Dave is a 30-Year Veteran of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. He’s an entrepreneur who has started multiple companies, advisor who has raised over $15 billion for hundreds of companies, and investor in multiple billion dollar exits. He is passionate about advancing new ideas in technology and entertainment, and supporting philanthropic causes for underrepresented groups. He’s a creator who enjoys writing books and drawing cartoons. He invites you to reach out.
I started my investment banking career at the age of 19 before I could legally attend happy hour.
I started my investment banking career working for Goldman Sachs and then joined the fledgling investment bank, Jefferies, when it had fewer than 200 employees and an equity market capitalization of under $200 million. Jefferies was a scrappy, entrepreneurial California-based bank that was started by an ex-cattle rancher in a phone booth and dared to challenge the incumbent giants of Wall Street. Today, Jefferies is a multi-billion dollar diversified public company (NYSE:JEF).
Over almost 25 years at Jefferies, I progressed from the proverbial janitorial suite to Managing Director co-running all Digital Media and Internet investment banking activities. I’ve worked with hundreds of companies, including IBM, Google, Microsoft, Sony, Yahoo!, and Yelp. I’ve managed all aspects of capital markets, venture capital and advisory for high growth Internet and technology companies and completed over 100 transactions for a broad range of companies in the USA, Asia and Europe. I’ve worked on almost every conceivable type of corporate finance transaction including IPOs, follow-on offerings, convertibles, securitizations, and private company sales. I’ve seen it all.
After retiring from investment banking, I entered the world of start-ups and co-founded several companies in asset management, technology, media, and entertainment. My current and past activities include:
- CEO of Liucrative Endeavors, a merchant banking firm
- President of La Mesa Capital, an investment firm
- Vice Chairman of MobilityWare, one of the largest mobile, casual gaming companies in the world
- Chairman of Reel8, a NFT marketplace
- Board Member of Francesca's, a leading boutique retailer
- Board Member of TEG Live, a GRAMMY and Tony Awards winning live production company
- CEO Advisor to Capacity, an artificial intelligence platform
- CEO Advisor to data.world, a leading cloud-native data catalog platform
- CEO Advisor to Internet Brands/WebMD, a multi-billion dollar technology company
- CEO Advisor to ProSiebenSat.1 Media, a multi-billion dollar company and one of the largest media companies in Europe
- CEO Advisor to Vobile, a multi-billion dollar video software company
- Investor in FIGS, a multi-billion dollar medical apparel retailer
- Investor in Philz Coffee, an iconic coffee retailer based in Silicon Valley
- Investor in Stampede, a movie and TV production company
Dave is also a perspiring artist and writer who is learning how to draw and write funny. He studied creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania, Sundance Institute, and The Second City. He publishes a career advice column called “Breaking Bamboo,” and a cartoon series called “The ABC Life.”
Dave is active in philanthropy and non-profit organizations. Net proceeds from his books will go towards charities helping children born with clefts, Asian Americans, and other underrepresented groups.
Dave has decades of experience as an Advisor, Founder, Investor, or Philanthropist, with hundreds of companies and institutions in Education, Entertainment, Media, and Technology. He has seen it all.
Dave learned a few things at some of the world’s best schools
Harvard Business School
I received a Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School so that I could improve my three-point shot and bench press over 300 pounds. In between time at the gym and the occasional class, I managed to raise $2 million for a software start-up that was little more than a slide presentation during the height of the first dot com bubble. I subsequently merged that business with another private company that ultimately met the same fate as the Titanic.
University of Pennsylvania
I have two Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Pennsylvania where I graduated with great honors from the Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology. At the Penn School of Engineering and Applied Science, I specialized in Systems Science and Engineering and analyzed manufacturing operations and built robots. At the Wharton School, I focused on Economics with a concentration in Finance so that I could balance my checkbook. I had to self-fund my education and was motivated by fear to complete the five-year program in four years. I am a member of the national engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi, and never saw the light of day during my undergraduate years.
I enjoy being a great partner and counselor to entrepreneurs and C-level executives. It can be when they are starting out, scaling up, or seeking liquidity. I love the challenge of tough decisions with far reaching consequences!
Typical activities where I thrive include:
Starting a company from idea to financing and beyond
Developing and executing a product plan
Developing and executing financing strategies at all stages of growth
Identifying, creating, and optimizing acquisition interest from buyers
Developing and structuring acquisition growth strategies
Understanding the implications of changes in the competitive landscape
Seeking relationships with Internet, media, and technology companies
Assisting in the management of employees, investors, and customers
Kicking butt and having fun
TYPICAL ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP
I believe in relationships based on trust and 100% alignment. As such, I seek arrangements that are primarily equity based where I am both investor and partner.
I believe in acute focus. I work with a limited group of companies where I can focus 100% of my energies. I typically participate as a Co-Founder, CEO Advisor or active Board Member.
“Dave is the smartest Internet investment banker I know. I have worked with him for many years...”
Former Goldman Sachs, Perry Capital
Current Non-Profit Activities
Member of the Executive Board
Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology (M&T), a coordinated dual degree program offered at the University of Pennsylvania that combines Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science with the Wharton School.
Member of the Trust Advisory Committee
The Tau Beta Pi Association, the oldest engineering honor society and second oldest collegiate honor society in the U.S.
Chairman of the Philanthropic Advisory Council
Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft-focused organization, with a sustainable and local model of supporting surgery and other forms of essential care.
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