Travis Lindsay is an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Cal State Fullerton, manager of the CSUF Startup Incubator, and the co-founder of Titan Angels, an angel and seed investment fund based here in Orange County. He also has multiple degrees from Cal State Fullerton in areas of business and entrepreneurship.
Travis serves the community of students and entrepreneurs around CSUF to mentor and grow them and support the next generation of companies and business leaders here. He is a great example of a servant leader for innovation activity in Orange County.
Richard Sudek is the Chief Innovation Officer at UC Irvine, and Executive Director of UCI Beall Applied Innovation. Over the last 5 years there, he’s firmly established the center as a key part of the innovation ecosystem here, connected it to the OC community and what he calls an “innovation district”, and accelerated UC Irvine’s efforts in commercialization of its research and IP, and created an entrepreneurial energy and activity at the school that’s at an all-time high. He also teaches entrepreneurship at UCI.
He was previously at Chapman University as both a professor of entrepreneurship and director of their entrepreneurship center. Prior to that Richard received a masters and PhD in Management from Claremont University. He’s a former chairman of Tech Coast Angels here and has made many angel investments. He was also a successful entrepreneur as CEO of Nadek Computer Systems.
He is a great example of a leader and key stimulator of innovation activity in Orange County.
Dick Gochnauer is an amazingly busy guy. He is the co-founder of the CEO Leadership Alliance of Orange County, which he and Doug Wilson created to become the clear venue for leaders of Orange County’s largest companies to collaborate on the most strategic issues facing the county. They are working together with the goals to build both a competitive ecosystem and higher quality of life for this region. Their mission is “to create a thriving OC for us all” and I think everyone here in Orange County can support that mission.
Dick has also been involved on a national level with the Center for Higher Ambition Leadership, where he is a board member. He and they believe that the best-run, best-performing companies are those that do more than just maximize shareholder value - they value improving outcomes for all stakeholders.
Dick walked the walk as a leader of both large public and private companies. He is the former CEO, President, and COO of United Stationers, Inc, in Chicago. Prior to that he was the President and COO for Golden State Foods Corporation here in Orange County. He currently serves on the board of directors for several companies, including Golden State Foods, AmerisourceBergen and UGI Corporation. Dick is also a trustee of Rush University Medical Center and a lead director at a startup, Vodori.
He is a great example of an innovative and values-driven Orange County leader, and it was such a pleasure to have him on Accelerate OC.
Tony is the co-founder and CEO of Restaurant365, which he started in Orange County in 2011 and over the last 8 years has built the company into a leading back-office solution provider to restaurants. Earlier this year the company raised $88 million in a series C funding round. His world class investors include ICONIQ Capital, Tiger Global Management and Bessemer Venture Partners.
The company won the best ERP SaaS Award last year and has been recognized in a number of other industry awards as well. Tony has been a finalist for Ernst & Young’s entrepreneur of the year, as well as received other industry and entrepreneur accolades. He’s very humble about the company’s explosive growth and success, though.
Prior to Restaurant365 he was a key member of the team and board member at Dynamic Methods, a Microsoft-focused reseller and solutions partner.
Tony has been in Orange County for over 15 years and is building a company of significance here. He also has good perspective on OC vs. other tech centers as he opened an office in Austin a few years ago. He is a great example of an innovative Orange County leader. One of his many words of wisdom in this conversation was "fist bump the messenger." Listen and learn what that means!
Scott Hamilton is the President and CEO of Executive Next Practices Institute, which he started here and over the last 10 years has provided advisory and thought leadership to thousands of senior executives around the globe. ENPI is a partner with universities such at UC Beall Applied Innovation, Pepperdine, and ASU, research organization Gallup, and corporate members in over 2000 companies.
Scott is also a board member for many other for-profit and non-profit companies. He’s also CEO of Nextworks Strategy, which provides innovation programs to align organizations and leadership teams for peak performance and revenue growth.
Prior to founding or getting involved in these organizations he was a successful practitioner as an executive at DirecTV, Nestle, Amerisource Bergen and Honeywell.
Scott has been super committed to and active in Orange County for many years, and ENPI has helped raise the knowledge and capability of many of our local business leaders. He does a great job of bringing business leaders in our community together. I had a great time at one of his recent events on corporate governance, where I participated in a mock board meeting. He is a great example of an innovative Orange County leader.
Sean is the CEO of the Internet Marketing Association or IMA, which since 2001 has been one of the largest organizations for professionals across business disciplines in marketing, creative and development, and has been an active network, with over 1 million members!
Sean is also a principal at Epic Insurance Brokers, where he provides business insurance products and consulting, while also helping to foster a culture that’s been recognized as a best place to work both regionally and across the insurance industry.
He’s also a founding member of the International Executive Council, which came out of IMA’s roots and has attracted an amazing group of leaders who share passion for tech innovation and their personal and professional growth around it.
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Sean this past year, and appreciate his passion for entrepreneurship, innovation and making Orange County a leader in those areas. Through his work at IMA and IEC, he’s definitely doing his part to Accelerate OC.
Shawn was one of my most energetic guests. He is the co-counder and CEO of Givsum, a startup helping charities and service clubs to embrace the digital age. He’s getting good traction and has an ambitious vision for the company, which we talked about in this episode.
Prior to Givsum, Shawn co-founded Future Leaders of Our Community here in Orange County, which he built into an organization that connected thousands of young professionals with each other and inspired them to get involved with many OC non-profits. This work was very important to uncovering the opportunity for Givsum.
Shawn has a Masters in Divinity & Theology and was a pastor for a number of years earlier in his career, before the entrepreneurial fire led him to start Givsum. He also has a background and undergraduate degree in radio broadcasting, so, in reality, he should be the one leading the discussion, instead of me. He also has a great podcast series called American Philanthropy that you should check out.
Shawn is living the mantra of doing well by doing good, and is also one of the scrappiest entrepreneurs I’ve ever met. We always have a lot to talk about! He is also committed to building his company here in Orange County and has tapped into some great local talent. I'm excited to be an investor in his company, and supporting his efforts to Accelerate OC.
Dalip was a fun and energetic guest on Accelerate OC. He is a super active and busy guy, with a full-time job as head of business development at Vincit, a contract software development firm, as well as a startup, Eva Smart Shower, and several other volunteer efforts at OC Tech Happy Hour, Tech Coast Venture Network, YEC and Forge 54. Dalip is also involved with a new group here, Coded in OC, which is bringing together companies here who are developing software here in Orange County. Dalip is getting more member companies involved.
He sold his company, Devise Interactive, to Vincit last year, which he started while he was still finishing his degree at Cal State Fullerton. And he only finished there about 5 years ago!
Dalip is also a member of the Forbes Technology Council, sharing his insights globally on the Forbes platform.
Dalip is big on technology and purpose, so we always have a lot to talk about when we're together. He's a great representative of the younger entrepreneurs emerging here, who are interested in solving big problems and building their companies in Orange County.
I love that he envisions a bigger thinking and risk-taking Orange County in the next 5 years, where entrepreneurs are comfortable and vulnerable to ask for help, and where we support each other and celebrate all that is happening here. Let's all get on board with that vision!
One of the leading cheerleaders for the innovation ecosystem in Orange County is Bill Carpou. He is CEO of OCTANe, the leading organization in Orange County for the technology and medical technology business ecosystems, by connecting people, resources and capital. During Bill’s 4½ year tenure at OCTANe, I’ve had the pleasure of serving with him on OCTANe's Board and seeing his great leadership propel OCTANe to heights never seen in its 16 year history.
Bill has expanded OCTANe’s flagship annual events, expanded capital and growth services to companies here, and increased the organization’s job creation impact goals to 55,000 by 2030. Through OCTANe he was responsible for launching a unique ophthalmology-focused venture fund, Visionary Ventures, that has garnered global attention.
Before OCTANe Bill was a partner at 2 firms that helped businesses with growth and profitability, he was a senior executive for prominent private equity firm, Blackstone Group, portfolio company, and he was a senior executive for Ikon Office Solutions.
Like me, Bill is a transplant to Orange County but has deeply committed to making it an awesome community. He's involved in or supporting many of the great things happening here in our tech and medical communities. He had great encouragement on here for folks to get involved. Thanks, Bill!
Dan Rodrigues brought so much wisdom and perspective to our discussion today. I loved how reflective he was on his entrepreneurial journey. To share a bit about Dan –
He founded and is the CEO of Kareo, a SaaS company here in Irvine in the health care industry. Kareo is providing a kind of "medical office in the cloud" for independent physician practices. He and his team have over 50,000 customers in every state and have grown rapidly over their history.
Dan has raised over $100M in capital and has over 600 employees at Kareo. He recently added a well-known entrepreneur to his board of directors, Travis Kalanick, the founder of Uber.
I’ve had the privilege of knowing Dan for over 10 years and we’ve talked a lot about the company and his personal journey over the years. He certainly shared a lot of that in this conversation, and I hope the listeners appreciate how open he was with them.
Before Kareo, Dan founded or co-founded a couple other companies. He began his career at a couple well-known software and Internet companies, Visio and Real Networks, after he graduated from UCLA. Go Bruins!
Dan is a cheerleader for Orange County and has built a big family (5 kids) while building Kareo, so he’s super busy! And so is his amazing wife, Kate!
Dan's words of wisdom at the end were 3 things: "You've got to love what you do, and where you do it. (that's how you'll persevere through the challenges you'll face) You really have to be honest with yourself about the opportunity, and your true north star to believe in. And you have to have the tenacity and resilience to overcome. (often the entrepreneur gives up on the business instead of working through it). With those 3 things, you can be successful." Great perspective and advice, Dan!