Who We Are
We are a group of passionate entrepreneurs who are committed to the belief that there is a better way to build. Our team has significant management experience and deep knowledge in building, design, off-site construction, and manufacturing.
Founded in Baltimore and supported by extraordinary investors, we have built a world‐class manufacturing facility and a team of professionals who know how to deliver.
Jerome D. Smalley
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Having spent his entire career in the development and construction business, Jerry always believed that there could be a better and more efficient way to build. In his leadership role at Blueprint Robotics, he and his team are at the forefront of offering builders and architects an entirely new and innovative process to bring their single or multi-family projects to life with groundbreaking technology.
As CEO, he is committed to ensuring that the company executes on its revolutionary strategies and that the finished product is always delivered to the market using the most appropriate and effective methods. His role at Blueprint Robotics represents a true extension of his previous experience.
Previously, Jerry had co‐founded Stonington Partners, a development company that quickly grew to become one of the premier builders of townhomes throughout the Baltimore area. From 2007 to 2011, he also served as CEO of Haven Homes, a modular home manufacturer owned by a private equity firm.
From 1979 to 2003, Jerry held numerous positions with The Rouse Company, one of the largest real estate developers in the United States. Joining Rouse as a junior Project Manager, Jerry progressed rapidly, with promotions to Development Director in 1983, to Vice President and Senior Development Director in 1986 and to Senior Vice President and Director – Commercial and Office Development in 1993. He was elected Executive Vice President in 1998 and in 2002 was appointed Vice‐Chairman and COO. Jerry left Rouse in 2003 shortly before its sale to General Growth Properties.
Jerry has remained deeply committed to non‐profit work and has served on the boards of The Reinvestment Fund of Philadelphia, an organization whose mission is “to build wealth and opportunity for low‐wealth people and places through the promotion of socially and environmentally responsible development” and of the Maryland Film Festival. Jerry has also served on the Board of Directors of Enterprise Social Investment Corporation (2003–2008) and of Enterprise Homes (2003–2015), both extraordinarily successful non‐profits founded by James Rouse. He also spent a decade as a Trustee of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore (1998–2008) and was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Research Park from 2003 to 2010.
Jerry attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating with a BS in Engineering. He has an MBA from Loyola University, Maryland. He spent seven years with the United States Army Corps of Engineers serving in the United States, Germany and in the Pacific, achieving the rank of Captain.
Co-Founder and Executive Vice President
Wanting to understand why these technologies had not been successfully adopted in the United States, the largest wood frame building market in the world, Karim spent a year closely studying the market as well as learning why previous attempts to introduce the technology had been unsuccessful. In doing this, he realized there was a business vacuum waiting to be filled, but he needed a world class team to do it.
Partnering with Jerry Smalley and Sascha Bopp and gaining the support of the Invus Group to be their funding partner were the key pieces in creating Blueprint Robotics, which is now positioned to introduce an exciting new paradigm throughout North America.
As Executive Vice President, Karim has been actively identifying and building strong relationships with key suppliers that understand the company’s vision, share its deep commitment to innovation, and want to work with Blueprint Robotics as strategic partners. In addition, Karim is responsible for developing the Blueprint Robotics multifamily construction business.
Prior to co-founding Blueprint Robotics, Karim had worked for more than two decades at Lochridge & Company, a Boston‐based strategy and operations consulting firm founded by Richard K. Lochridge, formerly a major partner at the Boston Consulting Group. During his tenure at Lochridge, Karim built an impressive track record helping B2C companies develop and implement turnaround and growth strategies. His clients included Adidas, Bic, Danone, Groupe‐Bel, Boral Industries (building materials) and the Invus Group. Additionally, at Lochridge, Karim was often involved in evaluating and leading acquisition initiatives on behalf of clients or as the principal on a buyout team.
In the mid 1980’s, having already been accepted into the MBA program at Wharton, Karim decided to defer enrolling for one year in order to work with the CFO of Libexim, a large shipping and trading group (now called Seament). As AVP‐Finance, Karim assisted in restructuring and successfully renegotiating debt for the company. Karim began his career in 1982, joining what was then Chemical Bank in New York.
Karim earned a BA in Economics from Trinity College, Hartford, CT and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is fluent in English and French.
Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer
Inspired by the opportunity to fundamentally transform a key sector of the American economy, Sascha co-founded Blueprint Robotics with the goal of helping to bring the homebuilding industry into an exciting new stage of technological innovation. Heading up a wide range of responsibilities that include marketing, finance, HR, and IT, Sascha believes that the strategic potential of the company knows few limits as it breaks new ground in an industry that is ready for significant transformation.
Having extensive experience as a senior executive in a wide range of industries, markets and cultures, Sascha served as Chief Operating Officer and later Chief Executive Officer of Chicago-based Crate and Barrel from 2009 to 2014. In this leadership role with the renowned home furnishings and multichannel retailer, he was responsible for 110 company-owned stores in North America, online sales, franchising operations in 10 countries, as well as the company's sister brands CB2 and Land of Nod.
Prior to Crate and Barrel, Sascha managed a range of responsibilities for Arcandor AG, a Germany-based holding company that controlled a portfolio of retail, mail order and eCommerce companies. During his tenure he was Chief Executive Officer of a 5,300-employee division, comprised of 13 independent specialty retailers headquartered in 5 European countries. In 2008 he was also named CFO and General Manager of the entire multichannel retail division of Arcandor AG, responsible for 20,000 employees and $4 billion in sales.
Sascha started his career in 1993 at Lochridge & Company, a strategy and management consulting firm based in Boston. In 1999 he moved from Boston to Paris to join The Invus Group, a leading investment firm headquartered in New York. He left The Invus Group in 2006 as a Managing Director.
During his tenure as CEO of Crate and Barrel, Sascha served on the Board of Directors and Membership Committee of the National Retail Federation (NRF). He earned his Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering at the University of Karlsruhe in Germany. He is fluent in English, German, and French.
Committed to perfecting a new kind of homebuilding process in the factory setting, Jon believes that Blueprint Robotics can successfully transfer a level of precision and efficiency normally seen in automotive and aerospace to home construction. In his role as Senior Vice President of Operations, he is dedicated to perfecting a type of standardization in craftsmanship that provides builders and architects with the most superior product.
As Blueprint Robotics grows into a world class business, Jon believes the company’s application of lean concepts and state-of-the-art processes will provide the homebuilding industry a completely redefined concept of quality.
A highly accomplished international executive with an extensive history of systematically improving operational performance on a global basis, Jon has more than 30 years of corporate experience successfully optimizing safety, quality, cost, and delivery by employing a structured approach and concise strategic initiatives. He previously served as Executive Vice President Global Operations at Algeco Scotsman, where he established, and then executed, a strategy to lead the company’s multinational operations through a lean transformation, consequently achieving a new standard for the modular space industry.
Prior to this role, Jon held multiple leadership positions at Carrier Corporation, the renowned brand of United Technologies. As Vice President of Global Operations, he led operational improvements in over 30 factories across five continents in both the Building Systems and Services (BSS) and Asia-Pacific business units.
Earlier in his career, Jon spent five years with TI Automotive, the worldwide leader in design, development, and manufacture of complete fuel systems. Throughout a highly regarded tenure, Jon held a number of wide-ranging positions within the company that included President Asia-Pacific (Fuel Systems), Director of Operations (Fuel Tanks Europe), Director of Manufacturing (Europe) and General Manager.
Jon earned his Master of Business Administration (Executive Management) at Ashland University, Bachelor of Science (Industrial & Operations Engineering) at University of Michigan, and Bachelor of Science (Physics major, Mathematics major) at Hope College. He is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese and proficient in French.
Equity investors in companies
who seek to transform their industries
Invus knows what it takes to transform an industry: strategic insight, patient capital and great execution. They support owner-managers on all three of these dimensions.
They recognize that every company is unique and that extraordinary business performance cannot be achieved by following a formulaic approach. Due to their unique structure, they have a great deal of flexibility in the types of companies and situations where they can get involved.
Perhaps most importantly, they know that real transformation takes time and that it’s never
a straight line. They fully align their incentives with their partners and have the wherewithal and long-term commitment to see through any bumps along the way.
They’ve been successfully empowering owner-managers since 1985. Since their founding, their source of capital has been a European family group (mainly through their Artal investment vehicle). The exceptional returns from their evergreen investment strategy have allowed a modest initial pool of capital to grow to over $5 billion even after having distributed billions to their shareholders. Not having raised any outside funds has allowed them to focus all their energy on value creation through their investment activities.
We invite you to explore their website to get a sense of their passion for business and for uncovering levers that drive extraordinary business performance.