About Noel Fenton
Noel co-founded Trinity in 1986. Despite his best attempts to retire, he can still be found in his office at 7:30 AM most days, focusing on his active investments and serving as an indispensable resource for guidance and counsel to the Trinity team and broader Trinity family.
I have made or seen just about every mistake a CEO can make. I try to share my knowledge with Trinity CEOs to help them avoid the same missteps.
Where did you work before Trinity Ventures?
Prior to co-founding Trinity, I was with three venture-backed tech companies and served as CEO of two of them: Covalent Systems and Acurex. All were high-growth companies that were eventually acquired. My longest CEO gig (10 years) was with Acurex, which reached revenues of $65 million during my tenure.
What is your investment focus and why?
My focus at Trinity is in enterprise software and B-to-B commerce. It is the area that draws best on my experience from my operating days, and it has been an attractive investment domain ever since we first launched Trinity.
What unique contributions do you make to a company as a VC?
I believe my greatest contribution to the companies we back is in the area of CEO mentoring. I draw on both my operating and venture capital experience in this regard. I have made or seen just about every mistake a CEO can make, and I try to share my knowledge with Trinity CEOs to help them avoid the same missteps. The CEO’s job is a lonely one, so I enjoy cutting through the loneliness, counseling them on strategy, team building, financing, business model evolution, and more.
What role should a VC play with an investment company?
The VC’s role is to be a resource to his portfolio companies across a broad spectrum of areas. In addition to financing, a VC should serve as a source of information on industry trends, threats and competition, plus a connector to outside resources, people, and partners, as well as an advocate for recruiting. The mentorship role is an invaluable one, but VCs must never forget their role as service providers: It is the CEO who runs the company and is ultimately responsible and accountable for all decisions.