Neil Senturia, CEO of Blackbird Ventures, has more than 25 years of diverse entrepreneurial endeavors. His wide range of experiences includes starting two software companies, serving as CEO of a third, real estate development, and screen writing for popular television sit-coms. Currently, he also serves as the CEO of Oberon Fuels, which is developing a clean alternative to diesel fuel, and LonoCloud, which is developing a secure cloud software platform.
Past companies include:
–Quanlight, material sciences company focused on the development of the next generation of red LEDs.
–Soflinx Corporation, a software and systems integration company providing monitoring and control solutions through wireless sensor and device networks (WSN). The company was funded by In-Q-Tel, the venture arm of the CIA, and was sold to Lockheed Martin in 2004.
–Mohomine, a software company focused on the management of unstructured data. Founded in January 2000, Mohomine was sold in March 2003 to Irvine based Kofax Image Products.
–Atcom/Info, the pioneer in internet and e-mail kiosks and high speed internet access in hotel rooms. The company was sold in September 1999 in a deal valued at more than $80 million and is currently owned by Cisco.
From 1985-1995, Neil focused on real estate development of office, condominiums and hotels in Los Angeles and San Diego and built more than 1.8 million square feet of space. From 1980-1985, he was an executive in the financial services industry and worked in real estate syndication. Prior to that, he was a television and screenwriter and wrote for shows such as M*A*S*H, Alice, and Tony Randall among others.
Neil and his wife Barbara Bry teach entrepreneurship at UC San Diego’s von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement in the Jacobs School of Engineering. He is a member of San Diego Social Venture Partners and UCSD Chancellors’ Associates. Neil’s newest endeavor is “I’m There For You Baby, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to the Galaxy,” an inspiring and humorous book about his entrepreneurial life with rules-lessons that apply to all of our lives.
Honors and awards include:
• Winner, 1997 Microsoft Retail Application Developer Award
• Winner, 1998 Microsoft Retail Application Developer Award
• Winner, 1998 Arnie Karush Award from the San Diego Software and Internet Council
• Winner, 1998 UCSD CONNECT Most Innovative Product Award
Neil graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. degree in English and received a masters’ degree in cinema from New York University. He was a Fellow at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles and served in the U.S. Army from which he received an honorable discharge. He is married to Barbara Bry, and the couple has four children between the ages of 26 and 30.
Barbara Bry, the chief operating officer of Blackbird Ventures, has been on the founding team of two companies and three nonprofit organizations. Barbara was a co-founder of Atcom, the leader in developing Internet kiosks and high speed internet access in hotel rooms. The company was sold in 1999 in a transaction valued at $80 million and is now owned by Cisco. In addition, Barbara was on the founding management team of Proflowers.com, which completed a successful initial public offering in December 2003 as Provide Commerce and was sold to Liberty Media for $477 million in 2006.
Barbara is also the founder of San Diego Athena, athenasd.org, San Diego’s premier organization for women technology executives and entrepreneurs. She spent 10 years at the University of California, San Diego where she was the first associate director of CONNECT, which has received international recognition for its efforts in linking technology entrepreneurs with the resources they need for success. She served also as the founding editor and CEO of Voice of San Diego, an innovative news and information Web site that has been featured nationally for its leadership in community based journalism.
In the community, Barbara is a director of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, the San Diego Jewish Community Foundation, and the San Diego Jewish Women’s Foundation. She and her husband Neil teach entrepreneurship at UC San Diego’s von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement at the Jacobs School of Engineering. She was a member of the Business Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Barbara’s early career was as a business and political writer for the Sacramento Bee and the Los Angeles Times. She has a B.A. degree in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania and a masters’ degree in business administration from Harvard Business School. She is married to entrepreneur Neil Senturia, and the couple has four children between the ages of 26 and 30.