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Sean Ness

Director, Business Development
Sean Ness

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A self-described nerd growing up, Sean read all he could about science as a kid, and immersed himself in maps for hours at a time. He also set his chemistry set on fire a few times, took junior high computer classes on a TRS-80, and was on his high school ecology team. In college, he switched from mechanical engineering to polymer science when he learned that polymer grads often went on to technical sales. The idea of technical sales piqued his interest, and an entrepreneur was born. Since then, Sean's career has ping-ponged between scrappy software startups and research organizations.

At IFTF, Sean oversees business development, with a focus on the Technology Horizons and Ten-Year Forecast programs. He looks for creative ways to interact with outside organizations and works tirelessly to keep IFTF's client database accurate and up to date. He also hosts monthly potlucks so that the IFTF crew can get to know each other better.

From 2006 to 2009, Sean was a co-founder of the STIRR Network (, a group that helped catalyze early-stage entrepreneurial activity in Silicon Valley and beyond. He has previously worked at Forrester Research and ComputerWire. Sean holds a B.S. in Polymer Science from Penn State University, with a minor in Chemistry. During the week, Sean is connected to work 24/5, but he keeps the weekends for himself. That is when he pursues his favorite hobbies, wine collecting and hiking.

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