Alumni News

February 6, 2018 at 1:20 pm

Alumni News | Geography’s Painter Awarded 2017 Konneker Medal for Commercialization, Entrepreneurship

From left, Dorothy Sack, Rob Painter, Bob Frank, James Lein

From left, Dorothy Sack, Rob Painter, Bob Frank, James Lein

From Office of Research Communications

Rob Painter ’93 is one of two alumni awarded the 2017 Konneker Medal for Commercialization and Entrepreneurship for their innovations in technology development and successes in entrepreneurship.

Painter, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Geography and computer science, and David Pidwell, an alumnus of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, will be recognized for their accomplishments at the Ohio University Inventors Dinner on Feb. 7.

The Ohio University Foundation established the Konneker Medal to recognize current and former faculty members or students who have demonstrated excellence in innovation, invention, commercialization and entrepreneurship. The award is named for Wilfred Konneker, an Ohio University alumnus renowned for his contributions to these fields. Konneker received his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 1943 and his master’s degree in physics in 1947. He received a doctoral degree in nuclear physics from Washington University and founded or co-founded seven high-tech start-up companies.

“David Pidwell and Rob Painter are living examples of the tremendous impact Ohio University alumni have on the world each and every day,” Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis said. “They are very deserving of this year’s Konneker Medals and I congratulate them for the honor and their fine careers to date.”

About Rob Painter

Painter (BS ’93) is a founding partner at Razor’s Edge Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund focused on investing in technologies and businesses that deliver direct, meaningful impact to the U.S. defense and intelligence community. He actively mentors and advises venture-backed companies in Silicon Valley, the Rocky Mountain Region and the Mid-Atlantic while serving on the Board of Directors for Mersive Technologies, Wireless Registry, Zoomdata, Hawkeye 360, AELIUS Exploitation Technologies and LoudounSTEAM, a non-profit he founded in 2015. He is also a special adviser to the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command. Painter is a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Army and Army National Guard.

In tandem with the founding of Razor’s Edge, Painter was the executive director for strategy and innovation at Raytheon-Blackbird Technologies and served as the director of venture investing for Raytheon’s Intelligence and Information Systems Business Unit on behalf of the Advanced Concepts and Technologies Division. During his eight years at the company, Painter crafted and managed several classified, special access programs supporting both technology development and foreign and domestic intelligence operations for Intelligence Community and Department of Defense partners.

Before joining Raytheon-Blackbird Technologies, Painter was chief technologist for Google Federal and simultaneously a product manager for Google Geo supporting humanitarian assistance and disaster response activities worldwide. Prior to Google, he was the director of technology assessment at In-Q-Tel, the strategic venture capital firm of the U.S. Intelligence Community. His work with the firm includes leading over two dozen investments, most notably Keyhole, now Google Earth, and @Last Software, now Google SketchUp. His entrepreneurial experience also includes founding and exiting Encompass Technologies, Inc., a K-12 desktop mapping company created to enhance geography in the classroom.

Painter is currently a fellow with the university’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. To engage his expertise with technology commercialization entrepreneurial services provider program TechGROWTH Ohio, part of the Voinovich School, Painter was recently named to the evaluation and selection committee of the newly awarded Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Start-up Fund.

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