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John Merrells

Advisor San Francisco Bay Area, US

Consultant, Advisor, Mentor

Consultant, Advisor, Mentor

7 vouches

Primary Skillsets

  • Business Development
  • Back End Engineering

Primary Cofounder Skillsets

  • • Business Development
  • • Back End Engineering

Involved In


Early Stage Companies
Early Stage Companies
Singularity University
The Unreasonable Institute
Blackbox Accelerator, LLC
Code for America


Consultant Late Stage Companies May 2013 - present
Advisor Early Stage Companies May 2013 - present
Mentor Entrepreneurs June 2014 - present
Mentor Singularity University May 2015 - present
Lead Mentor StartX. June 2014 - present
Mentor The Unreasonable Institute June 2015 - present
Mentor Blackbox Accelerator, LLC July 2014 - present
Mentor Code for America August 2014 - August 2015
Senior Architect Sencha, Inc June 2011 - April 2013
Senior Director of Engineering Cuil September 2007 - August 2008
CEO Embrace Mobile July 2005 - April 2008
Director Accelerator: Parthenon Computing December 2003 - April 2008
CTO Sxip Identity October 2005 - June 2006
Engineer Sleepycat Software (now Oracle) October 2001 - May 2004
Principal Architect eTime Capital June 2000 - September 2001
Member of Technical Staff Netscape Communications September 1997 - June 2000
Senior Software Engineer Octel Communications April 1995 - August 1997
Software Engineer Pixel Innovations May 1994 - April 1995
Software Engineer Intelligent Games May 1993 - May 1994
Intern British Standards Institute BSI-KSA May 1989 - September 1989


Pathwise Leadership Development Psychology 2015 - 2016
University of Hertfordshire Computer Science 1988 - 1992

Interested In

Joining an Early Team
Markets of Interest
  • • Cloud Services
  • • Data & Analytics
  • • Education
  • • Enterprise Software
  • • Financial Services
  • • Healthcare
  • • Local
  • • Robotics
  • • Social Impact
  • • Transportation
  • • Video
  • • In-classroom learning (K-12)
  • • Lifelong Learning (outside of school)
  • • Nutrition
  • • Wellness

You Should Know About Me

Key Strengths

Software development • Scalability • Cloud Computing • Distributed Systems

Key Accomplishments

Escaping deepest darkest Yorkshire. Octel Unified Messenger. Netscape Directory Server. Berkeley DB XML.

How I like to work with people
As an Advisor

I like to work with founders who are confident about what they know and humble about what they don't.

Vouches Received

Vouches Given

Think John is awesome?
Vouch for them.

Soren Riise
They're my friends  •  Co-founder, BitYota. Previously Sr. Dir Eng @ Yahoo. and CTO WhereOnEarth (sold to Yahoo). Advisor.
John has a very good balance between understanding the need for good architecture and understanding how that fits into the overall business ... goal for both short and long term value. Have a long experience of hands on with both technology and business building.
Joshua Levy
We worked together  •  Head of Operations and Infrastructure, Viv Labs. Previously Head of Operations, BloomReach. University of California, Berkeley grad.
John has an awesome and exceptionally broad set of skills -- strong engineering, good product skills, and solid, informed business sense.
Ashwin Phatak
Co-Founder, APP2 Technologies. Previously Senior Manager (Development), MangoApps Inc.
Super smart, super nice. Working with him has been such a great learning experience.
Louis Monier
We worked together  •  Advisor, Investor and Deep Learning Faculty, Holberton School and Chief Scientist,
I have known John since 2007, we worked together for a year, and he helped me on several projects after that. John has the chops of a very s ... olid CTO/VP of engineering, combining deep technical knowledge with a great intuition for start-ups. He has advised and consulted for many companies now, and has an extensive network.
Wes McKinney
We worked together  •  Software Engineer, Cloudera and Creator, BDFL, pandas project. Duke grad. Massachusetts Institute of Technology grad.
John was a valuable resource on technical leadership and software architecture while we were working on DataPad. He's efficient at getting t ... o the core of hard engineering problems (both on the technical and people side) and helping come up with solutions. I'd highly recommend him as a mentor and/or advisor to technical founders and CTOs / VPs of Engineering.
Steven Atneosen
We worked together  •  Managing Director. Growth Operator & Advisor., Grand Chasm Ventures. Previously SVP, Corporate Development & General Counsel, StayWell.
John has deep and broad product and engineering knowledge, which makes him unique and extremely valuable in crafting product go-to-market st ... rategy and executing upon it.
Lucia Guh-Siesel
We worked together  •  Crowdsourcing high-end baby products. CEO of Bandalou. Sr. Attorney Intel, AGC AppliedMicro, Shearman & Sterling, Berkeley/Hastings grad.
John has been a great technical advisor for us and a tremendous resource for engg expertise.

Soren Riise
They're my friends  •  Co-founder, BitYota. Previously Sr. Dir Eng @ Yahoo. and CTO WhereOnEarth (sold to Yahoo). Advisor.
Great technical and domain depth.

Trevor Power
Business Development Manager, Warwick Ventures Ltd. and Non Exec Director, Incentivated Ltd.
He's been there and done it all.

Bruce Schechter
Co-founder and Co-chairman, SVBIG and Mentor, StartX.. Stanford grad. Purdue grad.
Lots of experience.

Darian Hickman
They're my friends  •  Data Management Solution Architect and Founder, Village the Game.
He has passion for the problem.

Gil Penchina
Had a hand in eBay, LinkedIn, PayPal, Evite, Fastly, UXPin, Wealthfront, Indiegogo, Angelist etc. Either as an operator or an Angel Investor

Radu Spineanu
Cofounder, and Founder, Kinotopic.

Andrei Pop
Founder, CEO, HumanAPI. Previously Founder, CEO, Ideahack Creative. The University of British Columbia grad.

JD Lasica
Co-founder of Cruiseable, where we're bringing disruptive innovation to cruises. Business strategist. More:

Ted Rheingold
Chief Operating Officer, InVenture. Founded Dogster (acq by Say Media)

Mehdi Samadi
Ph.D. Student, Carnegie Mellon University. Carnegie Mellon grad. University of Alberta grad. Entrepreneur. Technologist. Author

Jim Yang
Founder @ChatX. Board @TeleStax. Investor @Refinery29. Previously Founder @Identyx (acquired by Red Hat). Product and Idea Guy.

Peter Kaminski
Technical+product co-founder in networks and social collaboration. Serial entrepreneur. Friendly, helpful, super smart about lots of things.

Nicolas Darveau-Garneau
Head of Performance Marketing, Large Customer Sales, Google and Board Member, Techno Montreal. Harvard Business School grad.

Christof Wittig
Founder, CEO and President, LiquidM. Previously Founder and Managing Director, Kii Capital. Stanford GSB grad.

Weston Triemstra
Runs Netsign, a software and product development consultancy. Veteran of many startups, previously VP Product, Medeo; Product Manager, Sxip.

Keith Teare
Founder & CEO, Inc. and Founder, Archimedes Labs.

Harpinder Singh Madan
VP Product & Marketing, Co-Founder, Slice and Advisor, Ayasdi, VideoGenie, Zappedy. Stanford GSB grad.

Pete Hartigan (Trusted Ventures)
Board Observer, Social Finance (SoFi) and Founder, CEO, Trusted Ventures. Stanford GSB grad. Duke grad.

Jameson Hsu
Previously CEO / Co-founder, Pieceable Software. Previously CEO / Co-founder, Mochi Media.

Brad Garlinghouse
CEO, Hightail - formerly YouSendIt. Previously President, Applications and Commerce, AOL. Harvard Business School grad.

Barney Pell
Chairman and CEO, QuickPay Corporation and Advisor, Portalarium. Stanford grad.

Jason Heck
Consultant, Parker Remick, Inc.. Previously Co-President, H&R Strategic Solutions LLC.

Michael McCorquodale
Adjunct ​@UMICH • CEO ​@Arborlight​ ​@Cortera Neurotechnologies​ • Founder ​@Mobius Microsystems​ ​@e-SENS​ • BS EE ​@UIUC MS PhD @UMICH

Khash Sajadi
Cofounder & CEO, Cloud 66. Previously Consultant, CIBC.

Richard Price
CEO, Previously Prize Fellow of All Souls, Oxford University.

Reg Charney
Co-Founder and CEO, WizOf.Biz. Previously Mentee, TiE Institute in Toronto. University of Toronto grad. University of Waterloo grad.

Rob Weltman
Independent Technologist, Independent. Previously Development Director, Engineering, Cloudera.

Gordon Good
Staff Software Engineer, VMware. Previously Senior Software Engineer, Nicira (acquired by VMware).

Claire Hough
VP Engineering and Product, Udemy. Previously SVP Engineering, Tapjoy, Inc.. University of California, Berkeley grad.

Cameron Turner
Partner Data Scientist, The Data Guild and Entrepreneur in Residence, StartX. Stanford grad. Dartmouth College grad.

Nathanael Wolfe
co-founder,, inc. Previously creative, Contractor.

Paul Bragiel
Managing Partner, i/o ventures and Advisor / Investor, p5 llc. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign grad.

Jonathan McCoy
Founder and VP of Product, Handle, Inc. Previously Founder, Perception Labs. The University of Texas at Austin grad.

Mudit Garg
Founder, CEO, analyticsMD. Previously Founder, Hive Inc.. Stanford GSB grad. Stanford grad.

Ben Way
Ben Way is a best selling author, leading futurologist, technologist, inventor, and entrepreneur.

Daniel Kraft, MD
Faculty Chair of Medicine, Singularity Univ / Exec Director of FutureMed / Exponential Medicine, Singularity University. Stanford grad.

Michel Floyd
Founder, CEO, Cloak Labs. MIT grad.

Brian Hoffman
Accelerator Programs, Business Development, and Legal, StartX.. Previously Associate, O'Melveny & Myers LLP.

Pascal Finette
Managing Director – Startup Lab, Singularity University and Founder, POWER UP.

Raj Singh
Founder and CEO, Tempo AI and Investor and Advisor, ENIAC Ventures.

Chris Swan
Advisor, Growth Intelligence® and Editor: Cloud, InfoQ.

Joel Truher
Engineering Director, Google. Previously VP Engineering, Enrich Consulting. Stanford grad. University of California, Santa Cruz grad.

ken keller
Technical co-founder (Cadence, IGN, Collectrium) or one of first few employees (Frame, excite, HLD) at 6 successful startups.

Auren Hoffman
Fmr CEO, LiveRamp (sold for $310 million). Fmr Board: BrightRoll.

Richard Titus
Board of Advisors, The Ticket Fairy and Advisory Board Member, Magique Inc.. University of California, Santa Barbara grad.

Sangeeta Agarawal, RN, MS
Clinical Nurse II (Oncology Nurse), Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Study Coordinator, research Assistant, UCSF Medical Center.

Diana Placiakiene
Representative in Silicon Valley, MBA, Enterprise Lithuania and Owner, Baltic Solutions, Consulting.

Joshua Levy
Head of Operations and Infrastructure, Viv Labs. Previously Head of Operations, BloomReach. University of California, Berkeley grad.

Celia Francis
Independent Consultant, Strategy, Marketing, Mergers and Acquistions Consultant and Member Board of Directors, Rated People. Harvard grad.

Ned Rockson
Cofounder and Engineer, Doublie and Mentor, CODE2040. Stanford undergrad.

David Helgason
Investor & Board of Directors, QuizUp (née Plain Vanilla Games) and Founder, Unity Technologies.

Holly Cardew
Founder, Pixc.

Peter Szymanski
Founder, Silicon Valley Counsel and Donor, The Kosciuszko Foundation.

Pau Larsen
They're my mentor  •  CEO & co-founder, Hubbr and CEO & founder, SprintForce.
Pau's great :)

Kris Foster
We worked together  •  Manager, Systems Software Engineering, OpenDNS. Previously Sr. Manager, Global Networks, BitGravity.
He's a solid technologist and manager.

Ashwin Phatak
We worked together  •  Co-Founder, APP2 Technologies. Previously Senior Manager (Development), MangoApps Inc.
Ashwin's awesome :)

Kim Nicol
People Operations, FactoryX and Workshop Instructor, General Assembly.
Kim is a great advisor because she's just such a lovely person.

Steven Atneosen
We worked together  •  Managing Director. Growth Operator & Advisor., Grand Chasm Ventures. Previously SVP, Corporate Development & General Counsel, StayWell.
Steven is a business owner and operator. He scales startups and maximizes revenue. He's strait forward and gets shit done.