teams and Boards on both strategic and day-to-day matters.
Blake is proud to have worked with a variety of technology and life science companies, venture capital firms and investment banks, including AppSheet (acquired by Google; Nasdaq: GOOGL), Arris Composites, Barclays, Cloudhopper (acquired by Twitter; NYSE: TWTR), Critical Insights, Coatue Management, AI Dynamics, fatfoogoo (acquired by Digital River; Nasdaq: DRIV), Ikaria, IronPort Systems (acquired by Cisco; Nasdaq: CSCO), Kineta, KITE Solutions, Lighter Capital, Oculus (Nasdaq: FB), OncoSenX, PATH, Qpass (acquired by Amdocs; NYSE: DOX), Varian Medical (NYSE: VAR), and Zipwhip (acquired by Twilio; NYSE: TWLO).
Prior to his legal career, Blake served with distinction in the U.S. Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer, including two combat deployments to the Persian Gulf, where he was decorated for his performance during Operations Southern Watch and Desert Strike.
San Francisco Office
San Francisco Office
As head of Orrick's global corporate development efforts for technology companies, Neel drives new client opportunities through coordinated strategies across the sector.
Uniquely positioned as a business advisor within Orrick, Neel drives opportunities for clients throughout the technology sector.
Neel has always been fascinated with technology’s ability to shape the way we live, work, think and play. At Orrick, he’s able to help technology entrepreneurs and investors capitalize on their innovative vision. To do so, Neel leverages his global network of companies, investors and entrepreneurs to identify fund raising and commercial opportunities, and advise on financing and business strategy. He’s also able to connect clients with the precise legal help to meet their specific needs.
Neel is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School (JD/MBA, International Business). He has served in senior strategy roles at some of the world’s leading law firms and Fortune 500 companies.Neel is active in the community and is the Co-Chair of the La Scuola Internazionale di San Francisco Advancement Committee, a board member of the La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Hillsborough Chapter, and serves as secretary of his community HOA. In his free time, Neel enjoys hiking, skiing and traveling with his family.