Sean O'Sullivan (engineer)

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Sean O'Sullivan of SOSV
Sean O'Sullivan of SOSV

Sean O'Sullivan is an entrepreneur, inventor and investor, born in New York City and currently living in Princeton, New Jersey. He is best known for co-founding MapInfo Corporation,[1][2] which popularized street maps on computers, and for coining the term "Cloud Computing".[3][4][5] He is the founder and Managing Partner at SOSV, a $525M venture capital operation. O'Sullivan has had an unusually diverse career, being described as a "renaissance man".[6]


A major advocate of economic and social development, he founded JumpStart International[7] in 2003. JumpStart was a humanitarian engineering organization based in Baghdad and operating throughout Iraq during the post-war period of 2003-2006.

Social Entrepreneurship[edit]

As benefactor of the O’Sullivan Foundation,[8][9] he has also been a primary funder of organizations such as the Khan Academy[10] and CoderDojo.[11] Also, as Chairman of the Irish Entrepreneurship Forum and founder of Open Ireland, he is a leader and influencer of Irish government policy in fueling economic growth and recovery in the Technology sector.[citation needed]

Sean O'Sullivan at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the early 1980s


In 1995, O' Sullivan founded SOSV (formerly SOSventures), a venture capital and investment management firm that seeks to invest in the earliest stages of start-up companies via a family of accelerator programs.


While at University of Southern California, he wrote and directed 16 short films and worked on over 100 student film and television projects in roles ranging from director of photography to editor to sound designer. O’Sullivan’s graduate thesis is a full-length documentary about dementia in the elderly. Called String Worms at Budd Terrace, the film won the 2005 “Silver Images” award for best documentary film about elderly issues. His short film Squirrel Nuts won “Best of Show-Narrative” at the UCLA Short-takes film competition and played on national television through the Independent Film Channel. During the war in Iraq, Mr. O’Sullivan worked as a freelance photographer and cameraman for publications and broadcast media.[9]


O'Sullivan holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production from the University of Southern California.


Sean O'Sullivan in his dorm at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the early 1980s


  • Entrepreneur of the Year Rensselaer,[13] 2011
  • Winner, “Silver Images” award 2005 for best documentary film about elderly issues[9]
  • Winner, “Best of Show-Narrative” for a short film entitled "Squirrel Nuts" UCLA Short-takes film competition[9]


  1. ^ Kennedy, John. "Tech entrepreneur is RTÉ's newest 'Dragon'". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  2. ^ Rogers, Elaine. "Bloggertone TV talks With Sean O Sullivan, Ireland's Newest Dragon". Tweak your biz. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  3. ^ Regalado, Antonio. "Who Coined 'Cloud Computing'?". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  4. ^ Kennedy, John. "Cloud visionary and RTÉ 'dragon' to chair Govt Entrepreneurship Forum". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  5. ^ "Sean O'Sullivan". Bloomsberg business week. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  6. ^ Schwartz, Philip. "MapInfo co-founder O'Sullivan to entrepreneurs: 'Invent the market'". The Business Review. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  7. ^ Flynn, Sheila (27 November 2011). "Dragon who'll fight fire with fire: Why has Seán O'Sullivan become the latest member of the Irish Dragons' Den team?". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  8. ^ "The O'Sullivan Foundation Grants $5M To Online Learning Platform Khan Academy – TechCrunch". Retrieved 2018-05-18.
  9. ^ a b c d Otitigbe, Jessica. "Co-founder and Managing Director of Avego Corporation Named 2011 William F. Glaser '53 Rensselaer Entrepreneur of the Year". RPI News. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  10. ^ Rao, Leena. "The O'Sullivan Foundation Grants $5M To Online Learning Platform Khan Academy". Techcrunch. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  11. ^ English, Eoin. "Whizz kid Harry unveils latest app". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  12. ^ Chernow, Robert A. "New Horizons Speaker Series". Rensselaer. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  13. ^ -, -. "Sean O'Sullivan '85 Named Entrepreneur of the Year". Inside Rensselaer. Retrieved 13 August 2013.

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