MATTHEW I. GROWNEY
Matthew has become a well-known and successful investor and entrepreneur for both his understanding of new technologies as well as his ability to build compelling new businesses for the consumer marketplace. Matthew currently runs RUDYARD, his family investment office and THERMAL BRANDS, a lifestyle and luxury brand consultancy.
From 1998-2006, Matthew was Co-founder & Managing Director of Motorola Ventures (MV), the corporate venture capital arm of Motorola, Inc. outside of Chicago, IL. Matthew was directly responsible for-building investment offices in Chicago, Boston, Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, and Beijing. By the age of 27, Matthew co-managed a $400M portfolio of 70+ companies. Matthew created the investment program in 1997 and established it as one of the premier corporate venture practices in the world. He developed MV’s investment thesis around monetizing both strategic and financial returns. He focused on emerging networks (3G, 4G, Wireline, Cable), new media, mobile devices, Web technologies, enterprise software, and material science. He was responsible for making investments in innovative companies like E Ink (Acquired), A123 (IPO), Fitsense (Acquired), Intellon (IPO), Snaptrack (Acquired), and Sportvision (Merged).
In addition to managing Motorola Ventures, Matthew was also responsible for managing Motorola’s university sponsorships with MIT Sloan School of Business, MIT Media Lab, Parsons School of Design, and RISD. He successfully built and managed these university partnerships to facilitate access to new technologies as well as new talent. Matthew has also been involved in private equity, serving on both the Investment Committee and the Board of Directors for Shanghai NewMargin Ventures, one of the leading domestic venture capital firms in China and on the Board of Advisors for Sigma Capital Partners, a specialized private equity firm in New York. Matthew is also credited with several patents in the wireless communications field.
In 2008, Matthew departed Motorola to create Isabella Products, one of the industry’s first mobile Internet companies focused on creating digital learning solutions like Fable®, a tablet designed exclusively for children and Fable Learning, a world-class digital content collection for the children 5-12 years old. Isabella delivered its award-winning solutions to over 3,000 school customers and several large retail partners, including Best Buy and Wal-Mart. In December 2015, Matthew managed the acquisition of education software company, Starwalk Kids Media (Long Island, NY), to provide Isabella with exceptional educational content, management, and additional distribution capabilities. Matthew appointed his successor CEO at Isabella in early 2016 as he transitioned back to his personal investment office.
Matthew was named one of Boston’s “40 under 40″ by the Boston Business Journal (2005) for his professional achievement and community contributions in New England. In 2010, Matthew also was given the Connected World “M2M PIONEERS” award for his contribution to the mobile industry. He has been a featured speaker around the world and contributed to several books both on innovation and venture capital.
In late 2015, Matthew began making investments in non-technology consumer opportunities including hotel design, apparel, and restaurants. One such example includes a fall 2016 investment in Adue, a digital music company co-founded by MC Serch of famed 90’s rap group, Third Bass, focused on connecting fans who share both proximity and artist/genre interests. In spring 2017, Matthew partnered with jewelry designer, Elise Rosenstock, to create PERENNIAL COLLECTIONS, a men’s luxury accessory brand. In 2019, RUDYARD/THERMAL was named as a "50 on Fire" Award Winner by Boston Innovation for its success in Design & Marketing.
Matthew is currently serving as a Senior Advisor to PUMA USA on Technology & Design focused on bringing new innovation and design influences into company. He is involved in new designer discovery, mass customization, interactive retail, wearable strategy, innovation sourcing (materials and lighting), ecommerce / marketplace design, influencer marketing, and new product categories. In addition to PUMA, Matthew occasionally works with PUMA’s holding company, KERING, on its Luxury and Consumer brand portfolio. He has created and managed projects across key cultural moments such as Paris Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, Art Basel, NBA Draft, Black History Month, and Formula 1.
Outside of his professional investment interests, Matthew has served as a Board Director to The Umbrella Community Arts Center in Concord, MA. In January 2016, Matthew also joined the Advisory Board of the Miami Symphony Orchestra in Miami, FL. Matthew previously served as Chairman of the Advisory Board for the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, a non-for-profit focused on developing national entrepreneurship criteria for low-income high school students. He has served as a Board Director for the Concord Education Fund, a privately funded organization focused on providing teacher grants to support unique innovation efforts within public schools. He was also involved with the Ad Hoc Technology Committee for the Boston Children’s Museum. Matthew serves as an active fundraiser for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Matthew graduated from Michigan State University (BA ‘95), where he serves on the Board of the Center for Venture Capital, Private Equity, & Entrepreneurial Finance at the Broad School of Business, and New England School of Law | Boston (JD ‘00).
While Matthew currently lives outside Boston with his wife, Shelley, and their three children, they enjoy escaping to their second 'home' in Miami. Matthew has become an avid runner completing 8 marathons and 10 half marathons since April 2014. Matthew is fluent in French and speaks Japanese.