How We're Different
We’re a unique, world-class cadre of Silicon Valley natives with deep entrepreneurial experience and a long history working with G1000 CEOs on strategy and innovation.
We bring a broad set of expertise to your team — entrepreneurs in residence, growth experts, product developers and technology architects, customer development specialists, UX/UI/Prototyping junkies, C-suite whisperers, VCs in residence, and marketers that love storytelling and design.
We act as co-founders in the ventures you launch with us, driven by a shared passion to solve customer pain.
It’s fun, intense, full of joy, uncertainty, hard work, long days, — with beautiful moments of clarity and a shared mission.
Most of all, being in the trenches together, we form amazing lifelong bonds and friendships that carry us forward.
CEO and FOUNDER
Linda is a seasoned CEO with over 20 years of experience creating global strategy and driving innovation. As a native of the Silicon Valley, with an extensive network developed over 30 years, she has served as a bridge between the Silicon Valley and the Global 1000 her entire career.
Linda spent a decade as a member of the Board of Directors for NYSE-traded Sybase Inc. (now SAP) and has been a board member and advisor to many entrepreneurs and private companies.
Linda was founding CEO of Strategos – a leading international strategy consulting firm she co-founded with business guru Gary Hamel, helping G1000 global clients innovate in fundamentally new ways by “Bringing the Silicon Valley Inside.”
Linda spent six years with the Mac Group/ Gemini where she was Head of the San Francisco office, co-head of the High Tech practice on the West Coast and, later, Europe (London and Amsterdam). She spent two years at Smith Barney in corporate finance and M&A and has extensive global experience having worked in / traveled to over 50 countries.
Linda is a Henry Crown Fellow with the Aspen Institute. She holds a BA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and an MA in International Relations and Comparative Politics from Stanford University.
President and FOUNDER
Jason has over 20 years of international business experience as a corporate executive and venture capitalist. Jason most recently completed a ten year career with SAP as a member of the company’s global senior leadership team, managing an 800 person innovation organization across 32 countries.
As Executive Vice President and Head of Global Research at SAP, Jason ran the global R&D and innovation unit of SAP. His group explored emerging IT trends and transformed applied research into tangible prototypes, customer pilots and game-changing solutions.
Previously, Jason was head of SAP’s Global Business Incubator, which he proposed, designed, and established in 2008. The Incubator built new lines of business and launched internal startups from idea through to commercialization. He also served as Vice President of the Corporate Strategy Group and created and ran the M&A Strategy Group.
Jason spent a decade in venture capital first at Patricof & Co. (now Apax Partners) and later as a general partner at Technology Partners. Jason was a management consultant with the MAC Group / Gemini Consulting and has held product management and business development positions at several Silicon Valley technology companies including InfoSeek, Raychem and Sun Microsystems.
Jason Yotopoulos holds a BS in Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
CMO and FOUNDER
Brad Sharek has over 25 years of experience helping Silicon Valley technology startups bring innovative products and services to market. Brad's work includes the design of world-class corporate ID, UI/UX, mobile app development, product management, startup fundraising pitch development and digital marketing strategy.
As a partner at Strategos, Brad served as the business and technical architect for a suite of Internet-enabled tools for G1000 clients. Brad designed and delivered innovation management, group brainstorming, distance learning and community building solutions that enhanced the client experience.
As co-founder and CEO of abeama, Brad raised $2M of venture funding and led the development of one of the first mobile marketing platforms.
In addition to abeama, Brad was a key contributor at several successful Silicon Valley startups: Excelan (first company to commercialize the TCP/IP protocol stack across all major OS platforms, product line led to acquisition by Novell for $200M); CE Software (beat Microsoft in the Mac email market with a 70% market share); Starfish Software (connected devices and software — helped drive sale to Motorola for $300M); Codenomicon (world-class, Finnish networking software and protocol security company).
Brad attended UC Berkeley and holds a BS in Business Economics from UC Santa Barbara.
CFO and FOUNDER
Since 2002, Russ Lampert has provided financial consulting and management services to early stage high-tech companies in Silicon Valley while also managing private equity funded mining and real estate investments in the western U.S.
Russ has been the key finance and operations executive for several venture-backed startups.
Russ was CFO of Aurigin Systems, an intellectual property management software developer. Aurigin Systems was acquired by Information Holdings Inc. in 2002. From 1991 through 1996, Russ was the Director of Finance and Administration at Pure Software – one of the top two IPOs of its era.
Before working with high-tech companies, Russ was a CPA with Deloitte & Touche. Early in his career, Russ managed mining and petroleum exploration ventures in Canada.
Russ holds a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Alberta and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
Chief INNOVATION OFFICER
Drew has more than 25 years of software startup experience as a strategy, product management and marketing executive.
Since 2001, he been an investor and advisor to early-stage technology ventures, including Mainframe 2, Eucalyptus, Framehawk, AppCentral and Readyforce. Drew was also an early investor in insurance software provider Guidewire (NYSE:GWRE) and revenue management vendor Model N (NYSE:MODN).
Previously, Drew was with Ariba, where as VP of Product Management he managed a team of 35 product managers across five product lines with annual revenues of $500m. Later, as VP of Corporate Strategy, he defined product strategy and drove M&A activity.
He was formerly VP of Marketing for TradingDynamics, which was acquired by Ariba in November 1999.
Earlier in his career, Drew held marketing & technical positions at Neuron Data, News Corporation, Zanza Software and Cambridge Technology Group.
Drew holds a BA from Harvard College and an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.
Clement has more than 17 years of software startup experience as a strategy, product management and marketing executive.
Since 2011, he been an advisor to early-stage technology venture both independently, and working with Pivotal Labs on agile development and lean startup methodology. Key clients have included: Euclid Analytics, Meritus Payments, Framehawk, AppCentral, and SocialChorus.
Previously, Clement ran product management and marketing teams at Zuora, a pre-IPO subscription management startup, and at WebEx Communications, where he ran the main product line responsible for 80% of their revenues.
Earlier in his career, Clement held strategy consulting positions at the MAC Group/Gemini Consulting, and the emerging markets practice at KPMG Peat Marwick.
Clement holds a BS from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
Dave Blakely helps mach49's clients build businesses at the intersection of emerging technologies, business opportunities and customer needs. He joins mach49 from IDEO, where he was Director of Technology Strategy.
Dave’s client work involves helping "intrapreneurs" to (1) find new and disruptive ways of doing business, (2) deliver innovative products and services to the market, and (3) foster a culture of innovation to maintain market leadership. Dave helps global companies understand how attributes of Silicon Valley culture can transcend political borders and organizational charts. Of particular value for many of these clients is Dave’s knowledge of emerging technology from Silicon Valley startups. He enjoys engaging with small interdisciplinary teams of clients to build businesses that were not imaginable five or ten years ago. Magic happens when mach49 teams foresee the implications of unexpected technical advances and visualize entirely new opportunities. Dave lives for these moments.
Dave's roots are in electromechanical engineering. He built and led a successful business unit of IDEO called “Smart Products” which focused exclusively on electromechanical systems with embedded controls. Dave and his 35-person team provided the market with full-service design and development of embedded systems by assembling an interdisciplinary staff of human-factors experts, interaction designers, and electrical, mechanical and firmware engineers. Prior to IDEO, he worked at an HP spinoff called Kevex. Dave holds six patents from his engineering work.
Dave also advises executives at a number of different technology companies, serves on boards for business and academia, conducts innovation workshops, and speaks frequently to media, academic and business groups.
Dave received a BS in Engineering Physics with honors and an MS in Mechanical Engineering with a controls specialization with honors, both from the University of California at Berkeley.
Dave has extensive leadership experience in Global 2000 firms as well as multiple venture backed, joint venture, and intrapreneurial startups. He possesses unique skills in creating disruptive businesses and entrepreneurial cultures inside of large companies — and a proven track record of starting and monetizing big data, cloud, risk management software, and healthcare informatics businesses.
Corporate Intrapreneurship — As VP D&B, founded supplier information venture—generated $8.4M of sales year two, ultimately becoming D&B’s third largest unit ($100MM+).
Startup Leadership — As SVP Open Ratings, led negotiations between D&B and Open Ratings for data and B-round investment—achieved successful exit for Open Ratings with D&B acquiring firm at multiples of annual sales.
Culture Change — As Global VP Intrapreneurship for SAP, trained and mentored over 100 internal startup teams—resulted in five disruptive, organic-growth investments for SAP during first 18-months of program.
Technology Innovation — As GM SAP, started the Knowledge Network—developed unique analysis methodologies for Ariba’s $874B of transaction data resulting in 11 patent applications.
P&L Management — As VP, Global Business Incubator for SAP, launched Supplier InfoNet™, a Cloud, supplier risk management business—established firm as leader in big data pooling and B2B predictive performance content.
Strategy Consulting — As founder/principal of consultancy focused on driving disruptive innovations inside Global 2000 firms—created 4 solutions worth $3.6B in sales opportunities for major procurement network service provider.
Business Development — As Executive Director RCG Healthcare Consulting, a radiology management and IT consulting unit—launched five new products in first year and grew average customer sales 10X in six months.
Partner, customer development
Julie has spent 20 years helping companies of all sizes determine the right products to build bearing in mind the complex psychology of their users and customers. Julie has helped innovation teams collaborate with new technologies as a product generalist, although the bulk of her expertise is in navigating the counterintuitive nature of people's preferences, aiming to stop companies from building faster horses.
Since 1999, Julie has focused on UX design and user research with an eye towards creative methods to quickly move projects forward with reliable user input. She has created teams and their processes to keep companies moving forward quickly and nimbly during all stages of the product development process. Julie has worked across industries on everything from B2C products with millions of users to B2B products with a variety of distinct stakeholders.
Julie received her MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School and is still involved with the program, presenting regularly and coaching student entrepreneurs in the Executive MBA Program in San Francisco.
NEW VENTURE DIRECTOR
Ed is a serial intrapreneur and business leader with over 20 years identifying, incubating, launching and managing new ventures in Fortune 500 high technology companies. While a generalist in new business creation and managing the cultural challenges of a startup inside an established corporate culture, Ed’s focus has primarily been in product, business development and general management executive roles.
Ed has created over 50 products spanning hardware, software and services. Ed founded Intel’s IoT Developer business, product, partner ecosystem, channel and community to entice startups to invent on Intel. While with Intel, Ed also created a mobile solutions business creating product services for payment, education, healthcare and industrial verticals. At Sprint, Ed created the world’s first VoIP push-to-talk service as well as the world’s first femtocell improving in-home mobile coverage.
Ed has extensive experience accelerating and scaling internal new ventures through partnerships. At Intel, Ed negotiated a co-development and co-licensing deal with Arduino, a leader in the Maker & IoT developer market. The resulting partnership resulted in Arduino’s number one selling device and helped Intel’s entry into this new market. At Palm, Ed generated $200M of international revenue by leveraging partners to localize Palm’s new WebOS product, messaging and retail channel.
Ed holds a BA from University of South Carolina and an MBA from Rockhurst University.
NEW VENTURE DIRECTOR
A Silicon Valley native, Collin has worked with companies big and small to develop products, services, and technology. Specializing in UX/UI, mobile development, design thinking methodologies, customer development, and technical feasibility, Collin has helped companies such as Google, Nespresso, USA, Purina and more to bring their ideas and technology to life. Collin has published multiple apps in the iOS App Store and has helped companies grow their products to thousands of users in the digital content, social, automation, and other spaces.
Collin has been a core member of teams in the Industrial IoT space as well as the digital consumer space. Recently, Collin has specialized on working with teams in the machine learning, manufacturing, acceleration, and healthcare verticals to bring initial concepts and ideas to working prototypes and beyond.
Collin attended Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles where he focused on new venture creation and earned a B.A. with a specialization in Entrepreneurship. Later he was selected for the California Program for Entrepreneurship (CAPE) at Santa Clara University.
Greg has over 25 years of experience applying design thinking to a broad array of private, public, and civil sector innovation challenges including product, service, process, systems, policy, experience, engagement, talent, professional development, and culture innovation.
Greg founded Future Partners, a Silicon Valley Innovation firm, in 2012 to teach Rapid Ingenuity Practices to individuals, teams, and organizations around the world.
Greg founded C2 Group, a brand strategy firm, in 2001 to help leaders from technology start ups, Fortune 500 companies, and the world’s top business management consulting firms develop, build and protect their brands.
Greg served for seven years as the Director of Brand and Marketing Strategy for Wells Fargo Nikko Investment Advisors, Barclays Global Investors, and Barclays PLC, where he was responsible for brand development, product and business innovation, and service and experience delivery across 200 businesses in over 70 countries.
At Aaron Marcus and Associates, Greg’s clients included NASA, Apple, Hewlett Packard, Motorola, NCR, and Intel.
Greg serves on the board of Not For Sale, is an advisor to Fuse Corps, and a board member emeritus of Hope Street Group.
Greg holds a BFA in Communication Design from The Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design.
Mike has 17 years of international consulting and product development experience focusing on first of kind, game changing technology solutions with a focus on the property & casualty insurance industry, where he holds numerous patents.
Mike became a partner at Future Partners, a Silicon Valley Innovation firm, in 2013. Today he teaches Rapid Ingenuity Practices to Future and mach49 clients around the world.
Mike was an intrapreneur at Guidewire Software for 7 years where he co-founded a Big Data business to provide insurance executives with instant, real-time access to their data and industry data for benchmarking, strategic planning, performance analysis, and catastrophe response. Previously he was responsible for opening up markets to Guidewire in Europe and China.
Mike was responsible for the multi-national development of the world’s most effective claims management system at USAA in San Antonio, Texas where he worked for 3 years. Mike spent five years—including the dot com boom—as a globetrotting programmer designing and implementing web infrastructures for IBM clients around the world.
Mike holds a BSc in Geography from the University of St. Andrews.
DR. Vijay Govindarajan
Vijay Govindarajan (VG) is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on strategy and innovation. VG is the Coxe Distinguished Professor (a Dartmouth-wide faculty chair) at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and a former Marvin Bower Fellow at Harvard Business School. He was the first Professor in Residence and Chief Innovation Consultant at General Electric. He worked with GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt to write, “How GE is Disrupting Itself”, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) article that pioneered the concept of reverse innovation – any innovation that is adopted first in the developing world. HBR picked reverse innovation as one of the Great Moments in Management in the Last Century. VG is a NYT and WSJ Best Selling author and a two-time winner of the prestigious McKinsey Award for the best article published in HBR. VG was named by Thinkers 50 as a Top 3 Management Thinker in the world and received the Breakthrough Innovation Award in 2011.
For more information on VG visit:
RITA GUNTHER MCGRATH
Rita Gunther McGrath, a Professor at Columbia Business School, is regarded as one of the world’s top experts on strategy and innovation with particular emphasis on developing sound strategy in uncertain and volatile environments.
Her ideas are widely used by leading organizations throughout the world, who describe her thinking as sometimes provocative, but unfailingly stimulating. She fosters a fresh approach to strategy amongst those with whom she works.
Thinkers50 presented Rita with the #1 award for Strategy, the Distinguished Achievement Award, in 2013. She is also in their top ten global list of management thinkers overall. She has also been inducted into the Strategic Management Society “Fellows” in recognition of her impact on the field.
She consistently appears in lists of the top professors to follow on Twitter. McGrath is the author of four books; the most recent being the best-selling The End of Competitive Advantage (Harvard Business Review Press), rated the #1 book of the year by Strategy+Business.
For more information on Rita McGrath visit www.ritamcgrath.com.
Rick leverages his 34 years of management consulting and executive education to help global companies discover, design, and execute market-focused innovations via action learning. Rick’s clients in the classroom and the boardroom have ranged from accounting to infant formula to life insurance to hip-hop to PB&J to earth moving equipment.
In addition to his consulting engagements, Dr. Kolsky is a Lecturer at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a guest Professor at the India School of Business. Rick has published numerous articles and been keynote speaker for conferences on a range of subjects, with a particular interest in the bottom of the pyramid, reengineering the US healthcare ecosystem, and convergence of media, entertainment, and marketing.
Prior to starting Kolsky & Co., Rick worked in the White House, was a consulting partner for Strategos, The MAC Group and KPMG Peat Marwick, and taught economics and consulted at Yale.
Dr. Kolsky holds a Ph.D. from Yale in Economics and a BA-MA in Engineering and Economics from Brown.
Huggy is the Atholl McBean Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Huggy is also Director of the Managing Talent for Strategic Advantage Executive Program, Co-director of the Customer-Focused Innovation Executive Program, and Academic Director, Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate.
His research and by implication, his teaching, devolves around scaling up mobilization, innovation, and talent in organizations. Huggy teaches courses on Scaling up Excellence, HR for Startups, and Launch to Liquidity.
His most recent book, co-authored with Bob Sutton of the School of Engineering at Stanford, is Scaling Up Excellence (www.scalingupexcellence.com). The book is a Wall Street Journal Best seller, and was included in the best business books to read in 2014 by Financial Times, Amazon, Forbes, and Washington Post.
He has consulted with, and conducted executive workshops for, organizations such as Aon Corporation, British Petroleum, CEMEX, General Electric, Hearst Corporation, IBM and Mass Mutual. Additionally, he also worked with nonprofit organizations such as the American Cancer Society and governmental organizations such as the FBI and CIA, and the intelligence community.
Huggy received his Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations, XLRI, India, and his BA from Andhra University, India.