“By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day.” – Robert Frost
Confucius perhaps said it best, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I’ve worked faithfully and effectively for others. I’ve been the boss. It’s never been work.
I am an entrepreneur and early-stage company builder and advisor. My expertise is starting, funding, buying and selling businesses. I founded Ask-Me Multimedia (acquired by Midisoft), iCopyright.com (ongoing), StartupBiz.com (ongoing), and Leaves, Inc., among other companies. I was on the launch teams of CompuServe Sprynet, one of the first national Internet Service Providers (went public as part of CompuServe in 1996), and Design Intelligence (acquired by Microsoft). I’ve also worked in the university environment and for a non-profit foundation. I started my career in state government. I’ve had a little taste of all sectors. They each had their advantages and challenges. The mission and the team are always what mattered most.
I work with entrepreneurs and their financiers. Some clients contract with me to help them start or buy a business, including franchising. Other clients contract with me to help them package and sell their business. I have an awesome team of advisors and associates!
My “secret sauce” is a trusted relationship with clients as an advisor, confidant and licensed intermediary, using a proprietary system perfected over many years of experience. I’ve been on all sides of the transaction as a venture-backed entrepreneur, angel/VC investor, business buyer and business seller. I am a licensed M&A intermediary with a very large network of successful entrepreneurs, investors and professional advisors.
iCopyright pioneered the first automated system for licensing of digital content via the Internet. My role was to design the application, develop the business model, sign major publisher accounts, raise the investment capital, hire and supervise the management team, and execute the plan to create the copyright licensing system of the 21st century. Winner of two CODiE Awards by the Software & Information Industry Association. Named one of the 100 Companies that Matter Most in the Digital Content Industry by EContent Magazine.
Thesis Ventures is a hands-on, early stage venture fund and company builder, providing entrepreneurs with intellectual, network and investment capital. My role was to administer the fund, run the studio, vet the applicants, and work with the companies the fund invested in.
Startup Quest Broward is part of a $12M state-wide grant from the U.S. Dept. of Labor to train people with college degrees to become entrepreneurs and educate them about opportunities to commercialize technologies developed at Florida’s public universities and federal laboratories. The Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 programs in Broward County attracted 750 applicants and graduated 29 teams comprising 215 participants. I managed the program in South Florida and led the effort to recruit the mentors (40), speakers (15), judges (15), board of advisors (12), sponsors (20), and community partners (30).
The Founder Institute is the world’s largest idea-stage accelerator, with more than 1500 graduates across 40 cities, 22 countries and 5 continents. The 16-week intensive program enables aspiring entrepreneurs to launch their dream companies with the aid of expert training, feedback, and support from experienced startup founders and CEOs – while not having to quit their day jobs. My role was to recruit the mentors, sponsors and channel partners. I facilitated seven sold-out recruiting events, enrolled 18 founders, and facilitated the curriculum over 16 weeks.
Director, Electronic Commerce
October 1997 – July 1998
Greater Seattle Area
Managed web site development, online marketing, and eCommerce sales of the company’s product, iPublish. Invented iCopyright and spun it out as its own company. Design Intelligence was subsequently acquired by Microsoft and its technology incorporated into Microsoft Publisher.
On the management team that designed, built, and launched SPRYNET, one of the first national Internet Service Providers (ISP). SPRYNET went public as part of CompuServe in 1996 and was named by PC Magazine as one of the best Internet service providers in the country.
Developed and launched some of the first multimedia kiosks, computer-based training (CBT) programs and business presentation software. Raised $3M in venture capital. Named by Nation’s Business Magazine and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as one of the most innovative companies in the U.S. The company was acquired by publicly-traded Midisoft in 1995.
Authored several best-selling books on business planning and marketing planning. Worked with inventors and entrepreneurs to help them commercialize their ideas.
Co-Founder, Data Technologies
October 1983 – October 1985
Virginia Beach, VA
Worked with the founder on his idea to establish one of the first high-speed electronic publishing service bureaus in the United States. The company was funded by Essex Ventures and merged with Innovative Professional Systems. Most everything I learned about how not to start a company, I learned here.
Responsible for alumni relations, capital campaigns, educational and leadership programs administration.