Duane McKnight



Mr. McKnight is a founding member of The Marathon Foundation's Board of Directors, and one of two of the Managing Members of Syncom Venture Management Company, LLC, ("SVMC"). SVMC is an early stage investment advisory firm that most recently managed a group of media related venture capital funds that were primarily focused on investing in minority entrepreneurs.

SVMC managed a total of four investment funds with assets exceeding $450 million from 1990 - 2018. Mr. McKnight served in a variety of portfolio board positions and leadership roles over his tenure with the firm and its affiliates. Many of Syncom's most successful investments included 4 companies that had IPO exits: BET, Radio One, Worldspace (Sirius/XM Radio), and Iridium Satellite. All were domiciled in the District of Columbia at the time of initial investment.

Mr. McKnight joined Syncom in 1985 as the senior analyst following a three-year stint managing a corporate SBIC fund (Alliance Enterprises) owned by Sun Company. Alliance also focused exclusively on investing in minority companies, and Mr. McKnight ascended quickly during his three-year term. He was promoted from his position as an analyst to vice president, and then to portfolio manager before his departure in 1985 to join Syncom. Upon arriving at Syncom, Mr. McKnight provided deal due diligence, market opportunity assessment, portfolio monitoring, and analysis for all investment opportunities for the company’s original investment fund, Syndicated Communications, Inc (“SCI”).

SCI had $10 million in private capital under management and went on to generate over $140 million in distributions for stakeholders over a 22-year period from 1977 – 1999 culminating with the IPO of Radio One, an iconic DC area media company. Mr. McKnight was instrumental in the fund yielding a 20% compounded annual return to shareholders during that time. He became a principal at SVMC and partner at Syncom II, when they were formed in 1990.

Mr McKnight received his Bachelor of Business Administration - Accounting degree from Temple University and a Master of Business Administration from La Salle University.