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Yan Ness

Executive chairman of Verge.io

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to a French mother and American father of Swedish descent, Yan Ness grew up primarily in Ann Arbor and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1985.

Since then, Yan has been a serial tech entrepreneur, based in Ann Arbor. His first venture was Systems and Software Group, which he launched in 1989 and then sold to Software Services in the early 1990s. He formed WorkWell Health and Safety Systems in 1995, which was acquired by Liberty Mutual in 1998. He co-founded his most recent company, Online Tech, in 2003, which was acquired by Schurz Communications in early 2018. Before exiting, Yan guided each venture from startup through early stage three. 

Today Yan is the executive chairman of Verge.io, a software company that abstracts all data center functions from the underlying hardware with a single operating system. He is also an adviser to the CEO of Larky.com and the board of directors at Lightguidesys.com.

Yan’s favorite business topics are SaaS strategy and business models, leadership and culture, go-to market strategy and tactics, and mergers and acquisitions. “I love numbers but value knowledge above all,” he says. Favorite pastimes including sailing, scuba diving and reading.