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avatar for Joel Fontenot

Joel Fontenot

Trailblazer Capital
Managing Partner
Dallas, Texas

Joel has brought to Trailblazer Capital unique insights built on his many years of banking, investing and early-stage technology company operating experience.

Prior to joining Trailblazer Capital, Mr. Fontenot worked for Cisco Systems, Inc. He joined Cisco through the acquisition of Metreos Corporation in June 2006. Joel was a Director of Business Development in the Voice Technology Group and managed the partnerships and strategic alliances involving the Cisco Unified Application Environment and related application offerings from Cisco's Voice Technology Group.

In the fall of 2002, Joel assisted Metreos Corporation as a founder in establishing itself as the first enterprise voice over IP applications platform for the development and deployment of innovative, media-rich IP communications applications. Metreos enabled the enterprise to more effectively leverage and extend their investment in IP Telephony and allowed System Integrators, Independent Software Vendors, and Enterprise IT organizations to leverage a common environment for converged voice and data applications. From the fall of 2003 until the Company's sale to Cisco Systems, Inc., Joel served as Metreos' CEO and was instrumental in securing equity and debt funding, establishing strategic relationships, closing its first customers and the sale of the Company to Cisco.

Previously, Joel co-founded Netrake Corporation in January 2000 and served as the Company's President from founding through July 2002. He was responsible for all areas of the Company which created a unique, patented IP network processing system capable of recognizing, remembering and responding in real-time to network traffic on a session basis.

Prior to founding Netrake, Joel incubated the Company through his activities as a Founding Partner and Managing Director of Arkoma Venture Partners. Beginning in 1997, Joel made and managed seed stage and early round investments in technology companies focused on telecommunications, Internet infrastructure, and enterprise software. Mr. Fontenot evaluated investment opportunities and worked closely with portfolio companies in the areas of business planning, financial strategy, and business development. Joel took an active role in seed funding companies, which included creating and refining new business models and strategies, initiating business activities, participating in executive management and serving as a director.

Mr. Fontenot brought nearly ten years of commercial and corporate banking experience to Arkoma Venture Partners, which included lead, and co-lead roles in providing senior credit facilities to several leveraged buyout transactions sponsored by private equity groups based in Texas. These transactions included the leveraged buy-out of Purina Mills and the acquisition of The Dallas Cowboys.

Mr. Fontenot is a member of the Executive Board of the Bobby Lyle School of Engineering at Southern Methodist University. He also serves on the School Board of Cistercian Preparatory School. Formerly, Joel served on the Texas Emerging Technology Fund Advisory Committee and on the Advisory Board of Silver Creek Ventures.

Joel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from The University of Texas at Austin (1983) and a Masters of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University (1988).