| Christopher Allen
Founder, Alacrity Ventures
Christopher Allen is an entrepreneur who has been a leader in the high-tech industry for over twenty years. He possesses the vision to see the future of computer technology; when he discovers new cutting-edge technologies he has the ability to form teams to take advantage of them. As a pioneer in e-commerce, Christopher helped to create an exciting and evolving market. This position in the forefront of the e-commerce industry was leveraged upon a solid knowledge of the security field and years of active leadership in the computer industry. Most recently, Christopher acted as Chief Technical Officer for Certicom Corp., where he led investigations into acquisitions and was responsible for the company's technical vision. Prior to Certicom Christopher founded and ran Consensus Development; there he orchestrated the merger of Consensus with Certicom, a deal worth 24 million dollars to Consensus investors that offered average annual returns in excess of 125%. Christopher has also founded two other companies, Associated Computer Consultants and Dreams of the Phoenix; each was a leader in its field. Christopher was a judge in the University of California 2001 Business Plan Competition.
A Pioneer in E-Commerce
E-commerce is a rapidly growing industry. There were 13 billion dollars in e-commerce sales in 1998; the industry is expected to continually grow at a rate of 200% a year. The majority of e-commerce depends upon a technology named the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Christopher acted as a pioneer in e-commerce through his work on SSL. In collaboration with Netscape, he formed and led the SSL reference implementation team; later, he headed the SSL Plus development team, creating the most widely deployed commercial SSL toolkit. Numerous industry leaders, including Intuit, Lucent, Oracle, Phillips, Sun, and Sybase, use SSL Plus; it is deployed in both Lotus Notes and Quicken. Christopher was also the co-author of TLS, the next-generation SSL protocol. Through his work on SSL, Christopher has helped to make it the industry standard, beating out Microsoft's PCT, as well as the SET and SHTTP protocols.
A Security Expert
Christopher's success with SSL and TLS was built upon years of experience as a security expert. At both Consensus Development and Certicom Corp., Christopher did extensive security-related work. Besides working on SSL and TLS at Consensus, Christopher also led teams that consulted on security. These teams offered advice on security architecture as well as security screenings and reviews. Companies such as Apple, Digicash, Intuit, and Oracle were among Consensus' clients. Under Christopher's leadership, Consensus also promoted the reference version of RSA and helped RSA to spin off the Verisign certificate company, a corporation now worth 1.8 billion dollars. Since founding Alacrity Ventures, Christopher remains a Security Advisor to Certicom Corp.
A Technical Visionary
Christopher was able to achieve his position at the forefront of the security industry due to his role as a technical visionary in the computer field. Because of Christopher's technical vision-his ability to understand technology and lead in its development-he is well regarded by other experts in the field and is often sought out for his expertise. He acted as a forum leader for national developer conferences on America Online, CompuServe, and Delphi. He sat as the Chairman for the National Automation Committee for the Independent Computer Consultants Association. He has spoken at numerous conferences, including the RSA Data Security Conference, MacWorld Expo, and GROUPWARE, often also acting as moderator. He has been the author and editor of national computer publications.
Chief Technical Officer for Certicom Corp.
Most recently, Christopher acted as the Chief Technical Officer for Certicom Corp, a publically-traded company. Overall, he was responsible for the technical vision of Certicom. Christopher was initially tasked with the integration of Certicom and his previous company, Consensus Development; his ability to build and lead a successful team proved invaluable in this task. Christopher also coordinated overseas development and export strategy and organized Certicom's extensive patent portfolio, developing policies for its use. In addition Christopher helped to manage acquisitions. He assisted in the 2 million-dollar purchase of Uptronics, a security consulting house, and also led investigations into other companies. Some potential acquisitions are still under consideration by Certicom, based on Christopher's research.
Founder and President of Consensus Development
Christopher became CTO of Certicom due to the success of Consensus Development; he was the Founder and President of Consensus. It was at Consensus that Christopher headed the development of SSLREF and SSL Plus. He also led various security screenings and reviews. In July 1998, Christopher arranged for the merger of Consensus Development with Certicom Corp. This deal was worth a total of 24.5 million dollars, 3 million of that in cash. The last phase of investors in Consensus, who put out money in January 1996, saw a compounded internal rate of return in excess of 125%.
An Entrepreneur in the Computer Field
Christopher has acted as an entrepreneur in the computer field since 1977. Prior to Consensus, Christopher founded two other companies, Associated Computer Consultants, Inc., and Dreams of the Phoenix, Inc. In each case he looked ahead to coming technologies and then organized a team to take advantage of the new niches that were being formed. Dreams of the Phoenix, founded in 1984, was a leader in the Macintosh industry. It published seven award-winning retail software products. These included the first bulletin board system for the Macintosh, the first MacBinary terminal emulator, and one of the first 3D CAD packages for the Macintosh. Dreams of the Phoenix products have since been sold off to other publishers.