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Ian O’Donnell

Director of Validation, Menlo Labs
ian_odonnell-BIO

Ian is Director of Validation for Menlo Labs, where he counsels entrepreneurs from idea to seed. He leverages his years of experience taking new ideas and products to market as he works hands-on with founders to transform ideas into tangible products and ultimately, accelerate their path to launch. Ian specializes in designing go-to-market strategies across a variety of industries.

Ian was first introduced to corporate innovation and design strategy when he was a Design Research and Strategist at SC Johnson. He later transitioned into design and innovation consulting at Godrej & Boyce and projekt202 before moving up the ranks at BCG Digital Ventures to Director of Strategic Design. There, he oversaw teams of 20+ designers, product managers, engineers, and business strategists in the day-to-day execution of multiple launches for Fortune 500 clients.

Ian is a builder to the core with a deep fascination, and love, for making things. He studied mathematics and economics at Northwestern, and later went to the IIT Institute of Design to get his master’s in product design and design strategy. The combination of the two have paved the way for his success as a company builder.

When asked what he looks for in a breakout product or idea, Ian will usually say he’s drawn to concepts at the intersection of viability, feasibility and desirability. At Menlo, he’s most excited by the opportunity to work directly with best-in-class venture-backable founders.

When Ian isn’t building products or companies, he’s building furniture. He also enjoys riding his bike–so much so that he participated in Iowa’s RAGBRAI event, where 30,000 people come together for a seven day ride across the state! Currently, he resides in Atlanta with his wife.

Ian is Director of Validation for Menlo Labs, where he counsels entrepreneurs from idea to seed. He leverages his years of experience taking new ideas and products to market as he works hands-on with founders to transform ideas into tangible products and ultimately, accelerate their path to launch. Ian specializes in designing go-to-market strategies across a variety of industries.

Ian was first introduced to corporate innovation and design strategy when he was a Design Research and Strategist at SC Johnson. He later transitioned into design and innovation consulting at Godrej & Boyce and projekt202 before moving up the ranks at BCG Digital Ventures to Director of Strategic Design. There, he oversaw teams of 20+ designers, product managers, engineers, and business strategists in the day-to-day execution of multiple launches for Fortune 500 clients.

Ian is a builder to the core with a deep fascination, and love, for making things. He studied mathematics and economics at Northwestern, and later went to the IIT Institute of Design to get his master’s in product design and design strategy. The combination of the two have paved the way for his success as a company builder.

When asked what he looks for in a breakout product or idea, Ian will usually say he’s drawn to concepts at the intersection of viability, feasibility and desirability. At Menlo, he’s most excited by the opportunity to work directly with best-in-class venture-backable founders.

When Ian isn’t building products or companies, he’s building furniture. He also enjoys riding his bike--so much so that he participated in Iowa’s RAGBRAI event, where 30,000 people come together for a seven day ride across the state! Currently, he resides in Atlanta with his wife.