Polaris’ Simeonov Strikes Out on Own—Forms Advisory Firm While Looking for the Next Big Thing
Simeon “Sim” Simeonov, a longtime technology partner at Polaris Venture Partners, has left the venture company to launch his own endeavor—an advisory firm to help startups. Simeonov put together the website for his firm, FastIgnite, over the weekend. The homepage shows a turtle with a rocket strapped to its back, with a lit match primed to light the rocket. “Think of me as a catalyst or the booster rocket,” Simeonov says.
Simeonov says he is building FastIgnite even as he explores his own ideas for technology startups—“I have several”—and he already has his first client, a stealth cloud virtualization company called Tollbit. (Hat tip to Scott Kirsner, who first reported that Simeonov was leaving Polaris.)
As a Polaris technology partner for the past seven years, Simeonov invested in the mobile, online, and enterprise-computing fields. Before that, according to his FastIgnite bio, he served as VP of emerging technologies and chief architect of Macromedia (since bought by Adobe). He came to that role after Macromedia had acquired his previous employer, Allaire, a trailblazing Internet platform company where Simeonov was a founding member and chief architect.
At Polaris, where he will remain a technology advisor, Simeonov helped start four firms in which the venture firm invested: Archivas, Veracode, the now defunct 8th Ring, and, most recently, Plinky, a Web startup based in my old hometown of Lafayette, CA, and co-founded by ex-Googler Jason Shellen. Simeonov works part time as Plinky’s CTO.
He also worked on a fifth company, a mobile analytics and ad targeting venture called Biscotti Mobile, with entrepreneur Marc Theermann (co-founder of two Boston wireless firms, YellowPepper and Everypoint, and later an executive at Get Connected). Simeonov and Theermann invited two other execs in as co-founders as they developed the idea and got a Series A term sheet from Polaris. But Biscotti, whose founding idea involved the acquisition of a California firm, never quite got off the ground. “For personal reasons, one of the two execs had to reduce his commitment to Biscotti, which triggered a chain of events that made it impossible to continue the relationship with the California company,” says Simeonov. “In the end, it was down to only Marc and me again, and we decided to stop fundraising.”
His experiences with 8th Ring and Plinky, and especially the aborted Biscotti Mobile, ignited the passion to do something new and more entrepreneurial, Simeonov says. At all three companies he was a co-founder, not merely an investor. “I was acting as a cross between a VC and an entrepreneur,” Simeonov says. “But I’d gotten so excited about Biscotti that I basically decided, ‘You know what? … Next Page »