What got us here can help you get there.

Arena Partners exists to help founders scale.  Each of us comes from a diverse background of industries with different types of operational expertise but with the common thread of all being in chair, venture backed CEOs during our careers.  Over the course of a collective 50+ years John, Rob and Jonathan have raised dozens of rounds of venture capital, exited multiple companies, managed boards, executive staffs, M&A processes and countless other successful endeavors.  They have also been through layoffs, firings, dissension, pivots, economic downturns, pandemics, crazy co-founders and have the scar tissue to show for it.

Having the guts to leave a good paying job to start your own company is sometimes a sign of brilliance and other times a sign of insanity….it just depends on whom you ask.  The road is littered with good intentions and both capable as well as crazy founders.  At Arena Partners, we try and take these collective experiences and work with founding CEOs to avoid many of the same pitfalls that we all stepped into.  Each of us learned many lessons along our journey and we want to help others, who share that same passion for venture backed startups, navigate the inevitable curve balls that come their way.

Unlike coaches and advisors, who we all know and admire, Arena is different in that each of the partners has spent time in the chair, doing the job, facing the challenges first hand that you may be experiencing today.  A board members in my first venture backed CEO gig told me that until you’ve had two weeks of cash left and are sitting on your front porch in tears because 100 people are counting on you for their mortgage….you don’t really know what it’s like to be a CEO.  Whether that’s true or not is hard to say, but odds are, the challenges that you’re currently facing are likely something that one of us has gone through first hand.  Sometimes we emerged triumphant, sometimes we learned a hard lesson through failure.  We want to use those lessons to help new CEOs avoid the same mistakes….and let them make a whole new series of mistakes on their own.

Advice is something that is often given cheaply.  They say you get what you pay for.  Many advisors will pontificate and send a young CEO off to fend for themselves with their new knowledge.  At Arena, we will go on that journey with you.  At heart, we’re all operators.  We like the challenge of being in the trenches and the intellectual rigor that it entails.  Because of this, we don’t give advice that we ourselves wouldn’t follow….because, often times, we are following that advice alongside a founder.  Internally we use the example of a sherpa in many of our discussions – a sherpa knows where to go, not because they have a map, but because they’ve actually been there before.  They also go along the journey with you, pointing out the precarious points and how to navigate around them based on their own personal experience.  They also help carry some of the load so that you don’t have to bear it alone and act as a motivator when you think that the next step is beyond your reach.  We’ve been there, we’ve seen the pitfalls, we go with you and help carry the load so that you have a greater chance of success on a journey that may just be as difficult as climbing Mt Everest.

We love seeing entrepreneurs succeed.  Let us help you on that journey….

John Tedesco


Robin Schratsky

Business Coach

Marsha Eriksen

Certified Life Coach

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