Dave Hersh spent six years in Portland helping lead Jive Software as its founding CEO. Now, the entrepreneur is working on another company based out PDX — sort of.
Hersh is the co-founder of a stealthy data transfer startup called RipFog, which was incorporated in June and plans to bring on a few employees shortly.
The company, started by Hersh and former Jive colleague Erik Onnen, plans to have two offices: One in Portland — also known as “Rip City” — and one in San Francisco, also known as “Fog City.” Hence, RipFog.
Hersh, who has spent the last five years in the Bay Area after stepping down as Jive’s CEO in 2010, said that RipFog is trying to simplify how data is moved “from back-end systems out to users, and back again.”
“We don’t want to be another database or a parking garage for data,” Hersh said. “We’d rather be the highway.”
Hersh stressed that the Portland outpost won’t simply be a satellite office, but rather where the R&D and engineering for RipFog will happen. He wouldn’t divulge many more details about the company, but did note that “we’re going to go pretty lean in terms of funding to start.”
“It’s a weird funding environment in the Bay Area,” he said. “Anyone can raise money, but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”
Since leaving Jive four years ago, Hersh has advised startups up and down the west coast, while also becoming a board partner at Andreessen Horowitz. But that entrepreneurial itch kept nagging him.
“I just wanted to do a company again, and one that has a good likelihood of being successful,” he said. “I enjoy the act of building a company.”
Jive, a maker of online tools that help workers collaborate on projects, started in Portland more than ten years ago before moving its headquarters to Palo Alto and filing for an IPO one year later. The company still has its biggest office in Oregon, though, employing more than 250 in the Rose City. Its current market cap is about $449 million.
Hersh and Onnen, who was previously with Portland-based startup Urban Airship, are also hosting a series of talks and networking events for mobile developers in Portland beginning this week.