Matt is a Media & Technology executive with a history of entrepreneurial success. After selling a technology company he founded to Hearst in 2008, he spent three years at Hearst Digital Media, launching and growing their brands online. Currently, Matt is President for Net Element, a publicly-traded mobile commerce and entertainment company, and founder of Critical Mercury, where he advises media-tech companies. Specialties: Entrepreneurship, Technology, Social Media, Social Commerce, Social Gaming, Venture Capital, Interactive Media, Business Development, Management, Corporate Innovation, Mergers & Acquisitions, New Business Planning and Development.
President, Entertainment & Culture
Net Element International
August 2012 - Present
Net Element ("NETE" on Nasdaq) is a mobile commerce and entertainment company. Hired as a corporate "intrapreneur" to bring vision and discipline to a portfolio of early-and-growth stage businesses located in Russia/CIS and the US. Responsible for several units including Music, Motorsports, and Film.
January 2012 - Present
We are a team of global entrepreneurs with a passion to build. We identify scalable, proven business models and pair them with great people.
Mentor & Advisor
Dreamit Ventures / First Growth Ventures
April 2011 - Present
Advisor for technology incubators on topics ranging from product-market fit and customer acquisition, to recruitment and M&A.
Founder / Advisor
April 2011 - Present
Advisor to start-ups including: VRQuest: game-based learning. Students design and create their own curriculum-based video games. Paying customers include NYC Department of Education and Boys’ and Girls’ Club. Personiform: social healthcare. In advanced discussions with pilot partners. Currently raising Series A. Orios Fund: I helped vet early-stage media & technology deals for an angel fund in India. My Baby Sampler: Sampling program for first-time moms. LOI-stage to partner with major online retailer.
IAB Social Media Committee
June 2008 - Present
The Internet Advertising Bureau's Social Media Committee is dedicated to helping develop and expand the social media space as a viable advertising platform. The committee works to educate marketers and agencies on the strength of social media as a marketing vehicle.
Entrepreneur In Residence
April 2011 - August 2012
Vice President, Social Media & Community
April 2008 - April 2011
Part of the senior management team (one SVP; four VPs) that created and executed the digital strategy for more than two dozen Hearst brands including Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Esquire, and Harper's Bazaar. Operating plan and P&L responsibility to create revenue growth from advertising, commerce, lead-generation – while protecting brand integrity and managing multiple stakeholders. Served in a digital innovation role, introducing new trends, technologies and business models into the magazine organization – e.g., location-based services, gaming, and social commerce. Provided cross-functional social leadership for Editorial, PR, Advertising, and Marketing. Leveraged Answerology’s tech platform to create sites such as www.Cosmopolitan.com/ask, and www.Seventeen.com/ask, where Answerology is the #1 page-view generator.
Founder / CEO
Answerology (acquired by Hearst)
2003 - 2008
Pioneer of the “Q&A Community,” one of the consumer internet’s most popular categories. Reached profitability via subscription and advertising models, and by licensing our technology platform and user-generated content to media companies such as AOL and iVillage. Imagined original concept (GuyCritical.com, “Where Women Can Ask Guys Anything”) as a way to market the founder’s novel, Guy Critical.
2000 - 2002
Author of "Guy Critical," a novel and screenplay. Represented by United Talent Agency as a screenwriter and dialogue writer / re-writer.
Founder / CEO
1998 - 1999
Created a direct-marketing business that sold brand-name clothing and accessories via popular TV stars and prime-time programming. Concept didn’t work as well as expected, so: Pivoted to sell hip-hop clothes, skate culture, and DJ equipment to suburban teens via a print magazine/catalog (a “magalog.”) Sold business to the owners of a direct-marketing company.
Sales & Trading
Kidder Peabody / PaineWebber / Lehman Brothers
1994 - 1997
After completing Kidder, Peabody’s training program, built a business in a then-nascent area of the derivatives market: hedging and disposal techniques for restricted and low-basis assets.
Intern; Assistant Copyright Manager; Business Development
July 1989 - July 1992
Started at firm as unpaid intern, scouting for musical talent and songwriters. Marketed our copyrighted songs to recording artists, and to television and film producers. Our team scored several #1 Hits, including Michael Bolton's "Georgia On My Mind."
June 1989 - September 1989
Junior member of the marketing and promotional team. Bands included Blondie, Billy Idol, and Pat Benatar.