His first startup went public; now he’s at it again. Get to Know #10: John Behr



GTK #10 w/ John Behr (31 min)

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Wireless Ronin & Converdia

In 1999, self-proclaimed closet geek John Behr started a company that set out to create a hand held wireless modem device as a go-between a laptop and PDA.  The product itself was called Freedom Port and he named the company Wireless Ronin. Over the next five years, Mr. Behr led this company from concept to reality and raised multiple rounds of early stage capital-including post dot com crash and 9/11/2001.

In 2002, Wireless Ronin outgrew its roots and morphed into a digital signage solution branded as RoninCast using a hybrid wireless technology combined with self-configuring devices/displays.   Two years later, Mr. Behr left Wireless Ronin and in early 2006, from the outside looking in, he witnessed the company’s 16mm IPO. He shared some of the lessons learned from the Wireless Ronin experience:

  • Don’t raise money unless you absolutely have to.
  • Double the projected amount of funding and always finish raising complete rounds.
  • Raise synergistic Capital.
  • Research-markets, people, teams, distribution, etc.
  • People really matter
  • Do what you love.

With his entrepreneurial itch left unsatisfied,  Mr. Behr has since ventured into the mobile space, launching another (funded) startup known as Converdia. Hesitant to get very specific about Converdia, he had this to say about it:

“In short, the company is based on the premise of convergence-everything talking to everything.  Our solution is all about being a connector and an enabler.  We take a very complex problem of communicating a 1:1 message and automate it in ways that many others in our space don’t do.”

Listen to a candid conversation with a true serial entrepreneur who has been around the block, taken his lumps and  yet continues to innovate in the name of Minnesota Technology.


  • http://OpenSwipe.com Casey Allen

    Phenomenal interview, best one from an entrepreneur yet, well done Jeff and John. Appreciate your candor about your wild rides, John.

    John, was wondering if Apple's new policies* around analytics will actually be a huge win for you. Seems your model works around much of that, right?

    Regardless, best of luck on the new venture.

    *see SiliconAngle http://j.mp/cAaELY and Eric Kerr's blog http://j.mp/di9mOl for latest.