In Memoriam: Sam Blyakher & Bill Mercer

It is my regrettable duty to inform you that we lost two venture capitalists last week in separate – albeit both tragic – incidents:


Sam Blyakher, a 33 year-old general partner with Accretive Technology Partners, and his wife Rebecca both died last Monday when their car was struck head-on by an SUV that had careened across a highway median. Their 10 month-old daughter Nava Rose suffered numerous injuries, and was in critical condition following the accident.

Sam had been an associate with General Atlantic before joining Accretive, and also had been a management consultant with McKinsey & Co. Rebecca was a cognitive psychologist. Our thoughts are with the family.


Bill Mercer, 58 year-old founder and principal of Avocent Ventures, passed away last week from unexpected complications from what had begun as minor brain surgery. He is survived by wife Nikki, sons Mike and Mark, brothers Richard and Robert and nephews Christopher and Jon.


A viewing and prayer service will be held this evening from 6-8 at the Sacred Heart Cathedral at

200 Hillsborough Street

in Raleigh, North Carolina. A celebration of his life will follow at the Second Empire Restaurant next door. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial donations be made to either the Bill Mercer Fund at Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center (DUMC 3828; Durham, NC 27710) or in honor of Bill Mercer to Communities in Schools of Wake County (CIS-Wake;

871 Harp Street

-Raleigh, NC 27601).