John Cunningham is co-Founder and CEO of Bad Elf, maker of aviation, marine, and GIS accessories for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch and other mobile platforms. Bad Elf, founded in 2010, is entirely bootstrapped and runs a lean, distributed organization with global sourcing and distribution.
Bad Elf began as a skunkworks project to build an external GPS accessory for the iPhone in his prior company, Band XI International. That first device found rapid adoption among private pilots, who replaced their paper charts with an iPad. Today, commercial and military pilots around the world use the Bad Elf GPS as an integral component of their electronic flight bag. This niche success has opened new, larger markets in marine and geographic information systems.
Cunningham began his career in IT and management consulting in the late 1980s, with a focus on object oriented software, agile methodologies, and business process reengineering over two decades. He traveled the globe assisting clients in the finance, telecommunications, manufacturing, telematics, and defense industries. During this period, he worked at Andersen Consulting (Accenture), CSC, Travelers, and IBM/OTI, before starting Band XI International in 2005. The years at Object Technology International (OTI), before absorption into IBM, most influenced his concept of small business operations, culture, and practice.
Both John and his wife, Marina, graduated from Columbia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1986 with BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering. Their two daughters recently graduated from Columbia. Alyson (EN12) studied biomedical engineering and is now in her second year of medical school. Erica (EN14) majored in operations research and now works on Wall Street. John also holds an MS from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA in Finance from the University of Connecticut.