The mission of Startup Grind is to educate, connect, and inspire entrepreneurs. Startup Grind Sacramento in partnership with the Urban Hive meets monthly in the heart of Mid-Town. There will be networking, great food, and live music! Come and be part of Sacramento's Startup Community. This month, we will be interviewing John Stone who founded PowerSchool in 1990 which was later acquired and is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Fantag.
John Stone is the Chief Operating Officer for Fantag, a Sacramento-based tech company. Fantag’s mobile video platform enables fans at any live event to access moments that matter to them — custom instant highlights. After leading an early round of investors for Fantag in 2016, John became increasingly involved with the company and agreed to join the team full-time.
During the past decade, John has been an early investor in technology companies with direct investments in Data Domain (acquired by EMC), Silver Springs Network (NYSE: SSNI), DataScaler (acquired by Oracle), Dotspotter (acquired by CBS) and Bloom Energy (recent IPO filing). More recently, Stone has expanded his investment reach into top retail brand companies such as Stance and Ember.
John moved to the Sacramento area in 1999 when he co-founded PowerSchool, an internet software company in K-12 education, and raised $25 million in venture funding to expand the business into all 50 states. In two short years, PowerSchool was acquired by Apple where John remained as a Vice President reporting directly to Tim Cook. Currently, PowerSchool is the leading provider of education solutions that reaches over 100 million students in 70 countries.
Prior to PowerSchool, John worked as a corporate finance analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York City and a management consultant for Bain & Company in San Francisco. While at Bain, John’s specialty was advising large companies on the unprecedented challenges and opportunities presented by the emergence of the internet. For example, he worked with Nike to develop its e-commerce strategy.
John was born and raised in California. He and his wife, LaDawn, have four sons and have resided in El Dorado Hills since 1999. Both John and LaDawn are active in their church, school, scouting unit and local youth sports organizations. John is a frequent coach for football and basketball teams and serves as Board Chair the Sacramento chapter of the Positive Coaching Alliance.
After completing high school in Modesto, California, John served a full-time church mission in Campinas, Brazil. He then continued his education and graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. degree in economics from Brigham Young University with a minor in Portuguese. He later earned his MBA from Harvard University.