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Summary:

  • Known for having a balance of creativity and deep analytical rigor along with a passion for changing chaos into outcomes. Action-oriented, empathic, and consistently able to view situations from new perspectives. Highly skilled at evaluating the merits of investment opportunities and assisting private business owners with business operations and sale of businesses. Entrepreneurial and master salesperson. Sold over $1M in businesses, software, data, and services throughout my career.

Key Skills:

  • Intrapreneurial | Innovation | Due Diligence | | Operations | Email | Marketing & Outreach | Copywriting & Research | Entrepreneurial | Start-Ups | Marketing | Project | Management | Leadership & Collaboration | Operations Management | Creative Thinking | Maintaining & Growing Client Relationships | CRM Set-Up & Administration

More info:

  • Professionallyhelpful.com – A chronological list of companies, projects & clients I’ve worked with. I like to say I am professionally helpful in the sense that every dollar I’ve made has come from helping people first and worrying about money later

Roles I’m interested in:

Professional Summary:

Mike Smith has been an entrepreneur and operations enthusiast since high school.

Looking back his first true professional endeavor was convincing the New Jersey Nets to hire him as the only high school member of their game night crew. This highly coveted position paid $50 per game that got Mike courtside access to the team and back office.  Mike recalls  considering this a big step up from being a cashier at the local Stop & Shop. This role entailed supporting the team’s dance team, cheerleaders and venue operations professionals during home games.

While in high school Mike completed a rigorous course to become an Emergency Medical Technician, a certification he still holds today. This 150-hour course taught Mike the basics of Emergency Medical Services.

Upon arriving on the Syracuse University campus Mike would be accepted by the university’s student-run volunteer ambulance service which would become his main focus outside of academics during his time on campus. At SU Ambulance Mike served as Ambulance Driver and Emergency Medical Technician during his freshman and sophomore years. During his Junior year, Mike would serve as the Personnel Supervisor, a role which was responsible for hiring 30 new members from a pool of over 200 applicants and then ensuring they were trained to the standards of both New York State medical standards and the ambulance corp’s protocols. Training is a vital part of the organization that Mike would contribute to. As a Driver Trainer, Crew Chief Trainer and Field Training Officer he was responsible for training and evaluating new members, hosting recurring training events for membership and ensuring ambulance corps was aware of newest industry trends and protocols. On shift as Field Training Officer, Mike often functioned as a senior member of the crew responsible for both the functional roles and training of probationary members.

Later in college, Mike got hit with the entrepreneurial bug in both an academic and practical setting. On the academic side of the equation, Mike was accepted into a prestigious fellowship funded by the renowned Kauffman Foundation that gave him the opportunity to both learn about entrepreneurship and teach others. Mike earned a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship and served as a teaching assistant for the school of management’s business plan capstone program. Mike also served as an organizer for startup weekend and local hackathon.

Mike started a company that ultimately failed but taught him a lot about what it takes to build a business from nothing. Centscere was a social enterprise that helped people become more charitable with their everyday actions. The original premise was rounding transactions up to the next dollar and donating the difference to charity. Mike and cofounders quickly learned that building this technology would cost roughly a quarter of a million dollars which was impossible for broke college students to come up with. One of Mike’s co-founders noticed how social media was quickly becoming ingrained in everyday life and thought this could be a vehicle for increased charitable giving. The concept was for every action on social media (like, tweet, comment, share) a donor would give a small amount to their favorite nonprofit. The value was two-fold: increasing giving through micro-donations and making people feel better about the time they spent online. With this new concept in mind, Mike and team went on to build the product and business around the concept. Like with most technology-based startups, a significant financial investment is required to get the business off the ground. Mike and team raised a initial round of funding from friends and family that provided enough capital to build a minimum viable product of the service. Next came joining an accelerator which provided more capital and mentorship to really expand the offering. Mike helped onboard dozens of nonprofits while his co-founders managed the technical development of the business. Thanks to hustle and perseverance the Centscere team won the accelerator’s grand prize of $150,000 in convertible debt and $50,000 in marketing services. This provided enough runway for the business to really thrive. Unfortunately, as the business began to grow the founding team learned that the business was dead in the water. The underlying concept of the business was attaching monetary charges to social media actions via various internet APIs. While digging deeper into these partnerships the founding team learned that their model was no longer permitted by the Facebook API. They could continue to build their businesses but would be at the mercy of Facebook.  Since commerce is the holy grail and most lucrative part of many social media businesses it makes sense that Facebook would want to control this. Mike learned a lot through this experience including the investment of time and capital required to start a business but also, and more importantly, the perils of “building your house on someone else’s land”.

After the learning experience that was starting a company, Mike came back to the NYC area dejected and feeling like a failure. Through fortuitous networking mike met Chris LoPresti founder of TouchPoints, a premium data services company. Mike would work with the Founders of TouchPoints for most of the next three years. TouchPoints helps brands universities and nonprofits update, append and improve the data they have on hand about their constituents. At TouchPoints Mike would focus on sales development, appointment setting, CRM maintenance and management and selling enterprise level contracts north of $50,000. Mike enjoyed his time at TouchPoints as it allowed him to whisper in the ears of the founders and have a direct financial and systematic impact on an emerging tech company. Three years into TouchPoints Mike realized he did not want a career in sales so he started looking for the next thing.

In January 2017 Mike started working as the inaugural operations manager for Talent Tech Labs. Talent Tech Labs is an innovation lab focused on talent acquisition. In this role Mike demoed hundreds of services and products to create a market map of the most innovative companies by sector. He also worked as an advisor to companies in the Talent Tech Labs portfolio.

Through his work at Talent Tech Labs Mike realized that one of his key skills is operations management. He understands the value of creating systems and processes for companies and professionals. Since late 2017 Mike has functioned as a “fractional chief of staff”.  He has been told that he is a mix of an executive coach and virtual assistant. Sometime helps his client figure out the next step and in other cases he executes the project. Specific functions as Chief of Staff include:

  • Due diligence advisor: one client used Mike as a sounding board for potential investments. Mike would meet with the entrepreneur or business owner and create an investment memo
  • Operating system setup: Mike has helped numerous professionals improve the systems they use to manage their lives and businesses.
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