In December 2016, Apperian was acquired by Arxan Technologies, which is a TA Associates company, and we continue to operate as an independent business. Prior to the acquisition, we were backed by Bessemer, Intel Capital, Kleiner Perkins, North Bridge, and Converge Venture Partners and I was CMO and head of Marketing and Product.
Before joining Apperian, I ran marketing for Spotfire, a venture-backed software company (investors were Atlas Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Sprout Group) that developed data discovery and analytics software. I had the great pleasure of helping to grow Spotfire from an early-stage venture through our acquisition by TIBCO Software. While I fashion myself as a venture guy, I did stick around TIBCO for a few years to help ensure a successful integration and ended up taking on quite a few other broader TIBCO marketing functions and teams during that time. Gaining more experience building and leading bigger teams and working with large global field organizations in a 3,000 person company was invaluable, but the early stage itch returned and I knew it was time to move on from my unintentional corporate role.
Blending a lifelong love of sailing with a drive to create, I founded and ran KEEL Gear, an online e-commerce site and manufacturer of consumer products made from recycled boat sails. You can find a number of businesses that do this now, but in the late 90’s and early 00’s, our approach was quite novel. We had great momentum, but ultimately struggled with creating a truly scalable business model given the high costs of having our gear handmade by sailmakers. We came close to offshoring and outsourcing the manufacturing, but decided that approach was at odds with the “straight from the sail loft” brand we built. We ultimately sold off the business having learned some great lessons around product/market fit, business models, targeted marketing and product distribution.
I had also worked through a number of other B2B software ventures in a variety of roles ranging from product management, channel sales and marketing, and business development: PeerDirect (acquired by Progress Software), iConverse (acquired by InfoClarus), and OrderTrust (spin off venture from Litle & Co online payment processor.) A pre-business school stint as a technology and management consultant at Accenture, then Andersen Consulting, had me coding interfaces for large-scale database application conversions for hospitals and health insurance companies. I haven't used my programming skills in COBOL or MUMPS for quite some time, but really do appreciate the systematic approach to thinking that those early years instilled in me. I believe broad exposure to business functions can help one to see organizations from different perspectives and makes people more effective cross-functionally.
Giving back and helping others as I've been helped is important to me. I'm on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee for Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC). I co-founded Boston TechJam, the city's tech block party that brings together entrepreneurs, startups and venture investors. Now in its fourth year, Boston TechJam brought together more than 6,000 from the tech community. I'm also a startup mentor for MassChallenge.
I graduated from Syracuse University with a BA in Economics and a minor in Marketing. After working at Accenture for 4.5 years I earned an MBA from Babson's full-time program in Entrepreneurship and Venture Creation. While there I had the great honor of studying venture finance under and being a research assistant to Jeffry Timmons, who was named Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year. I was awarded the Ralph & Charlotte Sorenson Scholarship for academic and entrepreneurial distinction. Several years later I completed a post-MBA leadership development program Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management.
On the personal side, I am a proud husband and father of two fascinating little people. I enjoy mountain bike trail riding early in the morning before work - and challenge myself to squeeze in a race or two each summer as motivation to keep training year round. I'm also a U.S. Coast Guard-Licensed Captain and dream of days when coastal cruising and listening to Jimmy Buffett all day can become a reality ;)