Chris Rust is a founder and General Partner of Clear, where he focuses on early stage technology investments. Chris’s operational specialties are recruiting, product marketing, business development, follow-on fund raising, and scaling. He has been a venture investor in over 35 companies.
Prior to founding Clear in 2014 Chris spent 14 years as an early stage technology investor with exceptional mentors at Sequoia Capital and USVP. He also spent 12 years in operating roles as a development engineer, network architect, and product manager.
Chris was a co-founder and Lead Architect of broadband access pioneer Roadrunner, now known as Time Warner Cable Internet. Roadrunner grew to 14 million subscribers, over $4 Billion in 2015 revenue, and is the key driver of Charter Communication’s $56.7 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable.
Chris also held engineering and product management roles in Carrier Access (IPO CACS) and ComCore (acquired by National Semiconductor), US WEST Advanced Technologies and MITRE Corporation. He has been an invited speaker at over 100 industry conferences on topics related to emerging technology and building great companies.
A life-long learner, Chris earned a B.S.E.E. with distinction as a Massachusetts Board of Regents Honor Scholar and an M.S.E.E from the University of Lowell, an M.S. Telecommunications Engineering and an M.E. Engineering Management from the University of Colorado, Boulder. While at the University of Lowell he was the recipient of the President’s Medal.
When Chris is not working he can be found with his wife and three children, doing outdoor sports (i.e. mountain biking and skiing) with friends, cooking, or reading.
“Chris has been an incredible mentor to both me and Exablox as a board member. His deep technical insights and business acumen has been an important invaluable asset in helping us make the right strategic and tactical decisions and keeping us focused on our core competencies. Chris' formidable experience with advising companies at various stages of growth combined with his expertise in technology and strategy places him among a select set of investors who can guide a company to great success. It has been my pleasure and privilege to work with Chris and look forward to working with him in the future. ”
“It has always been a pleasure to work with Chris. From the moment we presented PLUMgrid's ideas to him, it was clear that he put a lot of effort into understanding the Networking/SDN space. He went deep into the technology fundamentals of what we were trying to do and developed a very clear view on how we would disrupt the industry. Since then he became part of the team with all his help, advise and contributions. He was instrumental in helping PLUMgrid become what it is now, we would not have been able to start without his help, thoughts, and early understanding of PLUMgrid's vision. ”
“Chris' advice and support have been extremely valuable for GoEuro, and his ability to open doors in Silicon Valley was a key factor in securing our recent Series A round as a European startup. Chris has been providing excellent advice on financing and growth strategies, acting as a mentor and true friend of the company as much as an investor. His experience, absolute integrity, deep commitment to our success, and impressive industry network have been, and continue to be, a real asset for GoEuro. It's a privilege and a pleasure to work with Chris, and I would absolutely recommend him as an advisor and investor to any startup working on their long-term growth and financing strategy.”
“Chris Rust understands engineering. He cares about founders deep from his heart and soul! Our experience of working with Chris was awesome! I am very impressed with his organized process, systematic analysis, and in-depth understanding of the company building process. He is the best in what he is doing. You can consider Chris not only an outstanding investor, but also a partner in the trenches. It is easy to find a good investor when things are going well, but it is very challenging to find a partner during hard times. Startups must be prepared for hard times. Chris is one partner you want to have to cover your back. ”