peHUB recently reported that .406 Ventures had settled into the former Boston offices of Arcadia Partners, a dissolving firm that had focused on the education space. The piece mentioned that two of Arcadia’s three general partners were accounted for – Liam Donohue as a co-founder of .406 Ventures and Andrew Hallowell as CEO of Arcadia portfolio company KnowledgePlanet – but that there was no available info on the whereabouts of Jane Swift. Now we’ve learned that she’s moved into the consulting arena by hanging an education-focused shingle called WNP Consulting.
Swift is the former Lt. Governor of Massachusetts who was promoted to the top job after Paul Cellucci agreed to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Canada. She opted not to run for re-election in 2002 after the semi-surprise entry of fellow Republican Mitt Romney, and instead signed on with Arcadia. The stage-agnostic firm focused exclusively on the education space, and invested out of a $45 million fund that closed in 1999.
She says that she was a fulltimer, and probably spent as many hours per day on Arcadia business as she had on Massachusetts business while governor. Last year, however, the Arcadia partners determined that a second fund offering was unlikely to be successful, and began winding down operations. The firm’s website shows seven remaining portfolio companies, while Swift says she maintains one board seat (Teachscape, a New York-based provider of professional development services for educators).
“We’ve all moved on to things that better fit our personal interests and professional aspirations,” Swift explains. “I continue to be very grateful for the Arcadia experience, because it gave me broader skills and contacts to leverage while continue to work in the general arena of improving public education.” WNP primarily provides strategic and financial consulting for technology companies that serve the education market.
Swift did not speak with former Massachusetts Gov. – and future partner with Leeds Weld & Co. — Bill Weld about the investment market before joining Arcadia, but spoke with him extensively afterward. “We were politicians going into venture capital, but it’s maybe even more interesting when you see how many VCs come into politics,” she says. “A lot of what you do in both jobs is look at a whole set of activities or trends and try to be predictive. Both arenas require you to problem-solve, be comfortable with risk and to lay your reputation on the line.”