avatar for John Battelle

John Battelle

NewCo Platform
San Francisco Bay Area
John Battelle is the co-founder and CEO of NewCo Platform. He started NewCo back in 2012 as a passion project with Brian Monahan, who nows runs marketing for Walmart.com. Brian remains an active board member and advisor to both John and the entire NewCo team.NewCo started with a bike ride between Brian and John. Brian was missing the Web 2 Summit, which John decided to mothball back in 2011. Truth was, Battelle was a bit tired of the “pack a ballroom with people and parade cool speakers onstage” approach to events. It’s not that they didn’t have value, it was just…there had to be a better way. On the ride, Brian pitched John a new idea: “Wouldn’t it be cool,” he said, “if all the really interesting companies in a city opened their doors, like an artist open studio?” Battelle pondered this idea, and from it came a business plan and a model for what are now 14+ festivals around the world (and counting).Battelle is also the Chairman of sovrn Holdings, an at-scale programmatic publishing business based in Boulder, CO. Sovrn was spun out of Federated Media, a company Battelle founded in 2005, and sold to LIN Media in 2013. Battelle is an active investor in roughly 25 NewCos, and besides founding the Web 2 Summit with Tim O’Reilly, was the founder of The Industry Standard and a co-founding editor of Wired. He held a chair as a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley, and sits on the board of Acxiom, a public data and marketing services company.