Who Knew? Xconomy Uncovers the Strange-But-True Details of Boston’s Innovation Leaders

2/29/08Follow @bbuderi

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Polaris Venture Partners co-founder and managing director Jon Flint served on the Impeachment Inquiry Staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee (think Richard Nixon) and on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force. Bonus detail: While on the congressional Impeachment Inquiry staff, he worked alongside Larry Lucchino (now CEO of the Boston Red Sox), former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, and Hillary Clinton.

Mark Fusco, CEO of Burlington, MA-based AspenTech, was the first defenseman to win the Hobey Baker Award as the nation’s best collegiate hockey player. (He played for Harvard.) His brother Scott took the same title three years later.

ThingMagic CEO and chairman Tom Grant is married to Massachusetts state legislator Mary Grant.

IDG Ventures general partner Michael Greeley, who grew up in Hong Kong, can swear in Cantonese.

Helen Greiner, co-founder and chairman of iRobot, takes up a different sport each year. The latest: kiteboarding.

Alain Hanover, who runs Navigator Ventures in Cambridge and is also the acting CEO of Food Quality Sensors International in Lexington, is co-owner (with his son, Daniel) of Columbia, winner of the 1958 America’s Cup, the first 12-meter boat to win the race, and the oldest surviving America’s Cup winner in the world.

Michael Hawley, formerly of the MIT Media Lab and a board member of Color Kinetics, won the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs in 2002. He also accompanied cellist Yo-Yo Ma in performing the wedding march at the 2006 wedding of TV host Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Chip Hazard, of IDG Ventures (where, evidently, quirkiness is endemic), remains the only venture capitalist with his own action figure—so far as we know.

Diane Hessan, CEO of Watertown, MA-based Communispace, is co-founder of The Sound Bytes, an a cappella group that writes and performs songs about business at conferences.

Paul Maeder, general partner at Highland Capital Partners, holds a commercial pilot’s license and builds and flies ultralight aircraft.

Jim Matheson, a partner at Flagship Ventures, was a Navy Top Gun pilot. Call name: Fuzzy.

Polaris partner Bob Metcalfe was once interviewed by Courtney Love, who reportedly wanted to learn more about Metcalfe’s Law.

Jeff Taylor, Eons founder and CEO and Monster.com founder, worked 15 years as a DJ and once claimed to own 8,000 records.

Xconomy publisher and Riga Ventures founder Steve Woit has angled himself a fantastic antique fishing fly collection. His prize: a fly tied personally by Grover Cleveland.

Bob is Xconomy's founder and editor in chief. You can e-mail him at bbuderi@xconomy.com, call him at 617.500.5926. Follow @bbuderi

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