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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 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.



Gr8 People – Our Newest Investment

By: Baiyin Zhou and Luke Burns — As software continues eating the world, it has certainly changed the recruiting department in a big way. We aren’t the only investors excited about investing in and supporting this space – more than $1 billion was poured into HR technology in 2017. HR Tech: A Brief History Modern […]

CloudBees acquires Codeship to Form the Leader in CI/CD

Today is an exciting day for us as CloudBees announced their acquisition of our portfolio company Codeship.  We are thrilled for Mo, Manny, and the rest of the team as they join forces with one of the leading companies in DevOps. Codeship and CloudBees are extremely complementary, and together they form a complete product offering […]

Congrats to Codeship – Ranked as a Top 5 Continuous Integration Vendor by Forrester

Ascent Portfolio company Codeship was recently ranked as a Top 5 Continuous Integration Vendor by Forrester’s Wave™ report, surpassing competitors like IBM, Atlassian, and JetBrains (see the report here: Forrester Wave Report on Continuous Integration tools). According to Forrester, Codeship excelled due to its product vision and execution for the Codeship Pro product and the company’s overall market […]