Shawn Carolan

Shawn is a partner at Menlo Ventures, and focuses on IT investments in the consumer sectorwith particular interest in major technological shifts that improve daily lives. Examples include current investments in Roku and Uber, as well as Siri, which sold to Apple in 2013.

Shawn received his BS and MS in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he graduated with highest honors, but was continually pulled into the field of computer science. His interests in programming led to the Chicago startup scene with Open Port Technology. As a manager of software architecture at Open Port, Shawn wrote wire protocols in C++ in the days before JSON and obtained his first patent. He left to attend Stanford GSB, with initial plans to become a business-savvy CTO. A summer stint at Booz Allen taught him to think big, but underscored his need to be on the cutting-edge of tech. He joined Menlo upon receiving his MBA in 2002.

Shawn’s learned countless left-brain lessons as a VC, software and electrical engineer, product manager, and management consultant, but none as impactful as the right-brain ones as a husband, father, and struggling founder as the former CEO of Handle, the world’s first (and only) priority engine. He believes in candor, empathy, and the Lean Startup principles born at IMVU, where he has served as a director since 2005. For fun, Shawn enjoys hiking with his family, running with his wife, Jennifer (founder of Reach Capital), snowboarding, and motorcycling.

Current Investments

Skip Scooters

Prior Investments

CinemaNow, acquired by Rovi
JUMP Bikes, acquired by Uber
PlaySpan, acquired by Visa (V)
Scan, acquired by SnapChat
Siri, acquired by Apple (APPL)
TeleNav (NYSE: TNAV)


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