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.
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.
Bryan Perez CEO, AXS.com
Bryan Perez is currently the CEO of AXS.com. Prior to this, he was the President of Digital, Ticket, and Media at AEG. Bryan was the senior vice president and general manager for NBA Digital responsible for the day-to-day operations of the NBA Digital portfolio. He oversees all aspects including programming, operations, editorial, ecommerce and marketing. Mr. Perez’s professional background includes most recently serving as CEO of Live Nation’s Global Digital division. In this position, he established and built the new division and was responsible for the company’s worldwide internet, wireless, ticketing, and IT strategy and operations. While at Live Nation, Mr. Perez also served as president of the Global Digital division for a year and president of the Digital Distribution division.From 2004-2005 Mr. Perez worked as executive vice president of strategy and business development for Clear Channel Entertainment, and before joining Clear Channel, he was executive vice president of marketing and communications for the National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars. Bryan holds an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business, a JD from Stanford University of Law and a BBA in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin - The Red McCombs School of Business.
Byron Deeter Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners
Byron Deeter, a partner in Bessemer’s Menlo Park, Calif. office, joined the firm in 2005. At Bessemer, he focuses on investments in the cloud-computing and Internet sectors. His investments at Bessemer include leading companies in online B2B marketing (Bizo); social-marketing platforms (Involver); enterprise talent management (Cornerstone OnDemand, IPO); online personalized retargeting (Criteo); marketing automation (Eloqua); financial-management and accounting applications (Intacct Corp.); social gaming (Playdom, acquired by Disney); cloud communications (Twilio); electronic signatures (DocuSign); content management (Box); and retail business intelligence (Retail Solutions). Prior to joining Bessemer, Byron was a successful entrepreneur, investor and consultant. He most recently worked as an executive at IBM after the company’s 2004 acquisition of Trigo Technologies, the cloud-computing company he co-founded in 1999. At Trigo, Byron served as founding president & CEO, then became vice-president of business development as the company grew to profitability, amassed 150 employees and logged a $40+ million revenue run-rate. Bessemer worked closely with Byron and the executive team after Trigo's founding and invested in all institutional financing rounds. Prior to Trigo, Byron worked in private equity with TA Associates, where he focused on the software sector and invested in companies such as Kintana (acquired by Mercury Interactive). He came to TA from McKinsey & Co., where he was involved with Fortune 500 clients in the media and technology industries, and was active in McKinsey's innovation and technology-management practice. Byron holds a B.A. degree with honors from U.C. Berkeley in political economy. He was named a California Emerging Leader Scholar and an Alumni Scholar, and was a varsity member of Cal's national championship rugby team. Byron is the co-author of "Bessemer's 10 Laws of Cloud Computing and SaaS", the BVP cloud index, BVP’s cloudscape and BVP’s next cloud unicorns. Byron was named to the Forbes Midas List in 2012, 2013, and 2014 and was also named one of the “power players” of venture capital by AlwaysOn in 2013 and 2014 to the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal’s 40 under 40.
Cali Tran President, Valassis Digital
Cali is currently the President of Valassis Digital. Prior to this, he was the SVP Technology and Business Development at MacAndrews & Forbes and principal at North Bridge Venture Partners. Prior to North Bridge, Cali was the Co-founder and Vice President of Corporate Development at Agilix Labs, an award winning venture-backed mobile learning company providing solutions to firms such as Blackboard [NASDAQ: BBBB] and FranklinCovey [NYSE:FC]. Born in a Vietnamese refugee camp – Camp Pendleton, CA – Cali grew up the youngest of six children and spent much of his youth in the family-owned restaurant. Cali likes to help entrepreneurs in the seed or Series A stages but will sometimes get involved in more mature companies. Before Agilix, Cali was at Ancestry.com [NASDAQ: ACOM], a subscription-based genealogy company, where he helped lead the firm’s early corporate development efforts and raised the first three rounds of capital. Cali started his career in investment banking at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse First Boston. Cali received his MBA from Harvard Business School. He is also a graduate of Bowdoin College (cum laude) where he remains as a Class Agent and recently completed a term on the Alumni Council. He was also a member of the Innovators Steering Committee at the Boston Museum of Science.
Chris Farmer Founder & CEO, SignalFire
Chris is Founder & CEO of SignalFire. SignalFire is developing a business intelligence & venture development platform focused on working with leading companies, founders & core engineers to build the next generation of great consumer & enterprise technology. Most recently Chris was a venture partner at General Catalyst Partners based in their Palo Alto office. Prior to joining General Catalyst Partners, Chris co-founded Ignition Talent Group, a talent acquisition and advisory firm focused on scouting out the next generation of entrepreneurs and bringing the best executive and technical talent to leading venture backed companies. Previously, Chris was a Vice President with Bessemer Venture Partners where he led investments in digital media & mobile companies. Prior to BVP, he was a consultant with Bain & Co where he advised on large scale technology buyouts. Prior to Bain, Chris spearheaded the successful turnaround of Skybitz, a wireless enabled SaaS company, where he served as led Product Management, Finance & Business Development. Earlier in his career, Chris founded an investment advisory firm for angel investors & private equity funds and served as a Venture Advisor to an early stage venture capital fund where he led investments in SkyBitz and Applied Semantics (acquired by Google). He started his career on Wall Street in the private equity group of Cowen & Company. Chris received a BA in International Relations & Business from Tufts University & the Fletcher School of Diplomacy. He has been published in Harvard Business Review, Institutional Investor, The Journal of Private Equity and other leading publications
Chris Hollod Fund Manager, A-Grade Investments
Chris Hollod is a prominent fund manager. He works directly with Ashton Kutcher, Guy Oseary, and Ron Burkle to manage their venture capital fund, A-Grade Investments. In addition to being a Partner at A-Grade, Chris works for The Yucaipa Companies and oversees Ron Burkle’s venture capital investments.
Chris was named one of the 32 most influential investors of 2013 (outside Silicon Valley).
Chris has judged several start-up competitions including Global Startup Battle and Start-Up Weekend Los Angeles.
Chris sits on the board of directors of life/after/denim, a contemporary menswear and accessories brand backed by Ashton Kutcher, Ron Burkle, and Relativity Media.
Prior to joining A-Grade Investments, Chris worked in Investment Banking and Private Equity. Chris graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Economics.
Chris Moore Partner, Redpoint Ventures
Chris Moore is a Partner with Redpoint Ventures focusing on consumer Internet, online marketing and business services opportunities. Prior to joining Redpoint, Chris evaluated Internet opportunities for IVP, a firm he joined in 1999. He currently serves on the board of directors of many companies such as eBureau, Inadco, Scripted.com, and TruSignal. Chris also led Redpoint's investment in Right Media (acquired by Yahoo!), IntoNow (acquired by Yahoo!) and was actively involved with Redpoint's investment in MySpace. Prior to joining IVP, Chris led business development efforts for wine.com, the online wine retailer, and held various product management positions with Peapod, the pioneering online grocery shopping service provider. Previously, Chris evaluated and executed Internet and media investments for Ameritech. He began his career as a financial analyst in the mergers and acquisitions and leveraged buyout groups of Wasserstein Perella & Co. Chris holds a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Chung Meng Cheong EVP Product and Consumer Marketing, Financial Engines
Chung Meng Cheong is currently the EVP of Product and Consumer Marketing at Financial Engines. Most recently, he was the Chief Product Officer at 33Across. 33across is an advertising technology startup merging social & content interest signals, big data and display ad targeting technology. He was VP of Advertising Publisher Products at YP Holdings, responsible for leading development and delivery of advertising and publisher products across online and mobile. Prior to joining AT&T Interactive, Chung held product leadership roles at companies including Jaxtr (acquired by SabSe Technologies in 2009) and eBay - where he led product definition and development for eBay Express which became an Internet Top 100 retailer in less than 12 months. Chung has also worked for Elance, Microsoft and the Boston Consulting Company.
Clark Benson Founder/CEO, Ranker
Clark Benson is a serial entrepreneur with 5 startups under his belt including an internet exit eCrush to Hearst in 2006. Ranker is his current startup and he also funded the seed round. Clark's other startups have been in the music industry. 2 of them have been merged into Almighty Music Marketing which his partner Joel Oberstein runs. He has also been an angel investor, in Jumpcut/Miravida which sold to Yahoo! in 2006. Clark obtained his B.S. in Finance from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Business.
Colby Goff General Partner & Co-Founder, Rustic Canyon Family of Restaurants
Colby Goff is the general partner and co-founder at Rustic Canyon Family of Restaurants. He was the CEO of Curby, a valet parking app, from 2013 to 2015. Curby has recently been acquired by Curbstand. He also served as the SVP Strategy & Business Development at Boingo Wireless from 2001 to 2012. Colby Goff graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Economics.
Courtney Holt Chief Operating Officer, Maker Studios
Courtney Holt serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Maker Studios. Most recently he served as President of Myspace Music LLC, an affiliate of News Corp. until 2011. Previously, Mr. Holt served as Executive Vice President, Digital at MTV Networks Music and Logo Group leading digital business and innovation initiatives. Previously, Mr. Holt headed New Media at Interscope Geffen A&M records and Universal Music Group, where he helped develop digital and mobile marketing efforts for artists including Gwen Stefani, Eminem, 50 Cent, Beck, Nine Inch Nails and U2. He oversaw digital initiatives for the MTV, VH1 and CMT channels. Before joining MTV, he was senior vice president of new media for Interscope Geffen A&M. Mr. Holt serves as Member of Board of Advisor at Doppelganger, Inc.
Craig Howe CEO, Rebel Leader Syndicate
Craig Howe currently serves as the CEO of Rebel Leader Syndicate, a strategic digital marketing consultancy that helps iconic brands adapt and thrive in an ever changing digital world. He brings more than 21 years of core entertainment, digital, and brand marketing experience to his diverse business ventures. In addition to an ongoing role as Founder of award-winning social media agency Rocket XL, Craig is an investor or active board member in multiple early stage digital, social, and mobile ventures, as well as a consulted advisor to brands that have a passionate global social fan base including Major League Baseball Advance Media, InBev (FIFA World Cup global strategy), National Hockey League, Rue La La, Major League Soccer, etc. After targeting passionate online influencers since the early ‘90’s as a global marketing leader for acclaimed video game and entertainment publishers like Electronic Arts and Universal Interactive, Howe left the publisher side of the business in 2002 to start one of the first social media agencies, which he sold to V7 International in 2008. Devising social media strategies for brands was a natural transition for Craig. He’s since worked with the likes of Unilever, InBev, Lexus, National Football League, LinkedIn, Kraft/Cadbury, and the United Nations, displaying a propensity to translate this unique skill across diverse industries, brands, and products. Howe holds a Bachelor’s in Economics & Business from the University of Colorado, and participated in an adjunct MBA program at Stanford Business School. An avid outdoorsman, Craig spends much of his free time in Frisco, Colorado where he owns a cabin, as well as a minority stake in Denver based bike franchise Elevation Cycles.
Dan Beldy Founder & CEO, 11X
Dan is a the founder and CEO of 11X. Previously, he was a General Partner of Steamboat Ventures. Dan has spent the last 20 years in technology and finance as an investor, entrepreneur and operator. Dan currently has board roles at Freewheel, Baynote, Vobile, Fanzter, and Passenger. Dan's prior investments include Playdom, acquired by The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), MoveNetworks, acquired by EchoStar Corp. (NASDAQ: SATS), and Greystripe, acquired by ValueClick (NASDAQ: VCLK). Prior to Steamboat, Dan was a co-founder and managing director of Plainview Capital, an innovative family of fundamental value investment funds that leverage a proprietary software platform, Plainview Analytics™. Before Plainview, Dan was an associate and partner at Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. Focusing on early stage software investments, Dan was involved with several successful, growing companies as an investor/advisor/board member including Employease, acquired by ADP (NASDAQ: ADP), Technorati, Starmine, acquired by Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TRI), and Method Home. Early in his career Dan was an officer and an F/A-18 Hornet jet instructor pilot for the U.S. Navy, completing over 275 aircraft carrier landings in tours of duty with the Atlantic Fleet. Dan received a BS in computer science as a distinguished graduate of the US Naval Academy in 1986, and received an MBA in finance from The Wharton School in 1998.
Dan Chen Managing Director, Siemer
Dan Chen is currently a managing director at Siemer & Associates with 15 years of investment banking, private equity and corporate development experience and completed transactions totaling over $5 billion in value. Most recently, Mr. Chen was Managing Director of Corporate Development at a Los Angeles-based holding company where he evaluated and executed on a wide variety of new investment and partnership opportunities in multiple industries, including healthcare IT, software & services and the energy sector. Prior to that, Mr. Chen was Vice President in the media practice at Montgomery & Co., where he provided M&A and capital raising advisory services to companies in the software, digital media and Internet services space. Key transactions completed include Disney’s $700 million acquisition of Club Penguin, HBK Investments’ $165 million LBO of CoCreate Holding GmbH (now part of Parametric Technology Corp.), and late stage financings for companies such as Vantage Media and WildTangent. Before joining Montgomery & Co., Mr. Chen was an Investment Associate at TPG Capital. At TPG, he handled all aspects of deal sourcing and transaction execution for TPG’s cross-border private equity and venture investments in the U.S. and Asia. He participated in the investment activities of Newbridge Asia III, LP ($724 million) and Newbridge Asia II, LP ($392 million), and he monitored several portfolio companies in the Internet services space within those funds. Dan graduated from Yale University with a B.A in Economics.
Dan Hartman Media Consultant, Hartman Media
Dan Hartman is currently the media consultant at Hartman Media. He was previously the SVP of Programming at DIRECTV, where he was responsible for program acquisition activities with respect to general entertainment and premium cable networks, as well as high definition and video-on-demand programming. He also oversaw DIRECTV’s sports programming negotiations and was responsible for the strategy and negotiations with respect to local broadcast station groups. He was the senior counsel at Fox Broadcasting Company from 1995 to 1998 and served as the lead attorney for all sports-related areas and also negotiated and drafted documentation relating to sports rights acquisitions for the network. Dan graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Communications/Business, Communication and Media Studies and later obtained his J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.
Dana Settle Partner, Greycroft
Dana Settle is a Founding Partner with Greycroft and she heads the firm’s west coast office. Prior to joining Greycroft, Dana spent several years as a venture capitalist and advisor to startup companies, first as a Venture Partner with Mayfield, where she focused on early stage companies in the mobile communications and consumer Internet markets, and later as a Partner with VSP Capital. As a venture capitalist, Dana invested in and advised several portfolio companies, including MobileStar (sold to TMobile), Revenue Science, Trigo (sold to IBM), Truveo (sold to AOL) and Doppelganger. Dana’s additional experience includes investment banking at Lehman Brothers in the media and communications group and international business development at McCaw Cellular Communications.Dana holds a BA in Finance and International Studies from the University of Washington and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Dana Stalder General Partner, Matrix Partners
Dana Stalder is a Silicon Valley based general partner at Matrix Partners, where he invests in early stage software and internet companies. Dana’s experience cuts across multiple disciplines including sales, marketing, finance, technology and product management at companies such as eBay, Netscape, PayPal and Respond.com. He has managed nimble ventures as well as 2,500-person teams. Dana joined Matrix in 2008 from PayPal, where he was a senior vice president and managed all business operations, including product, sales, marketing and technology. He is a board member at iRise, minuteKEY, QuinStreet, GOGII, Polyvore and Zendesk. Dana also invested in Zong, the leading mobile payment service used by online gaming and social networking websites (acquired by PayPal in 2011).
Dana studied business and economics at Santa Clara University. After college he worked at Ernst & Young advising technology companies such as Quantum, Sun Microsystems, Remedy, Netscape, and Intuit.
Danny Leffel CEO, Crew
Danny Leffel is currently the CEO & Co-founder of Crew, a messaging and productivity app designed for mobile workforces. He previously founded Yardsellr, a service that operated on top of Facebook and Twitter to augment these services and provide the marketplace-specific functionality so that items could be bought and sold in the social feeds of users. During his time as the CEO at Yardsellr, danny raised $16M from Tiger Global, Accel Partners and Harrison Metal and helped the company grow to 50 employees. Prior to Yardsellr, he co-founded InGameNow, and served as the VP of Business Development at VideoSurf, a computer-vision technology company turned video search engine that Microsoft acquired in 2011 for $100M. From 2004 to 2007, Danny served as the manager at eBay Business. Danny graduated from Trinity University in 1997.
Dave Davis SVP Digital Transactional Sales, Paramount Pictures
Dave Davis is currently the SVP of Digital Transactional Sales at Paramount Pictures, where he manages international digital transactional sales business (VOP & EST) across almost 200 territories. Prior to Paramount Pictures he was the VP of Sales Strategy & Development at NBC Universal, where he structured and negotiated output deals with major free and pay television broadcasters in Europe for feature films and TV series and launched PictureBox, the first-ever studio-owned SVOD film service in the UK. Previously he was the Director of Worldwide All Media at Motion Picture Association of America and was the Director of Business Development at ADX - Advanced Data Exchange from 2000 to 2002. Dave holds a B.A. in Government from Wesleyan University and obtained his J.D. from University of Michigan Law School.