Not many founders can say they've maxed out two consecutive crowdfunding raises without any starting budget. We can. And we'll teach you how.
Longtime dreamer and founder with a knack for zero dollar marketing, product innovation, and startup growth. Working with early-stage founders is my happy place.
Light worker, serial entrepreneur, launched 4 cash flow positive companies over 20 years. Passionate about helping founders find strategies for marketing and growth.
But our guests just might. Check out this star-studded list of entrepreneurs that will be joining us for our course.
Brian Brackeen is the Managing Partner of Lightship Capital, an inclusion focussed venture fund servicing underrepresented, early stage businesses. As Managing Partner, Brian is responsible for fund operations and leads the AI development team.
Prior to Lightship, Brian founded the globally recognized Miami based face recognition innovator, Kairos. His leadership saw the company selected by Wall Street Journal as one of the top 25 startups in the country, and drove growth within the company and the face recognition space— positioning Kairos alongside tech giants like Microsoft and Face++ as one of the world’s foremost face recognition software providers. Kairos has processed nearly a billion faces for many of the Fortune 500. Kairos has raised over 17 million dollars from investors. Under Brian’s leadership Kairos took a strong stand against the government use of facial recognition as well as eliminating bias in the datasets.
Prior to founding Kairos, Brian served as a Senior Project Manager for Apple Inc. before moving on from his position as Senior Managing Consultant at IBM. In addition to his work at Kairos, Brian lectures extensively around the world on entrepreneurship, code, digital economy, AI and machine learning— and participates in mentorship programs for organizations like Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code and The School District of Miami.
Howard Marks is the co-founder and CEO at StartEngine, the largest equity crowdfunding platform. Marks founded StartEngine with the mission to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. Marks was the founder and CEO of Acclaim Games, a publisher of online games now part of The Walt Disney Company. Before Acclaim, Marks was the co-founder of Activision Blizzard and Chairman of Activision Studios from 1991 until 1997. As co-founder, former Board Member, and Executive Vice-President of video game giant Activision, he and a partner took control in 1991 and turned the ailing company into the $50B market cap video game industry leader. As a games industry expert, Marks built one of the largest and most successful games studios in the industry selling millions of games.
Marks is the 2015 "Treasure of Los Angeles" recipient awarded for his work to transform Los Angeles into a leading technology city. Marks is also named one of the 500 most influential people in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Marks is a member of Mayor Eric Garcetti's technology council. Marks has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan. He is bilingual and is a triple national of the U.S., United Kingdom, and France.
Digital Niche Agency
Jason Fishman has 10+ years experience as a “New Media Enthusiast”, who genuinely enjoys planning, activating, and managing scalable marketing strategies across the full-spectrum of verticals and goals. He is an expert in digital channels including Search Engines, Social Media Platforms, Programmatic Ad Exchanges, Influencer Networks, Email Automation, Content Marketing, and Partnerships. He has held leadership roles at all sides of the marketing table: Agency, Brand, and Vendor, which explains his ability to structure unique opportunities for DNA clients.
Jason managed the Product Marketing Division of a major Mobile Ad Network who exclusively represented ad inventory for 1,500+ Print Publishers Tablet apps and worked with many Top 100 Advertisers. Leveraging traffic algorithms, Jason now takes this knowledge and applies it to scale brands with effective marketing tactics.
Since launching DNA in 2014, Jason and the team have worked with over 350 brands and deliver industry-leading results across eCommerce, Lead Generation and Digital Funding campaigns. DNA has worked with over 150 Reg CF, Reg A, Reg D, and International Blockchain campaigns that have produced 9-figures in funding.
Kawa advises corporate clients with respect to all securities-related and corporate governance matters, including but not limited to: advising on a transaction’s appropriate offering type; creating investment offering documents and regulatory filings; drafting and revising new and/or existing bylaws, articles of incorporation and other corporate documents such as board minutes and written consents, and providing ongoing legal advice.
His work for clients often entails creating documentation firms need to raise funds from investors, including private placement memoranda, in which, to avoid liability, companies disclose any risks associated with the investment. Kawa has been involved in a number of successful private raises and one public exit, with a combined value totalling more than $300 million.
Kawa holds a bachelor’s degree in business with a minor in finance from Northwood University and a juris doctorate from Florida International University.
Kawa, who grew up in Sweden, enjoys traveling and visiting his family in his Scandinavian homeland, though these days he enjoys the warm breezes and ocean views of his newfound home of Miami.
Tech Stars, Goldman Sachs
Alexa McCulloch has served as a board director of PopCom (Solutions Vending International, Inc) since November 2019. Alexa served as a Board Director and Treasurer of Pacific Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as well as the Independent Director of Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust, a $5 billion British entity where she served as chair of both the Finance and the Risk committees. Previously, she served as Chief Executive Officer and Director of Grandeye Ltd., a UK-based manufacturer of IOT cameras, where she led the successful turnaround and sale to Singapore-based Creative Technology Ltd. (SGX: C76). Ms. McCulloch was a Founding Partner at Circle Health (LON: CIRC), Europe's largest healthcare partnership and leading UK healthcare company.
Ms. McCulloch’s commercial strengths draw from her experiences as an investment banker with Goldman Sachs, and as an aerospace engineer for Hughes Space and Communications and The Aerospace Corporation. Ms. McCulloch holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MS and BS in Aerospace Engineering, and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan. She has served as a mentor and advisor for Techstars since April 2017.