We are catalysts who transform ideas into reality. With experience in Fortune 100 companies as well as startups, we uniquely know the ins and outs of both worlds. As experts in business strategy, food and beverage, and consumer products, we're ready to help you overcome challenges to deliver strong growth.
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 LLC, 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 LLC, a "consulting + ventures works" firm, serving growth companies, entrepreneurs and now corporate innovators. He has served on the Advisory Board for Bhakti Chai, Board of Directors for Natural Foodworks Group, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Olomomo Nut Company. He is a strategic advisor to Green Alpha Advisors, a public equity investor in eco-efficient corporations. As a volunteer, he served on the Advisory Board of the Innovation Center for the St. Vrain Valley School District. Ross serves as an Independent Director for Financial Investors Trust, an affiliate of ALPS Holdings, where he helps oversee approximately $13 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. He is also the author of Cooper's Crafted and Curious Kite Company, a children's book on entrepreneurship and innovation, with copyrights owned by Red Idea LLC.
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.
Ethan is deeply involved in Red Idea's venture works, including leading the Mighty Spirits project and advising portfolio companies. He also provides operative support to Red Idea's consulting practice and the firm itself. Ethan joined Red Idea in 2018 after more than two decades as a corporate and transactional lawyer on Wall Street. Before law school, Ethan was an engineer in Southern California.
Ethan earned a BS in civil engineering from Ohio State University and a law degree from Yale Law School. He enjoys spending time in his mountain house near Nathrop, Colorado with his wife and rescue dogs, and his two adult sons, when they have time to visit.
Marketing + Operations Catalyst
Brandt joined Red Idea Partners in early 2017 with a diverse background in both scrappy startups and large corporations. Growing up in a small, family thrift store business he developed an entrepreneurial spirit that has left him endlessly curious. Brandt now supports Red Idea on multiple levels including graphic design, research, and a wide variety of operational activities.
Prior to Red Idea, Brandt worked numerous jobs throughout his collegiate career at CU Boulder. He was a butcher at Whole Foods Market, assisted in the strategic growth of Shinesty through marketing outreach & research, warehouse & inventory organization, and shipping logistics. Shinesty has since grown from three guys operating out of a friend's garage with limited product SKUs to a multi-million dollar company with over 30 team members and its own TV show on MTV.
Brandt also worked with Warren Miller Entertainment, creating graphic content and designing market-specific slideshows to be played at each venue of Warren Miller’s 66th annual film, Chasing Shadows.
Brandt graduated in 2016 from the Leeds School of Business at CU Boulder with degrees in Operations and HR Management. He also earned a certificate in Technology, Arts, and Media through the CU Boulder ATLAS Institute.