Jim Dreyfous

Founding Partner


I was one of the founders of the predecessor fund of Pelion in 1986, which was called Utah Ventures, and, until my retirement in 2013, a Managing Director. I’m proud of the success that the firm has had in that nearly 30 year period and expect it to continue with the current partners. During the 28 years I was with Pelion or its predecessor, I was involved with all aspects of the firm’s activities and was part of its transformation from a small regional venture capital firm (that first Utah Ventures fund was $11M) investing primarily in medical device technology to a major national investor in early-stage technology. Which, with all due false modesty, was no small feat.

After I graduated from Middlebury College, I spent the early years of my career in banking, small business management, and the production and distribution of gas and oil. Once I started in venture, I became a hands-on investor. I still enjoy working with talented entrepreneurs in multiple high-tech disciplines, although since my retirement it has been primarily in cancer research. In my nearly three decades of financing start-ups, I was involved in investments that include Anesta (IPO), Cardiopulmonics (IPO), Iomed (IPO), Sonus (IPO), Clyde Digital (acquired by Axent, then IPO), VaporFab (acquired by INCO), and Knowlix (acquired by Peregrine Systems). And with help from my partners, I was also served on the boards of Carefx (acquired by Harris Corp), Angioscore (acquired by Spectranetics), and Venafi.

As for my life outside the firm, I’ve always been very committed to causes in the Salt Lake City area. Which explains why I’ve served on a number of philanthropic boards. In fact, with the extra time that comes with retirement, I plan to devote even more effort to giving back to the community and enjoying myself in nature with my family and friends.

My main focus will be on helping people who are struggling with cancer. I have been fighting cancer for a number of years and, as a result, I’ve developed a passion and desire to help other cancer patients come up with plans to help beat it. That means developing homeopathic and lifestyle strategies with clinical medicine and, most importantly, building a network of cancer survivors. After all, if building networks can build businesses, there’s no reason it can’t help re-build lives.