• About ME

    Taking the leap. Enjoying the flight.

    I like tech, sailing, random walks through the city, simple vineyards, adventurous escapades, staring at airplanes, and impromptu whiteboarding...

     

    I am founder of Budsies, Sparkology, and a handful of web apps. Budsies brings kids' artwork to life through adorable stuffed animals. Sparkology is a secret place for well-intentioned singles to meet each other (sold 2016).

     

    Before the leap, I traveled the world to sell consumer tech for OpenPeak. I also helped raise a few pennies and learned how growth companies run. I know finance is out of fashion, but I’m proud of my Evercore finTech M&A beginnings and am glad to still be close with my old team. I’ve also worked at UBS, Lockheed Martin, and consulted other startups both formally and on park benches (preferred).

     

    I learned to dream big at UPenn. Engineering, finance, entrepreneurship, math, and magna cum laude may complete your checkboxes... but it’s the lasting friendships and projects that inspired me the most.

  • Projects

    Budsies

    2013-Present

    Built successful consumer brand for custom plush. Includes Budsies (custom plush of any character), Selfies (custom plush dolls of people), and Petsies (custom plush lookalikes of pets), as well as a bulk plush business.

     

    Over 40,000 custom custom plushies have been created, and the company has been featured on Shark Tank, NY Times, Parents Magazine and countless other media outlets.

     

    Grew the company from ideation on back of napkin to become the world's largest and fastest on-demand custom plush service. We have an incredible team that is building an awesome 21st century bespoke brand.

    Petsies

    2016-Present

    • Custom plush lookalikes of your pets
    • The cutest thing on the internet
    • An excuse to put a puppy on this page

    Sparkology

    2011-2016

    New York's invite-only dating site for young professionals. With over 20,000 members, Sparkology set a new standard for singles. Sold business in 2016.

    OpenPeak

    2009-2011

    Director of Business Development

    Innovative technology company at the crossroads of media and communication.

    Evercore Partners Investment Bank

    2007-2009

    M&A investment banking focused on the financial technology space, including the $2.55 billion dollar deal between E*TRADE and Citadel as well as the deal between NY Stock Exchange and NYFIX.

    Other Projects

    • Swacket: iOS Weather App (Advisor)
    • EasyBib: #1 online bibliography service (Advisor)
    • AutoP.in: show off your whip; the About.Me for cars
    • TrueContractor.com: find trusted local contractors based on referrals from your extended social network

    Board Positions

    • South Florida Penn Club - President (2010-12)
    • Wharton Club of South Florida - Executive Board (2014-15)
  • If I only knew then what I know now...

  • Areas of Expertise

    Proof of Concept / Ideation

    Product/Market Fit, Market Testing, Lean Startup Method

    Growth Hacking

    Viral, Social Media, PR, Paid Acquisition

    Business Development

    Strategy Value Creation, Outreach, Contract Negotiation

    Business Coaching

    Challenge, Inspire, Follow Through

  • reach out

    I'm available for limited engagements (Under 5 hours weekly; $250/hr)