12+ years experience in creating, launching and scaling ideas, platforms and ventures as a leader, entrepreneur, speaker, author, & ecosystem builder in metro areas throughout the US, Mexico & Europe.
Leadership & Team Building at Scale
12+ years experienced leader with extensive experience in building and leading teams within large organizations, startups, for profits and non-profits including both direct and indirect leadership roles and paid/volunteer staff from 2 - 2,000 in size.
Servant Leader with Entrepreneurial DNA
First business -> Mango stand. Latest venture: starting, growing, scaling and exiting One Spark; the World's Largest Crowdfunding Festival (Florida & Berlin, Germany). 6 years acting as a change agent to bring public/private partners together in MSA's under 1 million in population to foster entrepreneurial growth. Focused on partnerships to facilitate growth.
Ideation. Validation. Execution.
Extensive hands-on experience in developing, leading and managing ideation across teams and utilizing data-driven validation cycles to develop, implement and scale complex projects from startups to growth initiatives for multi-billion-dollar public enterprises. Constantly learning and implementing new methods, tools and approaches.
Partner at Prota Ventures
US // 2016 - present
Leading growth, marketing, community development and entrepreneur thought leadership for an early stage venture building and investment firm with interests in Chicago, Seattle and Florida.
Leading marketing, growth, strategy GTM for this - Startup Rocket is an idea to funding framework, app & marketplace for founders & advisors.
Leading marketing, growth, strategy and community development this project - Aware is a global, real-time social language translation engine focused on better connecting the world before, during and after major events.
Co-Founder / CEO / Board Member for
One Spark: The World's Crowdfunding Festival
US & Germany // 2011 - 2016
One Spark was founded to help great ideas connect with the resources that they need. It grew into a global platform through One Spark: The World's Crowdfunding Festival, One Spark: START, and the One Spark Creator Academy.
From an idea to $6 million in revenue in three years, as one of the founders and CEO through its exit, I led all aspects of the business, team development, brand, strategy, growth, international expansion, marketing, operations and the development of its board of directors.
Additionally, during this time I built extensive networks in dozens of cities around the world from Seattle to Stockholm and Berlin to Memphis.
ONE SPARK FESTIVAL
The world's largest crowdfunding festival.
Key stats through first three years:
- Attendance: 750,000+
- Startups/Projects: 1,500+
- Investments: $6 Million+ to participants
- Volunteers: 2,500 total
- Speaker Summits: Attendee & Revenue growth doubled YOY
ONE SPARK START: BERLIN
The "one day" version of One Spark. Led expansion to Berlin, Germany and spent 6 months on the ground working with public/private sectors to secure funding and implement event for 50 startups to showcase and 25,00€ distributed.
Based on a market-need, led vision to create an educational program to better help early-stage founders articulate, develop , package and pitch their idea(s) to raise funding. Over 300 trained and pre/post test results showed 340% increase in applicable knowledge which resulted in a 200%+ increase in funding received at the One Spark Festival.
ONE SPARK VENTURES
Organization of early-stage capital pledges from angel investors and venture capital firms. Led from conception to transition; resulted in over $6 million invested for One Spark Creators.
Co-Founder / Managing Director for KYN
US, Jacksonville, FL // 2013-2014
Led the launch and growth of KYN an accelerator program that works with startups side by side. In the first year, 448 startups applied to the KYN accelerator. Of the 6 accepted, 5 remain active and 2 have fielded acquisition talks. KYN’s 34 mentors held over 80 workshops in under a year's time. Our design and development apprentices have spent over 900 hours on our startups and have developed the skills to have a nearly 100% job placement rate—with the majority staying in the Jacksonville market (part of our original goal).
Co-Founder / Board Member for CoWork Jax
US, Jacksonville, FL // 2011 - Present
Founded using design-thinking principles to provide a place for entrepreneurs, freelancers, creatives and service providers to collaborate, conspire and build new things. Led the creation of the company from idea through fundraising and succession planning of myself as the CEO. CoWork Jax has served thousands of members and has become a catalyst for the entrepreneurial movement in downtown Jacksonville.
Other Experience during the past 10 yrs
Director, Marketing & Corporate Sales for Interline Brands
US, Jacksonville, FL // 2005 - 2010
$350M+ in marketing accountability, grew EBITDA for areas of responsibility by 27%; only profitable division during housing recession. Developed and led special projects including: customer & community response program (disaster response), Central American expansion (from $0 to $15 million in sales) and participated in M&A diligence for deals between $50 and $350 million.
Business Advisory Board Member for UNF Enactus (SIFE)
US, Jacksonville, FL // 2006 - 2012
Managing Director for Solar Energy Initiatives, Inc.
US, Jacksonville, FL // 2004 - 2005
General Manager for T. Mak's International
US, Jacksonville, FL // 2004 - 2005
Director, Call Center Operations for Top Driver, Inc.
US, Jacksonville, FL // 2001 - 2002
Startup Weekend - Mentor/Judge/Speaker
Startup Week - Speaker/Organizer
Y.E.C. - Member
Social Media Week Berlin - Advisor
FastPitch Jacksonville - Founder/Advisor/Speaker
Up Global (Startup America) - Community Leader
RenaissanceJAX - Advisor
Enactus (formely SIFE) - Business Advisory Board Member
Startup JAX - Member, Speake
related publications/ engagements
2016 Keynote Speaker for Longmont Startup Week
2016 Keynote Speaker for Tallahassee Startup Week
2015 TEDx Speaker for TEDXFrankfurt
2015 How Your Startup Can Win Big..., Inc. Magazine
2015 Crowdfunding Festival Creating a Startup City, Forbes
2015 Featured Panelist for Orlandoix
2015 Interview w/ Jack Welch, One Spark Speaker Summit
2014 Featured Speaker, re:publica (Berlin Germany)
2014 How Entrepreneurs Avoid Downfall featured in Forbes
2014 Featured Panelist for Geekend
2013 Crowdfunding a New Urban Identity, URBANLAND Magazine
2012, 2013 Featured Speaker, Global Coworking Conference/Unconference
2013 Keynote Speaker, Taylor Leadership Institute University of North Florida
Bachelor of Science in Management & Marketing
College of Business
University of North Florida
Public & Private Sector References Available Upon Request