Founding CEOs are our most important partners in building world-changing businesses.

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Best of
the best

When we say it, we really mean it: talent is truly everything for us. And we know that winning on the talent front starts by partnering, day one, with the best possible founding CEO.

The Juxtapose way

Experienced leaders

We build our businesses in partnership with seasoned entrepreneurial operators who individually bring decades of product-, team- and company-building leadership to the table.

Depth Over velocity

We bring intense rigor - typically a seventy-plus step relationship-building, talent evaluation and selection process - to determine the right founding CEO to build a business. Sometimes that takes years, and that’s fine with us.

True Alignment

We recognize that building a business is hard, and the decision to start on a journey together is an important one. Ensuring there is true, deep alignment on company vision and outcomes is something we take very seriously.

leading thinker

We partnered with Dr. Ken Chahine and Obvious Ventures to co-build a comprehensive, vertically integrated allergy healthcare platform to help rid the world of allergies. Nectar leverages data and clinical research to offer a personalized, patient-centric approach to allergy care. Dr. Chahine was formerly the founder of AncestryDNA and EVP of Ancestry.com, a product that has been used by nearly 10% of the U.S. population. He is one of the country’s leading entrepreneurial operators at the intersection of science and healthcare.

Why Nectar
"Allergies are the leading chronic disease in the US, bigger than hypertension, mood disorders and diabetes, yet allergy care suffers from one of the lowest NPS in healthcare. Nectar is a world-changing opportunity to reinvent allergy care from the ground up."
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Experienced entrepreneurial operators

Juxtapose founding CEOs are proven builders and leaders with an evidenced track record that spans multiple decades.

Our CEO archetype

Serial Builder

Has led from the front several times in their career, building and leading teams with thousands of employees and billions of dollars in revenue.

Magnet for Talent

Knows what good looks like, understands the value of building process to find the best, and has a track record of attracting and retaining top talent.

Hands-on star

Has a proven track record of functional spikes and cross-company experience, and can unlock value in an important function unique to the opportunity at hand.

Aaron
Shapiro

CEO
20+ Years of experience

We partnered with Aaron to found a new kind of life insurance company, one built from scratch to simplify the process of providing families financial security. Dayforward offers a first in kind innovative life insurance solution that guarantees a policyholder's family the continuation of salary income in the event that the policyholder passes away. Today, Dayforward has launched the first new life insurance product that the industry has seen in over ten years, and has become a full-fledged national insurance carrier. Aaron is a serial entrepreneur, previously having founded and led Huge - a 1,500-person global digital agency (that sold to IPG) - as well as Silverpop, a marketing technology company (that sold to IBM).

Why dayforward
"Life insurance is a $150B industry that has not changed in decades. Literally. It is also critically important for a family’s financial security - 1 of 17 children in America will experience the loss of a parent. We need to do better."
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Partners from day one

At Juxtapose, we don’t do a lot. So for the things we decide to do, we go deep, and once committed, we are in it until the end. Our business model is to be a true partner to our CEOs and their founding teams in every sense of the word.

True partnership

Concept Development

By the time we partner with a CEO, we’ve often spent years developing intellectual property and building conviction in an opportunity space. We bring that knowledge, experience and accumulated advantage to bear for every business we build.

Capital Partnership

In addition to the depth of capital that comes from our own creation-focused investment fund, we develop a capital development plan that ensures our CEO can grow the business and bring the best value-added partners in during the process.

In the Trenches

We do few things, and aim to do those few things very well. We have real skin in the game in the few things we do. When we partner with a CEO, our entire team and ecosystem is brought to bear to ensure the business has the best possible path to success.

Stoyan Kenderov

CEO
Ushering in a new era for the business of dentistry

We partnered with Stoyan to create a new financial system of record for dental offices based on the insight that inefficiencies in billing and claims result in significant missed collections for dentists each year. Wisdom relies on a combination of technology and expert services to reinvent the insurance relationship and modernize the revenue cycle. Stoyan’s 25 years of experience in the financial operations space, with executive roles at companies like Plastiq and LendingClub, brings a unique perspective on how to make the financial process work better for everyone involved, from patients to practices to payors. Stoyan’s vision for Wisdom doesn’t stop at the financial process, but aims to be the fully automated back office suite for practices over time.

what got me excited
"I’m fueled by the prospect of revolutionizing how dental offices operate. As an industry, dental practices have largely been overlooked for the types of software opportunities modern technology enables. Our mission isn’t just about transactions, it’s about safeguarding the futures of dental professionals and their communities as well as creating better relationships with their patients."

Jay Goldklang

CEO
Making real estate ownership seamless and transparent

We partnered with Jay to found a real estate venture dedicated to becoming the operating system for single family rental owners - combining deeply experienced local teams with cutting-edge technology in the opportunity to transform the fragmented property management industry. Great Jones aims to make ownership worry-free and more profitable for the 25 million Americans who own rental homes, while also creating a more delightful and simplified experience for the renters of these properties. Jay is a serial entrepreneur with deep roots in technology-enabled services and modern products. Prior to Great Jones, Jay was a senior product leader at 1stDibs (NASDAQ: DIBS), where he developed the back-end enablement of the end-to-end platform, and before that was a founder of an online sports trading / collectible platform.

what got me excited
"Modernizing property management for the owners of single-family rentals allowed them to own properties anywhere without worrying about operations, opening up all sorts of economic and experiential opportunities for them as owners, as well as for their renters and for Great Jones."

Melissa Eamer

CEO
Helping people age on their own terms

We partnered with Melissa to found a technology-forward longevity business that will completely transform the way people age. Modern Age is building the first aging wellness platform to help people live longer, healthier lives by giving them the tools to take control of their aging journey—with access to high-tech digital tools, guidance from world-class medical professionals, and frictionless online and in person experiences. Melissa was previously COO of beauty unicorn Glossier, and spent over 19 years at Amazon, most recently as Vice President of Amazon Devices.

what got me excited
"We all age, but few of us understand how to age better - what steps we can take to increase our healthspan and thrive in the second half of our lives. My vision is to provide a clinical approach to aging, adding millions of years of healthy life expectancy to the world."

founding ceos

Meet our
Founding CEOs

John Clendening

CEO

Kristen Helton

CEO

Jay Goldklang

CEO

Craig Elbert

CEO

Court Cunningham

CEO

Ken Chahine

CEO

Shawn Weidmann

CEO

Rob Solomon

CEO

Melissa Eamer

CEO

Doug Hudson

CEO

Aaron Shapiro

CEO

Stoyan Kenderov

CEO
John Clendening

"Wealth management has been one-size-fits-all for too long. It was clear to me that, with a completely clean sheet approach and proprietary technology, you could better serve consumers by focusing on their unique needs. Our approach to serving physicians, based on their unique needs and meeting them where they are, will make us the most performant player in the business, by far."

Company
Earned
Year Founded
2021
Industry
Finance
Building brighter financial futures for physicians

We partnered with John Clendening with the vision of radically changing the way financial advice and wealth management is offered to Americans in order to accelerate wealth creation: serving them exclusively based on their unique career verticals, starting with physicians. Earned will be the world’s first technology-centric, verticalized financial advisory firm. John spent over a decade as one of the senior most executives at Charles Schwab, running Charles Schwab bank, and was also the CEO of Blucora, a publicly traded financial technology company. John has significant experience as a public and private company board member, including service with Silicon Valley Bank and Betterment.

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John before Earned

In an odd way, my path to Earned started twenty-five years ago while at a short stint heading up marketing at a consumer bank. Having come from a branded consumer good background I was shocked to see how little regard these institutions have for consumers, and with no concept of differentiation. After a few start-ups, where I saw the power of applying technology in created optimal client experiences, I was fortunate to join Charles Schwab, where roles there like CEO of Schwab Bank and co-head of Retail, enabled me to develop strong conviction on what needs to be true to deliver massive value to clients - and how even the best incumbents couldn’t really get there. It was a great run at Schwab, a time when we turned the business around and repositioned it to be the very best incumbent in the consumer investments space. Most recently, I was CEO of Blucora - a consumer fintech and wealth manager through tax pros. It was a great opportunity to hone my CEO skills while innovating in very competitive spaces.

Career Highlights

2021

Joined Juxtapose in a thorough exploration of the evolution of the wealth management industry, in particular how serving unique consumer verticals and leveraging technology can unlock value for specific consumers. Fell in love with the opportunity to serve physicians.

2016

Led the turnaround of Blucora, delivering total stock return in the top 3% of the Russel 2000.

2007

Repositioned Schwab's retail business as a full-service wealth manager, besting incumbents like Merrill Lynch on growth, profitability and NPS.

2004

Drove $1b+ in incremental revenue and 40%+ margins at Schwab by reinventing the bank's client and product strategies.

Kristen Helton

"What excited me about the opportunity was the chance to design a healthcare experience for women 65+. Our focus on this demographic will allow us to craft a truly unique experience, and a value-based care reimbursement model incentives us to spend time on preventive health and wellness."

Company
Herself Health
Year Founded
2022
Industry
Healthcare
Healthcare for women growing bolder

We partnered with Kristen to build an Advanced Primary Care platform focused on transforming the health and wellness paradigm for women 65+. We found that many women don't feel understood in the clinical setting, where their needs are overlooked, misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Kristen's experience in healthcare provided the best vantage point from which to build an omnichannel experience for them from the ground up, leveraging technology to deliver care in a value-based context. Kristen was previously the founding leader of Amazon Care, building a business serving hundreds of thousands of patient, and prior to that co-founded Profusa. Kristen is a trained scientist, having received a PhD in bioengineering.

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Kristen before Herself Health

I've spent my career bridging technology to patient care. From clinical diagnostics and implantable biosensors, to telemedicine and connected devices, I bring a unique set of experiences to building modern, patient-focused healthcare delivery. Previously, I co-founded the biosensor company Profusa, as well as founded and led Amazon's first foray into healthcare services, Amazon Care. Amazon Care was designed to deliver convenient, patient-focused virtual and in-home healthcare. Care's on-demand service was built first for Amazon employees, and then expanded to serve other employers and their workforces. Under my leadership, Care grew from an idea, to virtual care in 50 states and in-home care in 15 cities with over 100k patients. Care boasted one of the highest ratings for healthcare services, with customer satisfaction at 4.7 out of 5 during my tenure. At the helm of Herself Health, I'm remaining focused on patient-centered, value-based care models that will drastically improve the patient experience and improve outcomes.

Career Highlights

2022

Introduced through Juxtapose to Julia Scully and members of the Project Sunrise team building out the first prototype for a woman-focused value based care platform. Spent time with Clay Richards and Michael Cline on how value-based care can transform women's health.

2017

Incepted and led Amazon Care, a hybrid virtual and in-home healthcare service. Prior to this, I served as a principal scientist at Amazon, where I assessed opportunities in healthcare, biotechnology, and related fields.

2010

Recognized as an inaugural UW Center for Commercialization (C4C) Fellow, where I developed the concept of a tissue-integrating biosensor. Several patents and the startup company, Profusa, were based on my research, and I served as co-founder, board member, and Chief Product Officer. Along with Dr. Wisniewski, I wrote and led grants totaling north of $20M to support the development and commercialization of the sensor platform.

2000

Developed the first point-of-care, real-time PCR instrument, the GeneXpert, while working as a systems integration engineer for startup Cepheid. I was instrumental in securing a $200M award from the USPS for rapid screening of bacillus anthracis in sorting facilities and other foundational work leading to Cepheid’s IPO in 2000.

Jay Goldklang

"Modernizing property management for the owners of single-family rentals allowed them to own properties anywhere without worrying about operations, opening up all sorts of economic and experiential opportunities for them as owners, as well as for their renters and for Great Jones."

Company
Great Jones
Year Founded
2017
Industry
Real Estate
Making real estate ownership seamless and transparent

We partnered with Jay to found a real estate venture dedicated to becoming the operating system for single family rental owners - combining deeply experienced local teams with cutting-edge technology in the opportunity to transform the fragmented property management industry. Great Jones aims to make ownership worry-free and more profitable for the 25 million Americans who own rental homes, while also creating a more delightful and simplified experience for the renters of these properties. Jay is a serial entrepreneur with deep roots in technology-enabled services and modern products. Prior to Great Jones, Jay was a senior product leader at 1stDibs (NASDAQ: DIBS), where he developed the back-end enablement of the end-to-end platform, and before that was a founder of an online sports trading / collectible platform.

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Jay before Great Jones

I have always been an entrepreneur. Going back to high school and the early Internet days, I was one of those kids who went beyond trading baseball cards to building a sports memorabilia business that did millions of dollars in revenue. After spending my early career at Bain, Seamless, and Stanford for my MBA, I joined 1stdibs as an early product manager. There, I owned much of the development of the marketplace for vintage furniture and design from $0 to $150MM GMV, ultimately becoming VP of Product. I loved figuring out how we could build the right product, logistics infrastructure, and business model to turn a complex, largely offline market into a simple, delightful, and more digital one. While 1stdibs continued to grow and ultimately IPO'd, I eventually had the itch to build something even more of my own at Great Jones, where I worked with the Juxtapose team to apply my skills at productizing complex operations -- and leading teams to do so -- to the residential rental market.

Career Highlights

2017

Started down the rabbit hole of single family rental (SFR) ownership, working closely with Juxtapose to explore the growing trends in SFR management and the opportunity of technology to transform these experiences for both owners and renters.

2013

Led 1stdibs' relaunch as a fully-transactional online marketplace rather than a lead-gen platform ($0mm to $150mm in GMV). Eventually Launched 1stdibs' carrier network for white-glove and parcel shipping, including dynamic quoting.

2007

Helped the founder of SeamlessWeb (now part of GrubHub) map out how to get New Yorkers to order online food delivery for home, not just work.

1995

Founded and grew Gold Standard Collectibles into a national multi-channel retailer of investment-quality sports autographs and memorabilia.

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Craig Elbert

"Building and creating from scratch is what energizes me. With Care/of, it was particularly motivating because of the impact we could have in helping people maintain healthy habits and improve their lives."

Company
Care/of
Year Founded
2016
Industry
Wellness
Making everyday health delightful

We partnered with Craig to found a technology-enabled, personalized health platform looking to bring clarity and delight to nutrition—starting with the confusing world of supplementing your health. Today, Care/of is a healthcare technology company dedicated to simplifying consumer health with a full suite of personalized digital and physical products that enables Americans to think about nutrition on their own terms. Craig was previously the Chief Marketing Officer of Bonobos, and prior to that was the founding Head of Finance at Bonobos.

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Craig before Care/of

My journey prior to Care/of was non-linear - from investment banking to the music industry to selling men's pants. The commonality is my passion for delighting the customer, and using technology to do so. Probably most impactful on my career was the time I spent just before Care/of as part of the early leadership team at Bonobos, a direct-to-consumer menswear brand. In my time there we grew the company from a dozen employees to hundreds of employees and eventually a sale to Walmart. At Bonobos, I spent half of my tenure as the leader of the finance org and half of my time as the leader of the marketing org. I love the brand-building that came from that experience and it got me excited about building a new brand in Care/of with Juxtapose.

Career Highlights

2016

Launching the Care/of site was easily one of my proudest moments. The thoughtfulness and creativity of the team in building something unique was inspiring.

2013

Began to run the marketing function, especially as the surface area between digital marketing (that was becoming increasingly quantitative) and finance overlap meaningfully. I got the chance to use my analytical and creative skills together. To help men dress better. Brain explosion emoji.

2010

We raised our first round of venture capital at Bonobos because of the founders' vision and energy - but the lifetime value calculations and cohort analysis number-crunching I did in the process didn't hurt.

1996

I started working at the local record store in Des Moines as a high school sophomore. That role gave me an appreciation for the motivation and energy that comes with working with a product that you love and care about.

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Court Cunningham

"Buying a home is the single biggest financial decisions of most consumers' lives. I found the opportunity to make this stress-free, fair and simple while transforming a $2 trillion market incredibly exciting."

Company
Orchard
Year Founded
2017
Industry
Real Estate
Transforming life's most stressful transactiON

We partnered with Court to build a next-generation real estate platform that transforms the way everyday Americans buy and sell homes. Today, Orchard offers consumers AI-powered home discovery, on-demand purchasing so customers can buy a new home before selling their old home, and a modern digital closing—all for the same fee as traditional brokers. Court was previously the founding CEO of Yodle, where he took the company to over $200M in revenue and over 1,200 employees.

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Court before Orchard

I was previously the CEO of Yodle for 9 years, where I and the team grew the business from inception to over $200M in revenue and sold the business to Web.com in March 2016. Yodle was a leader in local online advertising that connected small businesses to consumers simply and cost-effectively through websites, SEO, email and SEM. Prior to Yodle, I was SVP of Marketing Automation at DoubleClick, where I built an industry-leading email marketing solution that was sold to Epsilon in 2005. I received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1997 and a BA in English from Princeton University in 1991.

Career Highlights

2017

Met Phil DeGisi, my co-founder at Orchard, who has been the best business parter of my career with his grit, creativity and practicality.

2016

Sold Yodle to Web.com for $342M.

2000

Launched DartMail, one of the first email marketing platforms in the US, and scaled it to the de facto industry leader in 5 years.

1979

Met the woman who ultimately became my wife at her high school graduation (she was 18; I was 12...)

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Ken Chahine

"Allergies are the leading chronic disease in the US, bigger than hypertension, mood disorders and diabetes, yet allergy care suffers from one of the lowest NPS in healthcare. Nectar is a world-changing opportunity to reinvent allergy care from the ground up."

Company
Nectar
Year Founded
2021
Industry
Wellness
Putting an end to allergies

We partnered with Dr. Ken Chahine and Obvious Ventures to co-build a comprehensive, vertically integrated allergy healthcare platform to help rid the world of allergies. Nectar leverages data and clinical research to offer a personalized, patient-centric approach to allergy care. Dr. Chahine was formerly the founder of AncestryDNA and EVP of Ancestry.com, a product that has been used by nearly 10% of the U.S. population. He is one of the country’s leading entrepreneurial operators at the intersection of science and healthcare.

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Ken before Nectar

My journey to Nectar builds on my career as a serial healthcare entrepreneur. Over the last two decades, I’ve been driven by a passion for unlocking opportunities in underserved markets facing massive, inefficient consumer pain points. Before founding Nectar, I helped take DNA testing mainstream as the EVP and founding executive of AncestryDNA and Ancestry Health, a consumer genealogy and disease predisposition testing company. While at AncestryDNA, I grew the total addressable market from a niche $10M to well over $2B by reinventing the end-to-end user experience. Earlier in my career, I served as CEO of Helio Health, a company focused on early cancer detection from a simple blood spot, currently in late-stage FDA trials. I was also the CEO of Avigen, a gene therapy company focused on developing cures for monogenic disease. Avigen’s cure for hemophilia and treatment for Parkinson’s Disease were both recently approved in the EU and are on track for approval in the U.S. I have a BS in chemistry, a PhD in biochemistry and a JD in entrepreneurial law.

Career Highlights

2021

Started deeply exploring the challenges (and opportunities!) in the allergy space with Juxtapose and Obvious Ventures. Dove headfirst into the science of allergy care, immunotherapy, and the prevalence of symptom relief versus true care. Became clear to me the parallels of the opportunity here and how we advanced disease predisposition testing at Ancestry Health.

2019

Served as CEO of Helio, helping detect early cancer detection through a blood draw using AI.

2011

Founded AncestryDNA to help bring genetics to the masses, growing it to over $500mm in direct sales.

1996

Combined interests in molecular biology and patent law, which eventually lead to becoming CEO of gene therapy company Avigen.

Shawn Weidmann

"What I love most about business building is the opportunity to put together, and work with, high-performing teams that are able to create outsized value. The Juxtapose team's approach to building Zephyr and focusing on empowering technicians synched 100% with my approach - it's exciting to be able to improve the lives of consumers, technicians, and transform the landscape of home services."

Company
Zephyr
Year Founded
2022
Industry
Home Services
Delightful home services through delighting technicians

We partnered with Shawn to build Zephyr, a home-services platform opportunity that is focused on improving service and satisfaction for heating and air-conditioning end customers by empowering one of the industry's most overlooked constituencies: the technicians themselves. Shawn has deep experience running multi-location businesses, including as CEO at the largest network of private schools in the country, Spring Education Group, and significant experience scaling the operations of consumer-facing platforms, including as COO of Public Storage (one of the largest public storage businesses globally) and CEO of the world's largest network of retail florists, Teleflora. Shawn has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BS in engineering from West Point.

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Shawn before Zephyr

No child ever said when they were growing up that they wanted to be a multi-location, essential services CEO, yet this is what I have become! Prior to teaming up with Juxtapose, I had run the largest network of retail florists in the world (Teleflora), was the COO of the largest self-storage company in the world with over 2,300 locations throughout the U.S. (Public Storage), and most recently had built the largest network of private schools in the country serving over 50,000 children in 200 different school locations from preschool through high school (Spring Education). Earlier in my career I had been a consultant at McKinsey and EHS Partners, and way back I started my career as an Army officer leading some of America's fine soldiers. As you can tell, I have worked in, and been very successful in, a wide number of industries. What I am most passionate about is not any particular industry, but building high-performing teams that create outsized value.

Career Highlights

2022

Began digging into the home services technician journey and opportunity with Juxtapose. Spent time shadowing technicians in several markets and saw the opportunity to drive better home services outcomes by enabling more productive and happier technicians.

2018

Took Spring Education from one brand with 5,000 students at 18 locations to 23 brands, 50,000 students and 200 different locations, and grew revenue from $100M to $750M.

2011

Transformed the field management team model at Public Storage by changing hiring criteria, promotion standards and management processes. This enabled Shawn and Public Storage to create a more talented, capable team that could lead the company for years to come.

2006

At Teleflora, reversed years of earnings decline by building out profitable direct-to-consumer operations, revamping our florist business to introduce more valuable services, and reducing costs to more efficiently serve the florist network.

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Rob Solomon

“Creating extreme efficiencies across a product’s commerce journey is the path to unlocking its greatest potential. By building Kite I get the chance to reimagine how products are made, moved, stored, shipped, and sold—at scale. I believe consumer-facing commerce is in the early innings of a meaningful revolution and am excited to play a part in this trillion dollar market.”

Company
Kite
Year Founded
2021
Industry
Ecommerce
Designing the "everywhere" commerce platform of the future

We partnered with Rob to build and launch Kite, a commerce platform that leverages modern AI technologies to scale digital-first, high-potential product brands. Kite is reimagining how products are made, moved, stored, shipped and sold, with the goal of driving greater efficiencies at each stage of their growth. Kite's ambitious, long-term approach to empowering brands equips founders with capital, operational resources, and technology to accelerate the growth of their businesses. The company, with the support of Juxtapose and Blackstone, will initially focus on investing in and acquiring high-quality brands that help people invest in personal growth, nurture the people, pets, and places they cherish, and equip themselves for life’s everyday adventures. Rob's extensive experience as an operator - most recently the CEO and Chairman of GoFundMe (a $15B GMV business backed by Accel and TCV), and prior to that the President and COO of Groupon - positions him well to impact both the consumer and back-end complexity of the opportunity.

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Rob before Kite

Being able to transform a customer journey, and delight millions with superlative products and experiences, has motivated me since the earliest days of career. I joined Electronics Arts to help with their gaming platforms before the Internet was a thing, and then led Yahoo's shopping efforts when it was the largest site in the world (and before mobile was a thing). Before joining forces with Juxtapose and Blackstone in the creation of Kite Brands, I have spent my time honing the strategic and leadership experiences that allow customer passion to scale globally, including President, COO, and Board Member stints at transformative businesses such as GoFundMe, Groupon, and HomeAway. As an avid consumer of all things new, I remain passionate about finding opportunities to not only transform the world for the better, but to put smiles on the faces of consumers worldwide.

Career Highlights

2015

Joined GoFundMe as CEO and Chairman. At GoFundMe, Rob scaled the business from $2 billion in donations raised to over $15 billion coming from 100M+ donors globally.

2010

As Groupon's first President & COO, Rob expanded the company's services to more than 40 countries, grew sales from $100M to over $2.5B, and hired 7,500 employees worldwide.

2009

Joined HomeAway (NASDAQ: AWAY) as an active independent public company board member. Continued to build operating, strategic, and finanicial exposure to building complex and sophisticated global consumer platforms.

2000

In the midst of the dotCom rise and bubble burst, built out the commerce and shopping channels of Yahoo, which was then the most visited website on the Internet.

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Melissa Eamer

"We all age, but few of us understand how to age better - what steps we can take to increase our healthspan and thrive in the second half of our lives. My vision is to provide a clinical approach to aging, adding millions of years of healthy life expectancy to the world."

Company
Modern Age
Year Founded
2020
Industry
HEALTHCARE
Helping people age on their own terms

We partnered with Melissa to found a technology-forward longevity business that will completely transform the way people age. Modern Age is building the first aging wellness platform to help people live longer, healthier lives by giving them the tools to take control of their aging journey—with access to high-tech digital tools, guidance from world-class medical professionals, and frictionless online and in person experiences. Melissa was previously COO of beauty unicorn Glossier, and spent over 19 years at Amazon, most recently as Vice President of Amazon Devices.

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Melissa before Modern Age

My path to founding Modern Age spans three decades of work in both early stage and scaled customer-focused businesses. After receiving my MBA from Ross, I joined Amazon in early 2000. Over the next 19 years I held many different roles across both retail leadership and product development. I grew P&Ls from less than $1B to greater than $12B in annual revenue and hold several patents for inventions developed as part of my work. I served as Chief of Staff to the CEO of the Amazon Consumer business. In my last role at Amazon, I served as Vice President of Amazon Devices, where I managed a team of over 800 people across engineering, product management, branding, marketing, demand planning and retail partnerships. My time at Amazon afforded me a phenomenal education on inventing and scaling, but after almost 20 years I was eager to get back to an earlier stage business so I left Amazon to serve as the COO for Glossier. Founded in 2014, Glossier is widely touted as one of the earliest breakout successes of the DTC model, and raised its Series E at a $1.8 billion valuation. At Glossier, I led the teams responsible for ecommerce technology, offline retail development, digital innovation and revenue generation. While I loved being back at an earlier stage company, I realized how important the mission of longevity and healthy aging was to me personally, so I left to start what would become Modern Age.

Career Highlights

2019

Joined Glossier as COO, overseeing the growth-driving parts of the business as it scaled.

2012

Began to serve as Chief of Staff and Technical Adviser to Amazon's Consumer CEO Jeff Wilke, responsible for the Consumer Operating Plan.

2004

Launched and managed Amazon's Canadian website, including selection, pricing and country-level P&L.

2001

Built and launched Look Inside The Book, allowing customers to preview books online long before digital books were commonplace, still a feature on Amazon's site.

Doug Hudson

"Our goal was to build a patient-first dental company that people look forward to going to. We reshaped the entire journey, with both cutting edge technology and great talent at the center - booking an appointment, going to the appointment, pricing transparency, and a digital front door."

Company
Tend
Year Founded
2018
Industry
Healthcare
Making the dentist something to look forward to

We partnered with Doug to found a modern technology-forward healthcare organization looking to transform the experience of managing and taking care of your teeth. Today, Tend is building the first dental experience you’ll actually look forward to—from convenient locations and availability, to personalized visits and transparent pricing, using cutting-edge technology and the best healthcare practitioners for higher quality care. Doug is a true serial entrepreneur with experience that spans decades - prior to Tend, Doug was the founding CEO of SmileDirectClub. Prior to SmileDirectClub, Doug founded and sold two other consumer healthcare companies, starting with Hearing Planet in the late 1990s.

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Doug before Tend

Over the last two decades I've been building technology healthcare businesses that directly touch the patient, and treat them as a real consumer. I look for spaces that are built for the professional, and see what we can create by coming into the industry and rebuilding with a patient mindset. The first company I helped create with this mindset was Hearing Planet, the first DTC hearing aid business online, which we grew to 1,100 clinics across the country. Next, I focused on diabetes with DiabetesCareClub and RxCareClub, which we sold to Alere, as well as CPAPCareClub which we sold to Verus Healthcare. Before founding Tend, I served as founding CEO of SmileDirectClub, which gave me my first taste of the opportunity to build in the oral health world.

Career Highlights

2018

Spent time exploring the Project Ivory prototype and running a one-practice "Stella" box with Juxtapose, the first of several in-person dental betas that we launched before Tend to get everything just right.

2013

Co-founded SmileDirectClub to disrupt the orthodontics industry, improving people's smiles at a revolutionary price point.

2007

Founded Simplex, the third largest diabetic testing supply provider in the nation.

1999

Started HearingPlanet after seeing firsthand the lack of transparency for consumers in the hearing aids market.

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Aaron Shapiro

"Life insurance is a $150B industry that has not changed in decades. Literally. It is also critically important for a family’s financial security - 1 of 17 children in America will experience the loss of a parent. We need to do better."

Company
Dayforward
Year Founded
2019
Industry
Insurance
Personalizing financial security for modern families

We partnered with Aaron to found a new kind of life insurance company, one built from scratch to simplify the process of providing families financial security. Dayforward offers a first in kind innovative life insurance solution that guarantees a policyholder's family the continuation of salary income in the event that the policyholder passes away. Today, Dayforward has launched the first new life insurance product that the industry has seen in over ten years, and has become a full-fledged national insurance carrier. Aaron is a serial entrepreneur, previously having founded and led Huge - a 1,500-person global digital agency (that sold to IPG) - as well as Silverpop, a marketing technology company (that sold to IBM).

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Aaron before Dayforward

I’ve spent my entire career at the intersection of technology and marketing… and I’ve always been an entrepreneur. The first company I founded and served as CEO, Silverpop, was a marketing automation SaaS. That company was sold to IBM at a several hundred million dollar valuation and became the anchor of IBM’s marketing automation site. I was then on the founding team and served as CEO of Huge, a digital marketing agency. We built up the business from a small startup to 1,500 professionals across 12 offices, and the company was sold to Interpublic. At Huge, a lot of our work was large scale digital transformation for many of the world’s largest companies. This kind of work is what got me interested in starting Dayforward—the same kind of disruptive work we did at Huge, but now as a startup.

Career Highlights

2019

Left Huge after the acquisition by IPG, and in partnership with Juxtapose, started the journey of learning about the opportunity and challenges of life insurance (something I had real experience with given my time at Huge).

2011

Published Users Not Customers, which advises entrepreneurs and SMBs on how to focus on their user experiences.

2005

Started my co-founding and partner stint at Huge, where I eventually became CEO and led a 1,500+ team across several continents.

1996

Graduated from Harvard and founded Activegrams, which eventually became Silverpop Systems (later acquired by IBM).

Stoyan Kenderov

"I’m fueled by the prospect of revolutionizing how dental offices operate. As an industry, dental practices have largely been overlooked for the types of software opportunities modern technology enables. Our mission isn’t just about transactions, it’s about safeguarding the futures of dental professionals and their communities as well as creating better relationships with their patients."

Company
Wisdom
Year Founded
2023
Industry
Software
Ushering in a new era for the business of dentistry

We partnered with Stoyan to create a new financial system of record for dental offices based on the insight that inefficiencies in billing and claims result in significant missed collections for dentists each year. Wisdom relies on a combination of technology and expert services to reinvent the insurance relationship and modernize the revenue cycle. Stoyan’s 25 years of experience in the financial operations space, with executive roles at companies like Plastiq and LendingClub, brings a unique perspective on how to make the financial process work better for everyone involved, from patients to practices to payors. Stoyan’s vision for Wisdom doesn’t stop at the financial process, but aims to be the fully automated back office suite for practices over time.

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Stoyan before Wisdom

Over the last few decades I’ve spent my career building new products and transforming organizations into customer-obsessed teams that drive growth and profitability. My interest in technology developed early in life living in Communist Bulgaria, and it gave me an outlet to think entrepreneurially. As I launched my own startups in the 90s, each led to a bigger opportunity, and I eventually landed at Intuit for many years. Reflecting on my past, I’d always thought that the most advanced countries would’ve had a level playing field financially, yet was surprised to see how the system is stacked against smaller companies and individuals. My path since then has been about creating differentiated financial opportunities for small businesses and giving back to the entrepreneurial community I grew up in.

Career Highlights

2022

Served as COO of Plastiq where I led the company through 10 consecutive quarters of double digit transaction volume and revenue growth before leaving to found Wisdom.

2014

This is when I started mentoring fintech at Village Capital. This group, along with Bulgaria Innovation Hub and others, helps me share what I’ve learned about entrepreneurship with the next generation of startup teams.

2010

Joined Intuit to lead mobile strategy and built the team from scratch, 6xing mobile revenue in 3 years and quadrupling its mobile product portfolio. I went on to focus on personal finance at Quicken, which became a theme.

1994

As a student I helped found GeMiNet, a consumer Internet portal in Germany, which had web email, maps, library checkouts, a city information system and more. We didn’t know how ahead-of-its-time this technology was (essentially what Yahoo! would be) until much later.