Jonathan Niednagel

Find your Zone of Genius

My wife says that I have a recessive gene that draws me to startups.  Over two decades ago I willingly chose to leave a great job, with great people and great pay to try and do it on my own.  For some inexplicable reason, I still can’t stop.

Over the past two decades, I’ve founded three different venture backed businesses and run several more as a non founding CEO.  I also took almost seven years to switch sides of the table as a partner at an early stage venture fund, so I’ve seen both sides.

For me, Arena Partners is a combination of all of the advisors, board members, co-founders, partners and colleagues that I’ve had the privilege of working with over the years that were far smarter than I was.  The empathy and experience that made them collectively so helpful to me, I would like to pass on to the next person with that same recessive gene.





Life Motto

Do unto others as you’d have done to you…

Zone of Genius

Achieve one's full potential


Mike Rowe - I love the combination of raw intelligence and a blue collar work ethic

Favorite Economist

Joel Salatin (Omnivore's Dilemma), not sure if he’s a farmer or an economist, but a smart and fascinating guy.

Little known fact

I am a part time avocado farmer with a family farm in Valley Center, CA.  Let me know if you like them, and I’ll bring or send some avocados to our next meeting.

Outside of Arena

I don’t have hobbies, I have obsessions, and they can be quite diverse.  Anything active and outdoors - fly fishing, long distance backpacking, baseball, service academies, fast cars, faster planes…


2021CEO Advisory
2020Employee Manager, Allen Hamilton
2019Learning & Talent, Dev.Specialist


2014-2015Montgomery College, Coaching Program
2012-2014Auburn University, Master of Science



We were at a crossroads in our company's journey, facing significant challenges that required immediate attention. Arena Partners stepped in as our trusted CEO Advisors and helped us navigate through the storm. With their guidance, we developed a comprehensive roadmap to overcome obstacles and seize opportunities. Their hands-on approach in problem-solving, combined with their vast industry experience, allowed us to make informed decisions and execute effective strategies. Arena Partners' unwavering support and expertise were integral in turning our company around and setting us on a path of sustainable growth.

Ted Wormins

Arena Partners brought a fresh perspective and innovative solutions to our biggest strategic problems. As our CEO Advisors, they thoroughly analyzed our business model, market dynamics, and competitive landscape. Their strategic recommendations were nothing short of game-changing. With their insights, we were able to identify new revenue streams, pivot our product offerings, and gain a competitive edge in the market. Arena Partners' expertise in strategic planning and execution significantly influenced our growth trajectory and positioned us for long-term success.

Hellena Snout

Arena Partners played a pivotal role in our company's rapid growth and expansion. As our CEO Advisors, they provided invaluable guidance and strategic insights that allowed us to navigate complex challenges and make informed decisions. Their expertise in scaling technology startups helped us streamline our operations, optimize our resources, and achieve remarkable results. With their support, we were able to attract top talent, build a high-performing team, and scale our business to new heights.

Thomas Stinson
Start today, and Call me! Phone: +32 2 512 08 15