Ashley Brasier is a partner with Lightspeed Venture Partners. Lightspeed Venture Partners is a venture capital firm that engages with several different types of markets such as, consumer and enterprise.
Ironically, as a child, Ashley wanted to be an architect. Did a lot of prototyping in the garage. While attending Duke and studying Copenhagen, she later discovered she liked prototyping business ideas. Starting her first career at Bain, she had worked there for several years. Looking for something more, she stumbled upon Venture Capital, it had caught her interest based on the background of the company. She went back to school and studied at Stanford GSB. While there she wanted to be involved in several industries all at once, thus entering into Lightspeed. She was a member of the consumer investing team. See Related Article at nypost.com
The team she was with was focused on their growth strategy, Ashley has looked at this project as a “craftmanship”, You go Ashley Lightspeed! lol. Still believing in the power of prototyping, Ashley Lightspeed! Quoted, “prtotyping is a key tool in the entrepreneur’s toolkit, as it enables you to fail fast and literate faster.”
A perfect way for a innovative person to view things. Before working for Venture, she had worked for a company called Thumbtack, and while in school before that, she was wanting to start her own business. After all, she found her happiness at Venture Capital. Who would have thought a child that was once making sketches in her garage as a child, will soon become one of the most important people of a company where she could use her skills that she had implemented as a child.
She once made a twitter post where she expressed how excited she was to join the Lightspeed VP Team, and how she was looking forward to working closely with her colleagues.
Looks like she is own her way to true happiness, a very inspirational person!
Often people don’t associate corporations and community outreach, yet that is exactly what Stream Energy is seeking to obtain. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey’s destruction, only one company was on the ground ready to bring aid. In partnership with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Red Cross, “Stream Cares” a philanthropic branch of Stream Energy has set their eyesights on the goal of not only giving back to the community but helping Stream Energy build a brand that people will respect and be loyal too. In addition to attempting to emulate Stream’s success in philanthropy, many companies are also aiming to reach out in forming their own branches, much like Stream Cares.
This strategy by Stream Energy has not gone unnoticed, in fact, in 2016 alone corporations donated over $19 billion to causes around their communities. However, what Stream Energy still has an advantage in is in their business model. Associates in order to be successful, are required to network and build a list of loyal clients. In turn, the associate will offer them fixed rate energy and or a cell phone plan. Because of the deep-rooted relationships that Stream Energy associates have built within their communities, often that loyalty and respect carry over to the companies reputation as a whole.
In addition, because the respect and loyalty go both ways, many of the associates from Stream build within their own communities passion projects. A great example of this comes from Dallas-based Hope Supply.co that fundraise enough money to bring over 1,000 homeless Dallas children warm food and shelter. Aside from these necessities, both organizations pull funds together in order to take all 1,000 children to a water park, an experience that unfortunately they would not have had experienced without the efforts of Stream associates. There is no doubt that Stream has changed the relationship between a corporation and the communities they reside in.
The investment industry is ever growing, with more companies and individuals looking to become a part of it and make good money in the long term, or possibly the short term as well. Fortress Investment Group is one of the largest investment companies in the United States today and they are specialists in alternative investments for their thousands of clients around the globe today. Fortress Investment Group was first launched in 1998 by three financial experts, Randal Nardone, Rob Kauffman, and Wes Edens. The three of these men had a goal of being financially independent and they came together to pool the necessary funds and start an investment company. Fortress Investment was started as a private investment company in New York at the start, but over time it transitioned to a public investment company with the help of various other industry experts.
The financial industry is vast and the money that flows through financial corporations like Fortress Investment is enormous. Fortress Investment Group alone works with thousands of investors all over the world and through all of their employees as well as executives, the company manages more than 41 billion dollars worth of assets. Executive management at Fortress Investment has done extremely well, not just in the execution of Fortress Investment policy, but in the own personal bank accounts. All of the original founders of the company have become billionaires for the investment into Fortress, including the companies appointed CEO today, Peter Briger. Peter was brought in to help the company back in 2002 and he has certainly done his job in increasing the yearly projection at Fortress. More importantly, Peter helped Fortress Investment Group become a public company, which is where they really took off and started spreading around the country. In 2017, Fortress Investment became a subsidiary for SoftBank Group, after selling for more than 3 billion dollars. A Force of Innovation: Two Decades of Fortress Investment Group
Jeunesse Global is a direct selling company that was designed to give the distributors all the tools they needed to achieve their financial goals through network marketing. The compensation plan is one of the best in the direct selling industry, according to Direct Selling News. The incentives have allowed the business to create more than a billion dollars in annual sales and have led it to grow more than 518% every year for four years in a row. The company was created by Wendy Lewis and her husband Randy Ray who both have experience creating successful companies. Before creating Jeunesse Global, the couple had a consulting company that provided the behind the scenes services to network marketing companies, teaching them the direct selling techniques they would later pass on to their distributors. However, they also wanted to create the best possible products, so they started to incorporate stem cell research into their products. This allowed them to create their Youth Enhancement System, a line made of nine different product lines. Each supplement and skincare line was designed to be integrated together, providing the body with all the necessary nutrients to prevent premature aging. The skincare lines were also designed to work together to provide the best possible results.
One f the more popular skincare lines that Jeunesse Global creates is the Luminesce line. This was developed by their friend Dr. Nathan Newman, a physician who specializes in the application of stem cell research. He created the APT-200 formula with the skin in mind, using 200 different human growth factors to encourage the skin to produce more protein. By producing more collagen and elastin, the skin can retain its youthful bounce and glow. The product line is famous for the Cellular Rejuvenation Serum which has the highest concentration of APT-200. The serum should be applied after cleansing the skin with the Youth Restoring Cleanser. The Youth Restoring Cleanser uses AHAs and BHAs to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, allowing the serum to be absorbed better by the skin. It only takes one to two pumps of the serum to get the best results.
One of the fundraising strategies of the Democratic candidates this midtem election period is to stop accepting political action committee money and to focus on getting money from the grassroots.
Most grassroots people give only $250 to candidates.
This strategy shows the influence of End Citizens United group on the candidates. This group came to into existence after the Supreme Court ruled that corporations can give as much as they want to candidates. The court ruled in favor of a fundraising group called Citizens United.
This strategy advocated by End Citizens United group has become a more popular strategy for candidates. This strategy started in national campaigns and has moved to local state-wide races. Howard Dean, a 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, was the first to show that you could get a lot of donations from the Internet. The Barack Obama campaigns of 2008 and 2012 continued this form of fundraising as well as the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign. View the group’s profile on Politifact.com.
The 2018 Beto O’Rourke campaign in Texas continues the End Citizens United form of fundraising. During his campaigning, Beto O’Rourke has been able to raise $38 million from about 800,000 contributions and none of the money comes from PAC people. He has raised so much money that he could set a fundraising record for a campaign quarter. This reinforces this strategy that state-wide candidates can run a winning campaign without having to resort to using PAC money.
Other Democratic candidates have seen the influence of End Citizens United (ECU).. They are increasingly not accepting money from corporate PACs. They are not accepting union PACs as well. They just rely on the sophistication of the big grassroots groups to get their money.
What has helped the ECU strategy is that voters have begun to realize that special interest groups have too much influence on American politics. The campaign donations from corporations and unions have too much influence on what candidates do when they get elected. They seem to do more what corporations want instead of what the voters want.
Guilherme Paulus is a Brazilian national who founded of the Operadora e Agencia de Viagens CVC Tur Lrda where he has served as its chairman for over 45 years. Paulus started the company when he was only 24 in 1972 with his partner, an active politician who left the business after four years of its operation. Through Guilherme Paulus hard work and dedication, the company grew exponentially to become the biggest tour operator in Latin America. In 2009, it however sold 63.6% of its stake to the Carlyle Group at a price of $ 420 million. What’s more, 2005 saw Paulus establish the GJP Hotels and Resorts, a group of more than 15 hotels and resorts located in different parts of Brazil. Read more about Guilherme Paulus on Crunchbase.
About Guilherme Paulus’ Achievements
Guilherme Paulus has made a name for himself over the years due to his successful business operations in tourism making him join the list of Forbes billionaires. Equally important, Paulus was also named as the entrepreneur of the year in 2017 and was on the cover of the Isto e Dinheiro Brazilian magazine. Paulus has also provided employment to over 1,900 people through his hotel business where he invested an estimate R $ 600 million. Again, he was responsible of building the CVC tourism network whereby it continues to flourish even after selling it where he remained with 8% ownership. Again, as the GJP group’s president, his upscale hotels are classified into four categories where he has the Wish, Prodigy, Linx, and the St Andrews Hotels.
Further, the reason behind Paulus selling of the CVC Company was ultimately to get the tourism business to a higher level through the global investment fund. This worked out well as the company has now grown to hold revenues worth R $ 5.2 billion annually after opening at the stock exchange market in 2013. Furthermore, Paulus had also introduced the tour operator stores in over 400 malls in Brazil where 140 were in hypermarkets. Besides, as part of the company’s growth strategy, Paulus extended his business to reach out to the unexplored areas by opening stores in places with much less population of 60,000 inhabitants. In addition, Paulus had also invested heavily on CVC’s corporate social responsibility of training the younger generation who are vulnerable by teaching them about the tourism business.
Lauren Gensler’s recent article, “Handyman’s Helper: How GreenSky’s David Zalik Skipped High School on his Way to Becoming a Billionaire”, was published in Forbes. The article discusses the recent meteoric rise of the fintech lending company.
The financial technology company, GreenSky Credit, is a technological middleman between the banks and merchants to make loans to clients who need loans for home improvement, healthcare, or even solar.
GreenSky Credit has partnered with a variety of secured banks like SunTrust Banks and Regions Financial Corps. The financing is provided through institutions that are federally and state-chartered and federally insured. They have more than fourteen different partner banks since 2016.
The loans are made online or through the company’s app to a variety of customers. They have a network of nearly 12,000 merchants and retailers like The Home Depot, Inc. and individual contractors. They add the merchants who sell home improvement products like roofing, window replacement, furniture and aluminum siding. They are even expanding their network base to include medical procedures. They also have more than 1.7 million customers who have been satisfied with their services. Through their technology, they have loaned more than 12 billion dollars.
The intelligence of co-founder and CEO, David Zalik, reveal that the magic in the company takes place behind the scenes. Because the company has bank partners, they aren’t responsible for defaults on the loans. However, they are able to make a profit on both sides of the trade. Not only do the contractors pay GreenSky Credit an average of 6% of the loan amount, but the banks also pay a fee to use their services as well. The bank partners will pay nearly 1% of the balance each year.
In the same way that Airbnb has become the middleman of travel, GreenSky Credit has become the technological middleman of home improvement lending. Yet, they are beginning to expand into lending for medical treatments like plastic surgery or even braces.
The company is based in Atlanta, Georgia and has been valued at $3.6 billion. GreenSky Credit has raised more than $50 million in funding, placing the CEO and co-founder Zalik well within billionaire status.
Formed in the year two thousand and twelve, Talos Energy commenced as an independent oil and gas company. The firm’s expertise spans across the United States, Gulf of Mexico and offshore Mexico. Talos Energy deals with the production of hydrocarbons. The company was formed initially with a purpose of purchasing holdings in the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf Coast. This was the result of a collaboration with Riverstone Holdings and Apollo Global Management. Assets in the regions were acquired for the purpose of exploration of the surroundings and optimization. The firm also is into business development ventures. This includes utilization of 10.2 million acres of inventory used to polish transaction economics. Talos Energy’s expert management team has also shared a stake of the cake to equity-backed companies. In all instances, they have delivered impressive returns due to use of innovative techniques to develop top investment opportunities to investors. Not so long ago, Talos Energy made a very enticing discovery.
The company discovered a whopping two million barrels of oil. This discovery which was made in the shallow waters of the coast of Mexico. The discovery was the first of its kind since Mexico opened up its gas and oil fields for exploration by foreign companies. The exact location of this discovery was 37 miles from Puerto Dos Bocas at the steak of the Southern Coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The company’s president who also doubles up as its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Tim Duncan said that the development of the discovery would take at least four years. This discovery has triggered further interest in research and exploration for more oil in the border of U.S.
This discovery has been a crucial turn around point for the struggling energy sector of Mexico. An analyst at Wood Mackenzie Research firm said that Zama is among the largest low water fields to be discovered in a span of over twenty years. The well has an initial depth of eleven thousand feet. According to experts, this discovery is just the perfect solution needed to lure Mexico’s needs to boost investments from all oil big pins in the industry.
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Many businessmen today are venturing into philanthropy. For most of them, it is an opportunity for positive PR and a tax break from the government. However, there are a few who venture into philanthropy because they genuinely empathize with others and want to help. There is a big difference between these two categories of businessmen; one does one or two philanthropic acts invites every reporter in town to write a story praising them for their goodness. The other just does good and doesn’t care if no one notices. Eric Lefkofsky is the later.
Eric Lefkofsky is the co-founder of Tempus technology company that has built an operating system to help fight cancer. He is also the founding partner of Lightbank and the co-founder of Groupon. Apart from being a successful entrepreneur, Lefkofsky is also an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago.
Instead of focusing on developing his career only, Lefkofsky set up a family foundation so that he can use his money, skills, and experience to benefit the community. His family’s foundation, Lefkofsky family foundation, supports projects in the field of medicine, education arts and human rights.
The Lefkofsky family foundation supports The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA). This venture is especially close to their hearts since the co-founder of this non-profit was Liz Lefkofsky’s mother. The organization provides comprehensive resources that support the special needs of the brain tumor patients. They also fund research geared towards discovering treatment, better ways to care for brain tumor patients.
Eric Lefkofsky’s philanthropic ventures have touched the field of education as well. His foundation started the Teach For America Chicago (FTA) movement, high school bound and success bound. His aim in supporting these projects is to ensure that students receive quality education and their individual talents natured. With the Teach For America foundation alone, Lefkofsky’s foundation has managed to reach over 125,000 students in Chicago.
Lefkofsky does not channel all his philanthropic efforts into his family’s foundation. He also offers his expertise in several boards helping them to come up with more impactful projects. He is a trustee of Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, World Business Chicago and the Institute of Arts. His reason for giving himself so freely is to use his expertise to help these institutions better their services to the people.
When asked, Lefkofsky says his inspiration to help people is the thought of him helping to make someone’s life better.
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Since global food processing giant the OSI Group hired David McDonald 30 years ago as a project manager, he has consistently made so many important, invaluable contributions to the company McDonald was regularly promoted until he was named president and COO of the company. To the people who knew David McDonald while he was a student at Iowa State University working on his bachelor’s degree in animal science, his success does not come as a surprise. Long known for his natural intelligence, unbridled interest in agriculture and biology and excellent work ethic, McDonald was voted the Wallace E. Barron Outstanding Senior.
David McDonald has continued to excel at the OSI Group. His ability to quickly and effectively resolve the infrastructure and technical issues the company has faced is legendary. McDonald’s unmatched skill at helping the company navigate government regulations, partner with local suppliers and create food choices specifically designed to suit the cultural tastes of each new section of their customer base has made him a star. It has also helped the OSI Group experience exponential growth. McDonald has helped the company get choice locations for their facilities and all the raw materials and workers they need they need to build them.
The role that David McDonald has played in the OSI Group’s development of lucrative partnerships and the adding of Baho Foods and Flagship Europe to the company’s list of acquisitions, has been nothing short of genius. McDonald says it’s the customers that inspire the OSI Group to be more innovative in creating the products and services necessary to meet their needs. The creativity of the company’s food development is in response to the challenge of cost-effectively producing particular menu segments to meet the culturally driven specific preferences of their customers. Efforts to meet those needs are some of the OSI Group’s best learning tools.
Even as David McDonald encourages the staff of OSI Group to remain flexible and innovative, he also demands highest quality in all their processes and products. For David McDonald and the OSI Group, cost-effective, creative food development must be combined with the optimal in worker, food and environmental safety practices. McDonald constantly challenges the staff to improve both the quality of their products and the effectiveness of their efforts by evaluating their mistakes and using them as teaching tools. These actions reflect some of the genius that David McDonald brings to his work.
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