Jim Forster serves as the Managing Director of INI. He has over 35 years of hands-on leadership and technical expertise in networking equipment and Internet infrastructure. He spent over 20 years at Cisco Systems, starting in 1988 as the very first software development Manager. As Cisco grew and went public in 1990, he transitioned to technical leadership becoming a Distinguished Engineer leading various initiatives across IOS Software Development, System Architecture, and Business Development. Through the 2000’s, he led several of Cisco’s early initiatives in emerging markets. He is a co-author of RFC-1613, "X.25 Over TCP", was awarded several patents and is a contributing author to Wireless Networking in the Developing World, the pioneering guide to building low-cost wireless network infrastructure in the developing world.
Jim currently sits on the Boards of AirJaldi Networks (Board Chair), Too Much WiFi, Habari Node, and Range Networks. He is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.
Read more on Jim’s extensive network of partnerships, technical expertise, and the INI value add to portfolio companies.
Ben Matranga has over 15 years of experience leading direct private equity and venture capital investments. His experience spans all stages of the investment process – from sourcing to analysis and negotiation, portfolio management and corporate governance – where he served as Director of over a half dozen companies. Previously, Ben was an Investment Officer with the Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF), a $350 million impact investment fund founded by George Soros, where he established offices in West Africa and East Africa. Prior to SEDF, he worked as a management consultant on restructuring and strategic planning for banks and financial service companies. His investments have won numerous awards and recognition including Private Equity Africa Special Recognition award, World Economic Forum Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the highest rating on the Overseas Private Investment Corporation’s (OPIC) development impact matrix.
Joan LeMahieu has over 25 years of leadership and operational management experience. She has held numerous leadership positions in venue management and event development in the sports and entertainment industries. Joan has specialized in launching new large-scale, high profile stadiums and convention centers including an award winning NFL stadium, a Frank Lloyd Wright designed convention center, performing arts theatres, a winery and a variety of tourism destinations. She brings to INI deep management and bottom-line operational expertise including strategic planning, new business development, marketing, budgeting and finance, media relations and organizational development. Joan is an avid baseball fan and enjoys hiking, gardening and sailing.
Raji has a proven record of success as a Certified Public Accountant and Controller in a wide range of business. Her experience includes management of accounting and internal control functions, SEC and NASDAQ reporting, audit processes and advising on overall company profitability. Raji’s experience includes 12 years with Bayer Corporation and over 15 years of experience in mid-size organizations. Her achievements include leading a successful secondary offering to raise $75M, leading the accounting and finance functions during rapid growth from $4M to $130M in revenues, to managing the dissolution of business operations for two companies. Raji is a CPA with an MS in Accounting from Bombay University, India and graduate of the Executive Leadership Development Program at the Center for Creative Leadership.