Ignition Partners adds Triantos to focus on AI and VR for enterprise

The next wave of enterprise software will incorporate more artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality and augmented reality technologies.

So says Nick Triantos, who has joined Ignition Partners as a venture partner. Triantos, 47, will work out of the Los Altos, California, office of Ignition, which last year raised a $200 million sixth fund to invest in early-stage enterprise software.

Previously, Triantos was with the Menlo Park, California, research firm SRI International, where he was managing director of the ventures team. SRI has developed such innovations as the computer mouse and the Apple iPhone virtual personal assistant Siri.

At SRI Triantos and the ventures team oversaw the development of such technologies as AI and machine learning, cyber security, speech recognition and natural-language understanding.

This included developing Jist.tv, which is leveraging SRI’s deep-learning computer-vision technology to automatically identify highlight moments in videos, and Kasisto, which is developing AI technology akin to Siri to provide virtual-assistant services in the banking industry.

“SRI was a fun place to work at. With all the technologies there, I felt like a kid in a candy store,” Triantos said.

However, the position at Ignition provides a fresh challenge and a return to direct venture capital investing while continuing to work with entrepreneurs.

“The most exciting thing in the enterprise right now is the use of machine learning, computer vision and artificial intelligence,” Triantos said. “I’m looking forward to growing Ignition’s footprint in these areas.”

The firm has not backed any companies that have spun out of SRI, but Triantos said he has known the firm’s managing partners, Frank Artale, John Connors and Nick Sturiale, for years. The Ignition partners are some of the most connected enterprise VCs out there and they’re “genuinely well liked, with a great reputation for being smart business people,” Triantos said.

The firm’s list of portfolio companies is referred to as “relationships” on its website, and investments include ClouderaHeroku, Splunk and StorSimple, among others.

As an entrepreneur, Triantos has worked for several startups, including ionGrid, where he was a founder and chief executive. The company, a provider of content-access technology, was acquired by NetApp in 2013.

Earlier in his career, he was a partner at Quantum Technology Partners and a board member at Sand Hill Angels.

Photo of Nick Triantos courtesy of Ignition Partners

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the age of Nick Triantos. He is 47.