Founder & Partner
Founder and Managing Director
Jamie Goldstein is an experienced founder and investor in early stage companies. Prior to Pillar, Jamie was an investing partner for 18 years at North Bridge Venture Partners. His active investments include, Actifio, Plexxi, Layer3 TV, and O3b Networks.
Prior to Northbridge, Jamie co-founded PureSpeech, a venture-backed speech recognition software and applications company that was acquired by Voice Control Systems [NASDAQ: VCSI] and subsequently sold to Nuance [NASDAQ: NUAN]. Jamie also co-founded WattsUp?, a company that sells consumer electricity meters, and remains in business today.
Jamie grew up in the Boston area and is a graduate of MIT in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. He served as both Chairman and President of the New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA) and served as Chairman and is currently Vice Chairman of Match Education. He is also the co-founder and featured speaker of StartMIT, the boot camp for MIT student entrepreneurs.
Jamie is an avid skier, snow boarder, and mountain biker, and spends his weekends chasing his three boys around various athletic fields.
“We started Pillar with a simple hypothesis – that if we treat founders the way we would want to be treated, good things will happen. That if we build a firm owned by a committed team of good people who also happen to be world-class CEOs, and if we focus on building sustainable, important companies we will have meaningful long-term impact. And that if we are first capital in, and we align every incentive, every action and decision to realize mutual benefit, we will engender trust and from that achieve profound results. It’s that simple.”
Sarah Hodges has spent the last decade as an entrepreneur and operator in high-growth consumer and enterprise companies. At Pillar, Sarah leverages her operating experience to bring leadership insight, capabilities and resources to our firm’s portfolio companies. Prior to Pillar, Sarah was a member of the executive team at Pluralsight, the world’s largest online learning community for IT, dev and creative training, where she helped the company double in size in less than one year. Before joining the company, Sarah was a member of the executive team at Smarterer (sold to Pluralsight), where she oversaw business strategy, operations and marketing.
In 2012, Sarah co-founded Intelligent.ly, a leadership development company that has transformed over 1,000 emerging leaders across 50 high-growth companies, and continues to serve the Boston community.
Sarah has held additional leadership roles in early-stage startups including RunKeeper (sold to Asics) and Carbonite (CARB). She has also served as a board member at BUILD and an advisor to Flybridge Capital.
“When you’re building a company from the ground up, it’s all about who you know—peers you can learn from, accomplished mentors to guide you through new challenges, experienced leaders to help bring your vision to life. We don’t expect entrepreneurs to have all the answers. You need people in your corner who won’t judge you for asking tough questions, who will support you through highs and lows. That’s where we come in.”
Russ Wilcox is a partner at Pillar. He has 20 years of start-up operating experience, having founded three companies and raised $150 million in private capital. At E Ink Corporation, he commercialized electronic paper invented at the MIT Media Lab. E Ink conducted materials research, filed patents, scaled a factory, and shipped tens of millions of displays for the Amazon Kindle and other devices. E Ink reached a $200 million run rate with strong profits leading to its sale in 2009. To date consumers have purchased more than $10 billion of E Ink-related devices and content.
Following E Ink, Russ co-founded Transatomic Power, advancing a source of clean energy; and Piper Therapeutics, conducting pre-clinical studies for an immuno-oncology drug.
Russ actively supports the Boston entrepreneurial community. Since 2012 he has volunteered as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Harvard Business School Rock Center and counseled hundreds of students on achieving their start-up goals. He sits on the Harvard Physical Sciences Accelerator Review Board and was a Board Director for Harvest Automation, a venture-backed developer of agricultural robots. He has been an angel investor in several start-ups, including Disruptor Beam, PowerInbox, Calimmune, Gen9, DriveFactor, and Camino Financial. Russ began his startup career as a product manager at PureSpeech, a speech recognition company co-founded by Jamie Goldstein.
Russ graduated with honors in Applied Mathematics from Harvard College and worked in Boston and Paris as a management consultant for Oliver Wyman. He was a Baker Scholar at the Harvard Business School. He is an Ernst & Young New England Entrepreneur of the Year and a Mass High Tech All-Star. He holds thirty-three issued U.S. patents.
Russ enjoys foreign cultures and traveled around the world with his family during 2010-2011. He also enjoys enrichment education and has coached middle school teams for Destination Imagination, FIRST Lego League, and Model United Nations.
Venture Partner, CEO, Talla
Rob May is the CEO and Co-Founder of Talla, a platform for intelligent information delivery in Slack and Hipchat. Previously, Rob was the CEO and Co-Founder of Backupify, (acquired by Datto in 2014). Before that, he held engineering, business development, and management positions at various startups. Rob is an active angel investor in A.I. and is the creator of Technically Sentient, an email newsletter that covers the emerging area of artificial intelligence and is read widely within the tech community. Rob has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a MBA from the University of Kentucky.
“I joined Pillar because I liked the way our team operates. We challenge other people and take challenges to our own ideas well. We’re focused on providing entrepreneurs with the help and advice they need to be their best. But most of all, we exhibit an entrepreneur-first mentality in everything we do.”