People in the news, April 16, 2007

Conrad joins True Ventures

Tony Conrad has agreed to join True Ventures as a venture partner.

Conrad—currently CEO of Sphere Inc., a blog search engine backed by True Ventures—is a former VSP Capital general partner. Prior to VSP, Conrad spent nine years abroad, working in India, France and Indonesia.

He brings to True a consumer marketing background, having led consumer-tech and marketing software and services investments. Conrad has served on the boards of Oddpost, Iconoculture, MusicNow and Centive.

Chen moves to venture partner at OVP

OVP Venture Partners announced last week that General Partner Dave Chen will transition to a venture partner role, effective July 1. In a statement, the firm said that Chen, based in the firm’s Portland, Ore., office, will retain an economic interest in the firm’s most recent two funds while moving to independently pursue opportunities in sustainability and new and emerging markets.

The firm last month held a $250 million final close on its seventh fund and added Mark Ashida to its partnership roster. The OVP team includes investing partners Chad Waite, Lucinda Stewart, Mark Ashida, Rick LeFaivre and Carl Weissman in Seattle and Gerry Langeler and John Hull in Portland, Ore.

Janse joins Harris & Harris

Michael Janse has been named managing director and executive vice president of Harris & Harris Group, a publicly traded venture firm that focuses on nanotechnology, microsystems and microelectromechanical systems. Janse previously was a principal with Arch Venture Partners and, before that, worked in the semiconductor products group of Motorola.

Polaris hires two recruiters

Lindsay Barnett and Joanna LaPlaca have joined Polaris Venture Partners as directors of portfolio recruiting. Barnett previously was a senior associate in Spencer Stuart’s Boston office, while LaPlaca was a senior consultant with ZRG.

Onan climbs up Appian

Appian Ventures has promoted Chris Onan to managing director. He joined the firm in 2004 as a principal. Denver-based Appian is an early stage venture firm.

Nelson sets out on own

Don Nelson, former chief business officer of SV Life Sciences, has left to launch a new fund placement shop called NelCap Advisers.

In February, SV Life Sciences announced it raised $572 million for its fourth international life sciences fund. —PE Week staff