I am truly excited and passionate to become the CEO of Ideator. It’s been a career-long dream to make this happen.
I came up with the idea for Ideator back in 2008. I had recently moved from San Francisco to
Los Angeles and the venture idea started from hanging out with my good friend Aber Whitcomb. Aber was the CTO and Co-Founder of MySpace. The MySpace social events were pretty wild. Since MySpace’s HQ was in L.A., their events attracted not only serial entrepreneurs but also lots of Hollywood actors, actresses, musicians and lots of famous people. I would watch Aber get repeatedly approached by people who would say, “Hey – I have a great idea, I would love to chat with you about it.” At the time, I realized there was not an easily accessible place to get help with an idea and start a business.
My research began. Early on, I found Y Combinator, which has been tremendously successful; in the last 10 years they have helped approximately 800 startups (notably AirBnB and Dropbox) and the combined market capitalization of Y Combinator companies is over $65B.
While traditional accelerators and incubators like Y Combinator, Techstars, Plug and Play, and 500 Startups have been highly successful, their model has a lot of risk, cost, and does not easily scale.
My vision for Ideator was also formed from the teachings of the master, Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com. Marc was like my childhood dream hero, Yoda (only Marc is about 100x the size of Yoda), and yes, I the young Jedi. I was lucky to start my career at Salesforce.com in early 2001 when there were only about 100 employees. Marc found a better way to scale enterprise software. He did not invent CRM, he found a way to deliver with less risk, cost and complexity. Marc’s vision was to democratize business software and make it as easy to use as consumer software like Amazon.com or Yahoo. Salesforce.com now has a market cap of $48.6B.
In 2009, I co-founded a Salesforce.com consulting company called CloudTrigger. CloudTrigger was acquired by Cloud Sherpas in 2012, which was then acquired by Accenture last year.
I feel really fortunate to experience the triple play of the Salesforce.com IPO, CloudTrigger acquisition by Cloud Sherpas, and the Cloud Sherpas acquisition by Accenture.
The amazing experiences I had with my prior ventures laid the foundation to start Ideator. I wanted to start Ideator years ago, but the timing was not right. I truly thank several important people in my life who finally convinced me to move forward, including: Erica Elsner (my fiancé), Mauro Muller, Ray Arata, Jeremy Sanders, Charlie Smith, and my mom.
Like the Salesforce.com model, I believe that we can apply similar tactics and highly disrupt entrepreneurship and foster more innovation. Today, millennials, entrepreneurs, and creative thinkers want access to the same tools, connections and resources that you would get from going to Y Combinator or the Shark Tank, but faster. Through connected devices, Ideator can make these connections and create more channels for innovation.
Today, we have users in over 100 countries on the Ideator platform. There are Ideators of all ages, genders and races. We have Ideators on the platform from well-known universities like MIT, Stanford, and USC, community colleges, and even high schools. There are also Ideators at large corporations and other organizations innovating through the platform. People are developing new ideas in technology, social good, education, transportation, internet of things, gaming, restaurant and hoteling ideas, and robotics to name a few.
I encourage people who may not want to be entrepreneurs but who want to be advisors, mentors or investors to also join Ideator. Entrepreneurs and startups need your help and skills in marketing, legal, PR, product, brand, sales, HR, investment, and many more.
Hopefully you will join Ideator and help foster innovation and create a positive impact in our global world!