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Luke Burns
General Partner


Luke has extensive experience advising and founding ventures and brings his passion for entrepreneurship to his work at Ascent. Since joining the firm in 2006, Luke has continued his work with innovative early stage companies with a focus on data analytics, SaaS, IT infrastructure and cybersecurity. He has led Ascent investments in CloudLock (acquired by Cisco), RapidMiner, Sidecar, gr8 People, empow (acquired by Cybereason) and Codeship (acquired by Cloudbees).

Prior to Ascent, Luke was a management consultant at Bain & Co., working with clients in pharmaceuticals, technology, and consumer products, in roles ranging from corporate strategy to M&A advisory. It was the second time Luke worked at Bain, having first joined the firm after college in their San Francisco office. There, he focused on the high-tech sector before leaving in 1998 to be cofounder and CEO of e-commerce software provider Emercis Corporation, which powered the online stores for customers such as McAfee and The Gap. He led the company from product launch to successful exit. Luke has also held roles with venture firm Navigator Technology Ventures, and was cofounder of Cognika Corporation, a provider of cognitive computing solutions.


Luke earned an AB, magna cum laude, in Chemistry and Physics, from Harvard University, where he also rowed crew. In addition, he received an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, where he founded a club for nanotechnology.


Luke loves art and enjoys painting, drawing and sculpting and was on the Board of Overseers for the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. He also plays soccer and basketball, likes to travel and is on the board of advisors and treasurer for an inner-city youth program associated with St. Stephen’s Church in Boston. He lives in the South End with his wife and two young daughters.

Early stage enterprise IT is not something we do – it’s ALL we do. We bring a lot to the table for startups in our sector.