“You have to have a dream for a dream to come true.”
At the age of 14, Bonny Simi set dream goals to be a pilot, Olympian and TV commentator, and they all came true! Bonny is the founding force of JetBlue Technology Ventures (JTV), and enjoys helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. She brings more than 25 years of experience in human resources, customer service, industrial engineering, operations and design thinking experience to her role. She joined JetBlue in 2003, and she served in operational and strategic roles across the airline, including most recently as the VP of Talent. Bonny is also an active JetBlue captain and three-time Olympian in the sport of luge. She was also a news reporter in San Francisco, and an Olympic TV commentator. She graduated from Stanford University with three degrees, including MS Management, MS Engineering and a BA in Communications.
Favorite travel memory: “I spent many years traveling around Europe as an athlete in the sport of luge. My favorite memory is walking through the Christmas market (Christkindlmarkt) in old town Innsbruck, with snow gently falling and the scent of roasted chestnuts in the air.”
JetBlue destination she’d like to visit next: Quito, Ecuador, to visit the Galapagos
Managing Director, Investments
“I often say that if I were king for a day, I’d make everybody travel because I believe that if you went and saw how other people lived, it’d be very hard for you to be biased or prejudiced against them.”
With over 25 years of experience in the innovation and information technology sectors, Raj has worked as a strategist, leader, VC and advisor. Prior to joining JetBlue Technology Ventures, Raj was a mentor at Founder Institute in Palo Alto. Raj was CEO of several companies, including London-based Sooqini, an on-demand task delegator for small businesses; the UK Sharing Coalition, an on-demand economy trade association; and D&L Partners SA, where he set up and ran a consulting firm working with European and Middle East governments to foster increased entrepreneurship. As General Partner and co-founder of Pervasive Technology Ventures and a Principal for the New York-based VC arm of Investcorp, Raj sourced, negotiated and closed new investments in technology-led startups. Raj holds an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France, and a B.Sc. (Honors) in Computing Science from Imperial College London.
Favorite travel memory: “I did the Inca trail from Cuzco to Machu Picchu, where essentially you walk up and down in the mountains at altitude and you get to see these very fit 70-year-olds running past you as you suffer from altitude sickness. Breaking through the clouds, arriving at Machu Picchu at 5 a.m. with the sun rising was the most magical, incredible experience.”
Random fact: “I took my first airplane ride when I was six weeks old. We flew from London, where I lived, to Dehli, where my grandparents lived.”
JetBlue destination he’d like to visit next: Guayaquil
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Managing Director, Operations & Partnerships
“Travel is such big part of today’s world, yet most people hate the process of actually getting from A to B. My desire is to remove pain points and improve the process through innovation so the travel experience isn’t just the destination but includes the full journey. The opportunity to improve the quality of people’s lives is enormous.”
Amy Burr is the Managing Director of Operations and Partnerships at JetBlue Technology Ventures (JTV). Her role is to build an ecosystem of partners and deployment opportunities for the many technologies of JTV’s portfolio companies. She focuses on advancing innovation thinking and compelling value propositions throughout JetBlue and its partners. Amy has been a leader in creating, sourcing, and implementing innovative technology, products and programs in the travel space for the last 20 years.
Amy caught the startup bug from joining Virgin America almost 14 years ago as one of the original founders of the company. She worked in various roles over her tenure at VX in areas of strategy, corporate program leadership, commercial and revenue development, and technology areas including eCommerce, reservations systems and guest products. She ended her time with the company as the Virgin America leader of the integration of the merger with Alaska Airlines. Amy came to Virgin America after working at Continental Airlines in revenue management and corporate development. Amy earned her MBA from Moore School of Business at University of South Carolina and a BS in Applied Health Sciences from American University in Washington DC.
Favorite travel memory: “My husband and I visit St. Thomas often. On one of our first trips we took a ferry to St. John and hiked from the docks up into the hills, ending at an amazingly beautiful beach. The hike took us through some ruins, and to the top of the island with spectacular views. Arriving down at the beach and spending the afternoon relaxing in the gorgeous water after the tough hike just capped off one of my favorite days.”
Random fact: “I lived in Germany for three years. I enjoyed the area and traveled extensively in Europe. Living abroad really taught me to embrace the differences and similarities in the many cultures of the world.”
JetBlue destination she’d like to visit next: Anchorage, Alaska
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Program Manager, Innovation
“Every facet of our day-to-day lives has been disrupted and improved with technology, and yet the travel experience remains largely the same. The startup world has woken up to this opportunity and the travel tech space has grown exponentially in the past couple of years. I’m very excited to be a part of this ecosystem with JetBlue Technology Ventures and look forward to enhancing the travel experience with innovative technologies and fresh ideas.”
As program manager, Gidi Fisher partners with our portfolio companies to integrate, implement and test these new technologies at JetBlue. He also works closely with our international partners to share best practices, collaborate on new initiatives and connect them to startups looking to expand their reach and deploy in new markets. Prior to joining JTV, Gidi led the Innovation Program at JetBlue Airways, oversaw the North American region for a smart transportation startup and founded a B2C eCommerce startup. Gidi received his B.A. from Tufts University.
Favorite travel memory: “World Cup 2018, without a doubt. The energy, the people and the games made Moscow an unforgettable experience for my family and I. We weren’t sure what to expect coming in and were blown away by how welcoming the locals and the entire city were to outsiders. The atmosphere was exhilarating with so many different nationalities coming together to celebrate the world’s game.”
JetBlue destination he’d like to visit next: Mexico City
“My dad and grandfather were pilots so I grew up around hangars and aviation; it inspired an interest in aerospace and travel at a really early age. It’s really exciting to dig into these passions from an investor perspective and to think about how future technologies and trends will fundamentally change the way people and goods move throughout society and around the world. As a former entrepreneur, it’s also extremely rewarding for me to be able to help other incredible founders.”
Jim Lockheed is the Investment Principal at JetBlue Technology Ventures, where he focuses on investing in early-stage companies across commercial aviation and travel for our portfolio. Some of his interests include travel-related developments in areas like AI/ML, e-commerce, biometrics/identity, data science, mobility, process automation, predictive analytics, augmented reality, sustainable travel, and robotics.
Prior to working at JTV, Jim spent five years as an entrepreneur, including founding one of the first commercial drone services businesses in the Pacific Northwest. He also spent four years with a Boeing subsidiary called Insitu, where he operated surveillance drones and then managed operations for DoD programs. Jim is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and holds a MBA from the University of Oregon and a B.S. in Technical Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Favorite travel memory: “Exploring Phuket and islands in Thailand with friends. Riding scooters and tuk tuks between towns and pristine beaches, meeting locals, eating amazing street food, visiting the big Buddha, feeding elephants and monkeys, petting tigers, swimming in crystal clear water, and celebrating New Years on Ko Phi Phi.”
JetBlue destination I’d like to visit next: Medellin, Colombia
“The world of travel is vast and begging for disruptive technologies. I am very excited to join a team making an impact and at the forefront of this movement.”
Ryan Chou is an Investment Associate with JetBlue Technology Ventures, focused on sourcing a range of technologies from enterprise software platforms to mobility innovations. Prior to JetBlue Technology Ventures, Ryan was a Director at Cryptic Labs and an Investment Manager at Fenox Venture Capital. He participated in the Matter.VC Accelerator program and worked at a few early-stage companies focused on NextGen surveillance technology and machine learning. Ryan received an MBA from Cornell and a B.S. from Arizona State University.
Favorite travel memory: “Scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef is by far my favorite travel moment. Being it was my first time scuba diving, I was limited by the number of times I could dive, but the experience was phenomenal. I was lucky enough to meet “Crush” and “Nemo” during my time there!”
JetBlue Destination he’d like to visit next: Lima, Peru.
Communications and Marketing Specialist
“Having worked in aviation for several years, I am always interested to see what the future will hold for the travel and hospitality industries. JetBlue Technology Ventures (JTV) is JetBlue Airways’ innovative solution to ensure that the company continues to evolve with the latest trends. My role on the communications team allows me to be at the forefront of this journey to tell compelling stories that best position JTV as a leader in corporate venture capital.”
Sarah Mattina is the communications specialist for the team, where she helps to increase awareness and exposure of the ideas and people defining the future of travel. She handles the internal and external communications and storytelling for JetBlue Technology Ventures – including media relations, brand partnerships, and event engagement – and advises our portfolio companies on these efforts during key milestones. Prior to joining JTV, Sarah previously worked in communications for both JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines. She received her B.A. in Communications from Miami University.
Favorite travel memory: “I backpacked to Machu Picchu by way of the Salkantay Trek. The journey took about five days in total and was one of the most physically demanding experiences I’ve ever been through. The most rewarding moment was catching the first glimpse of Machu Picchu from an Incan historical site along the trail, and realizing just how far we’d come in the four days prior.”
JetBlue Destination she’d like to visit next: Liberia, Costa Rica
“When I look out the window of an airplane, I feel humbled. Traveling can teach us a lot about ourselves, other people, and new cultures. More people than ever have the opportunity to experience travel, and I’m excited to play a small part in making the travel journey as seamless and enjoyable as possible for them.”
As an analyst on our operations team, Ruchit partners with JetBlue teams and our JetBlue Technology Ventures’ ecosystem partners to connect them with relevant emerging technologies and startups to drive innovation and strategic value. He focuses on early stage companies across commercial aviation, travel, and hospitality industries. Some of his interests include sustainable travel, AI/ML solutions, e-commerce, biometrics, and improving the customer and employee experience.
Prior to joining JTV, Ruchit worked on the Corporate Strategy and Innovation team at Southwest Airlines, and previously spent time at two different startups and a private equity firm. He holds a B.S. in Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Favorite travel memory: “One of my top personal travel experiences was backpacking through the Himalayas with my best friends. We saw some of the most holy sites in Sikhism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. We even met the Dalai Lama! The natural beauty of the region and the hospitable locals made it an experience I’ll never forget.”
JetBlue destination he’d like to visit next: Medellín, Colombia
“I’ve experienced the customer journey firsthand, having visited over 70 countries in the past few years—but as the industry changes, so will the future of how we travel. This is a unique time to work in the space, as experts equip themselves with new technologies to reimagine what travel could (and should) be in the future—safe, sustainable, and seamless.”
Armed with a passion for technology and a plethora of travel experience, Daisy is excited to embark on this journey as part of the JetBlue Technology Ventures (JTV) team. As an Investment Analyst, Daisy’s primary focus is on making new investments and conducting due diligence on early stage startups. Some of her areas of interest include artificial intelligence, sustainability, and cybersecurity.
Prior to joining the JTV team, Daisy worked for an early stage VC in Stockholm, Sweden. Her career has also taken her abroad to Israel, Uganda, India, and Latvia. She holds dual MSCs in International Business from the Stockholm School of Economics, and double BAs in Mathematics and Environmental Economics from UC Berkeley.
Favorite travel memory: “The summer of the 2014 World Cup, I traveled with a friend throughout Latin America. We saw everything from the backstreets of Caracas, to the low oxygen Andes of Peru, to the soccer-playing streets of Rio. The one constant throughout our travels was the infectious passion for soccer. Entire cities would shut down when their teams lost, or erupt into festivals when they won.”
JetBlue destination she’d like to visit next: Kingston, Jamaica