Rocket Wagon Venture Studios Appoints Jim Gagnard as Managing Director Industrial IoT

Technology entrepreneur and business executive will drive innovation in a venture studio focused on large-scale opportunities in manufacturing, utilities, oil and gas, and other industrial sectors

Chicago, IL – June 11, 2019: Rocket Wagon Venture Studios, a family of vertically aligned, IoT-focused startup venture studios focused on building next-generation Internet of Things (IoT) companies, today announced the appointment of Jim Gagnard as Managing Director of Industrial IoT, a Rocket Wagon Venture Studio. The IIoT studio’s charter is to identify, enlist and support start-up companies with solutions enabling connected systems benefiting companies as Industry 4.0 continues to evolve.

“The adoption of IIoT solutions continues to climb given proven and significant returns on investment associated with the rise of automated systems,” said Don DeLoach, founder, and CEO of Rocket Wagon Venture Studios. “Jim brings a depth of experience, vision and operational leadership to our growing team, and is precisely the right professional to bring together start-ups and investors with large enterprises, including equipment manufacturers, technology ecosystems, factory operators, grid and transportation service providers, and more. Jim has had a tremendous impact and understands what it takes to move from inception to commercialization, including mentoring talent and building business networks.”

“The economics associated with the right connected industrial systems are proven by early adopters, and every industrial company today is continuing to invest in IoT to improve productivity, make significant gains in yield, reduce costs, improve safety and manage environmental impact,” Gagnard said. “Rocket Wagon Venture Studios’ model is sensible and scalable, helping all participants develop collaboratively, minimizing financial risk while maximizing value, especially when new solutions can be brought to market faster and more efficiently in a market ready to scale based on the success we’ve witnessed over the last few years.”

Gagnard has over 30 years of executive management experience leading enterprise software companies. He has led several companies from early product development to revenue growth and profitability. As a result of his commitment to software innovation he has worked closely with the venture capital community and strategic investors to raise over $80 million for his companies.

Jim was Chairman and CEO of SmartSignal Corporation which was acquired by GE in 2011.  The SmartSignal Advanced Analytics product suite is a key component of the Internet of Things and is used by power generation companies, oil and gas companies, and other industries to detect, diagnose, predict, and mitigate equipment failure.

Prior to SmartSignal, Jim led several privately funded software companies including Diffusion, Launchpoint, and Questra. In addition, he successfully grew Trinzic Corporation as a publicly traded software company specializing in decision support and data base connectivity. Jim has created over $480 million of enterprise value for venture capitalists and strategic investors through successful exit transactions.

Prior to leading entrepreneurial companies in Silicon Valley, Jim held senior management positions with Pansophic Systems, Control Data, and IBM. He has lived in Brussels, where he served as the General Manager of Control Data’s Remote Computing Service, and in London, where he served as the Vice President of Pansophic System’s European Operations.

Jim has served on the Board of Directors of eight technology companies. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors of Agentis Energy, Vertex Analytics, and A3 Solutions. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Illinois Institute of Technology and serves as a Venture Partner at Hyde Park Venture Partners. Until March 2017 Jim served as the Chairman of the Illinois Technology Association and is currently a Board Member of the ITA and its IoT Council.

Jim holds a BSEE from Illinois Institute of Technology and has completed the course work for an MBA-Finance from San Francisco State University.


About Rocket Wagon Venture Studios


Rocket Wagon Venture Studios will be creating Internet of Things companies. The model is a parent company providing shared services for a number of either vertically aligned IoT studios or studios focused on the interests of a single captive corporate investor wanting a studio as their skunkworks operation for a line of sight into innovation.


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