Ernie Knight is a successful Senior Executive with experience spanning several sectors, including information technology, financial services, healthcare, industrial manufacturing and government. He has led the startup of several new organizations, and managed operations for teams ranging from only a few to large, multi-location facilities and in areas ranging from heavy manufacturing to professional services. In addition, Ernie’s background includes several years in venture capital investing and growth strategy consulting, honing his skills in general management, business development, marketing and sales.
Ernie currently acts as President and Senior Consultant with Knight & Associates, a boutique consulting firm that he founded to serve clients interested in the development and implementation of growth strategies. His engagements are frequently with small/medium size businesses and early/growth stage companies, serving as interim executive management (CEO, COO, CFO, VP Strategy/Business Development) or leading projects in capital access and formation strategy, market research, M&A, business development, and strategic planning. In addition, Ernie is the Managing Director for Valley Growth Ventures, a micro-venture capital fund focused on seed stage investments.
Ernie also has acted as a Director with Nationwide Mutual Capital, the captive venture capital fund of Nationwide Insurance, where he focused on investments in enterprise software and business services. He held active board director positions on seven portfolio companies, and observer roles for four, while participating on five advisory boards, adding value in areas including business development, strategy, marketing, finance/capital access, corporate governance, and executive recruiting/mentorship.
Prior to joining Nationwide Mutual Capital, Ernie managed the investment process across numerous transactions for Reservoir Venture Partners, a venture capital firm targeting seed and early stage technology companies with an emphasis on information technology, healthcare, biosciences, and advanced materials. In addition, Ernie has over a decade of experience in senior technology management operating roles. He has held leadership positions with venture-backed Internet startups (e-Steel and Autodaq Corporation), a high growth public enterprise software company (Interwoven), and a Fortune 1000 corporation (LTV Steel) in business development, marketing, sales, R&D and manufacturing.
Ernie received an MBA from the Harvard Business School, where he focused on entrepreneurial finance, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Case Western Reserve University in Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, with a minor in economics, where he graduated magna cum laude while earning the Michael L. Wolfe Prize for creativity in engineering.