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Jesse Johnson

Jesse Johnson Jesse Johnson  
Director & Founder
Telluride Venture Accelerator
Person Type: 


What does working with the Center mean to you?

I have deep admiration for the work of the Center and am proud of my association. As someone who started a company focused on improving children’s health and interacts with many environmental programs, I believe they are uniquely skilled at understanding and communicating how climate change affects our health and the health of our children.


Jesse is the Founder and Director of the Telluride Venture Accelerator, a venture philanthropy-funded accelerator that invests in and mentors promising young companies in the areas of natural foods, outdoors, energy, water, education and health / wellness. A key goal is to develop a startup ecosystem in southwestern Colorado that brings together capital, entrepreneurs, and experienced mentors. The Kauffman Foundation called the effort “one of the most innovative in U.S. philanthropy today.” Relatedly, Jesse is a general partner in the Telluride Venture Fund, an early stage investment fund focused on the Colorado plateau.

Previously, Jesse was the CEO and co-founder of Q Collection, a leading designer of sustainable home furnishings based in New York City.

Jesse has a joint Masters of Business (MBA) and Master of Environmental Management (MEM) from Yale University. He currently serves as a member of Yale's Environmental Leadership Council, Yale’s Center for Business & the Environment, and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)’s Global Environmental Leadership Council. He is on the board of 1% For The Planet (a non-profit founded by Yvon Chouinard, owner of Patagonia), Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), the Johnson Family Foundation, and the Telluride Foundation. He completed his undergraduate studies at Princeton University and lives with his wife and two young sons in Telluride, CO.