David Perry was raised on his family's farm in rural Arkansas. He holds a BS from the University of Tulsa and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He also attended the United States Air Force Academy.
In 1995, while at Harvard Business School, David Perry co-founded Virogen, a biotechnology company focused on diagnostics.
While at Virogen, he felt that scientists spent a lot of time procuring life sciences products through conventional catalog ordering. So, in 1997, he founded Chemdex, headquartered in California. Chemdex was a business-to-business marketplace focused on the life sciences industry that sold laboratory chemicals and other scientific equipments online. David served as CEO of Chemdex and presided over its $130 million IPO as one of the first B2B eCommerce companies to go public.
In 1999, David also created the parent company of Chemdex, called Ventro Corporation, which was later sold to Nexprise. He served as its CEO and President until November 2001. During that time, David was named the 2000 Entrepreneur of the Year in Northern California by Ernst and Young.