Investment Committee

John Thornton, Co-Founder

Co-Founder & Partner, Elsewhere Partners

In a career spanning venture capital, private equity, and nonprofit media, John Thornton has spent the past thirty years helping entrepreneurs realize their visions. 

In 1991, John joined Austin Ventures (AV), which became the largest regional capital firm in the US. He served for four years as the firm’s managing partner and led nearly 50 investments in young software companies that created more than $2 billion in value for AV investors. In 2017, he co-founded Elsewhere Partners, a boutique software investment firm that acquires bootstrapped companies in non coastal markets. 

In 2008, John founded the Texas Tribune, the largest local news organization established anywhere in the world during the 21st century and the winner of the first Peabody Award for an interactive news feature. In 2018, he co-founded the American Journalism Project (AJP), a first-of-its-kind venture  philanthropy firm dedicated to starting and growing local news organizations. In the past four years, AJP  has attracted nearly $200 million to the nonprofit news industry from investors such as the Knight, Ford, and MacArthur Foundations, the Emerson Collective, Arnold Ventures, and the Democracy Fund. 

John serves on the boards of several private software companies, has invested extensively in consumer products and restaurants, and is an advisor to CAVU Venture partners. He co-chaired the capital campaign for Ballet Austin and is a former board member of The Entrepreneurs Foundation, Contemporary Austin, and The City, a nonprofit news organization in New York City where he was a founding investor.  

John is a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Trinity University, where he graduated first in his class, was named Distinguished Alumnus of 2015, and is a former trustee. He lives  in Austin with his wife Erin and their boys Wade and Wyatt.