John McIlwraith

Managing Director


John co-founded Allos in 2010, but he did some pretty cool stuff before that, too. He was also a lawyer.

John started his career as a corporate lawyer at Jones Day, where he co-founded the Private Ventures Group after determining that the firm needed a better way to serve the needs of early-stage companies and venture capital/private equity investors. After several years of representing VC firms, like Primus and Morgenthaler, and early-stage technology companies, he decided he was envious of how much fun his clients were having, and that he wanted to go down a more entrepreneurial path.

Although he achieved success as an attorney, he knew that to succeed as a venture capitalist he would need operating experience. So, he joined publicly-traded Quantum Health Resources, a provider of drugs and related therapies to patients with rare, chronic diseases, as SVP of business development and general counsel. While there, he was able to gain insights into the healthcare industry, including through being involved in the launch of a mail-order specialty pharmacy and several new products. In 1997, after Quantum was sold to Olsten Health Services, where John continued on as SVP of business development, he was recruited by Blue Chip Venture Company to join the firm as its third partner.

John’s investment experience includes software, business services, and healthcare companies, such as Assurex Health (sold to Myriad Genetics), Bluegill Technologies (sold to Checkfree), Blue Chip Surgical (sold to NueHealth), Inspiris (sold to United Healthcare), Medhost (sold to HealthTech Holdings), Healthscribe (sold to Spheris), and Renal Solutions (sold to Fresenius). He is still a managing director with Blue Chip, and is responsible for its investments in Endocyte and Nine Sigma. He is also active with Blue Chip's Validation Fund, which invested in seed-stage technology companies in Ohio.

John has been involved in a variety of early-stage venture initiatives throughout the region. He was active in the formation of Gazelle TechVentures, where he served on the executive and investment committees, and where he met Don. He was also a founding member of the Michigan Venture Capital Association board of directors, and was the founding chairman of VentureOhio. And he is a founding board member at OCEAN Accelerator.


JD, Case Western Reserve University
BA, Hillsdale College

Quote that says it all:

"As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do." - Andrew Carnegie

Business book worth reading:

The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey

What's in his playlist:

Crosby, Stills & Nash; Van Morrison; Mumford and Sons; Red Hot Chili Peppers

Favorite Western:

The Magnificent Seven


John is on the board of Stepping Stones, an organization that improves lives, promotes inclusion, and increases independence for children and adults with autism, Down Syndrome, and other disabilities, and works with GreenLight Fund Cincinnati, which transforms the lives of children, youth and families in high-poverty urban areas by creating local infrastructure and a consistent annual process to identify critical needs; import innovative, entrepreneurial programs that have a significant, measurable impact; and galvanize local support to help programs reach and sustain impact in Cincinnati.

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