John Matthesen, President of Related Concepts, has a broad background of real-world
experience in software, technology, consumer products, and hospitality. He has worked in
many different countries and cultures across the USA, Europe and Asia.
John has also worked as a venture partner (WI Harper, San Francisco) and continues to be
active in angel investing. He has the perspective not only of company management, but also
that of an investor. He is an active angel investor as well as a venture partner at a SF-based
VC, and has been involved with biotech, shipping containers and several consumer product
As part of the startup teams at Sybase and Commerce One, he held numerous positions,
including CIO, VP of Asia Sales, and various roles in marketing and Engineering. Studying
network engineering at night at UC Berkeley, and applying it during the day, John was at the
bleeding edge of many technologies. He built the first international Frame Relay network,
and was an early adopter of everything from routers to firewalls to internet, xml and web
services. At Commerce One he designed the core concept for the patented hub-and-spoke
B2B e-commerce platform, which helped pave the way for a successful IPO.
Since then, he served as COO at an internet advertising platform company, CEO at a
software anti-piracy company, COO at a biotech software company, and has been involved
with biotech, shipping containers and several consumer product companies. He is currently
on the board of numerous companies, including a bank software company in Shanghai and a
couponing system in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Earlier in his career, John gained an extensive background in the hospitality industry.
Beginning with culinary training, he worked his way through every aspect of restaurant and
hotel management. John was an earlier pioneer in hotel automation and computerization. He
received extensive training from AT&T Bell Labs in call center technology and yield
management from American Airlines. Once exposed to the emerging technology of
computers and software, there was no turning back. John maintains his connection to the
hospitality industry by serving on the advisory board to Diablo Valley College Hotel &
Restaurant Management program.
John holds a BA in biopsychology and linguistics from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
He also has certifications in Telecommunications Management from San Francisco State
University and Telecommunications Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
He served as an adjunct professor of e-Commerce at Carnegie-Mellon university West Coast
campus and is on the Advisory Board of Directors at Diablo Valley College.