REASON Founding Partners
Shawn Hardin and Edmond Sanctis cofounded REASON Venture Partners with a shared vision of helping entrepreneurs with both capital and counsel to build high-impact ventures that achieve scale. They have successfully worked and invested together for over two decades and they bring a strong commitment to driving positive change in the food system.
Edmond Sanctis is an entrepreneur, investor and executive experienced in creating and leading businesses in consumer products, media, and technology. Previously, Edmond was the Co-Founder, CEO, and Chairman of Sahale Snacks, Inc., a company that helped to redefine healthy snacking in the United States. Launching in Seattle in 2004, Sahale’s plant-based products won numerous awards for innovation and sales performance, ultimately becoming the #1 natural trail mix brand in the United States. The company was acquired by the J.M. Smucker Company in August 2014. Edmond has also held executive roles as the CEO of Omnilux, a free-space optics technology company, as the President of Acclaim Entertainment, a video game publisher, as the President and COO of NBC Internet, and as SVP of NBC Interactive, where he helped to launch MSNBC in 1996. Edmond received an MBA from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Edmond began his career as disc jockey at WHFS-FM in Washington D.C. He worked at the U.S. House of Representatives Radio and TV Gallery and reported for local television stations in Wyoming, Georgia, Ohio and Texas.
Edmond is a member of the Television Academy (Emmys), and in 2010, he was selected by the Small Business Administration to participate in the SBA High Growth Companies Forum at the White House.
A major upheaval in the U.S. food sector is afoot - large packaged food companies lost $4 billion in market share in 2015 alone. The growth of the Internet, mobile and social media; the explosion of CPG innovation; and the shift in consumer behavior toward health and wellness are all driving this transformation.
Edmond and Shawn bring extensive operating experience to their investments and entrepreneurs. Each has successfully built and led diverse businesses in consumer products, internet, and social media.
Shawn Hardin has frontline expertise investing in, building and leading entrepreneurial opportunities. He is a passionate innovator and investor with extensive senior-level product, business, and creative experience. Prior to Reason Venture Partners, Shawn was CEO of VC-backed start-ups, Flock (social media software) and Mind Pirate (IoT/wearables technology). Both companies were acquired, Flock by Zynga and Mind Pirate by Hewlett Packard. He spent 18 months as an Entrepreneur In Residence (EIR) at Bessemer Venture Partners and Shasta Ventures, leading Silicon Valley venture capital firms with $4 billion invested in 130 global companies. As an EIR, Shawn incubated new business ideas, evaluated investment opportunities and advised entrepreneurs seeking to scale. Shawn was a principal investor in Sahale Snacks and served on the Sahale Advisory Board for over a decade. Previously, Shawn was a senior executive at NBC, NBC Internet, AOL, and Yahoo.
Shawn is also a director member of the Directors Guild of America and he has worked as a filmmaker on more than seventy film and video productions. He has served on advisory boards for National Public Radio, the American Film Institute, and he was a founding member of the Producers Guild of America New Media Council and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Interactive Media Peer Group. Shawn is a graduate of the University of Southern California. In 2015 Shawn was appointed to Stanford University’s Distinguished Careers Institute as a DCI Fellow.