“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 I’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 I’d like to visit next: Guayaquil
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’s role is to build an ecosystem of partners and deployment opportunities for the many technologies of JTV’s portfolio companies. She has been a leader in creating, sourcing and implementing innovative technology, products and programs in the travel space for the last 18 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 I’d like to visit next: Anchorage, Alaska
Senior Communications and Marketing Manager
“Technology is helping us speed towards the future, but managing a booking or maneuvering an airport can feel like the past. That’s why it’s incredibly exciting to be a part of a team and company focusing on the role and impact that innovation has within travel. We want to improve travel experiences and efficiencies for Customers and crewmembers – and ensure the sustainability of our planet while doing so.”
As our communications and marketing manager, Ashley 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, Ashley spent over six years with the leading global communications marketing firm Edelman where she provided communications and crisis counsel to some of the world’s biggest brands including Salesforce, Starbucks, PayPal, and Gap Inc. Ashley graduated from the George Washington University with a dual B.A. in International Business and Marketing.
Favorite travel memory: In early 2017, my dad and I went on a 10-day trip together through Patagonia in South America. The time we spent just the two of us hiking and talking about everything under the sun are memories I will cherish forever. I learned so much more about him and his life, pushed myself to a new level of physical feat, and was humbled by one of the most beautiful places on earth.
JetBlue destination I’d like to visit next: Bozeman, Montana
“My excitement about travel is twofold: First, the fact that the industry is so ripe for disruption. It’s going to develop and it’s going to do so rapidly, whether that’s through flying cars, autonomous vehicles or something else entirely. Second, with innovation comes the ability to provide travel options to folks who wouldn’t have had those opportunities previously. They’ll be able to travel and have new experiences like never before.”
Alex Kaufman is an Investor with JetBlue Technology Ventures, where he focuses on early stage software and finance technologies. He has a particularly strong interest in innovative solutions enabling the next generation of revenue, distribution, and sales applications, including the use of the blockchain. Prior to joining JetBlue Technology Ventures, Alex gained deep operation expertise working for two startups in the Bay Area, most recently as the Manager of Strategy & Finance at One Medical Group. Before beginning his career in the venture and startup-world, Alex worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch as a technology investment banker.
Favorite travel memory: “Hiking in Rwanda to track mountain gorillas on my honeymoon. It was an incredible experience in the Volcanoes National Park in the Rwandan mountains. We were able to hike and track families of gorillas and just observe in such close proximity to these amazing animals. My wife was actually playfully bumped by one of the baby gorillas. Truly something I’ll never forget.”
Random fact: “While I majored in English at Amherst College, I minored in Film Theory & Studies, and wrote my thesis on Alfred Hitchcock’s work.”
JetBlue destination I’d like to visit next: Turks and Caicos
“I love thinking about how people interact with the world around them, and how technology can change that. I’m excited to support these changes at JetBlue and partner companies!”
Gabrielle is responsible for advancing innovative thinking and startup solutions throughout JetBlue. She works with our JTV portfolio companies to identify and create new compelling value propositions for JetBlue and our ecosystem partners. Gabrielle joined JTV from JetBlue where she spent time on the airline’s Strategic Sourcing and IT Category Sourcing teams. She studied culture and politics at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and has a Masters of International Business from The Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Favorite travel memory: Going backcountry skiing in the springtime in Switzerland, climbing a mountain, arriving at the cabin at the top. Sitting outside, basking in the sun, enjoying rose and tarte, while breathing in fresh mountain air and enjoying the stunning Alps.
JetBlue destination I’d like to visit next: Guayaquil, Ecuador followed by a trip to the Galapagos – a double World Heritage site.
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 I’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 an Investment Associate with 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
Senior Analyst, Operations
“I think the evolution of how people move about the planet could be one of the most thrilling advances of our lifetime. When waiting at the airport today, we might hear an old song: ‘I’m leaving on a jet plane / Don’t know when I’ll be back again…” – but maybe we can update the lyrics. Soon, we might hear: “I’m leaving on a jet plane / See you at lunch, I’ll be back soon!'”
As a senior analyst on our operations team, Morton 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. Morton joined JTV from JetBlue Airways where he worked on the Network Planning team helping to determine where JetBlue flies. Prior to JetBlue, he worked at PwC and Boeing. Morton studied aerospace engineering at Penn State, where he also built and flew a 75 ft. wingspan airplane in his spare time.
Favorite travel memory: A homestay with a local family in Fiji. For breakfast, our homestay dad picked coconuts from a tree that grew on the front doorstep!
JetBlue destination I’d like to visit next: Guayaquil – I’ve always wanted to visit Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands.
“Travel is, and will continue to be, impacted by major changes in transportation technology, environmental policy, data availability, and consumer behavior. I’m very excited to be a part of a team that is charting a course through that change and working to improve travel for all.”
As an Investment Analyst at JetBlue Technology Ventures, Zach conducts the initial screening of investment opportunities, supports the due diligence process, and prepares industry research. Prior to joining JTV, Zach worked as a strategy consultant at Deloitte and previously spent time at JetBlue Airways and Priceline.com. He received his B.S. in Finance from Miami University.
Favorite travel memory: “I spent some time in Southeast Asia after college. During that trip I arranged for a homestay near Sa Pa, Vietnam. I was picked up at the train station by my host who drove me on his motorcycle up through the mountains. We eventually reached the end of the road and covered the rest of the route on foot through the terraced rice fields. I had only planned to spend a night with his family but instead spent more than a week on their subsistence farm lending a hand, sharing meals, and just passing time.
JetBlue destination I’d like to visit next: Anchorage, Alaska
“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 I’d like to visit next: Lima, Peru.
“Ideas that once seemed out of reach are now happening in the travel industry, and I’m excited to part of a team that is bringing innovation to enhance the travel experience.”
Rachelle (Shelly) Chaney, JTV office manager, comes from a diverse background in entrepreneurship, business development, and research. Shelly obtained her B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology from San Francisco State University in 2012. Following graduation, she worked as a research associate in the neuroscience field. In 2014 she co-founded LoCal Foodz, a healthy food startup based in Silicon Valley. After five years of growing the company’s footprint in California, she made the switch to the venture community.
Favorite travel memory: In 2017, I had the chance to visit Kathmandu, Nepal. The people living there are so welcoming and have hearts of gold—it was such a great experience to immerse myself in a completely different culture. I’m a big foodie, so I really enjoyed the local cuisine and Chai. I was able to see the Himalayas, and even took a 10-hour long bus ride to see the Annapurna mountain range in Pokhara. It was absolutely beautiful, but a little scary at the same time!
JetBlue Destination I’d like to visit next: Anchorage, Alaska
“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 as on the communications team allows to me to be at the forefront of this journey and 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 curates content for the weekly newsletter and social channels. 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 I’d like to visit next: Liberia, Costa Rica