Shawn Carolan

Shawn joined Menlo Ventures in 2002 and focuses on IT investments in the consumer sector—with particular interest in major technological shifts that improve daily lives. A few notable examples include Roku, Uber, and Siri.

Shawn received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he graduated with highest honors. After, he joined Chicago startup Open Port Technology as a developer. Eventually a manager of software architecture, he wrote wire protocols in C++ and obtained a patent during his time at the firm. He left to attend Stanford GSB, with initial plans to become a business-savvy CTO. After none of his 3+ business plans proved fundable, he joined Menlo upon receiving his MBA.

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 / CEO of Handle, the world’s first (and only) priority engine. He strives for candor, empathy, and Lean best practices, 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
Unagi 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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