Bill Warner

Chairman and Lead Investor at Lightcraft Technology

Bill loves the process of starting and building great companies. In 1987 he started Avid Technology, Inc. They built a great product and a great team, and today Avid is the world leader in video, film, and music editing systems.

In 1991 Bill started Wildfire Communications along with co-founders Nick d’Arbleloff, Rich Miner, and Tony Lovell. They built a ground-breaking speech-based electronic assistant that worked over the phone. Wildfire was sold to Orange, PLC in 2000.

In 1999 Bill started FutureBoston which built advanced mapping tools that let you understand the story of a place by looking precisely aligned maps over time. This is now the Boston Atlas – a great online resource maintained by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

In 2002 he created a shared workspace called the Collaboration Space at Warner Research, in Cambridge, near Fresh Pond. Bill believes that shared workspaces are one key to creating the energy and relationships for startups. Now called the Brickyard Collaboration Space, it is run by the owner of the building.

Starting in 2004, and continuing to today, he began work on a book about “How to Build Your Startup From the Heart.” This book is based on my experiences and on what he has learned from angel investing over the years.

In 2008, Bill worked with Tom Hopcroft and Heather Johnson at MassTLC, they created a new type of conference focused on helping early stage entrepreneurs. Called the MassTLC Innovation unConference, the most recent event sponsored 160 entrepreneurs and gathered over 600 people to help them.

Bill’s focus now is on helping entrepreneurs with tools that are part of my Build Your Startup From the Heart work. One of those tools is very early stage investing, usually about $25,000. He generally likes to be the very first money into the company. He is willing (and even prefer) investing so early that the only traction is in the entrepreneur’s head. Bill chooses his investments based mainly on the entrepreneur, and not on the details of the idea.

Based in Boston (Cambridge, Massachusetts).

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