Capital for connecting people and things to achieve transformational results
C2FO is the world's only global, collaborative exchange for working capital. Participants are buyers and suppliers who use the market to increase profit, and accelerate cash flow between themselves. C2FO is Collaborative Cash Flow Optimization. Learn more
CommerceSignals is a real time exchange for transactional data. CommerceSignals allows businesses to optimize and monetize their data assets through a real time exchange platform that provides a marketplace for buyers and sellers based upon relevance and use. Learn more
Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, FarmLink creates tools that provide simple, clear and actionable information to help farmers increase their productivity and profits. Dedicated to harnessing the true power of big data, FarmLink uses extraordinary analysis of precise yield information collected on millions of acres, and vast amounts of publicly-available data, to give farmers the tools and information they need to make more informed decisions. Along with its agriculture experts, FarmLink has assembled a talented team with extensive experience in agriculture, data analytics, hardware and software engineering, product design and development, successful entrepreneurship, finance, and communications technologies to develop the TrueHarvest Benchmark and future tools. Learn more
Gift Card Impressions (GCI) is the leading Gift Card packaging and merchandising solutions provider. They build customized solutions to deliver strategically focused; brand-differentiating concepts that drive incremental gift card sales by making your products stand out at 3rd party point-of-purchase, in your stores and online. GCI’s solutions make the gift-giving occasion more memorable and personalized using the latest technologies to appeal to all five senses! They provide the most strategic, innovative and cost-effective solutions to achieve your specific objectives. Gift Card Impressions…where innovation meets gifting. Learn more
Gogo (IPO 2013) turns a commercial airplane into a Wi-Fi hotspot with true inflight Internet access. Passengers with Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, smartphones and PDAs, can surf the Web, check e-mail, instant message, access a corporate VPN and more. Gogo Inflight Internet is available on all AirTran Airways and Virgin America flights, and select Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways flights. Learn more
HYLA Mobile, formerly eRecyclingCorps, is one of the world’s leading providers of products and services that capture, extend and optimize the life and value of used mobile devices. The company is transforming the wireless ecosystem by helping consumers realize and immediately take advantage of the residual value of used devices and providing a reliable and responsible way of collecting, processing and distributing used mobile phones. Learn more
InSequent provides a SaaS mobile marketing solution for Local/SMBs. The platform converts existing desktop websites into mobile optimized versions in under 1 minute just by entering your URL. The included Content Management System contains simple-to-use tools to edit your content with little to no technical skill necessary. Along with total website management there is a complete SMS suite for customer engagement, keywords, short codes, QR Codes, Mobile Coupons, opt-in widgets and much more. A truly turn-key platform designed for local business to quickly and easily get mobile and engage with customers on the largest channel there is. InSequent sells direct and through channel partners such as ReachLocal, McClatchy, Digital First Media and others. Learn more
MachineryLink Solutions' business platforms help rethink the balance sheet by leveraging technology, connectivity and new business models to improve the economics of farming. In 2015, MLS introduced MachineryLink Sharing as the industry's first online marketplace to list and rent ag equipment, helping connect users with equipment and operators. Learn more
PEQ is an IoT platform and service provider that enables other brands to easily enter the smart home and automation space. The company takes a human-centric, design-driven approach that brings intelligent control and seamless interactions to a variety of connected IoT devices. PEQ’s retail home security and automation solution is sold in a variety of national retailers including Best Buy, Amazon, and Samsclub.com. Learn more
RedStone Logistics is a unique, third-party logistics company specializing in Logistics Management Services, RedStone Logistics serves the full spectrum of the transportation element the supply chain: small package, less-than-truckload, truckload, expedited shipments, even air shipments. Learn more
Increasing market demands caused by HDTV, online video, mobile distribution and high-speed downloads are putting enormous pressure on providers to continue to offer a high quality user experience despite finite spectrum availability. Spectrum Five is creating the DBS satellite infrastructure of the future by offering increased capacity at much lower capital costs thus enabling new services compatible with mobility and the evolving terrestrial wireless infrastructure. Spectrum Five is the largest holder of DBS spectrum with full U.S. coverage and one of the largest total spectrum holders (4000 MHz).
Founded in 2003 in Kansas City, Store Financial is an innovator of electronic card payment programs that processes about $2 billion in B2B payments each year. The company delivers private-label payment card solutions to some of the largest corporate brands around the globe. We manage more than 650 payment programs including incentive, loyalty, gift and disbursement programs for more than 450 brands in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Store Financial enables redemption, controls the use and automates settlement of funds without the need for POS integration or IT development. We issue payments in four currencies: USD, CAD, EUR, and GBP. Our onsite technical and customer service teams offer support in five languages, with 24/7 support in English and French. Learn more
Zave Networks (acquired by Google 9/2/11) offers a revolutionary technology point-of-sale platform that for the first time ever connects digital marketing and advertising with physical in-store sales, delivering on the promise of "clicks to bricks." Zave's unique platform enables marketers, retailers, and product manufacturers to create, distribute, and process digital coupons, promotions, and incentives real-time at the point of sale in a way that's convenient and simple for consumers. Retailers and manufacturers are able to measure, in real-time, the effectiveness of their efforts, including which of their promotions is leading to actual retail sales. Zave Networks is the first solution that closes the redemption loop, allowing for unprecedented marketing insights and optimization. Learn more
As mobile data usage proliferates, carriers are faced with a key challenge: how to extract revenue from mobile data usage. Lack of visibility into what mobile users are doing with data, which applications are being consumed and how usage correlates with user demographics and location have made it impossible to build actionable user profiles. Zettics (a merger between Ground Truth and Umber systems) provides the first, intelligent monitoring and analytics solution that works across applications, devices, networks and locations. It provides a clear, accurate and ongoing picture of mobile data usage. Learn more
Zubie is a mobile and Internet services company focused on maximizing connected-car capabilities for consumers and businesses. The company, formerly known as GreenLight Connectivity Solutions, was formed in 2012, and is headquartered in Charleston, SC, with offices in the Minneapolis area. Learn more
Ron is a pioneer and respected leader in the wireless industry. As our most seasoned director, he brings to the firm nearly 40 years of telecommunications senior operating experience. Prior to co-founding OpenAir, Ron spent many years in senior leadership roles with AT&T, Sprint, and Southwestern Bell. Having worked in an environment known for innovation and emerging technologies, Ron is eminently qualified to recognize innovation and to guide fledgling companies in successfully applying technology in the marketplace. Among Ron's accomplishments:
Ron was employee number 1 and CEO of Sprint PCS, the break-through wireless division of Sprint. Under Ron's leadership, the company generated $10B in annual revenues, faster than any U.S. company has before or since. After leaving Sprint in 2003, he joined Ripplewood Holdings as an Industrial Partner and orchestrated the turn-around (as CEO) and subsequent sale of Japan Telecom, generating outstanding returns to Ripplewood investors. Ron is the current chairman of GoGo Inflight Internet, the leading broadband in-flight Internet service that effectively turns a commercial airplane into a Wi-Fi hotspot with true in-flight Internet access.
Ron is a highly sought after board member for both public and privately-held companies and currently sits on the boards of GoGo In-flight Internet (GOGO), Hyla Mobile and FarmLink.
A native of Arkansas, Ron attended Southern Arkansas University where he earned a bachelor's degree and was named Outstanding Business Student and the University of Arkansas School of Law, where he graduated with honors. Ron and his wife reside in Kansas City and spend time enjoying their seven grandchildren, including two sets of twin girls.
Kathy is considered one of the top mobile network experts in the United States and is a sought-after technology strategist and respected telecom veteran. Kathy is one of an elite group of communications veterans who holds dual expertise in both the wireless and facility-based network realm, making her an invaluable resource to innovators and forward-thinkers who operate in that cross-over world. Prior to joining OpenAir, Kathy served as Chief Network Officer for Sprint Nextel, a role in which she led the overall planning, design, and operations of Sprint Nextel’s wireless (CDMA and iDEN) and wireline (IP) networks. Among Kathy's accomplishments:
Kathy is an expert technology strategist and respected telecom operator, and has held extremely diverse responsibilities including planning and operating complementary wireline and wireless networks, developing new data products , and managing large-scale integration projects in the IT and network worlds.
Kathy is known for her ability to recognize talent and potential in the corporate and entrepreneurial space. She distinguished Sprint's capabilities by building national programs to promote recruitment, training and retention of technology talent. When implemented, these programs were essential components of the organization's ability to develop and operate world class networks. Today, that talent is distributed across numerous companies in the wireless and communications sectors. Kathy actively maintains many of those contacts and continues to grow her network of talented professionals, with a goal of engaging with and supporting them in fostering innovation and growth in the mobile and communications space.
Kathy holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from South Dakota State University and a Master of Science and Professional Engineering from Missouri S&T, where she is a member of the school’s Women in Science & Engineering Hall of Fame. She serves on the Trustees' Council for both schools. Kathy and her husband reside in Kansas City.
Lance is a seasoned and respected investor in the technology and innovation space. He is the founder of October Capital, a privately funded venture firm that invests primarily in innovative, technology-enabled businesses. Lance possesses an operational expertise, entrepreneurial mindset, and collaborative approach that make him stand out as a leader in the venture capital market and causes him to be a highly-sought-after board member. Known for his hands-on leadership style, Lance has mentored numerous successful entrepreneurs and management teams. Among Lance's accomplishments:
In his role as an investor and board member during the past 10 years, Lance has assisted management teams in developing and fleshing out ideas and innovative solutions across a range of industries including web-enabled enterprise services, mobile commerce, agricultural equipment services, digital media and advertising, publishing, logistics, wireless services, and financial services. Lance is known for his passion for early stage innovation, his ability to collaborate with entrepreneurs, and his willingness to work actively to help build businesses.
As an advocate of entrepreneurship and venture investing, Lance is an oft-requested speaker and panelist. He has worked diligently for more than 10 years to stimulate innovation in the Midwest through entrepreneurship and venture investment. Lance holds a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Kansas. He lives in Kansas City with his wife and five children, including two sets of twins.
Scott is a knowledgeable and connected wireless investor, with more than 16 years of wireless operating experience. Prior to joining OpenAir, he served as founder and general manager of Sprint Nextel Ventures, the company arm tasked with seeking out and securing high-potential ventures and investments. With 11 years of Sprint leadership in venture capital, business development, sales, and marketing roles, Scott is considered a wireless industry influencer, with a solid record in leading dozens of wireless market business deals, partnerships, and investments. Among Scott's accomplishments:
Scott is recognized in the wireless industry as a knowledgeable investor with the rare combination of carrier-side innovation expertise and a solid venture and start-up market reputation and network. Scott has been selected by the CTIA - The Wireless Association® to serve on its VC Innovation Council. He and other select venture industry experts liaise with CTIA on wireless innovation trends, best practices, and global developments that are affecting investment choices, as well as the impact they are having on the wireless industry.
Scott's passion for mobile technologies and innovation was first formed during his 5 years as a Naval Aviator, where he operated sophisticated airborne electronic warfare equipment that was truly evolutionary. In addition to the Kauffman Fellowship and extensive electronics and technology training in the Navy, Scott holds a Bachelor of Science in Management and Human Relations from MidAmerica Nazarene University.
Scott sits on the boards of several OpenAir portfolio companies, including SmartHome Ventures, Gift Card Impressions, and Zubie (observer).
Ashwin joined OpenAir in May 2014. He has a particular interest in data monetization across various industry verticals. He works most closely with SmartHome Ventures, Zubie, and Farmlink.
Most recently as the Head of Mobile Advertising at Sprint (Pinsight Media+), Ashwin helped establish Pinsight as a top 10 mobile media network. Pinsight Media focused on providing brands with a variety of solutions, powered by layering behavioral audience insights based on mobile engagement, location and demographic information. Prior to Sprint, Ashwin lead the mobile advertising team at Handmark / OneLouder Apps. OneLouder Apps was acquired by Sprint to enhance its advertising capabilities. Ashwin has a strong history of leading the product development of successful mobile applications on iOS and Android.
He also served as a board advisor on Namo Media [acquired by Twitter] providing counsel and advice from concept through start-up, funding and successful launch. Ashwin holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Missouri S&T (University of Missouri-Rolla). While not at work, he likes to spend time with his family and traveling to all corners of the globe.
Taylor has a passion for technology and working with startups. He joined OpenAir in July 2012 and focuses on engaging in market and financial analysis, problem-solving, and strategic thinking around existing portfolio companies and sectors for potential investment.
Prior to OpenAir, Taylor worked as Director of Operations at EcoFit Lighting, a cleantech startup that designed, manufactured, and marketed outdoor LED lighting products. At EcoFit, Taylor worked at supply chain management, logistics, and financial planning & analysis, as well as helping to fundraise. Taylor’s career began as an Investment Analyst for the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation (KTEC), a public/private partnership that invested in seed stage technology companies for the state of Kansas.
Taylor holds a Bachelors degree in Accounting from Kansas State University. He resides in Overland Park with his wife and daughter, and enjoys Royals baseball, fishing, and tinkering with new technologies.
Valerie joined OpenAir in 2004 and brings over 28 years of experience in Office Management and Administrative Support. In addition to performing general office functions, she is also instrumental in the processes of bookkeeping, purchasing, and payroll. Prior to joining OpenAir, Valerie spent three years as a Regional Administrative Assistant at Central Locating Systems, where she worked with programmers to help design and test a wage review tracking system for the entire company. After implementation of the system, she held training sessions for corporate employees. She was responsible for the compilation of various performance reports, working with 41 districts for the procurement of daily and weekly reporting data. Valerie spent two years at Harte-Hanks Corporation as Sr. Administrative Assistant/Business Development, where she was responsible for the preparation of presentations, meetings, and RFPs. She also managed an account review process and had one employee reporting to her. Valerie began her Administrative career as an Executive Assistant/Office Manager at Mar-Kay Plastics in 1988, where she spent over nine years performing many HR tasks including interviewing, hiring, conducting orientations, entering payroll, and tracking wage reviews. She was the editor and publisher of the company's monthly newsletter and she organized company-wide functions for over 400 employees. She also assisted in formulating product quotes, was responsible for all advertising/editorials in trade magazines, and had two direct reports.
Valerie has one adult son and currently resides in Lee's Summit, MO. In her free time, Valerie is a founder/organizer for a social group consisting of over 200 members and enjoys volunteering for the Special Olympics.
Holly is an accomplished attorney specializing in complex deals involving venture capital funds and start-up companies. She joined OpenAir and its sister fund, October Capital, in 2000 and acts as General Counsel for 12 investment funds focusing on technology-enabled businesses. In addition to her extensive legal expertise, Holly manages all of the finances for each of the investment funds. Her years of experience in the legal and financial industries allows Holly to provide creative solutions to the investment funds and their portfolio companies as they turn innovative ideas into viable and prosperous businesses. Among Holly’s accomplishments:
Prior to joining the venture capital world full-time in 2000, Holly was an attorney at Stinson Leonard Street where she spent many years working in mergers and acquisitions, public and private placement of securities and private financing. It was at Stinson that Holly developed her passion for working with early stage companies and venture capital financing.
Holly attended the University of Iowa where she earned her B.A. in Finance and her M.B.A. She earned her J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law where she graduated with honors. Outside of work, Holly dedicates all of her time to her husband and four children and to fundraising for A Kids’ Brain Tumor Cure Foundation to find a cure for pediatric brain cancer.
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