Scott C. Taylor
His career has taken him from a law firm to C-suites to more than a dozen corporate and nonprofit boards, but through it all Scott C. Taylor has stayed firmly rooted in Silicon Valley.
As a Venture Advisor at AI Fund, Scott guides founders as they progress through their startup journey.
“My fundamental philosophy regarding entrepreneurship comes down to a few key goals: clearly understanding your target customer; identifying a key problem you're trying to solve; knowing what differentiates your offering; and being brutally honest in assessing yourself.”
A key to success, Scott believes, is offering a service beyond the commodity level. “You want to ask, what are the drivers to get beyond a ‘good enough’ or ‘check the box’ solution, to something better? What are the key functions that you must have to really drive customer value, and potentially, customer delight?”
Scott started out as a lawyer—he holds an undergraduate degree from Stanford and a law degree from George Washington University. At a San Francisco-based law firm, he represented both big companies on major deals and tech start-ups on intellectual property and governance issues. He moved from there to in-house legal work and executive roles at various Bay Area tech firms, finally landing at the prominent cybersecurity firm, Symantec (now Gen Digital). As the company’s general counsel, Scott led a team of more than 300 people spread over 13 countries, managing legal compliance and information security and overseeing several multi-billion dollar acquisitions. He was also involved with the firms’ in-house venture arm, helping to choose relevant start-ups to invest in.
Scott is now a full-time strategic advisor, limited partner with a couple of different funds, and member of numerous boards, including those of investment bank Piper Sandler, media company Ziff Davis, venture debt firm Western Technology Investment, e-learning outfit Emtrain and the nonprofit Common Sense Media.
When he’s off the clock, he likes to spend time traveling with his wife and two college-age sons, mountain biking, hiking, and playing golf.
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