The Top 10: #4 Amy Daniels Burr, managing director, operations and partnerships, JetBlue Technology Ventures

Amy Burr has been a managing director of operations and partnerships at JetBlue Technology Ventures (JTV), the corporate venturing arm of US-based airline operator JetBlue Airways, since May 2018. The unit backs startups focusing on travel, hospitality and transportation technologies.

JTV president Bonny Simi said: “Amy has brought such valuable insight to our JTV team and portfolio. Her extensive time in and understanding of the travel industry – combined with her experience growing Virgin America from its early days as a startup – uniquely positions her to identify opportunities for new technologies and manage relationships to drive this innovation forward.

“She and her team created a wildly successful Innovation Sprint program at JetBlue, introducing 100s of startups to JetBlue leaders every year, leading to several investments and (or) implementations.”

“I am also incredibly proud of how Amy has grown our JTV footprint across the world and built out our partnership ecosystem to convene industry stakeholders to innovate and improve the future of travel together.”

One way JTV makes those connections is through its international partnership program of like-minded travel providers, which is managed by Burr, who said: “The goal is to bring together different stakeholders to think about and partner on industry improvement together. The program allows travel providers to take advantage of the opportunities and dealflow JTV can provide, gives them access to the Silicon Valley ecosystem, and lets the group deep dive into startups they may be curious about.”

Burr has been in the travel ecosystem since early in her career, having joined Continental Airlines in 2000 before shifting to another airline company Virgin America in 2004, when it was still a startup. She spent 14 years at Virgin America and learnt how new technologies impacted across an organisation. She said: “I have a real affinity for startups because I have had that experience of working for one and understand the struggles as they grow.”

Burr also manages Innovation Sprints whose goal is to allow different stakeholders to reflect on industry improvement strategies together by accessing Silicon Valley’s ecosystem.

Her group liaises between portfolio companies and travel providers, giving entrepreneurs product development and implementation planning advice, as well as making introductions to potential customers. Another core part of her job is driving innovation throughout JetBlue and supporting the testing and trials of emerging technologies.

“My goal is to continue improving the travel experience for everyone involved by sourcing and identifying the right opportunities to use new technology,” Burr said. “I enjoy leading a group, partnering with stakeholders to solve common challenges, and working across organisations on innovation initiatives.”

She holds a bachelor’s degree in applied health sciences from American University and an MBA with a focus on information systems from Darla Moore School of Business. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling and is an avid reader. “I also love outdoor sports like running, paddle boarding and golfing. My husband and I love living in the Bay Area with our dog Zoey and take advantage of the amazing outdoors here and proximity to wine country.”