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.
"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." - Maya Angelou
As an Engagement Manager for Growthink, Jean is responsible for client relationship management, performing strategy analyses, financial modeling, and writing and preparing business plan and investment offering presentations. Her focus and mission, as with Growthink as a whole, is to help entrepreneurs succeed in their business endeavors.
Notable engagements include:
• Growth strategy and investor packaging for established luxury beauty and products company pursuing additional distribution channels and expansion into the US Market
• Growth planning, investor packaging and investment banking for an industry leader in the online flooring space
• Expansion strategy and operational planning for serial entrepreneurs of online education startup with high profile advisory board
• Growth planning, operational efficiency advisory and marketing plan development for innovative online HR platform
• Launch strategy and business planning for private online marketplace for packaged food brands
• Investor packaging and financing advisory for UK-based luxury goods marketplace targeting the Ultra High Net Worth.
Prior to joining Growthink, Jean had over 10 years of experience in client relations and business management for newly-formed entities, as well as fully established businesses in a wide range of industries - including serving as the Director of Operations for AGOGO Amalgamated, Inc., a startup venture in app-development, Gordon & Gordon, LLP, a public accounting firm with over 1,000 clients ranging from individuals to large-scale corporations, Main Event Entertainment, Inc., a special event production company in the City of Los Angeles. Moreover, while at UCLA, Jean conducted original data collection as part of her research for the Departmental Honors Program which entailed extensive quantitative and qualitative analyses of Oscar marketing campaigns.
Jean has an extensive background in the business management and consulting of clients in implementing successful operational strategies and specializes in operations and business management, accounting, client relations, full-scale project and event management.
Jean holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology (High Honors and Departmental Honors) from the University of California, Los Angeles.
As a revenue growth executive and strategist, Chris has experience in general management, product innovation, business development, and equity & debt fundraising. Chris began his career as an investment banking analyst at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette where he executed over $4 billion of middle market mergers & acquisitions and financing transactions. After business school, Chris gained buy side experience as an executive at three holding companies. At media holding company Fluid Media, he worked with a small team to complete the LBO rollup of the in-store media industry. The leveraged buyouts of the industry leaders, including Muzak and DMX, helped transform Fluid Media from a private entity with $4 million in revenues into Mood Media, the publicly traded, global in-store media #1 market leader with $500 million in revenues and $120 million in EBITDA.
In addition to deal sourcing and execution, Chris’ responsibilities as an executive at the holding companies included creating, staffing, and leading subsidiary companies to target specific market opportunities and working with the management teams of acquired companies to boost revenue growth and to rationalize operations.
In his 10 years of operating experience in Fortune 500, middle market, and early stage environments, Chris has collaborated with engineers to create new products, led 18 product launches, and driven over $800 million in revenue growth in the media, consumer products, technology, and healthcare industries.
Chris has a BA in economics from Columbia University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
"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!"
Growthink's Vice President, Jeff Jones, has an extensive background in corporate finance and financial services, with an emphasis on assisting emerging and middle market companies with debt and growth financing.
During his 10 year tenure at Growthink, Jeff has led more than 300 client engagements spanning industries including IT, healthcare, financial services, mobile, real estate, consumer products, and media/entertainment.
Past and current clients include NEC Corporation, Hooters Restaurants, Wilson Supply (a division of Smith International), The K&D Group, University Chemists, DecisionStep (Buy.com), mobileStorm, Cognitec Systems, NuORDER, PermaCity, Terex Corporation, and a variety of startup and early stage ventures.
Previously Jeff worked at Morgan Stanley, where he assisted in the management of a $300 million individual and institutional investor asset base.
Jeff earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Economics and Accounting from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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.
Per brings 20+ years of operating experience in emerging and mid-market growth companies as a principal and consultant to his role at Growthink. Involved with the company since 2005, he has served as both COO of the firm as well as an Engagement Partner. As one of the company's most senior consultants, Per has worked with innumerable clients to develop winning business models, create financing and go to market 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.
“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite”
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
Stephen is a consultant and entrepreneur with 13 years of experience in private sector and nonprofit ventures. He comes to Growthink from Integreon where he managed the Southern California region for their research division. Before joining Integreon, Stephen worked at Gallup, where he served as a learning and development consultant. There, he helped managers translate organizational behavior research into practical actions that drove business results. He has started and run a consulting firm that focused on strategy, marketing and learning and development needs for nonprofit and early-stage companies in New York. He also founded a nonprofit organization in Los Angeles.
Notable Client Engagements:
· Led a mobile application market scan for a $33B media company, providing key insights to the research and product development team. The analysis supported the go/no-go decision on a branded mobile application for TV viewers
· Helped a retail company grow business by 3x over targeted period, launching new products and supporting multi-store growth
· Supported a purchase process mapping study for a $5B SaaS company. Interviewed 10-15 CTOs to understand buying behavior for SaaS products and customer support plans
Stephen has an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management and a BA from the University of California at San Diego.
Estlin is a Dashboard Developer, specializing in building dashboards that allow clients to better run their organizations.
Estlin earned his Bachelor's degree in History from St. John's University.
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.
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.
Tim Martinez brings to Growthink over fifteen years of experience in helping to build and grow small to mid-sized companies as an analyst, consultant, strategist, and thought leader.
Tim’s range of expertise has helped clients in the areas of business planning, product development, capital raising, market penetration, growth planning, mergers & acquisitions, organizational structuring and business development.
Over the years he has worked across a broad range of industries including Entertainment, Technology, Retail, Advertising, Hospitality, Non-Profits, Consumer Products, Apparel, Finance and Real Estate to name a few. Examples of previous engagements include:
Tim brings his savvy, experience, network, passion, drive and vision to the Growthink team.
"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:
Mark's clients have included:
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.
Since he has been at Growthink, he has designed graphics and websites, coded and maintained sites with server-side and client-side programming, and started advertising campaigns focused on both paid traffic (PPC) and organic traffic (Search Engine Optimization).
He's gained an understanding of search and content network marketing, eCommerce, lead generation, page optimization, customer service/retention strategies, and email marketing.
Kevin earned his bachelor's degree in English and Psychology from the University at Albany.
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.
With over sixteen years experience in business management and development, Shannon serves as an analytical and conceptual thinker who effectively partners with entrepreneurs to assess opportunities, facilitate strategic decisions, and drive implementations. Prior to joining Growthink, Shannon has been instrumental in creating business plans, conducting feasibility analyses, and supporting grant-based initiatives for both national and international organizations. With an extensive background and commitment to community-based work, Shannon is versatile in her approach to serve diverse populations and is committed to providing a personalized approach to each client. Her pledge is to work with them and walk with them through their entrepreneurial journey. In addition to possessing a MBA, MS in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, and MPA, Shannon is currently a doctoral student, where her research focus includes microenterprise, small business development, and community-based entrepreneurship training to facilitate local economic development.
Utilizing a client-centric approach to engagements, Shannon offers the following skill set:
• Aided both private for-profit agencies and public sector nonprofits with organizational planning, grant writing, and strategic management
• Created business plans for funding (debt, equity) and specialty purposes (operational, landlord / tenant, franchise approval, E2/EB5/L1 immigration visas, nonprofit)
• Developed executive summaries and investor decks in support of full business plan
• Assisted clients with preparation and submission of IRS Form 1023 in support of organizational tax-exemption status under Section 501(c)3
• Developed primary market research studies using quantitative and qualitative methods (including surveys, interviews, field studies, focus groups) and data analysis techniques (descriptive, inferential)
• Utilized secondary market research databases (IBIS World, Mintel, ESRI ARCGis, DJX / Factiva, Lexis-Nexis, Progressive Digital Media / Datamonitor) to prepare reports
• Crafted business viability assessments (industry / firm analysis with financial evaluation including profitability, liquidity, and activity ratios)
• Researched and prepared economic impact reports using key indicators (location quotient, employment multipliers, shift share analysis)
Financial Forecasting / Management
• Developed three and five-year pro forma financial projections
• Drafted proposals to secure debt / equity financing and grant funding (USDA VAPG / SBIR / NIH / DoD / DoED grants and foundational proposals)
• Researched, prepared, and maintained 40+ government / foundation / private contracts in support of agency services
• Prepared organizational budgets and historical financial statements
"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.” – Anonymous
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.