Ignition Capital is a team of operating veterans who have helped create and build significant businesses in multiple industries. Together with our affiliated partners we can draw on decades of operating experience at some of the largest companies in the world including Microsoft, AT&T, Cisco, and American Express. We bring together a unique combination of deep industry and market knowledge, technical savvy, and battle-tested strategic and tactical insight.
Jon is a founding partner of Ignition Capital and also a founder of Qiming Ventures and Ignition Ventures. Jon represents Ignition Capital on the boards of Wireless Maritime Services (a joint venture with AT&T, and our portfolio company MTN Satellite Communications, a leading provider of global networks at sea, on land and in the air). His expertise is in the areas of finance and operations.
Jon spent nine years at Microsoft Corporation, most recently as General Manager of Worldwide Business Strategy reporting to Steve Ballmer and as Corporate Controller. He was integral to the development of the internal business systems that Microsoft uses today to monitor its business on a daily basis. Jon led the creation of the company’s current P&L, measurement and competitive reporting systems. Jon led efforts that made changes to business models for core products that lead to multi-billion-dollar profit contributions. Jon led or was a core member of the teams leading company acquisitions including the company’s first email product, Microsoft Mail, FoxPro, Visio and the company’s proposed merger with Intuit. He led a team responsible for development and execution of Microsoft’s volume licensing programs, an $8 billion business. He also led the group that designed all of Microsoft enterprise licensing and pricing schemes. Prior to joining Microsoft, Jon was a CPA and Senior Manager with Deloitte & Touche, where he led the team that served Microsoft from its very early stages through its initial public offering.
Jon is a CPA and attended the University of Oregon and received his degree in business administration from Central Washington University.
Rich is a founding partner of Ignition Capital. He was also a co-founder of Qiming Ventures and Ignition Ventures. He brings over 20 years of experience in marketing, technology operations and management. He represents Ignition Capital is on the board of MTN Satellite Communications, a leader in remote location communications, PaxVax, a leader in innovative healthcare technologies and observes YPX Food, a leading consumer brand in China. He represents Ignition Partners on the board of Kuwo.cn, one of the leading Internet music services in China.
He also represents Ignition on the board of mFoundry, the leader in mobile banking which is being acquired by FIS Global (NYSE:FIS), the largest financial technology services provider in the world. He formerly represented Ignition on the boards of Liberty Dialysis, which was acquired in 2012 for $2.1 billion by Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE:FMS), the largest integrated provider of dialysis products and services; La La Media, an online music service, which was acquired by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:APPL) in 2009; Pure Networks, a home networking software provider, which was acquired for $120 million in 2008 by Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO).
He previously spent twelve years at Microsoft, where he served as business strategy and marketing head for a wide range of enterprise software products including Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Windows NT, and all Microsoft server products. His efforts with Excel led to a five-fold increase in unit sales. His team’s efforts catapulted Windows from a $50 million to $500 million business in two years. Rich built and led the marketing teams for Windows NT, Exchange, SQL Server, BackOffice, and Internet server. These efforts turned around Microsoft’s enterprise selling efforts from a $100 million a year money losing business into a $2 billion profitable enterprise in 18 months. He most recently served as Vice President of Marketing for Microsoft Office and Windows Server products. He led an overall marketing and sales reorganization and turnaround effort that ultimately recommended a broad-scale 40% reduction and consolidation in marketing resources and a similar effort in reorganizing the product divisions at Microsoft.
He is co-author with John Zagula, of the book The Marketing Playbook, a best-selling guide of business strategy in the high-tech age. He has presented on the topic at Tsinghua University, UC Berkeley, University of Washington, and Apple, Inc. Rich holds a BSE in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University, and an MS in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from Stanford University.
John is a founding partner of Ignition Capital and a co-founder of Qiming Ventures and one of the first employees of original Ignition Ventures. John represents us on the boards of MTN Satellite Communications and Enclarity, a leading provider of healthcare information services. He recently spent two years in Shanghai developing our Chinese affiliate. He represents us on the boards of PPS.TV, one of the largest Internet video services, Oriental Cambridge, the largest private university in China and eHi, a leader in the Chinese car rental market.
Previously, John spent over eight years at Microsoft in various senior marketing and strategy positions. As General Manager of Global Marketing Campaigns, he was responsible for business advertising. He was also responsible for the development of the Microsoft Office brand. During his tenure, the Office revenues grew from $50 million to a nearly $10 billion. John also pioneered the first use of Internet banners, email, database marketing, and on-going marketing education. Prior to Microsoft, John was marketing manager at American Express in International Business Development and Customer Acquisition and Retention. As an associate at International Data Corporation, he wrote the first whitepaper on Desktop Publishing.
John is also the co-author, with Rich, of The Marketing Playbook, a best-selling guide to business strategies taking lessons from information services and technology companies around the globe. John holds an MS in International Economics and Monetary Theory from the Fletcher School (Harvard/Tufts) and a BA (magna cum laude) from Marquette University. He was also awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and studied at Universität zu Köln.
Shawn Bohnert is a partner of Ignition Capital. He provides public market, financial, operational and management expertise to Ignition’s portfolio companies. Shawn represents Ignition on the board of AVST.
After graduating from University of Washington in 1981 with a B.S. degree in electrical engineering, Shawn worked as a field engineer in Alaska for Schlumberger Limited, the global oil field technology and services company. Upon completion of his MBA at Stanford University in 1987, he became an investment banker and worked extensively on corporate financings and M&A transactions in both the U.S. and Australia.
While in Australia, Shawn structured and co-managed the “PIPE” takeover of Avatar Industries, a public diversified industrial company. He became CFO of this public listed company in 1995 and led Avatar’s takeover activities in the local market. In addition to leading operational development and restructuring activities at the divisional level, Shawn led the build out of the Avatar corporate investment team. He held primary responsibility for the following areas: acquisitions & divestitures; financing; strategic planning & business development; investor relations; financial reporting & control; treasury and risk management; information technology; and, tax, legal & regulatory.
Shawn returned to Seattle in 2000 as President of Adsteam USA, a subsidiary of Adsteam Marine Limited, an Australian public-listed maritime transportation company. He led Adsteam’s acquisition of Northland Services, a shipping company that serves Alaska and Hawaii with year-round common carrier service, and subsequently served as CEO. Shawn led an extensive restructuring of Northland’s operations and management team, an exercise culminating in the hiring of an industry veteran CEO and the ultimate sale of the company by Adsteam. Shawn wrote the business plan for the management buyout of Northland and successfully led the acquisition of the company in 2004. Since that time Northland has grown earnings by 50% and paid dividends to its shareholders totaling double the original equity investment. Shawn continues to have an active role as an officer and director of Northland with direct responsibility for: finance/accounting, legal and information technology.
Shawn is a dual Australian/American citizen and holds a BS degree in engineering from the University of Washington and an MBA from Stanford University.
Rennie is a partner at Ignition Capital. He leads our healthcare practice. He represents us on the board of PaxVax, a next generation drug delivery company and was previous board observer for Liberty Dialysis before its acquisition by Fresenius Medical Care in 2012. He also is a board observer for mFoundry, a leader in mobile banking applications.
Previously, Rennie provided strategic planning consultation to various clients, including academic medical centers, health insurance companies, medical research organizations, and global health organizations. Rennie served as COO of UW Medicine Neighborhood Clinics and as Medical Director of Regence Blueshield. Earlier in his career, Rennie practiced general pediatrics at Virginia Mason Medical Center, where he also served as a clinic medical director.
Rennie received his BA in Biology with triple honors from UC Santa Cruz, his MD from UC San Diego, and completed his Residency in Pediatrics at the University of Washington, where he also received his MBA with honors. Rennie is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington.
Ty is a partner with Ignition Capital. He focuses on telecommunication services and on turnarounds of existing businesses in deep value situations. He has been involved in financial management and business operations for more than 22 years. Previously, Ty was Vice President of Business Development and Operations for MTN. He was part of the initial buyout team that acquired SeaMobile’s largest asset, MTN Satellite. He subsequently led the turnaround of several businesses within MTN. He currently represents us on the board of Spoken, a leader in call center management software.
Ty previously held a wide variety of executive positions at McCaw Cellular, AT&T Wireless and Cingular. He managed mobile communications business development in more than 15 countries. Ty led a team that secured a $1 billion of Indian cellular licenses and ultimate became CEO of the operating entity, Idea Cellular. He managed from inception, the company’s 1,500+ employees and more than 1.5 million subscribers. He helped negotiate the first non-recourse telecommunications project finance debt facility in Indian history, valued at more than $283 million, and concluded multiple mergers and acquisition transactions that each exceeded $150 million. Today, Idea Cellular is one of the largest mobile operators in India.
Mr. Graham holds an M.B.A. from Seattle University and an undergraduate degree in business from the University of Washington, where he lettered for three years as a member of the varsity crew team.
Jennifer is an associate with Ignition Capital. Jennifer manages the business operations for Ignition Capital, as well as diligence efforts on new investments. Previously, Jennifer spent five years as HR and Administrative Manager for Ticor Title, part of the largest title insurance and escrow company in US. Jennifer earned her BA in English from Washington State University and holds a certificate in HR Management from the University of Washington.