Stewart Dixon is Founder and Managing Partner of VentureDNA. An accomplished executive leader with a record of successes, Stewart manages the firm’s engagement portfolio as well as the day-to-day operations of the business. Prior to forming VentureDNA, Dixon drove sales in the media and technology industries for well-established brands including ABC News, The Chicago Tribune and Motorola. His proven ability to secure new business and penetrate domestic and foreign markets by identifying prospects and creating strong partnerships allowed these businesses to realize immediate growth and success.
Stewart’s hands on experience managing growth companies: recruiting top management talent; defining and executing strategy and new business models; creating world class financial and operational infrastructure from the ground up; while leading and developing people, fuels his passion everyday.
Dixon is skilled in directing cross-functional teams while providing quality services to clients in time-sensitive environments. Dixon also spent 10 years in Los Angeles developing new technology methodologies for the entertainment industry with Capitol Records and Apple Computer, today Apple, Inc. This experience allowed him to serve on the technology leadership boards at the American Film Institute and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Stewart is a graduate of Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Science degree from the Roy H. Park School of Communications.
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Mike Bott has worked with big companies and startups both directly and as an investor. His experience leading organizations at venture-backed companies includes building out the growth and marketing capabilities for Chicago’s network-powered recruiting upstart Hunt Club and spearheading commercialization efforts with Walgreens and HCA as VP for Innovation at MedAvail Technologies. Mike was a principal at Blue Chip Venture Company, investing in later stage ventures, and previously led a top 10 US startup accelerator at Cincinnati based The Brandery.
Mike’s big company operating experience includes brand management at Procter & Gamble, where his work was awarded P&G’s internal designation of “Best Digital” in 2011, and product management at Match.com and AOL.
In 2015 Mike was named to Cincinnati’s 20 People to Know in Technology. Mike advises a number of VC backed startups and has served on a number of startup boards.
Additionally, Mike serves as a mentor for a number of renowned accelerators, including TechStars, SparkLabs, MATTER, and the LA Dodgers Accelerator. He is also actively involved in the University of Notre Dame’s startup ecosystem as an Entrepreneur in Residence.
Mike resides with his wife Courtney and three young sons here in Chicago.
He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BBA and MBA from the Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame.
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Mark Hahs is co-Founder and Managing Partner of VentureDNA. He leads our team of Los Angeles based professionals who provide facets of outsourced marketing, technology and business development related services, including research, analysis, planning, web development, web design, branding, marketing collateral development, event management, systems integration and business consulting solutions for business-to-business, business-to-consumer and business-to-enterprise applications. Millions of users, viewers, and attendees from around the globe have responded to and been touched by marketing programs and business systems deployed for his clients. A big believer in maintaining an “entrepreneurial approach” to every engagement, Mark supports the methodology of implementing integrated business and marketing solutions that use a simple set of consistently executed strategies, programs, technology and media to get results. Mark has worked with a diverse range of organizations, including small business start-ups, large corporations, private sector, non-profits, government agencies and advertising agencies where he was responsible for business development, client management and finance.
Clients have included NFL, NBC 2004 Olympics, Motorola, Agilent Technologies, S.C.O.R.E., Microsoft, Chicago Tribune, Warner Brothers, Coca-Cola, Billabong, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, United States Mint, Sony Columbia-Tristar, Interscope Records, MCA, Sungard Treasury Systems, AAA, Oral-B and Grey Advertising. Mark played baseball at Biola University garnering freshman of the year honors as a pitcher while studying for a degree in Mathematics with a minor in Business. He enjoys long runs, road biking and ocean swimming – better known as triathlon training – and occasionally skateboarding with his four children in sunny Southern California.
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We welcome Nick Srivastava to VentureDNA as the Summer 2019 Associate. A 2016 graduate from University College London with Class Honors, Nick’s work spans different roles that include technical and business development experience, as well as solid business research and analysis skills.
In today’s complex business environment, an organization’s adaptability, agility, and ability to manage constant change through innovation can be keys to success. Nick’s experience as a young business technician is a tremendous benefit on any project, especially in today’s ever changing business world.
Nick’s understanding of the intersection between personal relationships, business philosophies and corporate interests is extremely valuable. His prior corporate work, medical research and business contacts, combined with those of VentureDNA, creates tremendous opportunity to help position young companies throughout the Midwest and West Coast.
His passion for Polo, earned him the spot on the 6 player team selected to compete in the international tournament at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club. Nick also participated in local outreach and education to foster a new generation of Chinese polo players and equestrians throughout the upper Midwest. Nick also is a long distant cyclist and avid fly fisherman.
Nick attended Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA) and then received a B. A. from University College in London in History. Since 1836, UCL is one of the two founding colleges of the University of London, and is the third oldest in London.
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Jim Sweeney is a successful sales and marketing executive as well as serial entrepreneur. With over 20 years of sales and product marketing experience, Jim quickly rose to Vice-President of Sales for a national gift company directly responsible for setting sales goals and maintaining a nationwide sales representative network. Jim was instrumental in the startup success and building a team whose global sales totaled over $100MM.
Additionally, Jim’s sales experience in foreign imports help create several highly successful merchandise lines that sold into large big box retailers, movie studios and national retail stores. Jim has traveled extensively throughout Asia and has developed long solid working relationships with many overseas manufacturing companies producing everything from gift items to chipsets and personal electronics.
Understanding of the appropriate intersection between personal relationships, sales strategies and corporate interests is invaluable. His extensive experience and contacts, combined with those of VentureDNA, create a solid platform to position companies for the next stage of growth.
A graduate of the University of Kansas with deep ties into Kansas City start up scene, Jim is known for developing new accounts, building relationships and developing strategic and tactical sales plans. His competitive, driven, results focused attitude has resulted in outstanding growth and record of achievement.
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Steve Klinenberg is Senior Consultant and an experienced mobile development veteran with over 20 years of web and mobile services experience. Prior to joining VentureDNA, Klinenberg spent the last 12 years as Senior VP, Technology & Operations for Digital Agency 1K Studios in Burbank, CA. While at 1K, Klinenberg launched of 1K’s Web & Mobile division, which developed innovative mobile and web applications for clients including Warner Bros., Fox, Mad Magazine and Disney Imagineering.
Prior to joining 1K, Klinenberg headed the development of the new data mining SaaS provider at Internet incubator eCompanies. There he led the engineering effort to develop a cloud based analytic tool. Klinenberg also served as Vice President, Operations, and General Manager for publicly traded Internet services company, Rare Medium Inc. Before joining Rare Medium, Klinenberg served as Vice President and General Manager for DigitalFacades, a regional web services firm that merged with Rare Medium in 1998.
Klinenberg started his career on the interactive task force at TBWA Chiat/Day in Venice, Calif. There, he developed interactive media strategies for clients including Nissan, Home Savings of America and Energizer. Klinenberg earned his MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Business and his BA in Political Science from Brown University.
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Karen Schmid steers the creation and execution of VentureDNA’s customer acquisition strategies and manages our new major accounts as Vice President of Global Operations. With a multidimensional, 24-year career track that spans marketing, sales, investing, customer service, and operations, Karen brings a customer-centric approach, an innate market sense, and unparalleled technical aptitude to VentureDNA.
Karen studied Business Management at Palm Beach State College before beginning her career with Sam’s Club as Director of Telemarketing. However, she could not deny her sales calling and, as a third-generation realtor, has garnered countless honors such as Vice President’s Club and Outstanding Agent Awards. Her dedication to providing the highest level of customer service and meeting specific client needs has merited her a highly successful career in even the toughest markets and economies. Her real estate projects and activities the last three years has focused primarily in the Chicago and Miami markets.
Karen uniquely combines her proven sales capabilities with a fervor for technology, as seen in her licensure as an IFR-rated private pilot. In the last several years, she has seen the rapid innovation of digital mapping technology for in-flight navigational reference as well as for aerial mapping in her real estate work; Karen’s experience with this latest technology is a perfect balance for the VentureDNA sales process.
When not in the air, Karen enjoys spending time with her three sons, traveling, and demonstrating her competitive spirit on the tennis court. She is also passionate about contributing her talents to many community organizations.
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