Alan Spoon is a general partner in the Boston office of Polaris Venture Partners. He joined Polaris in the spring of 2000 and has been part of our team since 1996 as an early advisor and initial investor. Alan focuses on investments in information technology, with emphasis on revenue-stage companies, digital media, e-commerce, distance learning, and financial services.
Alan brings more than 20 years of operating, strategy, and investment experience to Polaris. He came to the firm from The Washington Post Company (education services and diversified media), where he worked for 18 years. During his career with The Post Company, he served as President and Board member. Previously he had been Chief Financial Officer, President of Newsweek, supervising executive for Kaplan, head of marketing for The Washington Post, and head of corporate business development. The Post Company has significant activities in publishing, educational services (Kaplan), television, and cable. Alan also was responsible for early stage technology investments in cellular (Cellular One and digital PCS), distance learning and educational software, and information and e-commerce services (including Washingtonpost.com, Citysearch.com, Cars.com, Exchange.com, Junglee, BrassRing, and WebTV). Prior to The Washington Post, Alan was an officer at The Boston Consulting Group, an international management consulting firm specializing in corporate strategy.
Alan represents Polaris as a director of Art.com, Focus Financial Partners, Ice.com, LegalZoom, Paratek Adaptive RF, Phreesia, and Remedy Health Media. He led Polaris’ investment in Internet Brands (INET, NASDAQ; Hellman Friedman), TechTarget, Inc. (TTGT, NASDAQ), LRN, and Earth Networks (Weatherbug). He also led Polaris’ investment in Matrics, Inc. (RFID) which was sold to Symbol Technologies and Cushcraft Corporation (wireless antennae), which was sold to Laird Technologies.
Current outside Board seats include Danaher Corporation (DHR) and IAC/InterActive Corp (IACI). In his not-for-profit activities, Alan is Vice Chairman of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents, a trustee on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Corporation, and is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations and Committee for Economic Development (CED).
Alan’s prior outside board service included, Getty Images, Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (HGSI), International Data Group (IDG), and American Management Systems, Inc. Prior not-for-profit board service included WETA (Washington, DC public television and radio) and the Norwood School (Bethesda, MD), where Alan served as chairman.
Alan earned his S.B. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an S.M. at M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management, and a J.D., with honors, from Harvard Law School.