Dave Lavinsky

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.

Jean Jaughn

As an Engagement Manager for Growthink, Jean is responsible for the management of client engagements, including client contact and 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.

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.



Ishan Jetley

Ishan is an Engagement Manager with strong experience managing complex business and strategic planning assignments for a diverse range of early-stage and middle-market growth companies. 

Ishan began his career at Growthink as a Senior Business Analyst after graduating from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Economics with a minor in Business Administration. Since then, he has been involved with over 100 client engagements ranging from pre-revenue start-ups to large middle market companies. Ishan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business from the University of Southern California. He has lived in India & Singapore, and is fluent in both Hindi and English.

Ishan specializes in helping clients operating within the real estate, consumer products, manufacturing, financial services, transportation, logistics and the hospitality industries. Ishan also has very strong work experience helping internet and technology startups with a special emphasis on e-commerce and marketplace models. 


  • Operational expansion strategy development to secure $2 million manufacturing grant from the Massachusetts State Government
  • Management of sell-side process for $6 million paper machinery manufacturing company: Managed development of sell-side packaging and financial analysis, data room and sales process
  • Expansion strategy for a $100 million diamond distributor looking to launch and grow its online direct to consumer business.
  • Expansion and M&A plan for $1.6 million mortgage brokerage looking to undertake a roll-up of smaller players in the industry
  • Initial five year strategic plan for an online real estate portal looking to compete with Zillow, Redfin and others in the very competitive real estate market


Jeff Jones

"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 9 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.

Derek Kato

"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 an Engagement Manager, 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.


Pete Kennedy

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. 



Franklin Kisberg

“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.


Jen Kozakiewicz

Jen joined the Growthink team in January 2014 as a Guiding Metrics Dashboard Developer. She also assists with managing client accounts and sales.

Jen has extensive administrative experience and a strong background in media production.

Jen earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in media Studies from Emerson College.

Alicia LaDuke

Alicia LaDuke is an integral part of Growthink's market research practice, conducting industry, market, and competitive analyses to help entrepreneurs determine their optimal business opportunities.

Prior to joining Growthink, Alicia worked at Kelly Services for 10 years as a market research analyst. In her tenure with the $5 billion company, Alicia provided research support to internal business stakeholders and supported the company’s customer and candidate engagement program initiatives.

Prior to this, she spent eight years with ArvinMeritor, where most recently, she was a business analyst, creating SWOT analyses and benchmarking studies for clients. 

Alicia has a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University and a Bachelor’s of Science from Oakland University.

Chris Larson

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.

Per Larson

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.

Mario Martinez

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.




Linda Mayer

"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

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
  • Building high quality, long term relationships with clients, channel partners, and suppliers alike
  • Developing solutions that meet tacit and explicit customer needs
  • Enabling rapid client adoption of products and services by removing organizational roadblocks


Mark's clients have included:


  • Smaller medical device companies acquired by Medtronic, Cardinal Health, Boston Scientific, and McKesson 
  • Diverse product lines from Class I (single-use devices) to Class III devices (hip implants and pace-makers)
  • Companies from all stages of revenues from startups to multinationals


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.

Kevin McGinn

"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.

Kevin fell in love with web technologies when he was just barely a teenager.  He mastered HTML before he entered high school and continued picking up skills in CSS, Javascript, and PHP throughout college.  By the time he started at Growthink he had a strong set of technological skills for creating and updating web pages.

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

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.

Alex Miller

Alexander works within Guiding Metrics as a Dashboard Developer, who specializes in building dashboards that allow clients to run their organizations with greater efficiency.

Prior to working with Growthink he obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Relations, summa cum laude, from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. While at school he helped start up its first student-run advertising firm to generate revenue for the university's media organizations.

Alexa Mogavero

Alexa servers as an Engagement Partner at Growthink.  She has a strong background in marketing and account management and has worked with several agencies based in Los Angeles.  

Alexa completed her undergraduate degree, majoring in Advertising/ Public Relations at Pennsylvania State University. She attained her MBA with a concentration in International Business at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business. Alexa has a strong international background, having studied abroad in China, Australia, and Switzerland. She loves to travel and has been to over 75 countries. 

Samuel Park

“Success is not the reverse of failure; it is the scorn of failure. Always dare to fail; never fail to dare.”

As a Growthink 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. As of early 2014, Sam has successfully completed over 100 engagements.

Notable projects include:


  • Strategic planning for a middle-market IT consulting firm that successfully raised over $250K in the first phase of capital raise
  • Location-based market assessment on specific rollout countries for a olive oil manufacturing startup 
  • In-depth primary market research and strategic analysis on expansion strategy for a multi-million urgent care center based out of New York


Prior to joining Growthink, Sam worked 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 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 Perratore

Katie has a strong background in public relations and marketing. As both an assistant 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.

Stacey Polychronis

"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.

Al Portnoy

“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.