Programs: NSF I-Corps, CoMotion Innovation Gap FundLinkedIn
- Software (from mobile to enterprise / SaaS)
- Data as a service
- Business Services (including in the financial and marketing sectors)
Areas of expertise
- Operational strategy and execution
I have co-founded, funded, and grown multiple technology companies across verticals (including four category kings) and have achieved successful exits. My focus is on the customer – identifying, connecting with, and acquiring the ideal customer and formulating direct sales, partner strategies, and all things that drive revenue. Much of my experience has been in introducing new concepts that were first to market in their respective categories, from one of the first commercial tablet applications to the first location-based media company, so I understand the challenges of turning ideas into viable commercial businesses. My work has touched the lives of virtually everyone on the planet.
Working with CoMotion
I served as a mentor in the BRIIA AI accelerator in the San Francisco Bay area for several years, and when I moved to Washington in 2020, I wanted to connect with the local startup community to continue my support of promising entrepreneurs starting out on their journey. Multiple people I met suggested that I get in touch with the UW CoMotion team, and I’m so glad I did! I started mentoring with CoMotion in July 2020 and have participated in I-Corps and Innovation Gap Fund. I enjoy learning about problems to solve that lead to new opportunities to make a better world, and CoMotion provides ample fodder. Both mentors and mentees learn from each other in the process, and I have been fortunate to have mentees as open as I am to the exchange of ideas and feedback. The best part is that I receive the gift of connecting with exceptionally bright minds that are driven by passion to explore the potential of their projects.
I have enjoyed supporting all the teams I have mentored, and interestingly, I have some unexpected connections in common with each of their missions based on my prior experience. One project of particular interest is Hyper Chain, which involves a team that is at the early stages of exploring how to authenticate pharmaceutical products for consumers and ensure that environmentally sensitive pharma products arrive at their destinations intact. It’s a big hairy problem with far reaching consequences, especially in the age of COVID-19, which served as a catalyst for their mission. Their business is considering using the blockchain I spent a year of my time deeply engaged with in connection with a company I ran; IoT tracking devices that I piloted with the Department of Defense using satellite-based communications; the global shipping industry that I worked in for 13 years with two software companies; and mobile apps involving multiple companies that I either founded, ran, or provided consulting services. We have been continuing our advisory relationship since the end of their cohort session, and together we’re making headway.
Advice to innovators
What the customer thinks is all that matters, and they gravitate toward simplicity in how they view everything.
On the lighter side
When working with Team CoCo, I quickly learned that their mission could leverage the insights of a personal friend and former colleague with whom I had not been in touch with for some time. It gave me the opportunity to reconnect and involve her in a way that contributed materially to the team, and it reminded me of how our former time working together was always so much fun.