Dave is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of business planning, capital raising, and new venture development.
Over the past decade, Dave has guest lectured at top universities, developed over 100 business plans, and has written hundreds of articles on entrepreneurship, business planning and capital-raising. He is also the author of Start At The End: How Companies Can Grow Bigger and Faster By Reversing Their Business Plan, published by Wiley in November 2012.
You can read some of Dave's articles on his blog and in Growthink's Business Plan Writing Help Center. On his blog you can also listen to numerous interviews that Dave has conducted with prominent venture capitalists such as Guy Kawasaki and Brad Feld, and prominent angel investors like John Morris, former Chairman of Tech Coast Angels, the largest angel investor network in the country.
Dave also launched and runs Growthink University, which is the leading community for entrepreneurs and business owners to learn how to raise capital. Members of Growthink University have access to all the insider capital raising secrets that Dave has developed over the past decade.
Dave walks the talk. He is a successful serial entrepreneur, having started and exited multiple Internet and product-focused ventures, including Emerge Juice and Nutrition Systems - a wellness products developer and distributor; Shoutmouth - a niche music -focused social networking site; Z Reporter LLC - owner of over 3,000 niche-focused information websites; and TopPayingKeywords - a Search Engine Marketing & Optimization research data firm.
Dave is a past board member of the Los Angeles Regional Technology Alliance and a winner of the Anderson School at UCLA's Knapp New Venture Competition.
As a co-founder of Growthink, Dave has managed more than 150 client engagements across all of Growthink's practice areas. He particularly enjoys helping early stage companies prepare for significant growth as he has done with Dakim, Sandel Medical, XCom Wireless and numerous other businesses. Dave also conducted the market research and wrote the initial business plan for KeySpan Energy Services, now part of National Grid, which grew from zero to over $1 billion in revenues in less than three years.
Prior to Growthink, Dave gained professional management consulting, marketing consulting and market research experience with FIND/SVP (now Guideline), BPA International and The NPD Group.
Dave has an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA and earned his Bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia. He lives in New York with his wife and two children.
“Growthink helps entrepreneurs take big, bold dreams and put them into action.”
As a Senior Consultant, Ishan Jetley operates within the managerial consulting and investment banking initiatives at Growthink. Prior to Growthink, he was a Business Development Associate at Revolution Capital Group, a Los Angeles based private equity firm where he helped source and analyze a range of private investment deals. He has also worked at The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in Singapore where he assisted in the trading of sovereign credit, corporate bonds and corporate default swaps. Prior to that, he worked at the Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) department at Standard Chartered Bank, where he helped formulate the bank’s China launch strategy.
Ishan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business from the University of Southern California. He is an alumnus of the United World College SEA, Singapore and is currently pursuing his CFA accreditation. He has lived in India & Singapore, and is fluent in both Hindi and English.
"The ideas and innovation we encounter daily at Growthink are not only interesting but also inspiring. Working with and assisting entrepreneurs provides a unique and challenging experience - you never know what you're going to get. It truly is exciting and rewarding work!"
"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." ~1997 "Think Different" ad campaign for Apple Computers
As a Senior Consultant, Derek Kato helps entrepreneurs succeed by developing their business plans, growth strategies, and financial models.
Prior to joining Growthink, Derek spent two years traveling and teaching in Asia. Before this, he worked for an investment supervision firm providing due diligence on fund managers and economic analysis for ultra high net worth individuals. Derek brings to Growthink a deep understanding of the mechanics of funds, asset allocation and portfolio management. Derek also worked as a credit analyst intern for Mid-Peninsula Bank in Palo Alto, where he analyzed financial statements, provided loan profitability analysis, and priced loans.
Derek graduated from Santa Clara University with Honors, and holds degrees in Finance and Economics.
The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes. – Benjamin Disraeli
Russ Keller, a Growthink Business Consultant, has a dynamic and long background in sales, marketing, management and client relations. Russ’ expertise is centered on companies in “growth phases”; whereby strategic consulting, partnering and business development is aimed at specific endeavors to break revenue plateaus. Russ has worked as a facilitator at the Litigation Advisory Board, an industry think tank that provides leadership and guidance for business development within the legal community. There, he gained the trust and confidence of company’s ranging from small and emerging to the likes of Samsung, Kawasaki, Nike, and Boeing by focusing on the client’s true vision and future business strategies. He proved himself as a highly regarded colleague by his loyalty, honesty, integrity, and deep industry insight. His consulting, advising, and instructing business owners and entrepreneurs on creative sales and marketing tactics resulted in a track record of aligning strategically placed partnerships that help drive company growth and revenue.
Russ has worked with companies at varying stages; from investor backed development stage to largely held and publicly traded companies, under a wide list of industry verticals including but not limited to Healthcare, Defense, Utilities, Litigation Support, Intellectual Property, Alternative Energy, Oil and Gas, Finance, Information Technology, and Legal.
Russ is an alumnus of Washington State University where he obtained his degree in Political Science with a minor in English. Interests and activities include snowboarding, basketball, yoga, and the beaches of Southern California.
Pete Kennedy brings to Growthink expertise in direct-response copywriting, online advertising, search engine optimization (SEO) and email marketing.
At Growthink, Pete advises clients on marketing strategy. He also leads Growthink's overall marketing strategy and manages Growthink's strategic partnerships.
Before joining Growthink, Pete was a professional drummer, recording albums and performing live shows with various groups in Boston and New York City.
Pete earned his bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard University.
Pete lives in San Francisco with his wife and son.
“Growth is tough. At some point every company needs help breaking through to the next level. The Growthink team is driven by an unbridled entrepreneurial spirit to help our clients achieve the success they envision."
Franklin Kisberg brings to Growthink a 20 year record of entrepreneurial achievement building shareholder value in start-ups and under-performing companies across a wide range of industries including communications, healthcare, technology, and marketing services.
Frank has a demonstrated history of delivering results for entrepreneurial ventures and emerging businesses looking to make their mark, as well as Fortune 500 enterprises refocusing their product and service offerings to more effectively compete for increased market share.
His past clients and business partnerships include Samsung, AT&T, Comcast, Cablevision, Novartis, DermDx Centers for Dermatology, Professional Anesthesia Consultants, BigVault Data Storage, Primedia, and Times Mirror, among others.
He is a graduate of New York University with BA Economics and lives with his wife in Dallas, Texas.
"My willingness to fail gives me the ability to succeed." Vinod Khosla
As a business consultant for Growthink, Richard works with entrepreneurs, business owners and managers on a variety of strategic, operational and growth objectives. He brings to the team an extensive background in entrepreneurship with specific experience in business modeling, strategy, business development and fundraising.
Prior to joining Growthink, Richard worked in business sales and acquisitions where he valued, marketed and negotiated the sales of small to medium sized businesses. Richard has led more than 200 client engagements across various industries including manufacturing, distribution, construction, technology, retailing, entertainment and hospitality. He has also worked with numerous internet start-ups and has won several business plan competitions for patented technologies in the biomedical, energy and hi-tech spaces.
Richard received an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and is currently active in the Los Angeles tech and start-up communities.
Per brings 13+ years of operating experience in emerging and mid-market growth companies as a principal and consultant to his role at Growthink. With the company since 2005, he is responsible for maximizing the client experience and the overall delivery quality of all engagements, which have numbered 1,250 since his arrival. The company’s Business Planning, Market Research, and Emerging Company Investment Banking Groups all fall under Per’s domain. In his 5+ years with the firm he has also worked directly with over 120 clients to develop business models, create financing and restructuring strategies, refine operational structure, and raise capital.
Prior to Growthink he was with QuantumShift (funded by Mayfield, Thomas Weisel Partners, and TPG) where he led operations strategy engagements focusing on telecommunications and cost-containment. Engagement clients included Micromuse, Del Monte, Critical Path, Scient, Sanrio, and Business Objects.
Per’s experience also includes founding companies in outsourced municipal services, online publishing and content aggregation, and web services.
Per earned his MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and his B.S. in Natural Resource Management from Cornell University. While at Ross, he was a member of the Wolverine Fund, where seed investments he led in medical devices and nanotechnology have subsequently raised over $75 million in additional funding and are on track for significant exits. In his 'spare' time, Per has also found himself playing professional football in Europe, attempting tango and sitting on non-profit boards.
Over the past 16 years, Chris has led the successful development of multiple new hardware and software products, analyzing markets, creating new product concepts, and presenting business cases.
Chris worked with leading technology companies such as Verizon, Motorola, Cingular, Nokia, and China Unicom to design, build, and launch compelling new hardware and software products. Chris also provided technical consulting services to a wide variety of organizations ranging from small sole proprietorships to Fortune 500 companies to various US government departments.
At Growthink, Chris has led engagements for companies in the green/sustainability market, e-commerce and social networking, and technology, providing analysis and recommendations on product design and development, project management, marketing, and operations.
Chris has an MBA from the Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon and earned his Bachelor's degree in Geology from Carleton College.
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” – T.S. Eliot
Bringing with her seven years of experience in event coordination, Maria Mariscal plays a multi-dimensional role at Growthink, responsible for business development, marketing analysis and event planning.
Most recently, Maria was as an event and travel coordinator for JT Foxx Organization. Here, she was responsible for all aspects of event planning, including, event staffing, budget, timelines, set-up and scheduling. She was also responsible for various travel arrangements and logistics related to special events.
Maria began her career as an executive assistant with Pro Imaging Services where she honed her administrative skills, specifically her communication and computer skills. During her time with the company, she also efficiently managed her executive’s travel arrangements and day-to-day schedules.
Maria also has five years of hospitality experience as a lead server and bartender for Stone Brewing Company, where she was instrumental in driving sales and managing the server staff.
Maria is fluent in Spanish and prides herself in her leadership, problem-solving and crisis management skills.
Maria earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of California, San Diego.
Mr. Martinez is responsible for corporate finance, debt restructuring, M&A and capital placement for investment banking clients across the Alternative Energy, Technology, Telecom, Entertainment, Media and Broadband Communications sectors. Mr. Martinez brings a unique combination of F100 corporate operating and investment banking experience to client engagements. Martinez has been Managing Director of Intellectual Capital Associates since 1999. He is a graduate of Georgia State University School of Business Administration.
Mr. Martinez has executive management experience within large public companies, including President of AT&T Consumer Services Florida; COO of US Communications, a nationwide wireless MVNO; Director of Business Development- Sprint; and Managing Director of Wireless Communications- Computer Sciences Corporation. Martinez also serves as Senior Advisor to Ion-Partners, an investment banking firm in New York.
Mr. Martinez has served on the following boards: St Thomas University, Board of Directors; Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Board of Governors; Florida Council of 100, Board of Directors; Florida Take Stock in Children, Board of Directors; Greater Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Executive Committee; Atlanta High Museum of Art, Board of Directors.
"I really value the role that entrepreneurs play in building a growing, sustainable economy. It is the entrepreneurs who bring innovation to fruition. Growthink plays a key role in working with entrepreneurs to support, guide and help them realize their potential as viable businesses. Growthink understands how best to work with start-ups and provide valuable business tools as they develop past the initial phases of their business. I believe in investing in the future through involvement with companies like Growthink."
As a member of Growthink’s Strategic Board of Advisors, Linda Mayer brings a rich background of leading companies to transform business and organizational structures. Linda has been transforming organizations to improve business results for over 25 years. With her unique ability to understand consumer behavior, she develops strategic plans to drive and meet demand. Demonstrating success in both privately and publicly held companies in consumer, industrial, and OEM products, she is consistently sought after to transform organizations.
Most recently, Linda served as the Vice President and General Manager for Global Marketing and Product Management of Genie, a $2.1 billion (2008) division of TEREX. In that capacity, she restructured the global leadership of the division and implemented an inventory management system and promotional incentives that reduced finished goods inventory 65% and maintained positive cash flow during the economic downturn. Linda has also held executive level positions with well-regarded brands such as Moen, John Deere, Rexnord Industries, Brilliant Imaging and Kohler.
Linda’s career began as an International Economist with the U.S. Treasury Department. She earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where she authored a manual on starting and operating a business. She also holds a Masters of Art from Johns Hopkins University in advanced international studies and a Bachelors degree from Stanford University.
Linda has served on numerous corporate boards including CTP Products, a division of MTD, Connor Sport Court International, and Ann Sacks Tile and Stone. In addition, she served on the board of Kids In Need, a Cleveland, Ohio based non-profit and has been an active volunteer of Agros International.
Mark McAnallen brings 15+ years of sales and marketing executive experience in medical device, diagnostics, biotechnology, and medical services.
Mark has achieved proven success in leading sales and marketing teams to produce exceptional top and bottom line growth and to increase ROI by:
- Bringing to bear extensive industry experience, market knowledge, and actionable strategic insight
Mark's clients have included:
- Smaller medical device companies acquired by Medtronic, Cardinal Health, Boston Scientific, and McKesson
When Mark is not working, you can find him practicing yoga by the Queen Mary, volunteering in Skid Row, hiking in the Los Angeles National Park, rock climbing in Krabi, or eating his way to the far corners of the world.
Mark graduated with majors in Economics and Psychology, with distinction, from Cornell University, and he earned his MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
"What makes us great at what we do, and what makes working at Growthink exciting, is that we're always looking towards the future; we're on the edge of the newest technologies and marketing practices; we utilize new opportunities instead of hiding from them. We embrace what's coming next instead of bracing for impact. At Growthink we're aware of the constant uncertainty of entrepreneurship and we have the 'negative capability' necessary to love that very aspect of it. The joy is in the countless possibilities."
Ross Meador is a lawyer, entrepreneur, investor, teacher and philanthropist.
Now an internationally recognized authority on business and law, Mr. Meador’s career began in Vietnam in 1974 when he went alone to Saigon to open the wartime office for a child welfare organization, FCVN. The story of his evacuation from the roof of the American Embassy in Saigon has been told in several books and screenplays, and his organization has been nominated twice for the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Mr. Meador has practiced with leading law firms in the US, Korea, Indonesia and Vietnam. He spent 13 years with Morrison & Foerster and until recently was a partner at Preston Gates & Ellis (the firm founded by Bill Gates Sr.). He is currently the Managing Partner of Meador & Engle in Anaheim Hills, California, and Counsel to Kirin Law International in San Francisco and Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.
Mr. Meador’s practice is focused on the legal issues faced by technology entrepreneurs, their companies and the organizations that finance them. On the investor side, Ross has closed deals for well known Silicon Valley and East Coast venture capital and private equity investors. On the company side, Ross has led financing and corporate transactions for many companies, from startup to large multinationals.
Mr. Meador graduated from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. He serves as Advisor Emeritus to the Executive Committee of the International Law Section at the California Bar Association, and formerly served as Vice Chair of the US Vietnam Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Legal Services Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea and President of the Korean American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco. Mr. Meador is listed in Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in the World.
Serving as Growthink's Finance Manager, Rocio Melgar has a background working with C-Level executives in residential real estate and the automotive industry. Most recently she was a member of the executive administrative team at Keller William Coastal properties, where she was engaged in many special projects related to maintaining and improving daily operations and customer service.
Rocio earned her bachelors degree in Spanish Translation Studies from California State University Long Beach.
After a successful internship with Growthink, Jonah officially joined the team in 2012 as a senior consultant. As a member of the Senior Business Analyst division, Jonah is responsible for conducting market research, building financial models, developing growth initiatives and preparing investment-ready business plans.
Prior to joining Growthink, Jonah spent time working in production development for film companies located in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Here, he honed his skills for creating strategic marketing plans that resonated with the target consumer.
Jonah also spent two years as a manager for the UCLA Fund, UCLA's largest fundraising body, where his responsibilities included implementing fundraising campaigns, allocating contributions for specific programs and majors and supervising a 90-person fundraising team.
In addition to his extensive coursework in Economics and Finance, Jonah has a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Los Angeles, California.
Lee Muhl focuses on the Internet-delivery of digital media entertainment and informative content, usually in a launch or early-stage growth and financing scenario. Earlier in his career, Lee was a Los Angeles transactional media attorney and media funding specialist. Between 2000 and 2010, he took sabbaticals from advisory practice, joining the management ranks, in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, where he co-founded and arranged funding for several start-ups, each of which achieved seed/bridge/institutional funding ranging from several hundred thousand up to five million dollars. Since first joining Growthink in 2006, Lee has also worked across a wide spectrum of sectors and industries. Areas of focus include: digital media/new media; Internet and mobile platforms (Internet television, streaming media, mobile app development and testing, etc.); traditional entertainment (film, TV and music production, financing and distribution); online and mobile gaming; and eLearning. To date, Lee has overseen the successful conclusion of well over 100 Growthink engagements for market studies, business and funding plans and sophisticated financial models.
In addition to his work in the media industry, Lee is a primary advisory resource for Growthink on Reg. D Private Placements and similar offerings of equity, debt-equity and debt securities. Lee has structured more than 30 PPMs, or offerings, for entrepreneurs and investment funds in media, in energy (oil and gas, solar, wind, biomass, biodiesel, petroleum alternatives, plasma arc gasification, etc.), in real estate (residential developments, hotel-hospitality, multi-family, commercial, urban redevelopment, government-subsidized, assisted-living, distressed property, etc.); and for a variety of consumer products (involving e-commerce, ad-marketing solutions, brick-and-mortar crossovers, etc.).
Lee received his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law, where he also served as Chief Comment Editor of the UCLA Law Review. He has served as a partner in two prominent L.A. media law firms, as a senior agent at the world’s largest talent agency, and as a senior management executive in four startups. Lee is a published author, the executive producer of two feature films, a member of the California State Bar, a member of the Writers Guild of America, and has recently filed for a patent on proprietary Internet IP he co-created.
“The career growth I’ve experienced during my tenure here at Growthink is a true testament to the firm’s mission. In this creative environment, I am continually challenged to grow and expand the breadth and depth of services and products I offer our diverse clientele. We are each in our own way, participants in a personal level of ascension - leading us to greater career achievements.”
Bringing with her two decades of entrepreneurial and business experience, Kristin plays the integral role of managing Growthink client inquiries and identifying client objectives.
Kristin formerly worked in the pharmaceutical industry, specifically in sales for patient recruitment in clinical trials. She was instrumental in targeting the key industry players including Merck, Astra Zeneca and Sanofi-Aventis. Kristin had transitioned from McAfee Security Solutions where she sold software licenses, products and services.
Kristin began her career in the film and television industry, where she took on various roles including project management, graphic design, advertising and sales. During her tenure within this field, she worked on many high-level motion picture projects for Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney and Universal Studios. Kristin then went on to launch two of her own companies: Tall Girl Creative Representation served as a talent agency representing graphic designers, illustrators and copywriters and Deep Read, a screenplay development agency helped writers edit and develop content for motion picture production companies.
Kristin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Buffalo and a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Temple University.
“Success is not the reverse of failure; it is the scorn of failure. Always dare to fail; never fail to dare.”
After completing a successful internship with Growthink, Sam Park joined the Growthink team as an Engagement Manager in 2013. As an Engagement Manager, Sam is responsible for helping entrepreneurs succeed throughout their entrepreneurial journey through growth strategies, opportunity assessments, financial models, investor-ready strategic business plans and market research.
Prior to joining Growthink, Sam interned for Epic Media Group, a global digital marketing solutions provider that offers advertising services, brand building and performance-based customer acquisition solutions. At Epic, Sam was responsible for creating daily account performance reports, research PowerPoint projects and creating target demographic and vertical profiles on behalf of the company’s lead account manager.
Sam has also served as an Administrative Assistant for two years at McBreen & Senior, a law firm representing foreign and domestic corporate clients in matters involving commercial and tort litigation and appellate work, employment law issues, products and premises liability, and aviation and insurance law. At McBreen & Senior, Sam was responsible for preparing and indexing legal motions, discoveries and pleadings with supreme, superior and district courts for 50 active cases.
In addition to his extensive course work in economics and management, Sam has a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in English at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Katie has a strong background in public relations and marketing. As both an assisant and a free-lance publicist, she has represented various individuals and companies in media, and has conducted PR campaigns to promote products and events. Her experience in marketing includes developing and implementing social media campaigns, managing mailing lists, and increasing website traffic.
As Growthink’s Customer Relations Manager, she will work closely with the customer service team to ensure customer satisfaction, communicate with prospective product buyers, and welcome new customers.
Katie earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Business from New York University.
"Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
Stacey Polychronis provides administrative, compliance, recruiting, and event planning support to Growthink principals and to clients of the firm.
Stacey has extensive administrative and project management experience across a range of industries including University Education, Wealth Management, Real Estate, and Corporate Training.
Stacey graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and a Minor in Business Administration.
She currently lives and works in beautiful Park City, Utah.
“I’m proud to be invited to join Growthink’s Board of Advisors. I’ve been associated with entrepreneurs for most of my career from both an academic and a practical viewpoint. Entrepreneurs have drive and a will to succeed that captures your imagination. Growthink is both an entrepreneurially driven company as well as one that assists other entrepreneurs in realizing their dreams. It’s an exciting opportunity for me to see entrepreneurship in action while enabling me to be a contributor to Growthink’s promising future.”
As a member of Growthink’s Strategic Board of Advisors, Al Portnoy brings a significant background in operations, finance, investment management, investment banking and entrepreneurship. He has served as an executive in finance and operating roles for over twenty years. Some of his notable roles include past Director of Taco Bell; Chief Operating Officer of Kayne Anderson Investment Management; Executive Vice President-Finance for Shappell Industries, a publicly-held, Southern California residential homebuilder; and Chief Operating Officer for HS Group, a publicly-held operator of premium winegrape vineyards located on the Central Coast of California.
Al’s volunteer activities include serving as past President of SCORE - Los Angeles, a national organization, which assists start-ups and early-stage companies and mentoring graduate students at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and the USC Marshall School of Business interested in entrepreneurship.
Al is a Chartered Financial Analyst and holds a BBA from Baruch School of Business and has attended the Columbia Graduate School of Business and Loyola Law School.