I have built several companies and organizations. I will never claim to be a great business man, but I have a solid track record in creating and building early and mid stage companies. My success, in part, was due to my relentless coaching of my team members to build extensions to our core company. I consider myself an excellent coach and catalyst in helping other people start and build new businesses and organizations.
I earned a B.S. Economics and an M.S. Engineering from Stanford University. If you don’t know Stanford, you should. Google it. Stanford is the reason Silicon Valley exists. In fact, Google was started at Stanford. Also HP (Hewlett Packard) and many many other technology companies. It has been establish that the cumulative economic revenue of companies started by Stanford community members and graduates is greater than the GDP of all but 5 Countries. The economic revenue impact of the Stanford eco-system is greater than the United Kingdom.
I grew up in the Philadelphia area. I was not born into privilege. My parents did not go to college. My father was an auto mechanic. However, my parents were caring, supportive, and open minded.
While in high school at 15 years old, I won a scholarship to go to Kenya, East Africa as an exchange student. It was a life changing experience which set the foundation of my ongoing education and international business orientation.
Between Stanford and Harvard I was a Corporate Strategy Consultant and worked on business strategies for Airlines, major Retailers, Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream, Siemens (in Munich), Banks and Entertainment Companies.
After Harvard I was Corporate Strategy Consultant working in London and then Los Angeles. My Primary client was the Walt Disney Company. Among other projects, I wrote the original Business Plan for Disney Stores.
I hated Corporate Strategy Consulting. At age 30, I was working 100-hour weeks and making over $350,000 a year. I was always stressed. In my third year I was sent to London to oversee the due diligence for the biggest leveraged buyout in British History. For three weeks we worked 20 hour days. The pressure to make sure this deal and its mega-billion bank financing closed was intense. Our due diligence had to show that this highly leveraged buyout would sustain any likely economic recession. To me, it was all bullshit. Everyone including the bankers and my Consultancy was financially incentivized to make this mega-billion dollar deal happen. I just had to make sure that our due dilligence would establish that the financial risks were minimal. Of course I could create a elaborate financial model to do just this. But I knew this deal was a a dog and I felt this deal was ethically wrong, so I resigned — and returned to the USA jobless.
While figuring out what I was to do next, I worked with a man, Claude Ganz, a noted Holocaust Survivor and a previously successful business man and entrepreneur (DYMO). I helped Claude create and build an Environmental Engineering and Clean-Up Company, RESNA Industries. Within 2 years the company was making $23 million in annual revenue. As per my plan, the company now required professional management with strong industry connections and experience. I helped recruit the new executive and I designed myself out of a job.
The economy in the early 1990’s in the USA was not good and in California it was bad. But the was “buzz” about Interactive Media, so I made myself the expert on Interactive “New” Media. No one was making any money on this new media at the time and the consumer internet had not yet started. But I was a true believer in the possibilities. So I became the New Media guy.
I created a monthly event at my home which I called, “Convergence: For the Creators of the New Media Future.” I picked 10 interactive Media companies and asked the CEO’s of those companies to be my Co-hosts for the first event. I invited computer geeks, artists, film makers, graphic designers and an eclectic assortment of people I thought would be needed to build this New Media Future. Then I got ballsy and called Paramount Pictures and eventually reached the secretary of the CEO. And so, for the first Convergence, which I hosted at my rented home in San Francisco, Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of Paramount Pictures flew up from Los Angeles to speak…at my home. I made the food myself. It was freakin awesome. Needless to say, word got out and I had to hire security guards to keep uninvited guests from attending. The major Law Firms and Accounting Firms wanted in, so I told them they could sponsor it, but each was allowed only two guests. Convergence was for Creators — not accountants or lawyers.
What have I accomplished as an “entrepreneur”?
Co-Founder RESNA Industries with Claude Ganz. (Sold to CH2M Hill)
Founder: New Media Partners – Clients TriBeCa Productions, Random House, The Walt Disney Company
Co-Founder: TriBeca Interactive with Robert De Niro
Founder Mercury Seven, Inc. Early Internet Company. “We Build Internet Businesses for Clients” Grew to 1200 Employees, and $40 million revenue. Sold to a Shell Company Xceed, Inc. which took went Public with new management..
Founder, ChannelSeven.com – Internet Magazine for the new Internet Professionals. In time it became the bible for the emerging Internet Advertising industry. The Company grew to include Channel Seven Europe, Channeleven Brasil and Channel Seven Latin America. Sold to Alan Mekler who took it Public as Internet.com
Founder: The M7 Ad Network. Sold to DoubleClick which was sold to Google.
Founder: The Internet Advertising Awards and the Millennium Internet Awards
Co-founder, OUT | New Media. The networking group for Gay New Media Professionals. Overtime the organization grew and evolved to become the global Gay networking organization, Out Professionals
Creator : Castello de Carnaval Miami , 10P Events NYC, DOLCE Miami Events
GCV Connect (Global Silicon Valley Connect) : Connecting Entrepreneurs around the world to Stanford University and Silicon Valley
Main Streets GA : Real Estate Development in Atlanta
Miami – FTL Development: Built over $20 million in Luxury Residential Real Estate in Fort Lauderdale and Miami
Founder Crucible Labs San Francisco: Business Accelerator
Development Consultant: AirBnB Experience
Instructor Entrepreneurship at Stanford University and San Francisco State University
Start-up Coach: Stanford University School of Engineering Start-up Incubator
Member: Stanford Angels, Stanford Engineering Angels, and Harvard Angels, Start-up Investor Groups
Co-Founder Rayo de la Vida, S..L. with Alfonso Castano
Founder: Tramuntana Accelerator
I want to help You build Exciting, Inspirational and Sustainable New Businesses!