Meet the people behind Avego
Sean O’Sullivan | Managing Director
Sean O’Sullivan is co-founder and managing director of Avego, a 50 person technology firm with offices in the United States and Ireland. The company is a world leading company in efficient mobility, adding cars and vans to the public transport network. Sean is also managing director of SOSventures International, an investment management operation with returns averaging 27% over the past 15 years, and a founder of JumpStart International and Chinaccelerator. His first company, MapInfo, grew to a $200 million public company with over 1,000 employees, and popularized street mapping on computers.
His first internet company, NetCentric, pioneered many concepts in internet computing, and he has been recognized as the co-creator of the term “cloud computing”. He received his Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Masters of Fine Arts in Film Production from the University of Southern California.
“I’ve always loved creating new ways for people to simplify their lives and increase their quality of life. As an engineer, I love efficiency, and everything about Avego’s revolutionary mobility benefits people, our economy, and our environment. When I’m not Avego’ing, I’m playing with my kids, learning to speak Chinese, or trying to support other awesome causes like the Khan Academy or Coder Dojo.
Richard Bryce | Co-founder
Richard is a co-founder and executive vice-president of Avego, responsible for its worldwide sales and professional services divisions. Richard has 20 years of ICT experience, the last twelve of which have been in hi-tech software organizations.
Prior to co-founding Avego, Richard was CEO of Mapflow, a leader in the provision of geo-spatial and risk intelligence software to the insurance industry. Richard continues to serve on the Mapflow board where he is Chairman. In his early career Richard also spent six years with Accenture and three years with a large international retailer, working in Ireland and in the United States.
Richard is a Management Science and Information Systems Studies graduate of Trinity College Dublin and completed a 12-month leadership course at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA.
“I’ve a very rewarding role within Avego, because I spend so much of my time with customers who are trying to break new ground with new business models or new ways of thinking about transportation. I like nothing more than finding that passionate customer who wants to re-write the rule book. When I’m not working you’ll find me stuck in a book, following sport, hanging out with my family, running, golfing or hill-walking with the kids
Burkhard Blum | COO
Burkhard is COO and a member of the Board of Directors of Avego, Burkhard is responsible for the Consumer Business of Avego. Burkhard has 23 years of experience with high growth tech- and software businesses. Prior to joining Avego Burkhard served as the COO to XING, the first social networking company to go public, and Europe’s largest social network for business users.
Burkhard is an Investor and Advisor to a number of tech- and web companies in Europe. Burkhard is a lawyer by training and an M&A expert.
“Avego provides a fantastic contribution to solve one of the bigger problems of our times; Traffic congestion and climate change. For the first time in the history of the combustion engine, commuters can share their rides in a flexible way and on an ad hoc basis. Thanks to smartphone based applications, drivers and riders can instantly find each other to share rides and costs.
Paul Steinberg | Director of Americas
As Director of Americas for Avego Corporation, Paul Steinberg is responsible for sales and operations of Avego’s North American operations. Mr. Steinberg has more than 20 years of experience in global business development and sales for high technology and enterprise solutions companies. He is a straight talker who believes that complex solutions require participation from multiple stakeholders who will share in the vision and success. He has lead sales or operations for start-up firms resulting in six acquisitions and two IPOs during his career including; TopTier/SAP, Brio, MapInfo, IBM and Borland. He is a superb communicator with a proven record, and sits on the Board of Directors for many high-technology start-ups and transportation industry committees.
“I have always enjoyed learning how to apply technology to solve complex problems for individuals and businesses. By solving transportation problems, Avego has the ability to improve the lives of millions of people around the globe. And when my daughter asks why I work at Avego, I tell her I am trying to make the world a better place for her and her friends, because… “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” - Dr. Seuss. My personal time is filled with gardening, golf and girl scouts.
Jim Blair | Director of Enterprise Research and Development
Jim is Avego’s Director of Enterprise R&D for commercial transportation customers. Jim’s responsibility is to lead product development in the creation of transforming solutions that enable commercial transportation customers to manage their vehicle fleets effectively, and efficiently. Jim manages the deployment of these projects as well, through the delivery team. Avego’s R&D organization in located in Kinsale, Ireland and Dublin, Ireland.
Prior to joining Avego in 2011, Jim was the Director of IC Design for S3 Group from 2007-2011 and the Design Centre Manager for S3 Group in Cork throughout 2000-2011.
From 1989-1999 Jim was a senior Mac OS ROM and OS design engineer, with highlights such as developing the architecture and design that enabled Apple to deliver PC Card support in the Powerbook product line and building the first implementation of “Disk Mode” for the Apple Powerbook line.
“Leading Avego’s R&D organization is a very rewarding opportunity. At Avego, we are defining solutions to significant world transportation issues, and when we bring together some of the most creative and energized engineers, and other product development roles, we can create a vision, and then deliver that vision by embodying it in our product development, and it is tremendously motivating to get that end-to-end opportunity.
I love leading and love managing, and when the teams are staffed with superb talent, as we have, it makes the role that much more rewarding!
Emmett Murphy | Product Manager, Real-time Ridesharing
Emmett is product manager for Avego’s real-time ridesharing product, with responsibility for defining product direction and managing intellectual property, based on market analysis and feedback from customers around the world.
He joined Avego in 2008, initially working in marketing communications, following several years experience in marketing, research and online communications for several public, private and non-profit organizations.
Emmett has a Degree in Business Information Systems and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from University College Cork. He is also currently undertaking an Executive Postgraduate Diploma in Product Management at Dublin Institute of Technology.
“I’ve always been excited about technology, innovation and people who can merge both to build breakthrough products that people love. Working in product management at Avego means I get to be a part of a great team doing just that. When I’m not working or sketching ideas for apps on napkins, I’m usually discovering great new music, writing, cheering on the Irish soccer team, playing tennis, going to the gym, or just hanging out with family and friends.
Anthony Alexander | Professional Services Manager
Anthony leads Avego’s Professional Services team, responsible for the successful delivery of Avego’s products and services to Futurefleet, Van Pool and RTR customers.
He joined Avego in 2009, initially working in product management within R&D in Kinsale, then moving to Dublin to join Professional Services. Anthony’s speciality is mobile software development, starting in Sydney in the 90s before spending 8 years in London.
Anthony has an honours degree in Business Information Technology from the University of New South Wales, Australia.
“At the weekends Anthony loves long distance running, cycling, swimming, learning languages and travel.
James Shields | Director of Enterprise Product Management
James is an engineer with a passion for all things to do with transport and location. Maps, GPS, congestion, transit information and the next big thing all occupy James’ mind as he buzzes around Kinsale on his bike on his way to work. James has been with Avego (in various guises) since 2009 after spending the first 15 years of his career in IT jobs across different industries like ForEx trading, insurance, GIS and technology consulting. In his current role he is responsible for the technical delivery of Avego’s Vanpool and Futurefleet product lines.
James has a degree in Industrial Engineering and Information Systems from NUIG.
“He lives in Kinsale with his wife and two young daughters and in his downtime enjoys reading, the odd game of basketball and an all too rare session on Irelands great surf breaks.
Greg Balmer | Lead Architect
Greg is the lead architect at Avego, having joined at its inception, he enjoys that unique blend of technical and real world challenges that only a startup with great promise can provide. With a background delivering solutions in multiple industries, including transport, insurance, telecommunications and location based services, Greg relishes the challenge of defining and delivering the API’s and supporting architecture that enable Avego to lead as a multi-modal transport platform provider.
Greg holds a B.A. (Mod.) degree in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin.
“What Greg says about himself “I’ve been lucky enough to have been instrumental in the startup phase of a few companies, but none with the potential that Avego offers both personally and in terms of re-inventing peoples daily transport options. In my spare time you’ll likely find me out and about with my kids, mountain biking, researching something, watching rugby or adding the finishing touches to the house I built for my family.
James Donovan | Product Manager (Vanpool & Hardware Product Lines)
James selects the in-vehicle hardware Avego use to deliver our industry leading transportation solutions. He work closely with our manufacturing base in China, our R&D team in Ireland and our hardware partners all over the world to design, select and test our hardware solution to ensure it meets our rigorous requirements. As part of this role, James manages Avego’s relationships with 3rd party vendors.
He also work on Avego’s strategically important Vanpool product. Capturing future requirements, assessing them, and working closely with our customers is all part of his daily routine. His work helps the business decide which features to develop for the product into the future.
James has an honours degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University College Cork and is currently undertaking a Postgraduate Diploma in Product Management at Dublin Institute of Technology.
“Coming from a construction background into the buzz of an IT environment has been a fantastic and rewarding challenge for me. I like to bring my practical solutions to the table, offering a non-IT view of the world. My experience of commuting in a big city (I lived in London for 3 years), means I know how bad commuting can be. It means I understand how it important it is that we succeed and solve the transport issues currently plaguing our large cities.
On the weekends, you’ll find me cycling, hiking, rowing or doing DIY improvements around home! Basically, you’ll find me outdoors!