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Spotlight: Ashish Mistry, BLH Venture Partners

Ashish Mistry is a consummate behind the scenes, make-things-happen guy in the Atlanta technology community.

To describe Mistry as just an entrepreneur would be a gross understatement. Behind the youthful demeanor lies a shrewd operator and tough competitor.

Mistry’s career in the technology sector began in IT services. As a newly minted graduate of Emory University, he co-founded his first startup, Virtex Networks, a remote management network services company, in the late 1990s. The venture-funded company was acquired by Leapfrog Services in 2001…back when Eric Schmidt was still chairman and CEO of Novell.

He joined the AirDefense team thereafter learning from the best: serial entrepreneur and investor Jay Chaudhry. Chaudhry was the company’s CEO and chairman at the time and according to Mistry, he “sat outside the chairman’s door” and “did what it took” which meant building out the company’s inside sales team and sales channel in Asia over several years. AirDefense is now part of Motorola Solutions.

Mistry went on to two tours as Entrepreneur in Residence at ATDC.

Today, he is managing partner of BLH Venture Partners, a private fund that invests in early stage technology companies with a focus on startups in ecommerce, SaaS, digital media and managed services. Portfolio companies include Acumen Brands, Better Cloud, KontrolFreek, Ionic Security, TripLingo and Vocalocity.

The last 12 months have been particularly eventful for the firm. Portfolio companies Acumen Brands, BetterCloud and Ionic Security¬†have all raised significant rounds of funding. The firm’s very first investment Vocalocity announced its acquisition¬†by Vonage for $130 million in October.

Mistry’s characterization of BLH: “We’re not just entrepreneur-friendly, we’re entrepreneurs who happen to run a business that invests in other entrepreneurs.”

When not handling BLH matters, Mistry can be found fulfilling his other professional responsibility as CEO of KontrolFreek, a red-hot ecommerce company that manufactures and sell accessories in the console gaming industry. Despite his already full schedule, Mistry still spends 50 percent of his time with KontrolFreek. According to Mistry: “It keeps me close to the operations and many of the ecommerce investment opportunities come from my role as the CEO of KontrolFreek.”

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