Prashant Kantak is an early-stage venture advisor and investor. He plays an active role in helping determine business and product strategy, organization and go-to-market strategy and takes operational roles as needed in early stage companies. He started and led Qualcomm Ventures, a $500M strategic venture capital fund of Qualcomm, and built operations in North America, Europe and Asia including Korea ($60M), Japan ($30M) and China ($100M) for 6 years from 1999 through 2005. He led investments in and actively managed over 24 portfolio companies in the US and several more worldwide, many of which were either acquired or taken public, including Paypal (acquired by EBAY), Air Prime (acquired by SWIR), GTRAN Wireless (acquired by FLEX), PacketVideo, Iridigm (acquired by QCOM), Airvana (IPO), Discera and JAMDAT (IPO). He led the creation of strategic alliances, co-development and business partnerships between startup companies and Qualcomm operating units. This activity resulted in expanding markets for and augmenting Qualcomm’s existing products and services as well as driving innovations through enabling new technologies and business models internally and in the industry. He was on the steering committee to formulate and drive Qualcomm’s internal innovation efforts. He was also responsible for various corporate development efforts including technology and business strategy, strategic alliances, partnerships and mergers and acquisitions.
Prashant has over 20 years of business and technical experience in the field of telecommunications. He was with Qualcomm since early 1990 and held various technical and business management positions within Qualcomm. He participated in the early definition and development of CDMA standards and systems and thereafter developed key ASICs for their implementations both on the infrastructure and mobile side. He also designed and implemented innovative DSP architectures for mobile communications that form the core platform for Qualcomm’s commercial ASICs. Prashant has an MBA from Cornell University. He also has a MS and BS in Electrical Engineering.
He is also actively involved in various initiatives to help foster the entrepreneurial community in the telecom sector. He served on the Board of San Diego Software Industry Council and currently serves on the advisory board of CommNexus and is on the selection committee of the local incubator, EvoNexus, since its founding.