The Mucker Network consists of more than 200 of the best, brightest, and most generous entrepreneurs, executives, and investors from Southern California and Silicon Valley. They have all graciously volunteered to mentor and advise Mucker entrepreneurs by offering their time, experience, and networks. In addition to spending time one-on-one with founders, they also hold office hours, roundtable discussions, and instructional sessions at Mucker’s office in Santa Monica.
Arthur Wang CMO, Super Deluxe
Arthur Wang is an online media professional with an emphasis on audience development, audience acquisition, branded response, and direct marketing. He currently holds the position as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Super Deluxe, a digital social video network. He is also the founder and owner of Abax Interactive, an online direct marketing agency. Prior to Super Deluxe he was the VP and General Manager at CBS Interactive, where he founded and launched the Central Audience Development and Acquisition team that supported CBS.com, CBSNews.com, CBSSports.com, CNET, GameSpot, Metrolyrics, TechRepublic, TVGuide, and ZDNet. He also built a team with one of the highest revenue per head divisions, accounting for over $40 million in annualized revenue. He was the founder of SimplyFinance, an online community that provides expert financial content, Terra Matrix Media, a performance-based marketing organization, and CallsDirect, a performance-based media. Arthur graduated with a B.A. in Business-Economics from UCLA and later earned his MBA in Entrepreneurship and Finance from UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Baba Uppal VP Business Development, AFINITY
Baba Uppal specializes in innovation strategy and business development and is currently the VP of Business Development at AFINITY, a venture-backed mobile engagement and monetization platform. Previously he was the Director of Digital Media at Endemol USA, the North American division of the largest global independent television production company in the world behind reality and game show blockbusters. While at Endemol USA, he was responsible for business development of original digital video for online and mobile distribution. Prior to Endemol USA, he was the Independent Strategy Consultant at A&E Television Networks and Business Development Consultant at Curb Media. Baba holds an MBA in Real Estate, Strategy & Entrepreneurship from University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business.
Babak Azad Fromer SVP, Media & Acquisition, Beachbody
Babak Azad is a board member of Electronic Retailing Association and have served as the SVP of Media & Acquisition at Beachbody for eight years overseeing media, web testing and landing page optimization and telesales. He joined Beachbody at $100M and proudly left as it eclipsed $1 billion. He founded TONE Magazine, an active lifestyle magazine, in Jan 2002 and was responsible for its publication. Babak is skilled in Direct Marketing and Strategic Partnerships and earned his MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Beau Laskey Managing Director, SVB Capital
Beau Laskey is a Managing Director with SVB Capital and is responsible for sourcing and executing direct venture capital and private equity investments. Beau has spent the last 15 years in technology, finance and operational leadership roles where he focused on media, technology and consumer internet investment opportunities.
Prior to joining SVB, Beau was a Managing Director with Steamboat Ventures, The Walt Disney Company’s venture capital investment group. Earlier in his career, he was a Managing Director of EDF Ventures in San Diego, an early stage venture capital fund. A few of his key investments are Arbor Networks, GoPro, Greenplum, Photobucket, Sometrics and Zyray Wireless. Beau started his career as an officer in the SEAL Teams and deployed around the globe with several SEAL Teams.
Beau received a BS in Economics and General Engineering with Merit as a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and received an MBA with Distinction in Entrepreneurship and Corporate Strategy from The University of Michigan Business School.
Beau and his wife have three children that are avid skiers and sports enthusiasts. In his effort to help those that have served others, Beau is a supporter and committee member of the Navy SEAL Foundation and The Mission Continues.
Ben Narasin President Seed Stage Investments, TriplePoint Ventures
Ben Narasin serves as a member of the Board for Branch Metrics and President at TriplePoint Ventures. Most recently, Mr. Narasin, an entrepreneur since the age of twelve, spent much of the early 2000s acquiring companies in the consumer Internet and e-commerce industries and providing liquidity to shareholders. Prior to his acquisition investment and consulting roles, he founded Fashionmall.com in 1993 which became one of the first e-commerce companies in the world and the first cost-per-click portal. He took Fashionmall.com through a successful public offering in 1999. Prior to that, Mr. Narasin founded and acted as CEO of a consumer products company. When not overseeing investment activities, Mr. Narasin manages to be a free lance food and wine writer, a lifelong passion. Mr. Narasin’s works have appeared in numerous publications including San Francisco Chronicle, Wine Enthusiast, Wine News, Health Magazine and various other consumer trade magazines. Mr. Narasin holds a B.A. in Entrepreneurial Studies from Babson College.
Bernard Moon Co-founder & Managing Partner of SparkLabs Global Ventures
Bernard Moon is a Co-founder & Managing Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures. He is also a co-founder & Partner at SparkLabs, a startup accelerator in Korea. Previously, he was Co-founder & CEO of Vidquik, a web conferencing & sales solutions platform. Bernard was a Managing Director at the Lunsford Group, which is a private investment firm with holdings in real estate, healthcare and other industries. Bernard was Co-founder & VP of Business Development of GoingOn Networks, a social media platform for companies, and also led their product development where BusinessWeek recognized them in their “Best of the Web” list.
Prior to this, Bernard was a Director at iRG, a leading boutique investment bank in Asia, where he focused on TMT companies. Bernard co-founded a couple of other startups, raised over $50 million in venture capital, and enjoys helping other entrepreneurs as much as possible. He serves as a mentor to MuckerLab, a startup accelerator in LA, and SixThirty, a fintech accelerator in St.Louis. He is a frequent guest writer to various technology journals, such as VentureBeat, Mashable, TechCrunch, and ReadWrite, and has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications. Bernard has spoken and lectured about startups and entrepreneurship at Stanford University, Global Entrepreneurship Congress, American Chamber of Commerce in Korea and other organizations. He was selected as one of 8 global judges for EDF’s innovation contest (EDF is the world’s biggest electricity producer based in France) and serves on the Advisory Board for GAN (Global Accelerator Network), which is the global champion of the seed-stage, mentorship-driven accelerator model and includes over 50 of the most respected accelerators from six continents around the world.
Bernard completed a post-graduate fellowship with the Coro Foundation. He received his MPA in Telecom and New Media Policy from Columbia University and a BA in English and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Blaine Vess Co-Founder & Executive Chairman, StudyMode
Blaine is the founder of StudyMode, a self-funded and internationalized content-sharing platform for students that has millions of daily active users from around the world. Over a sixteen year period, he built StudyMode from a dorm room project to a 70-person team based in Los Angeles and Bangalore, India. He handed over the CEO role in December 2015, and is now focused on investing in and mentoring kind and ambitious founders. He’s also the chairman of Liberty in North Korea, a nonprofit that helps rescue and resettle North Korean refugees.
Bob Fiorella Senior Operations Consultant & Financial Advisor
With over 25 years experience in media (traditional and digital media), consumer goods, consumer electronics and retail, Bob Fiorella is a "C-level" professional (CFO/COO/CEO) who specializes in transforming, leading and growing start-up to mid-sized companies as well as divisions of larger public companies.
Most recently, Bob advised on the financial strategy and operations of a start-up company that launched an android tablet into the U.S. market in 2014. The company generated over $10 million in sales in less than 3 months. Prior to that, Bob architected the strategy, development and growth of the Cinedigm Entertainment Group; starting with a money losing alternative content company that, within 3 years, became the largest independent distributor of physical and digital content in the United States with over $300 million in consumer sales. Cinedigm’s stock (NASDAQ: CIDM) grew threefold over that period. Bob also raised over $10 million in strategic working capital.
In the past, Bob has held finance (e.g., CFO), strategic planning (e.g., CSO), business development and operating positions at Cinedigm, Fox, Universal Studio and Disney and also sat on the Board of Directors and Audit Committee of a public retail company (Movie Gallery, Inc.). Bob holds a BS in Economics from Cornell University and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Bob Holden CEO, Savr
Bob currently serves as the CEO of Savr, a smart grocery app for casual savers. Bob co-founded Boot Studios and is also as an Advisor for RentLingo and My Rewards Tree. Bob was the Chief Operating Officer at TreatFeed.com and is responsible for the company's content and merchandising strategies. Prior to TreatFeed, Bob was Vice President of North American Singles at eHarmony, Inc. where he had P&L responsibility for the entire North American Business Unit and direct responsibility for the global product management team. His experience includes being General Manager at Rent.com and several other operating roles at eBay, including the Director and General Manager of the North American division of eBay Express. Other past experience includes five years with Procter & Gamble as a manufacturing engineer. Bob holds an MBA from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University.
Bobby Benfield CEO, Twigtale
Bobby Benfield is currently the CEO at Twigtale, a Disney-backed startup that enables families to create highly meaningful personal photo stories within minutes using a mobile device or desktop. He previously served as Chief Revenue Officer at Beautycounter and Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Shopzilla, Inc. Before joining Shopzilla, Bobby practiced corporate law at O Melveny & Meyers LLP, specializing in corporate finance and M&A. He is the author of the article, Curing American Managerial Myopia: Can the German System of Corporate Governance Help and a contributing author to the book Advising and Defending Corporate Officers and Directors. Bobby holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego and a J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.
Brad Vetter E-Commerce and Digital Marketing Executive
Brad is the VP & GM, E-Commerce for one of SUN Capital Partner’s portfolio companies where he is currently building a new consumer business. Prior to working for SUN, Brad was the GM at an Internet Retailer Top 100 company where he grew the business from 275 million to over 400 million in annual revenue.
Brad started in E-Commerce in the late 90’s working on Dell.com where he worked in project management, product management and marketing; eventually working in London and Tokyo developing the ecommerce operations in those regions.
As the VP of Business Development at Invodo, a venture capital funded startup, he signed several partnerships with companies like Demandware, Oracle ATG and Razorfish. As an E-Commerce consultant he has worked for companies like Hyatt, J. Hilburn, United Airlines, and Orbitz.
He has a BBA in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.
Brandon Berger Worldwide Board Member & CDO, Ogilvy & Mather
Brandon Berger is Chief Digital Officer Worldwide for Ogilvy & Mather, where he leads Digital@Ogilvy across North America, Latin America, EAME and Asia Pacific. Brandon is also a member of the Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide Board. As one of the few global digital media executives in the industry, Brandon is responsible for establishing and leading the digital agenda across the network. He leads the network’s global digital strategy, M&A and offer development - building new capabilities and practice areas to bring to clients.
Under Brandon's leadership, Ogilvy has built the largest global digital network. As a platform that can mobilize worldwide resources for any client regardless of location Ogilvy has also made digital core to the entire business. This includes establishing key global practices around mobile, ecommerce, data and social, launching Social@Ogilvy, the largest social agency network in the world.
Prior to his role as Chief Digital Officer at Ogilvy & Mather, Brandon was head of digital for MDC Partners (MDCA) the advertising and marketing holding company. His responsibilities included digital corporate strategy, M&A, and portfolio optimization. Brandon played an instrumental role in growing the organization’s total digital revenue from 10% to over 40%.
Brandon started his career building areas of Netscape’s Netcenter. After that, he co-founded WideRay Corp a wireless technology company funded by Sequoia, Enterprise and others. Then during his first tenure at Ogilvy, Brandon created Ogilvy’s Innovation practice, leading Mobile, Social, Games, Video and emerging media.
Known for bridging Advertising, Technology, Digital Media and Capital, as well as having a global digital perspective, Brandon is a frequent industry expert in the press and conferences. Brandon is a board member, investor and advisor to some of the top digital media companies and venture funds in the industry. Brandon obtained his B.A. in Economics from Tufts University.
Brandon Ramsey VP, Personalization & Social Product Development at FOX Sports
Brandon Ramsey is VP of Personalization & Social Product Development at FOX Sports. Most recently he was the Founder and CEO of Fanhood which develops social applications on Facebook and Mobile that make following sports with friends easier and more fun. Brandon also currently serves as an advisor for Rivalry Games, Panjo, and Enthusify. Previously, Brandon Co-Founded BigDeal.com, an auction based e-commerce site, where he served as COO/CTO, designed the product and led all of the company’s technical efforts. Earlier in his career, he led Engineering efforts for Yahoo! Travel, was Head of Engineering for Yahoo! Shopping and built out the Yahoo! Deals platform. Brandon joined Yahoo! through the acquisition of FareChase.com, the pioneering travel aggregator, where he began his entrepreneurial career. Brandon holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from Auburn University. He is a die hard fan of the Auburn Tigers and San Jose Sharks – it is a unique look when he dresses in combination.
Brett Markinson Founding Partner of Lagovent Ventures Group, LLC
Brett Markinson is a founding partner of many companies such as startplug, L.A.S.A, TheOIX.com, and Lagovent Ventures Group, LLC. In that capacity, Brett co-leads the development of incubation and partnership projects. Brett co-founded HauteLook Inc., which provides premium fashion and lifestyle brands with an innovative solution to move inventory and Solesociety, a personalized shoe club that provides designer quality, on-trend shoes. Over the past 20 years, Brett has been actively involved in the development of a number of disruptive technology businesses. Brett holds a Bachelor of Science from Babson College with a concentration in finance.
Brian Baumgart Co-Founder, Conversion Logic
Brian Baumgart is currently a co-founding investor of Conversion Logic. He started the company in early 2014 to pioneer the second generation of holistic, advanced attribution for TV and digital media.
Previously, Brian was co-founder and CEO of Gradient X - a leading DSP for programmatic mobile advertising - sold company to Singtel (Singapore Telecom) in 2013.
For the seven years prior to founding Gradient X, Brian was an angel investor and served on the executive team at Adconion. During this time the company grew rapidly, raising over $100m and expanding to over 26 offices in 18 countries with over 700 employees and building one of the largest multi-channel digital advertising platforms. He most recently served as chief strategy officer of Adconion Direct - company was acquired by SingTel (Singapore Telecom) in 2014 for over $235 million.
Coming out of the dot com bust, Brian joined Fastclick as vice president of business development and member of the executive team, where they secured $70 million in funding and completed a successful NASDAQ IPO - sold company to Value Click (now Conversant) for over $240 million.
Before Fastclick Brian launched AdMonitor for Publishers, the third party ad-serving division of L90, where they quickly captured market share, leading to its acquisition by DoubleClick.
Brian graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Finance.
Brian Garrett Co-Founder and CEO of StyleSaint
Brian Garrett is the Co-Founder and CEO of StyleSaint as well as the Co-Founder and Operating Partner of Crosscut Ventures. Brian is very active in the Los Angeles start-up community and currently works actively with the following companies: GumGum, Verve Wireless, Pulpo Media, Shoedazzle, Circle Street, Postcard on the Run, MyGlam and GraphEffect. Prior to co-founding Crosscut, Mr. Garrett was a Partner at Palomar Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm based in Santa Monica, California. Mr. Garrett joined Palomar in 2001 and played an active role in managing and investing two funds over 6 years totaling more than $400 million. While at Palomar, he was the sponsor of and/or an active board member in nine Palomar portfolio companies, including successes such as Entone (a video on demand company that sold to Harmonic), Lombardi (business process management software that sold to IBM) and Datallegro (data warehouse appliance company sold to Microsoft in 2008). Prior to Palomar, Mr. Garrett was the Director of Business Development at Niku Corporation. Prior to Niku, Mr. Garrett worked at a boutique strategy consulting firm called R.B. Webber & Company. Mr. Garrett worked with numerous early-stage technology companies including CommerceOne, Inktomi, Sagent, Aurum and Broadbase. Mr. Garrett received his MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and he graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering.
Brian Lee Founder, The Honest Company, ShoeDazzle and LegalZoom
Brian Lee currently serves as an advisory board member for Lowell Milken Institute of Business Law and Policy as well as a board member for New Commercial Capital and Los Angeles Youth Network. He is the Founder of The Honest Company, ShoeDazzle and LegalZoom. Prior to this, he was an attorney with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP and a former Manager at Deloitte & Touche, LLP. Mr. Lee graduated Magna Cum Laude with at B.A. in Economics/Business from UCLA and received his J.D. from UCLA School of Law.
Brian O’Malley Partner, Accel Partners
Brian O’Malley is a Partner on Accel Partners early stage team. Previously Brian led Battery’s Seed & Early Stage practices, while focusing on investments in eCommerce, online marketplaces and internet applications. During his tenure at Battery, he has invested in Bazaarvoice (NASDAQ: BV), Brightedge, Coupa, Duetto, H.BLOOM, Insitu (acquired by Boeing), J. Hilburn, Joor, HotelTonight, Loosecubes, Peerflix (acquired by Live Universe), Serena & Lily, Skullcandy (NASDAQ: SKUL), Sociable Labs, Sosh, Sprig, TradeKing, Viddy (acquired by Fullscreen Media) and World Golf Tour. He prides himself on hustling to find unique companies and new markets before other investors recognize the opportunity. Prior to Battery, Brian spent several years at Bowstreet, Inc. (acquired by NYSE: IBM), as Director of West Coast Technical Sales and earlier as the company’s Technical Evangelist preaching the future of web service-based APIs. Earlier in his career, Brian assisted founding teams at Matrics, Inc. (acquired by NYSE: MOT) and Compoze Software (acquired by NASDAQ: ORCL) with go-to-market strategy and initial fundraising activities. He started his career as a web developer for Motorola Computer Group while only a sophomore in college. Brian has guest lectured on entrepreneurship at several top universities, including Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, Stanford, UVA and Penn. He graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a Dual Concentration in Entrepreneurial Finance and Management. Brian has been named to Forbes’ Midas List VC Draft: Hot Prospects, as well as to AlwaysOn’s Power Players in Mobile and Power Players in The Cloud lists.
Brian Spaly CEO, Trunk Club and Co-Founder, Bonobos
Brian is the CEO of Trunk Club. Now leading his second venture-backed fashion start-up, Brian is focused on making it incredibly easy for guys to discover awesome clothing without the hassles of the traditional shopping experience. Prior to leading Trunk Club, Brian founded Bonobos, a men’s clothing company that is famous for the best fitting pants on earth. Under the leadership of Brian and his co-founder Andy, Bonobos was named one of the fifty hottest brands in America by AdAge in 2009. Brian graduated from Stanford University Graduate School of Business with a MBA and Princeton University with an AB in Economics.
Bruce Hallett Managing Director, Miramar Venture Partners
Bruce Hallett is a co-founder of Miramar Venture Partners and brings his enthusiasm for innovation, product strategy and team building to Miramar’s portfolio of tech startup companies. With over two decades of collaborations with technology entrepreneurs, Bruce leads Miramar investments in mobile Internet solutions and software.
Currently, Bruce serves on the boards of Scripsense and WellTok. He also served on the board of directors of Aktino (acquired by Positron), Berkana Wireless (acquired by Qualcomm), OptionEase (acquired by Solium) and RealPractice (acquired by ReachLocal).
Prior to founding Miramar, Bruce was Managing Partner of the Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison Orange County office, where he managed IPOs, venture financings and liquidity events for many high profile technology companies in Southern California including Broadcom, Buy.com, Exult and Applied Semantics (acquired by Google in 2003). Bruce was one of seven partners on Brobeck’s firm-wide executive committee until he started Miramar in 2001.
Bruce received his BA magna cum laude from UC Irvine and his JD from UCLA. From 2007-2010, he was Chair of the Chief Executive Roundtable at UC Irvine and from 2010-2012 Bruce served as UC Alumni Regent on the Board of Regents of the University of California. He is currently President of the UC Irvine Alumni Association and also serves on UC President Napolitano’s Innovation Council and is a member of the UCLA Venture Fund.