Geneva founders part ways

Geneva Venture Partners founders Robert Troy and Igor Sill are parting ways, winding down the early stage venture fund that won big with a 1999 bet on

Sill is raising a $50 million fund with Bill Hambrecht for a firm that will be called Hambrecht Geneva Ventures. It will focus on early stage deals. Hambrecht will serve in a part-time role, as will other current Hambrecht & Co. executives Alan Katz, Lee Tieng and Peter Morrissey. The shop was expected to be up running mid-May with funds coming from Geneva backers.

Troy, meanwhile, will help launch a $150 million effort with Chicago-based Advanced Equities Inc.

The pair will continue to co-manage the five remaining Geneva Venture Partners portfolio companies.

One of those companies, WiFi security startup Network Chemistry, expects Geneva to ante up for its second round of venture financing, which it is raising. Geneva invested $6 million in the startup alongside Innovacom and In-Q-Tel in April 2005.

Geneva played a key role in attracting talent to Network Chemistry. CEO T. Paul Thomas says Troy was the driving force behind his move to join the startup. “He sent me a one-liner email that said, ‘Are you enjoying not being a CEO?’” Thomas says. “I wasn’t.”

Hiring executives is something the founders of Geneva know well. Sill founded GenevaGroup International, a headhunter shop focused on software firms, in 1984.