Carine Clark is a three-time president and CEO of high-growth tech companies, specializing in helping companies scale from $10 million to $100 million or more. Her reputation as a data-driven marketing executive at Novell, Altiris and Symantec opened doors to lead Allegiance, MartizCX and Banyan as president and CEO. Clark recently she joined Pelion Venture Partners as a General Partner focusing on building the newest Pelion Opportunity Fund to complement their existing products.
As a cancer survivor, Clark channels her deep appreciation for life and relationships into advocating that tech professionals pay it forward by mentoring young people. In addition, Clark serves as the Chair of GOED (The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development), is on the executive Board of Silicon Slopes, a non-profit helping Utah’s tech community thrive and also sits on a few public company boards. She has received numerous awards, including the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award in the Utah Region and was named Utah Business Magazine’s CEO of the Year. Clark earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications and an MBA from Brigham Young University and enjoys traveling, exploring and doing hard things with her family.
Q: What is your sector expertise?
I’ve been in high-tech software for more than 30 years. Who knew that the super nerdy math girl who ate lunch by herself every day in high school and always smelled of formaldehyde from the human biology class would grow up and build a terrific career in SaaS while building people, teams and companies? The best part is that I get to work with hundreds of entrepreneurs to help them build great, disruptive companies that make life easier for all of us. I get to see my fingerprints on some pretty cool products while I lead from behind. And now I get to build a $200M venture opportunity fund with the largest firm in Utah – it’s exciting for me to use my experience and connection to build something wonderful.
Q: Where do you find opportunities?
The Utah tech ecosystem is a pretty special place. We fondly call it Silicon Slopes – a nod to Silicon Valley and our beloved ski slopes. Most people are stunned to learn that in 2020, Utah had $30.5B in IPOs, mergers and acquisitions. It’s an amazing place to live and work. Utahns are known for our productivity – we are The Beehive State. We are explorers. We work together. And we build great companies. I also have 250,000 university students that live within a 50-mile radius of my home. I work tirelessly to help students see themselves as entrepreneurs and try to help them “Visit Their Future”.
Q: When/at what stage do you invest?
The Pelion flagship product is an early-stage tech venture fund with a headquarters in Utah and offices in San Mateo and Southern California. Pelion is currently closing Fund VII, and although we invest nationally across the US, 90% of our investments are in those three geographies. I will be leading a new Opportunity Fund that will take advantage of Series C and Series D rounds that are pre-IPO rounds of funding. Our pro-rata rights are so large because we invest early and stay with our best growing companies; we often blow through some of the metrics in our flagship product. The Opportunity Fund will let us take advantage of that success. We also have access to non-portfolio companies that I have either personally been an angel investor in or have helped the entrepreneurs along their journey.
Q: How are you Changing the Room?
I really try to look for ways to say “Yes” when asked. Often my hashtag could be, #MeAndTwentyDudes or #MeAndThirtyDudes or even just #MeAndTheDudes. It’s rare that there is any diversity except for me in the room, let alone gender diversity. But I am undaunted. I make sure that I am embracing disruption. I make sure that I mine for conflict. And I try to do it by being humble, hungry and smart about people with a fair bit of humor. I have a strong belief that many women can’t be what they can’t see so I try to help them see themselves in the room. I’m a big fan of the word YET. We don’t have enough diversity on the board YET. We don’t have enough female CEOs YET. And we don’t have enough female-led venture firms of any real size – YET. But we have a really great one in Utah that is going show everyone how it’s done. And she’ll have a fair amount of fun along the way.