I started my first company when I was 15, far before I had any idea how to spell ‘entrepreneur.’ At 16, I started BounceHost, a web hosting company in my hometown of Bellevue, Ohio. Through college, we built the business and eventually rebranded as BounceFire. Before graduating college in 2010, I had the honor of representing BounceFire at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards as one of the “Top 33 Student Entrepreneurs” in the world. Though we didn’t win, I connected with a final round judge who acquired BounceFire in May of 2011 at the age of 24.
In 2012, many from our original BounceFire team joined forces with Ilya Pozin at Coplex. I became CEO in 2013 and began to pivot the company from a 35-person digital agency to a Startup Accelerator.
We saw an opportunity to use our skills to help non-coding, industry experts start successful tech companies and built a 9-month program designed to take them from idea to seed-ready. In addition to the program, we created a VC-arm that selectively invests in our graduates at the seed-stage.
In 2016, we had a portfolio venture, Pluto TV, hit a $100M+ valuation. That year, I coordinated a management buyout to buy the company from the original founders. Since its inception, Coplex has helped start over 250 startup companies around the globe and was named one of the ‘Top Startup Accelerators in America’ by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2017.
I plan to lead the all-star Coplex team to the global playground so we can enable industry experts from around the world to get into the technology game.