Esalen Ventures has a broad network of technical advisors who help us to evaluate potential investments. They are vital in the Due Diligence process and play an important role in our extended team. They have experience in a variety of different sectors and bring that expertise to bear on behalf of those we invest in.
I invest in people. Some of those people are in early stage opportunities, because higher risk equals higher reward. Some are later stage, where a payout is simply more likely. Some have been in the business a lot longer than I have, and have started or joined funds - once I am sure I can trust them, I know enough to let them do what they do.
All of those people have something I have found to be vital to success - call it drive, commitment, the ability to attract talent and other funding, and/or an understanding that without a compounding advantage, the chances of success are slim. I know people, and when I find ones that have these attributes, I invest.
Advertising and Technology are in my background, with over 25 years of experience in Global Brand Management, Emerging Media, Disruptive Ad Tech and Mobile-Video-Social Platforms with network effects. I have a proven track record of growing new, pioneering products to scalable and profitable businesses by assembling best-in-class teams, setting clear and transparent operational and GTM strategies, and building successful partnerships.
I know I don’t know it all. I know what it’s like to be on a team with a great idea that simply failed. But I also know what it takes to have 2 stellar IPO’s and 2 fruitful M&A’S >$1B in stakeholder returns. I like what I do. I invest in people.
I specialize in building product businesses by leveraging high growth, new frontier technologies such as AI, ML, AR, IoT, blockchain, drones, et. al.
I’ve worked 35 years in tech, including 7 tech startups (3x exits, 2x ongoing, 2x founder, 2x CEO, 3x 5,000% growth), and have corporate management experience from Microsoft, IBM, Lotus, and Procter & Gamble. I have very intentionally worked cross-functionally in Engineering, Sales, Professional Services, and Marketing in numerous industries from manufacturing to finance to transportation to consumer goods.
I have over 20 years of experience working on B2B/B2C traditional and new media launches. This has equipped me with a unique blend of sales tenacity, business development acumen and adaptability to a multitude of industry verticals.
My collective experience is enhanced by a broad composite of additional new business experience and skillsets.
By working predominantly on a contractual/independent basis I strive to be a holistic collaborator and supportive team player.
I have spent the last 12 years working on Indigenous and minority economic development issues around the world. Prior to founding Big Blue Sky, I was Vice President, International for NANA Development Corporation, a $2.5B Alaska Native company with mining, oil, gas, engineering, construction, government contracting and hospitality development operations in 12 countries and 5 continents.
My noted expertise in supplier diversity has helped companies such as Apple, Cisco, AT&T, and the U.S. federal government to develop sustainable diverse supplier programs. In past lives I also founded several Silicon Valley start-ups, three of which became successful public companies. I either led or was a key member of the teams that launched the IBM PC, the Palm Pilot, the Intel Pentium Processor, Adobe Acrobat and Amazon.com. My values are paramount - I believe that by enabling access for everyone, the world’s economy can only move forward.
Senior Brand Strategist + Creative Director
I am grateful for having had the chance to live, work and be inspired in such vibrant centers of creativity as Sydney, London, New York, Tokyo, San Francisco and Moscow (yes, that Moscow). I have crafted insights and helped create award-winning work for some of the most iconic and successful brands on the planet - AAA, Charles Schwab, The Gap - and for challenger brands such as Salesforce, fin-tech innovator iShares, and renewables leader, SunPower. I have led teams of between 4 and 40 all around the world, I have run immersion and longitudinal research for Netflix in Japan, instigated and implemented complete rebrands, undertaken a 20,000 item brand audit, and was selected by Andreessen Horowitz as a branding resource for a16z’s portfolio of start-ups and established-growth companies.
Throughout a career on both the agency and client side, I bring to the table experience in multiple categories - from software to solar, banks to beverages, non-profit to new-tech, and from computers to counties and countries. I sharpened my entrepreneurial skills while co-founding and running Ozone, a design, strategy and advertising firm in North Beach, for 13 years. I help founders tell their brand story in ways that are compelling and enduring.
Creative Director +
I am a seasoned and skilled creative director and designer with over 20 years of experience. I have helped tell stories visually for companies at all levels of development - from startups to multinationals. I seek to solve complex problems with elegant design solutions that provide invaluable insight, assets, and results.
Beyond a comprehensive knowledge of art and design, I also strive to hone a keen sense of trends, and how to stay ahead of them. At a time when too many solutions seem to require cramming in too many elements, leading to confusion, I have found it very valuable to instead create a Zen-like clean, simple, and clear visual representation of ideas.
It is my goal to always play at the vision level while continuing to find innovative pathways to communicate the story of place and identity for each brand.