John works closely with CEO Krishna Gupta to grow the REMUS platform and is passionate about working with entrepreneurs to build successful companies, which he has been doing for a decade. As an investor, John has managed a variety of deals and investment processes, leading to investments in several companies in the Industry 4.0, agriculture, pharma, and retail technology spaces. In addition, John serves as a Board Member to two portfolio companies and observer to half a dozen more.
Prior to investing, John led a sister firm that offered strategic advisory services to venture-backed technology companies. As a Partner there, he worked with Founders, CEOs, and the Board by advising on M&A, capital raising, strategic partnerships, and growth initiatives for a suite of Seed, Series A, and Series B companies.
John has spent time in energy and industrials investment banking, project finance, and corporate advisory for Fortune 500 companies at Taylor-DeJongh and the Lafayette Group in Washington, D.C. In the energy sector, he helped advise on transactions valued in the multiple billions, including sell-side and project finance engagements spanning the Oil & Gas and Power value chains across the globe. In industrials, he conducted strategy work and consulted on a planned multi-billion-dollar M&A of a Fortune 500 chemicals player by a Middle Eastern-based corporate. He managed teams of analysts and participated in discussions of acquisitions and financing strategies, as well as deal structure.
John continues to serve as a mentor to young technology startups at incubators and university labs, including at the MIT Energy Prize.
John received a BS in Political Economy from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he focused on international business diplomacy and energy studies. He is also a graduate of Phillips Academy Andover, where he serves on the Andover Development Board.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“The question is, where do you go from here?” Life is full of setbacks, but determination is a key value in guiding how you react to those moments. It’s something I’ve seen consistently in the best – and usually most tenacious – entrepreneurs. The advice came from a school instructor who happened to be a Franciscan Friar!
What’s something few people know about you?
My family moved around a lot growing up; I grew up across four continents and more countries, and I was almost born in Singapore! Memorably, we were in the Subcontinent during the Gulf War, September 11th, and the invasion of Afghanistan. I like to think that while growing up was harder, the experience gave me a broad perspective that makes it easier to see things from other people’s shoes.
What are some of your passions?
Sci-Fi. I grew up watching Star Trek and saw how it mirrored our family’s experience visiting strange, new places. At its heart, most sci-fi is about looking up at the stars and thinking about what might be! An enthusiasm for science and technology wasn’t far behind.
At the same time, I love history – with soft spots for economic, classical, and American, especially. One of the things you can take away from them is a bit of paranoia – nothing lasts forever. To quote the legendary Andy Grove: “Sooner or later, something fundamental in your business world will change.”
It is the combination of these two that makes me a kind of paranoid optimist. They are why I love the hopeful act of investing in new technologies while having to be thoughtful about the lessons of company-building.