Dr. Charles Stryker

Our CEO & Founder remains a leader in the data industry.

Dr. Charles Stryker is the Chairman & CEO of the Venture Development Center (VDC). Founded in 1992, VDC is the preeminent advisory firm assisting firms in the information services industry in all aspects of their strategy and business development activities.

VDC has advised many of the traditional market leaders in the space including: Acxiom, Affinion, Catalina Marketing, First Data Corporation, Harte-Hanks, IAC, IBM, LexisNexis, Nielsen, Yahoo, Zagat Survey, and many other market leaders.  In addition, VDC has been an active advisor for over 150 early stage firms that include many of the market leaders of tomorrow.

A few of the recent VDC engagements have included BlueKai, Cisco, Disney, eXelate, IBM and Time.  The VDC success story is based on identifying new and powerful applications for data assets and marrying the product concept to solid revenue results utilizing both distribution experience and an extensive network of industry relationship.

In addition to his current professional activities, from 1991 to 1999, Dr. Stryker was a Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, where he taught in the Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Center.  From 1986 to 1991, he served as a President of InfoUSA.  Since 1992 he has also served on many Board of Directors of both Public and Private companies including 24/7 Real Media, Greenfield OnLine, InfoGroup, Intelliquest, and Naviant.

Dr. Stryker has received the BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering and the Ph.D. in Computer Science from New York University.

View Dr. Stryker's Full Bio

Dr. Charles W. Stryker founded The Venture Development Center, Inc. (VDC) in 1992. By this time, Dr. Stryker had already built an international reputation as a thought leader in constructing valuable marketing information systems for businesses. Moreover, he established himself as an unfailing architect of successful business development and investment opportunities which consistently secured high rates of return for his investment partners.

Dr. Stryker is a rare talent who sees the financial benefit from what is now known as “Big Data” applications. For several decades, Dr. Stryker has successfully married financial gain with the technical discriminators that were emerging for many of the Fortune 500 companies that had a substantial pool of data but lacked the know-how to execute on associated opportunities.

In 1978, early in his entrepreneurial career, Dr. Stryker founded Trinet, Inc. In the eight years that Dr. Stryker directed the activities of the company, the firm grew from a true start-up to achieve sales in excess of $20 million. Trinet was merged with American Business Information in 1986. Following the merger, the combined company was called InfoUSA. Dr. Stryker was one of the private shareholders and a President of InfoUSA when it went public. He left the firm in 1992 to create VDC.

While the early elements of VDC were being formed, Dr. Stryker was Chairman and interim-CEO of a marketing database company called Naviant, Inc. At Naviant, Dr. Stryker was responsible for leading the management team and providing the overall vision and direction for the company and was instrumental in the successful sale of Naviant to Equifax, Inc. for $135 million.

In addition to these accomplishments, Dr. Stryker was an active board member and/or advisor to many successful firms. Some of the more noteworthy successes are: Seisint, Inc.-sold to Reed-Elsevier for $ 775 million; Internet Capital Group-public company with market cap of $500 million; Intelliquest Inc-Sold to WPP Worldwide for $120 million; Prio, Inc. – sold to InfoSpace for $ 775 million; Comdata, Inc.- sold to Ceridian for $800 million; 24/7 RealMedia- Sold to WPP Group for $500 million; Mint–sold to Intuit for $150 million; Zagat Survey –sold to Google for $150 million and Jigsaw-sold to for $150 million.

Dr. Stryker received his BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from New York University. In addition to these academic credentials, from 1991 to 1999, Dr. Stryker was a part time faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School where he taught a number of courses in their Entrepreneurial Center. He has successfully combined his solid academic credentials with business experience, serving on many Boards of Directors of both public and private companies as noted above.

Before becoming a successful entrepreneur, Dr. Stryker was an executive at AT&T where he was instrumental in creating the Marketing Information Services Organization. He began his AT&T career as a research scientist at Bell Laboratories.

Throughout his career, Dr. Stryker has been an active and highly sought-after speaker and author on the topic of data and database technology.