Archive for the Partners Category

Adrian Smith

Written by on October 29, 2011 in Partners, Team - Comments Off

Adrian Smith

Adrian is a Partner at Ignition. Adrian invests in telecommunications and mobile companies and represents Ignition as a director on the board of Twisted Pair SolutionsXeround and is an observer on the board of mFoundry. Adrian represented Ignition on the board of Melodeo (sold to HP in 2010) and is the shareholder representative for Swype (sold to Nuance in 2011)

Prior to Ignition, Adrian spent 12 years in leading technology roles at Nextlink, AT&T Wireless, McCaw Cellular Communication and British Telecom Research Laboratories. Adrian’s responsibilities have included the radio architecture and evolution of the LMDS broadband fixed wireless technology, the browser transport mechanism for integrated cellular voice and data solutions and the TDMA air interface design and specification.

Adrian joined British Telecom Research Laboratories in the UK in 1989 and worked on the ETSI standards for the Digital European Cordless Telecommunication (DECT) technology, developing DECT testbeds for voice, data and wireless video applications.

Adrian is the author of a number of patents associated with cellular technology as well as co-author of the book “IS-136 TDMA Technology, Economics and Services.”

Brad Silverberg

Written by on October 28, 2011 in Partners, Team - Comments Off


Brad is a Founding Partner of Ignition. He invests in software, infrastructure, and consumer companies. Brad represents Ignition as director on the boards of  AvvoFotopedia,  HipmunkIce.comKeasSocialEyes and TravelPost. Brad has previously served on the boards of GlobalScholar (acquired by Harland Clarke),  SEVEN,  and SourceLabs (acquired by EMC), and was an observer for Heroku (acquired by

Prior to founding Ignition, Brad is best known as an industry pioneer who built the Microsoft Windows franchise and led Microsoft’s Internet turnaround. During his nine-year tenure at Microsoft, he was a senior vice president and member of Microsoft’s nine-member Executive Committee. He was responsible for driving all aspects of the Windows business from 1990 through 1995, including establishing the vision and strategy, and executing on product marketing and development. In five years, he grew Windows from a $50 million business to over $3.5 billion. He was also responsible for the MS-DOS business during that period. He was named PC Magazine’s Person of the Year in 1995 for his leadership of Windows 95.

From 1994 through 1997, Brad led the Internet effort at Microsoft and was responsible for its Internet platform, as well as the Developer Tools Division and the Developer Relations Group. As part of the Internet efforts, Brad’s responsibilities included Internet Explorer versions 1-4, which he grew from 0% share to over 60%, Outlook Express, Java, Commerce Server, and Commercial Internet Server.

In 1996 and 1997, he also led the Microsoft Office division, was responsible for over $6 billion in revenue and managed over 5,000 people. In 1998-1999, Brad worked part-time at Microsoft, primarily as a strategic consultant for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Prior to Microsoft, Brad’s career involved running product development at Borland International; running product development at Silicon Valley startup called Analytica, which was later acquired by Borland; product development at Apple Computer; and computer science research at SRI International.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree magna cum laude in Computer Science from Brown University, and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Toronto.

Outside of Ignition, Brad enjoys bicycling, snowboarding, wakeboarding, and travel.

Cameron Myhrvold

Written by on October 27, 2011 in Partners, Team - Comments Off

Cameron Myhrvold

Cameron is a Founding Partner of Ignition. He invests in software companies and especially big data, mobile & social solutions for the Enterprise. Cameron represents Ignition as director on the boards of Cloudmark, Stellr, SEVEN Networks, Symplified, Topsy and Continuuity. He also acts as Ignition observer on the board of Splunk (NASDAQ: SPLK).   He previously served on the boards of Zenprise (acquired by Citrix), Azaleos (acquired by Avanade), Likewise Software (acquired by EMC), Consera (acquired by Hewlett Packard), Rendition Networks (acquired by Opsware) and RLX Technologies (acquired by Hewlett Packard).

Prior to Ignition, Cameron spent thirteen years with Microsoft Corporation, most recently as Vice President of the Internet Customer Unit, where he was responsible for building business relationships with network operators and a broad range of telecommunications providers. Cameron was responsible for setting strategy and building relationships with such global telecommunications providers as NTT, AT&T, Comcast, Cisco, Qualcomm, British Telecom and Deutsche Telecom.

Prior to this job Cameron created the Developer Relations Group at Microsoft, which evangelized Windows and Microsoft’s other operating system technologies to the independent software vendors and third-party developer community. This effort eventually became a 320-member team with an annual budget of $65 million, and was responsible for revenue of over $400 million and recruited a community of 44,000 independent software vendors to develop Windows software.

Cameron co-founded Dynamical Systems Inc, to develop multitasking operating systems for the PC, which he sold to Microsoft in 1986.

Cameron received his Bachelors degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

Chris Howard

Written by on October 26, 2011 in Partners, Team - Comments Off

Chris Howard

Chris is a Principal at Ignition and invests in consumer internet and cloud computing investments and oversees Ignition’s seed program. He is on the board or an observer of BatchHipmunk, Datasphere, Fotopedia, KeasParse, SocialEyes and worked closely with Tracksimple prior to being acquired by BlueKai. He works with Ignition’s Entrepreneurs in Residence and portfolio companies on product definition, market segmentation and positioning, customer acquisition and retention, business development, recruiting, and fundraising.

Prior to joining Ignition, Chris spent 10 years in advertising and marketing roles, focused on startup brand development. At Heckler Associates, a leading branding firm, he launched Aravon, New Balance’s entrance in the comfort shoe segment, and Procare, New Balance’s partner program. He also worked on campaigns for PF Flyers, Suncadia, and Colgate. At Pivot + Levy, a marketing strategy and creative firm, he led business development, working with clients like Microsoft, Attachmate, and WCI Telecom.

Chris was marketing manager at the closeout sporting goods retailer, prior to its sale to Overstock, where he ran offline and online marketing, including online advertising and sponsorships, search engine marketing, email marketing, as well as traditional ad campaigns. Chris began his career at Team One Advertising as an account executive, managing the national brand campaigns for Lexus and the American Cancer Society.

Chris earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Occidental College and an M.B.A. from the University of Washington where he was a McGowan Scholar. Chris enjoys a long run along Lake Washington, cycling, skiing/snowboarding, and time with his wife and their three energetic boys.

Frank Artale

Written by on October 25, 2011 in Partners, Team - Comments Off

Frank Artale

Frank Artale joined Ignition as a Partner in 2011. He was most recently Group Vice President, Business Development at Citrix Systems. He has over 26 years of experience in the software industry and was responsible for all aspects of Citrix’s business development with software and hardware technology partners.

Frank joined Citrix from XenSource where he was responsible for strategic marketing and business development. Prior to XenSource, Artale was a founder and CEO of Consera Software, a management software company, which was acquired by HP in 2004. Before founding Consera, Frank was Vice President of the Windows Solutions Group for VERITAS Software, where he oversaw overall product strategy of the Windows targeted solutions. He also held the position of General Manager In the Windows 2000 Group at Microsoft Corporation, one of the many and varied product management and sales positions he held during his nine-year career with the company. Before joining Microsoft, he held positions as a software engineer and engineering manager building trader workstation and retail brokerage delivery systems first at an IBM/Merrill Lynch joint venture (IMNET), then at FD Consulting.

Frank attended Polytechnic Institute of New York as a Board of Trustees Scholar where he studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

His investments include AppFog, Apprenda, BlueStacks, Bromium, Cloudera, Couchbase, ScaleXtreme, ServiceMesh, Skytap and SnapLogic. He is also an advisor to Cloudera and Couchbase.

Jack (John) Ferry

Written by on October 24, 2011 in Partners, Team - Comments Off


Jack is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Ignition. He is responsible for the firm’s financial operations reporting, tax, treasury, and administrative services.

Prior to joining Ignition, Jack spent over 6 years with Infospace, Inc. as Vice President of Tax.  In that role he was responsible for worldwide tax reporting, stock option administration, and treasury duties.  Prior to that, he was a Senior Tax Manager with Deloitte & Touche, Seattle WA.

Jack is a CPA (inactive) and holds a M.S. in Taxation from Golden Gate University, and a business degree with a concentration in accounting from the University of Washington.

John Connors

Written by on October 24, 2011 in Partners, Team - Comments Off

John Connors

John Connors joined Ignition as a Partner in 2005. He invests principally in business software and services.

Prior to joining Ignition, John spent sixteen years at Microsoft Corporation in several strategic roles. From January 2000 to April 2005 he was senior vice president of Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer.

John also held a variety of positions including vice president of the Worldwide Enterprise Group, and vice president and Chief Information Officer (CIO). Before serving as CIO, he held a number of positions within and outside finance, including Corporate Controller, General Manager of worldwide financial operations, Director of business operations of Microsoft’s European headquarters in Paris, and Director of business operations of the Worldwide Sales and Support Strategy Group.

John is a member of the Board of Directors of Nike, FiREappsScout AnalyticsDatasphere, Motif InvestingSplunk, Opscode, Parse and Tier 3. He was also a Board member of Heroku which was sold to in 2010 and Xensource which was sold to Citrix in 2007.

John received his BA in accounting from the University of Montana. He also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Montana.

John Ludwig

Written by on October 23, 2011 in Partners, Team - Comments Off

John Ludwig

John is a Founding Partner of Ignition. He invests in end-user and consumer-facing technology companies.

John represents Ignition as director on the board of Fat Spaniel.  John previously served on the boards of Avogadro (acquired by OpenWave), Wildseed (acquired by AOL) and Pure Networks (acquired by Cisco).

Prior to Ignition, John spent 11 years Microsoft where he most recently served at Vice President of Product Development. At Microsoft, John led the $400 million acquisition and ongoing operation of Hotmail, the world’s largest email service, growing it from 10 million to 60 million users; the $260 million acquisition and integration of the LinkExchange, the most popular ad serving network in the world; and the restart of the MSN Internet Access service.

As VP of Development for MSN, John had overall responsibility for product development. On behalf of MSN, John’s team negotiated MSN partnering deals with Compaq, BestBuy, Costco, and other distribution partners, created the MSN Mobile team and partnership with Nextel ($600 million investment). John directed the development and release of the MSN portal and search and developed the Passport network for authentication and commerce across the entire network of Microsoft and partner websites.

John built the 700-member team responsible for the first four releases of Internet Explorer, growing market share from 0% to 60%. He co-managed the development of Windows 95, He also led the acquisition of the initial technology for Microsoft Exchange; led the team that created Windows for Workgroups, which grew to 50% market share to become the most widely-used peer networking product worldwide.

John received his M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. degree with distinction in Industrial Administration from Carnegie-Mellon and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering, cum laude honors from Ohio State.

For more on John and his interests, follow him on twitter at @jhludwig or visit John’s blog.

Jonathan Roberts

Written by on October 22, 2011 in Partners, Team - Comments Off

Jonathan Roberts

Jonathan Roberts is a Founder and Partner of Ignition. He invests in business application and services companies and is a director on the boards of AVST, Docusign, HyperQuality, Spoken and Earth Class Mail. Prior to Ignition Roberts spent 13 years at Microsoft, most recently as General Manager of the Windows CE Intelligent Appliance Division, where he was responsible for developing new WinCE products, product marketing, business development and long-term planning for the Windows CE platform as well as the retargeting of the Microsoft’s PocketPC effort. Roberts led the marketing and business efforts for Windows 3.1, 3.11, Windows NT 3.51, NT 4.0, BackOffice 1.0, Windows 98 and NT 4.0 on the Desktop, and finally all of Windows CE including embedded, Pocket PC, Auto, Phones, Set-top, Games, etc. Roberts received his B.A. in history from the University of Washington where he was also Student Body President. In addition to his Ignition boards, Jonathan serves on the board of Epiphany School and the University of Washington Foundation Board.

Michelle Jacobson Goldberg

Written by on October 20, 2011 in Partners, Team - Comments Off

Michelle Goldberg

Michelle Goldberg is a Partner at Ignition. She is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and emerging and future leaders in consumer and digital media software. Michelle cultivates CEOs, entrepreneurs and engineers to foster their talents and help bring their vision to life. She currently sits on 7 for profit and not for profit boards, including Glympse, Visible Technologies, SEOmoz, She previously sat on the board of TrackSimple, which was acquired in 2011 by BlueKai.

In addition to her work as a community mentor and VC, she is an active fundraiser and advisor in education. Prior to joining Ignition, Michelle consulted to Microsoft’s Developer Division, worked as an investment banker in mergers and acquisitions at Olympic Capital Partners, and as a management consultant with A.T. Kearney and the China External Trade Development Council (CETRA) in Taiwan.

She was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Technology by the Puget Sound Business Journal, and was a 2008 “40 under 40” Honoree.

Michelle was awarded a Masters degree from Harvard University, and holds an undergraduate degree from Columbia University in the City of New York.

Richard Fade

Written by on October 19, 2011 in Partners, Team - Comments Off

Richard Fade

Richard is a Partner at Ignition focusing primarily on infrastructure software, including virtualization, cloud and services investments. Richard’s prior investments include; Appature (IMS Health 2013),  Azaleos (Avanade 2012), GotVoice (Spoken 2009), InstallFree (WatchDox 2012), Likewise (Isilon/EMC 2012), StorSimple (Microsoft 2012) and WHIPTAIL (Cisco 2013).    He currently serves on the boards of Onehub and Talyst while working with several early stage technology companies in the Northwest.

Prior to joining Ignition, Richard was 16 years at Microsoft Corporation in several leadership roles including serving on the executive staff as a division level vice president. Most recently Richard was Senior Vice President of the OEM division where he was responsible for Microsoft’s licensing business with PC OEM and embedded device manufacturers. Richard served as VP Desktop and Consumer Applications, overseeing the creation and launch of Office 97 and several Microsoft Office product line extensions. Richard was Vice President of the Internet Business Unit and served as Vice President Far East Region where he was responsible for product development, sales, and marketing for Japan, China and Korea. Richard led the teams which produced the first successful double byte versions of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office applications.

Richard and his wife Susan have been active in helping families of children with developmental disorders. The Fades co-founded the Autism Center at the University of Washington. Richard is a board member of the Autism Center, and co-founder and prior chairman of the Autism Treatment Network (now a part of Autism Speaks).

Robert Headley

Written by on October 18, 2011 in Partners, Team - Comments Off

Robert Headley

Robert is a Partner at Ignition. He invests in enterprise software and wireless companies. Robert also acts as Ignition’s Administrative Partner overseeing the firm’s day to day operations. Robert represents Ignition as a director on the boards of Enclarity, and Earth Class Mail. He previously served as director on Extend America (acquired by Sprint) andFiREapps.

Prior to joining Ignition, Robert spent seven years at Starbucks Coffee Company, most recently as Vice President, Finance & Treasurer. In that role, he managed Starbucks Investor Relations, Corporate Development, Treasury, Business Planning & Analysis, and Profit Improvement functions.

Prior to Starbucks, Robert spent three years in the Principal Investment Area and Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs in New York and Sydney, Australia.

Robert holds an M.S. and B.S. degree with distinction in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University.  He is currently a Board Member with the Evergreen Venture Capital Association (EVCA), a partnership of Washington State venture capital firms working to nurture the venture capital community in the region.

Steve Hooper

Written by on October 17, 2011 in Partners, Team - Comments Off

Steve Hooper

Steve is a Founding Partner of Ignition. He invests in telecommunications and wireless companies. Steve represents Ignition as a director on the boards of Modiv, TTMI, SeaMobileSparkplug, Public Mobile, Airbiquity and AVST. Steve also serves on the board of InfoSpace. He previously served on the board of Avogadro (acquired by OpenWave) and UIEvolution (acquired by SquareEnix).

Prior to Ignition, Steve worked closely with Craig McCaw for 18 years and was CEO of every major McCaw Company except Nextel. Most recently, Steve was the Chairman and CEO of Nextlink Communications (now XO Communications), where he was responsible for repositioning the company to a true Integrated Communications Provider offering a full complement of voice and data services.

Prior to Nextlink, Steve served as the co-CEO of Teledesic with Craig McCaw. In that capacity, he oversaw the operation of the company and the negotiation of the multi-billion dollar satellite contract with Motorola.

From 1994 to 1997, Steve served as CEO of AT&T Wireless. As President and CEO of AT&T Wireless, Steve grew the company from $1.8 billion sales to $4 billion. As CEO, Steve bought LIN Broadcasting for $3.5 billion; expanded AT&T’s footprint via the PCS auctions; built national GSM networks in India, Hong Kong and Taiwan; worked with Nokia to build the cornerstone of AT&T’s “Digital One Rate” offering; deployed the first nationwide packet-based data network; and launched the first nationwide digital air-to-ground network, achieving 40% market share.

Prior to becoming CEO of AT&T Wireless, Steve was part of the small McCaw team that recognized cellular’s promise in the early eighties. Steve financed McCaw’s expansion into cellular, raising $200 million in the industry’s first high-yield cellular deal and taking the company public in 1987. Steve also had extensive operational responsibility at McCaw. Steve was the president of McCaw’s cable operations and successfully sold that business for $750 million. From there he moved into Cellular operations where he was responsible for a large part of the McCaw cellular footprint in the United States.

Steve holds an MBA from the Wharton School and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Seattle University, where he served as a Trustee of the Seattle University Board for 14 years.

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