We’re thrilled to announce that our partner Brian Chee is joining the management company of Polaris Venture Partners, VI. Brian joins the other Polaris partners currently managing the firm’s funds: Dave Barrett, Jon Flint, Terry McGuire, Amir Nashat and Bryce Youngren.
Brian has been a key member of the partnership since its founding in 1996, and has built an incredibly-important healthcare franchise. He led our investment in Ascend Health, which was recently acquired by Universal Health Services for $500 million, a 10x return on investment. In addition to Ascend, Brian led Polaris investments in Free & Clear (acquired by Alere), Asthmatx (acquired by Boston Scientific), and Sentillion (acquired by Microsoft).
In addition to his portfolio work, last year Brian moved from Seattle to Silicon Valley to help establish our Palo Alto office, which also houses our @dogpatchlabs open entrepreneurial community in that market. Approximately one-third of Polaris’ portfolio is based in California, including such notables as Automattic (WordPress), Egnyte, JibJab, LegalZoom, MarkMonitor, ShoeDazzle, and Quantcast.
As we’ve outlined in earlier posts, we’ve made a strong commitment to the Silicon Valley/SF market. We intend to continue our growth with several more investor team additions over the next several years on both the West and East Coasts.
We’re also pleased to name Noel Ruane and Gus Weber to Venture Partner and Principal, respectively, from their former positions as Entrepreneurs-in-Residence.
Noel led the founding and development of our @dogpatchlabs innovation community in Dublin, Ireland over the past year. The Dublin Lab has been off to a great start, with 21 companies currently in residence. Before coming to Polaris, he founded and was former CEO of Brandmail Solutions, founded LaunchPad, a Dublin startup accelerator, and also served as Vice President of Business Development for IDA Ireland. Based in Mountain View, California, he was the IDA Ireland overseas officer responsible for bringing marquee tech companies to Ireland including Google, Amazon, EBay, PayPal and Yahoo.
Noel will head-up our European investment efforts by helping to find great opportunities across Early and Growth Stage Technology – and continuing to build relationships with special entrepreneurs.
Gus Weber has been with Polaris for over the past year-and-a-half, running the Cambridge @dogpatchlabs, building really strong relationships with — and becoming a leader in — the Cambridge entrepreneurial community. He’s also helped lead the continued development of the Palo Alto Lab after its move from Pier 38 in San Francisco.
Prior to joining Polaris, Gus worked on our good friend Ray Ozzie’s leadership team at Microsoft, helping to establish N.E.R.D., the New England Research & Development Center. Before that, he held management roles at the Rochester Institute of Technology, including Director of Development/Assistant Dean of the College of Computing and Information Sciences.
Gus will continue to help lead both the Cambridge & Palo Alto Labs, and we’re excited to have him join the investment team.
We’re also announcing that Ryan Spoon, following a personal and professional passion for both digital product creation and sports, will be moving to Bristol, CT to become Senior Vice President of Product Development at ESPN. Ryan’s new role with ESPN offers great potential for opportunities – as well as value to our community. We congratulate him on this new role, and look forward to our continued interactions.
Well-earned congratulations to Brian, Noel and Gus – and best wishes to Ryan.