"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." --Helen Keller
Ross Shell, Founder & CEO
Ross has spent his professional career as a marketer and business strategist, as well as an entrepreneur and venture investor. His career has included serving as President of Tesser, a nationally regarded branding firm focused on the restaurant and food sectors, and working for IDEO, a global innovation consultancy. Prior to launching Red Idea Partners, he directed Client Services for a private investment firm which managed a platform of hedge fund and private equity products, with offices in the U.S., U.K., Asia and Canada. During his tenure, the firm grew from $250 million to a peak of nearly $700 million in assets under management.
In 2008, Ross launched Red Idea, a "consulting + ventures works" firm, serving promising growth companies and entrepreneurs. He has served on the Advisory Board for Bhakti Chai, Board of Directors for Natural Foodworks, and currently serves on the Board of Olomomo Nut Company. He is also a strategic advisor to Green Alpha Advisors, a public equity investor in eco-efficient corporations, and is on the volunteer Advisory Board of the Innovation Center for the St. Vrain Valley School District.
Ross also serves as an Independent Director for Financial Investors Trust, an affiliate of ALPS Holdings, where he helps oversee approximately $8 billion in assets. Ross was a Boettcher Scholar award winner, and graduated with honors from Stanford University in 1993. He lives in the Boulder area with his wife and two sons.
Partner & General Manager
Food & Beverage Practice Director
Matt Bonoma joined Red Idea in 2009 after completing his MBA with a focus in Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Matt works across many of Red Idea’s consulting and venture engagements in addition to helping manage the day-to-day operations of Red Idea. In addition to his duties as General Manager, Matt focuses on strategic growth planning for Red Idea’s venture-backed businesses, as well as due diligence and financial planning/pro forma projections. Matt has worked extensively with many food and beverage businesses focused primarily in the natural and organic industries.
Matt earned his BA in Economics from Emory University and worked as the Operations/General Manager for a telecommunications firm outside of Boston before moving to Colorado to pursue his MBA.
Patrick joined Red Idea Partners in 2016 in a dual role serving the consulting practice and venture works efforts. Prior to joining Red Idea, Patrick spent more than a decade at Cargill, the world’s largest agribusiness firm, where responsibilities included: trading and price risk management; operations and supply chain optimization; I/T implementation leadership; eight-figure B2B sales management; and organizational (re)design and management.
An ideator and maximizer at heart, Patrick enjoys putting new and renewed ideas to work as efficiently as possible with a design for explosive growth. Patrick earned his MBA at Emory University Goizueta Business School, and a B.A. in Political Science at the University of Chicago.
Dave brings more than 20 years experience in market research, strategy and branding to Red Idea. Prior to Red Idea Dave was a Vice President Penton Media/New Hope Natural Media. New Hope is the leading business to business information provider to the exploding natural products industry. At New Hope he worked across the company and launched NEXT, the leading prognosticating tool for the food industry. Leveraging NEXT, he worked with the smallest of start ups and the largest food companies in the world.
Prior to New Hope he was a Senior Strategist at Crispin Porter & Bogusky when CPB was awarded the digital agency of the decade award. He worked across multiple accounts and disciplines at CPB including Best Buy; Microsoft; Burger King; Dominos; Activision (Guitar Hero) and other leading brands. CPB acquired Radar Communications in 2007 where Dave was a founder and partner. Radar focused on qualitative market research that brought brands and companies exceptionally close to their customers. Radar worked with leading brands like Levis; HP; Intel; Unilever; Starbucks and others.
Cathryn is a senior business and brand strategist for food-focused companies in startup and growth stages, driving growth through development of brand strategies, consumer insights and innovation pipelines.
She brings a unique culinary and strategic perspective to her clients with her 20+ years of packaged foods and food service experience, a Culinary Arts degree from Johnson & Wales University, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.
She gained diverse cross-functional experience in her 11 years at Kraft Foods with roles in R&D, Brand Management, Marketing Research and Sales for both base businesses and new products.
She developed consulting leadership experience as a Managing Director, Culinary/Innovation Director and Partner at Sterling-Rice Group, a brand innovation firm, where she created the Culinary Practice, developed the strategy for, and helped lead, the Innovation Practice. Cathryn drove growth for major food companies, including Kashi, Frito Lay, Kraft Foods, Starbucks, Conagra, Schwan's, Noodles & Company, Red Robin, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and Chili's.
Cathryn enjoys bringing her Fortune 100 experience to small and mid-size local companies to help them grow. Recent/current clients include: Noosa Yoghurt, EVOL foods, Boulder Organic! (formerly Boulder Soup Works), Earth Balance, Doc Popcorn, Spice Street Fresh Indian Grill and Perky Jerky.
Tom joined Red Idea Partners in 2017 to work on growth strategies with Launchworks companies and consulting clients. Tom is an investor in multiple startup companies in CPG and bio-science, and his experience spans several industries where he's been instrumental in building revenue and taking market share from established competitors.
Tom has lived in Boulder since 2002 and is active with Boulder Food Rescue the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Tom holds a BSPE from The University of Tulsa and an MBA from The Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University.
Marketing + Operations Associate
Matt works to help support the Red Idea team across a wide variety of operational activities, as well as supporting the company's sales and marketing initiatives. Matt is a graduate of Fort Lewis College with a B.S. in International Relations.
Matt has been with Red Idea since early 2016.