Sean Cantwell, Managing Partner

Capital + Commitment

Sean focuses on investments in software and technology-enabled services. His current board directorships and investments include Assent Compliance, Broker Genius, JazzHR, and Tracelink. He also served on the Boards of VisualIQ (acquired by Nielsen), iPipeline (acquired by Thoma Bravo), G5 Search Marketing (PeakEquity Partners), GeoLearning (acquired by SumTotal), Globaltranz, EnterpriseDB (acquired by PeakEquity Partners), and PingID (acquired by Vista Equity).  Prior to helping found Volition Capital in 2010, Sean was a Vice President at Fidelity Ventures.  From 2001 to 2004, Sean worked at Summit Partners, where he focused on growth equity investments in the software, healthcare and financial services sectors. Sean began his career at Arthur Andersen and also spent time as a Principal at The Parthenon Group where he worked on a variety of strategy consulting engagements for private equity firms and large corporate clients. 

Sean received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  

IPOs and Acquisitions

Current Portfolio

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Sean on Air

Sean in the News

Sean's Highlights

Sits on the board of iPipeline, G5 Search Marketing, EnterpriseDB, Visual IQ, Velocify, and The Resumator  while is also actively involved with GlobalTranz, and Vibes Media

Can quote almost any sports statistic

+  Focused on mid-market buyouts and growth equity investments in the software, healthcare and financial services sectors while at Summit Partners from 2001 - 2004

Contact Sean

tel.  +1 617 830 2318 
fax.  +1 617 203 1269


Sean's Story

"The numbers need to talk to you."

Sean learned this lesson beginning at age 11 when he would check the sports page box scores at 6 am before delivering newspapers on his morning paper route. Why do certain players with great numbers never play for a winning team?  Is the player with the best statistics the most valuable?  What role does the schedule play?  Why are certain players considered good in the clutch?

Growing up a sports fanatic in Allentown, PA, Sean often debated these topics with friends, relatives, or anyone else willing to discuss sports trivia.  He competed in sports, collected baseball cards, and participated in fantasy leagues.  Sports have always been a big part of his life and he dreamed as a child of becoming a professional sports franchise general manager.  Over the years he began to appreciate that the “numbers do talk to you” and they begin to explain the difference between winners and losers.

That is why he chose to pursue a finance degree at Notre Dame and later an MBA at Harvard Business School.  Evaluating a Balance Sheet or Income Statement calls upon similar analytical skills.  Understanding competition, teamwork, talent, playing well under pressure, and an intense desire to win helps to explain what drives those numbers - it's as true for building a professional sports franchise as it is for building a winning company.  

Picking winners and losers is not all science nor is it all intuition.  The key is understanding how to blend them together and figure out how to make “the numbers talk to you”.

Do we have the right product to win in the marketplace?  How can we accelerate growth while driving improved margins?  Sean enjoys working with his portfolio companies to help management teams answer these questions.   

Outside of work, Sean resides in Needham, MA with his wife, three daughters, and one son, and spends some of his free time coaching youth soccer.