Jon is a founding partner based in the Boston office.
Jon co-founded Polaris Partners with Steve Arnold and Terry McGuire in 1996.
Prior to Polaris, in 1984, Jon was rescued from a career in the law when he was hired as an associate and mentored by Bill Egan, a co-founder of Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co. (BEDCO”), as described in Udayan Gupta’s, “Done Deals: Venture Capitalists Tell Their Stories,” Harvard Business School Press. Jon became a General Partner at BEDCO and was instrumental in helping to build BEDCO’s technology portfolio.
His investment in Powersoft was, at the time, one of the largest and fastest returns in enterprise software. In 1995, Jon served as chairman of the Partner Transition Committee at BEDCO, which led to the successful and collaborative evolution into three new firms, of which Polaris was one. Before joining BEDCO, Jon was a litigation associate at the Boston law firm of Testa, Hurwitz and Thibeault, where he represented venture capital firms and high technology companies. Earlier in his career, Jon gained due diligence and investigative experience when, from 1974 to 1976, he served on the research teams of the Nixon Impeachment Inquiry Staff of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and the Watergate Special Prosecution Force.
In 2005, Jon conceived of the idea for Living Proof, applying technologies often used in medical applications to beauty products, and co-founded the company with Bob Langer and Amir Nashat. He served as chairman since the founding and as CEO of the company from November 2010 through December 2011. Unilever acquired Living Proof in 2017. In prior years, Jon’s investments included: Allaire, American Superconductor, Avici Systems, Centra Software, Exchange.com, EXOS, JibJab Media, Mariner Health Care, Powersoft, Solidworks, Watermark, and Soho Natural Soda. In addition, Jon was one of the founders of the MIT $10K Entrepreneurship Competition (now, through inflation and several tech bubbles, the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition).
In 2015, Jon and Terry formed Polaris Founders Capital (“PFC”) to invest primarily in high growth consumer companies. Their PFC investments include Icelandic Provisions, which they co-founded and where Jon is co-chairman, Caledonia Spirits, EXOS, and Sir Kensignton’s, which was sold to Unilever one year after the investment.
The endorsements of current or past portfolio company executives are provided as illustrative examples and designed to demonstrate the benefits to portfolio companies of partnering with us. These statements are primarily aimed at prospective portfolio companies and not intended to solicit investors. The portfolio companies covered in these endorsements do not represent all portfolio company investments we have made. The experiences highlighted in these testimonials are solely those of the executives profiled and may not necessarily represent or be indicative of the current, past, or future experiences of other portfolio companies. Past results and experiences discussed are not indicative, or a guarantee of future results and experiences. We have not provided cash or other type of compensation in exchange for receiving these endorsements. We do not believe there are typically any material conflicts associated with providing these endorsements. The compensation of our portfolio company executives is primarily driven by the performance of their respective portfolio companies and any discretion we exercise in such compensation determinations is not influenced by whether an executive has provided a favorable statement. Additionally, the economic interests of our portfolio companies’ executives are generally well-aligned with ours and those of our investors. Nevertheless, the fact that these endorsements have been provided by individuals whose compensation we exercise a certain level of control over may incentivize them to provide favorable evaluations of their experiences working with us.