We are pleased to welcome Steve Guengerich to the REVTECH Mentor Team! Steve Guengeric is Executive Director for the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UT Dallas, where he leads an organization focused on launching innovative new ventures, both as startups and within existing businesses. Watch: https://youtu.be/
Alok Tyagi is a Partner at Fortium Partners where he provides Board and C-suite level Product/Technology leadership to the companies that are operating their business either in a Cloud/SaaS environment or going through a Digital Business transformation. He brings more than 25 years of hands-on Product leadership experience in Software Product Strategy, Product Management, Design and Development of market leading global enterprise software products. Alok frequently engages with customers of all size from Fortune 100 to SMB, often introducing new SaaS/Cloud/Mobile products and/or re-innovating existing product portfolios to spur revenue growth and improve the customer experience.
Previously, Alok has filled Product & Technology Executive roles at industry-leading companies such as Oracle, Peoplesoft, JDEdwards, Sage and CA Technologies. In his last role, at CA Technologies, he was a Senior Vice President of Business & Product Strategy responsible for $2.5B Product Portfolio.
Tyagi is driven by a founder mindset and a strong sense of purpose, which lead to an increase in shareholder value and a stronger technology organization overall. A Champion of Digital Business Transformation in every industry – Alok regularly invests and advises various Start-ups and mentor entrepreneurs on how to build Scale-Ups. You can connect with him on Twitter @aloktyagi or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/aloktyagi/.
I decided to hit the road to visit several RevTech teams on their home turf in California. From my arrival in San Francisco on Thursday to my departure from San Diego on Saturday, I logged 650 miles, visited four RevTech teams, checked in with a RevTech investor, met a new prospect for investment, and checked out six Chevron ExtraMile convenience stores along the way.
In San Francisco, I visited the new digs of RevTech rockstar, Michael Brand, CEO of Dor Technologies. Located downtown near the Bay Bridge, the company has settled into a former butcher shop – complete with meat hooks and a conference room in the old meat locker (chilly!). I was happy to hear from Michael that quarterly revenue continues to grow at a double-digit rate; also, there have been several impressive enhancements to the product. I’m betting Dor, now employing nearly 20 people, will outgrow this space and will have to find a full-fledged meat-packing plant!
As I drove south, an increasing number of vineyards began to dot the landscape, and I knew I must be getting close to the team at BottleFly. Turns out that this team of five operates out of two towns. Co-Founder, Evan Lanuza, operates out of a wine testing facility in Paso Robles, while co-founder, Katerina Axelsson and several programmers, operate out of an office in San Luis Obispo, thirty miles to the south. Evan stepped me through the detailed process of analyzing and cataloging the chemical makeup of hundreds of wine varieties. After the office tour, I experienced the BottleFly recommendation engine in the wine section of a local grocery store. Even though I know nothing about wine, I was able to make a wise purchase and present it to a new RevTech investor in town. He was impressed with my selection. Wow!
Then it was on to Santa Barbara for a meeting with a new RevTech prospect. Afterward, I headed down the Pacific Coast to Marina Del Rey, where I met with the head of business development for Birdzi, Gary Hawkins. Gary moved from DC to LA three years ago, and has nicely made the transition to the laid-back SoCal lifestyle. Lots of exciting things going on with Birdzi – stay tuned!
Saturday morning, I drove the final stretch from LA to San Diego to meet with the team at Accel Robotics and get a first-hand view of their latest product enhancements. They are housed in a hardware-focused incubator managed by EvoNexus. Of the dozen plus startups in the space, Accel Robotics is clearly the favorite, as their lab is the first thing you see when entering the space. That clearly is paying off in local exposure, as the company was pictured on the front page of the San Diego Union-Tribune just the day before – above the fold!
All the way down the coast, I stopped at Chevron ExtraMile convenience stores in order to experience PnP Loyalty’s largest product deployment. I downloaded their “ExtraMile Extras” app and was immediately awarded with a bottle of Dasani water! After five more stops (with a purchase at each stop), I was able to earn the badges required to earn a free food or beverage item. Clearly, I will have to return to California sometime soon to collect my reward!
Charles Haseman brings over 35 years of experience in management, strategic planning, operational analysis, and problem solving to the consumer facing business world. He has extensive leadership experience in marketing, consulting, information technology projects, maintenance and service, and retail store operations. This leadership expertise crosses multiple business capabilities from sales management, to customer service, to inventory control, to payroll and administrative systems. He has led multiple large-scale projects, directly impacting the success of his Retail and Consumer Product Goods clients.
His most recent assignment was with NEC as the Sales Director of Retail Solutions. Prior to his move to NEC, he was Principal and COO at Proterra with all daily operations including advertising, marketing, sales, customer service, tax planning, accounting and payroll, budgeting, and staffing. As Client Partner for Retail with Syntel Inc. for five years Charles was responsible for overall business, sales, and marketing with P&L responsibility for multiple retail clients. Previously, he spent seven years as the Vice President/Client Industry Executive (CIE) for EDS’ Global Industry Group, providing strategic leadership and subject matter expertise to multiple existing and potential clients in the Consumer Product Goods (CPG) and Retail sectors. He managed design, development, implementation, and integration of systems and applications. His global assignments included North and South America as well as ASIA – Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Japan. His clients included Office Depot, Home Depot, Belk, 7-Eleven, AEON/Jusco, Best Buy, Claire’s, DelMonte, Dial, General Motors, Grupo Bimbo & Bimbo Bakeries USA, McDonald’s Argentina, Arcos Dorados, Femsa and Panamco. Charles has also worked for Dimensions Micro, Inc., where he served as Executive Vice President and COO. Additionally, Chuck spent over 20 years at Zale Corporation,
working in IT and Store Operations for the corporation’s 1160 retail jewelry locations, manufacturing and distribution facilities.
Charles holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Regis University, Denver, CO and a Masters in Engineering Management from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX. He completed post masters work on Strategy and IT Transformation at London Business School, London, England.
Magnus Stjernstrom is an entrepreneur and investor based in Frisco, TX. He brings more than 20 years of software security experience from McAfee, PGP and IDology, where he built a world-class SAAS and Cloud Security Services team from the ground up and was the driving force behind IT infrastructure, security and application development. Most recently, Mr. Stjernstrom worked at Dell on cloud security, where he was awarded the Dell Innovation Award for Security for his work with the Dell Data Protection | Cloud Edition. Mr Stjernstrom is currently consulting for businesses, helping them with security, product management and business growth.
As Chief Digital Officer of Haggar Clothing Co, Eve is leading the digital transformation of a 90 year old company with deep roots in wholesale brick and mortar retailing. Under Eve’s leadership, Haggar is adapting to the digital world, enabling seamless commerce, and nurturing direct relationships with consumers.
With over 16 years of experience in ecommerce, mobile, and digital marketing, Eve has a vast understanding of the business. Eve has a passion for direct- to- consumer business management, customer experience, and retailing. She enjoys growing sales for Consumer brands and being first to market with innovative ideas.
Before Haggar, Eve’s experience includes TOMS, Dell, and Target. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications from Texas A&M University.
David Michel is a successful entrepreneur and business executive that has started several successful companies in various industries including healthcare, technology and entertainment. In 2010, David founded Catapult Health — a national Preventive Healthcare Practice — where he currently serves as Chairman and CEO. Catapult brings Preventive Checkups with next generation telemedicine to employer worksites across the United States. Prior to Catapult Health, David also founded WinningHabits, a company that devised technology-based health and wellness programs for corporations and government agencies across the country. After successfully arranging the sale of WinningHabits in 2005, he became President and CEO of InnerChange, a nationally recognized residential treatment facility operator that specializes in the care of teen girls with emotional trauma. His passion for education and personal development (as well as his passion for helping children) also inspired his co-creation of the animated television show Jay Jay the Jet Plane, which is enjoyed by children and parents across the globe.
Proven strategic leader with over 15 years extensive experience in operation, technology and entrepreneurship. Solid track record of building multimillion dollar operations from scratch creating shareholder wealth along with profitable exits in both US and China. Jason has served in leadership positions of global corporations as well as multiple startups. He has a proven record of success in launching new markets, turnarounds, starting new business groups, introducing new products and services, winning market share and exceeding revenue and sales goals. Conceived and implemented business strategies that have delivered differentiation, market leadership, rapid growth and strong bottom line results in highly competitive markets. His latest venture, DFW Excellerator, is the leading cross-border investment accelerator and advisory firm headquartered in Dallas and Beijing. Its primary goals are to provide integrating key resources and strategic partnerships in order to raise capital, enter into new market, and boost innovative ventures for companies that are striving to be globally competitive.
DALLAS – June 23, 2017 – REVTECH, a Dallas-based seed fund and venture accelerator focused on early-stage innovation, officially announced the names of the companies selected for this year’s Cohort during REVTECH’s new office grand opening celebration. After a carefully crafted selection process, REVTECH’s team picked three outstanding companies that showcase strong entrepreneurial experience and an ability to solve some of the biggest challenges in retail and grocery.
The selected companies will participate in a 12-week program in order to take full advantage of REVTECH’s mentor network and retail resources in the area. This year, the participants are invited to join REVTECH in their new office, a 13,000-sq. ft. space located less than a mile from Northpark Center, the centerpiece of Dallas retail. The workspace will create a robust co-working community to drive real industry engagement and collaborative problem-solving.
“This year’s class includes companies that are innovating complementary strategies for artificial intelligence in the grocery industry,” said David Matthews, REVTECH Managing Director. “Given all the disruption in grocery and retail now, companies need new technology to compete against giants like Walmart and Amazon. There is opportunity for some real synergy, and we’re excited to have these groups join us in our new space to find innovative solutions to meet today’s retail industry’s challenges.”
Each week of the program, the companies will meet with REVTECH’s managing director and mentors, host community events to facilitate learning opportunities, customer connections and introductions, and schedule practice times to perfect their pitching message. Companies will then conclude the program with the chance to pitch at REVTECH’s Fall Tech Trends event.
The 2017 cohort includes: Accel Robotics, Birdzi, and Bottlefly.
Accel Robotics, San Diego, CA – Accel Robotics is a team of PhDs in neuroscience/robotics and product innovators building autonomous service robots to improve customer experiences. Their first product, Omnio, is an AI-enabled shopping assistant designed to deliver smarter in-store service by engaging customers, empowering associates and providing actionable insights.
Birdzi, Iselin, NJ – Birdzi is a provider of a unique personalization platform for retailers and brands to connect to the right shoppers and the right time and place, enabling a seamless, personal and smart shopping experience.
Bottlefly, San Luis Obispo, CA – Bottlefly created a patent-pending method for tracking consumer preferences in sensory-based products. The technology is powered by flavor chemistry, machine learning, and a comprehensive dual-taste preference system for incredibly accurate recommendations.
In addition to these companies, REVTECH is inviting up to four local retail tech startups, nominated by one or more of their mentors, to participate in the acceleration program, with the opportunity for funding at the end of the 12 week program.
In summary, REVTECH has completed nearly $600,000 in investments this spring – follow-on investments in Arcade and Dor Technologies, and new investments in Accel Robotics, Birdzi, and BottleFly. In the fall, their follow-on fund anticipates making up to $400,000 of additional investments in this year’s and prior years’ REVTECH participants.
To learn more about the program, visit http://www.revtechaccelerator.com/faq/.
REVTECH (Retail Technology Ventures) is a Dallas-based venture accelerator and seed fund that works with the best retail, restaurant, and hospitality technology startups across the globe to accelerate their growth. We do this by attracting, mentoring, and connecting experienced entrepreneurs with viable products to talent, customers, and investors.
Our intensive Accelerator Program provides seed funding, access to over 100 experienced mentors with backgrounds in Restaurant, Retail, VC, and Entrepreneurship and office space at the Dallas Entrepreneur Center. The program culminates with the opportunity to pitch at our Fall Tech Trends event. Our 3-day Graduate Program provides recent accelerator or incubator graduates the opportunity to take part in a variety of networking events, learning opportunities, and the ability to make several strategic connections through the REVTECH network. Participants in the Graduate Program also receive a spot at our Spring and/or Fall Tech Trends event. For more information, visit www.revtechaccelerator.com.
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