Sean O’Sullivan has been described as an engineer, musician, computer programmer, a humanitarian worker, a war photographer, a cinematographer, stock analyst, freelance photojournalist, a venture capitalist and writer.
As Managing Director of SOSV, Sean has invested in over 100 companies, six of which became public companies or divisions of public companies listed on the Nasdaq or NYSE. Most recently, Sean co-founded Carma, a 50-person operation in Cork, Ireland that provides real-time carpooling solutions globally.
Sean’s entrepreneurial career began in 1985 upon graduation from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, when he co-invented the technology that brought street mapping to personal computers. MapInfo grew to be a $200 million public company with over 1,000 employees worldwide. In 1996, while at the helm of his second company, NetCentric, he created “software for inside the Internet” and is credited with co-creating the term “cloud computing.”
A major promoter of economic and social development, he founded JumpStart International in 2003. JumpStart was a leading humanitarian engineering organization based in Baghdad and operating throughout Iraq during the post-war period of 2003-2006. He spent a few years running JumpStart, which for a time had a staff of over 3000, running up to 80 projects at a time in Fallujah, Najaf and the Baghdad region. As benefactor of the O’Sullivan Foundation, Sean has also been a primary funder of organizations such as the Khan Academy and CoderDojo.
As Chairman of the Irish Entrepreneurship Forum and founder of Open Ireland, he is a leader and influencer of Irish government policy in fueling economic growth and recovery in the Technology sector. Sean is a regular investment panelist on the popular RTÉ TV show Dragon’s Den, and occasional columnist for the Sunday Business Post.
He holds a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Masters of Fine Arts in Film Production from the University of Southern California.
Watch Sean in action: