Don Grage

9Ware Managing Partner. Tech Lead.

Three Decades of Leadership In Technology and Finance

Don has managed technical, financial and business operations in many capacities since 1993. While serving in his role as 9Ware's head of operations and services, he spearheaded the OilPF initiative, actively participating in design and development of the hedging services and all associated, custom software tools. Don has also served as head of risk management and hedging for one of 9Ware's large petroleum industry clients, and has managed a small, private energy investment fund. Through the decades Don has overseen operations and IT services for his own startup firm, for Washington, D.C. and German divisions of a large internet firm, for bioinformatics and engineering companies, and now for 9Ware. Along the way he gained expertise in software and database development, data analysis and visualization, finance, project management, client services, strategic planning, and general operations. During his career, Don has steered his companies and their clients from inception to high growth and profitable operations.


Education and the Internet Boom, Here and Across The Pond

Don received a B.S. in Physics from UCLA in 1987 and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University in 1993. He spent the summer during graduate school in Prague, Czech Republic, developing a 5-year strategic operating plan for the R&D division of the Czech Power Ministry. Then upon receiving his graduate degree, Don and a business partner started Potomac Interactive Corporation, a multimedia software company. Serving as CEO, Don oversaw all operational aspects of the company as it surpassed $1M in revenues by 1996 and became a profitable enterprise. Potomac Interactive merged with a similar firm in 1997, and the combined entity merged into iXL in late 1998 to become iXL's DC office, and Don was named SVP Operations. Two years later the office had grown to a staff of 120, providing a 30% contribution margin to corporate iXL. Don then accepted a request to relocate and help revitalize the iXL Germany operation, serving as its interim SVP Operations & Client Services. The goal was achieved as the 65-person operation became an 80-person division with a positive contribution margin in only six months. Then in the early 2000s Don guided Gene Logic, traditionally a genomics information provider, into the businesss of bioinformatics software. Initial customers included large pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer.


Once a Tech Nerd, Always A Tech Nerd

From his college years in 1985 through graduate school in 1993, Don was a professional systems engineer. He developed business, mathematical and computer graphics applications using C, Pascal, Basic, Fortran, SQL, etc. on various Microsoft and UNIX operating system platforms. Don has maintained personal involvement with software development ever since, and has gained hands on experience directly serving clients over the past 15 years with tools including C#, ASP.NET, Python, Java/JSP, ColdFusion, Mathematica, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL... all while continuing to serve in leadership roles for 9Ware.