Lighthouse Avionics is the first portfolio company of Converge Ventures, an $11mm Ohio-based start-up studio. Lighthouse’s initial management team has access to the wide array of expertise and experience accessible through the Converge Ventures team and its funding partner, Sumeru Ventures. This expansive network of legal, technical, and financial professionals all informally serve on Lighthouse’s board of advisors.
Lighthouse Avionics has been working with the US Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Justice, as well as local and state governments to ensure that the fielded system meets all technical and operational objectives in a cost-effective manner. Learn more about Lighthouse’s founding executives below.
Eric is an experienced C-Suite executive, inventor, entrepreneur, and investor with more than 20 years of commercialization experience including as president of a $300mm aerospace and defense product development company. He is an expert in non-dilutive capital acquisition, voice of the customer, and business growth strategy. Eric has a BS in computer science and an executive MBA, both from the Ohio State University. He was the salutatorian of his MBA class. He is a member of the Ohio Technical Angels and an active investor.
John is a serial entrepreneur and established electronics manufacturing expert. His experience includes being the founder of Pinnacle Data Systems in Columbus, Ohio. John guided the global electronics design and manufacturing company through steady growth, having delivered more than 500 unique product lines to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). He led Pinnacle’s IPO in 1996 (Nasdaq:PNS). In 2012, the company was acquired by Avent, Inc., where John led the integration and global growth of the business unit. John has a BS in computer engineering from the Ohio State University.
Matt Weltman is a leading subject-matter expert in autonomous systems, drones, system-of-system engineering, communication systems, network technology, and cybersecurity, with over 25 years of experience. He most recently served as chief engineer of the US Army’s Systems Engineering Analysis Modeling and Simulation (SEAMS) Division and previously, as the COO of a $300mm aerospace and defense product development company. Matt has a BS in electrical engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Deputy Police Chief Eric Grile is in charge of the autonomous drone programs of the City of Hilliard, Ohio and has been instrumental in the development of the Lighthouse system. He is a decorated officer with more than 30 years' experience. He has been highly active in the emergence of drone use among municipalities and provided Lighthouse with information and requirements gathered from other first responders across the nation.
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