Robert enjoys world renown as an expert in the field of entrepreneurial capitalism. He has nearly 30 years of entrepreneurial experience. He is a strategist, innovative thought leader, public speaker, creative educator, and prolific author.
He has been the intellectual architect for a number of exciting and innovative projects around the world.
As a consultant, Robert currently advises emerging growth companies on strategic planning, business planning, angel/venture capital financing, strategic alliances, and entrepreneurial finance.
An expert in packaging, placing, and presenting business plans, his clients’ business plans have raised more than $100 million from angels, venture capitalists, and strategic partners. As an author, Robert has written or edited more than a dozen books. His work has been translated into more than 10 languages.
“A true entrepreneur and mentor to many other entrepreneurs.”
– William Draper, General Partner, Draper Richards LP
Global Business Advisor & Author
Consultant to global entrepreneurs and private equity investors: angel, venture, corporate executives, board members, and chairmen.
- Great multi-disciplinary entrepreneurial background. Excellent at critical thinking, problem identification, operations management, venture team development, and problem solving. Consulted with venture capitalists and their start-ups, mid-cap publicly traded NASDAQ companies, on up to multibillion-dollar publicly traded companies.
- Advises high-tech and emerging growth companies on such issues as strategic planning, global expansion, business planning, financial modeling, marketing and new product strategies, venture team development, operations management, angel/venture capital financing strategies, strategic alliances, and mergers/acquisitions.
- His clients’ business plans have raised more than $100 million from angel investors, venture capitalists, and strategic capital partners like Apax Partners, IBM, HP/Compaq, Oracle, Siemens, Apollo Management, DAG Private Equity, Leonard Green LP, Rare Medium Ventures, and Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest formal angel groups in the world.
- Very active as a Social Entrepreneur around the world, advising nonprofit groups, nonprofit causes, and social cause marketing programs for corporate business leaders.
Award Winning Social Entrepreneur
Robert received two prestigious awards from Pepperdine University for his work as a social entrepreneur leading the Global Entrepreneurship Institute.
– George Pepperdine Waves of Service Award
– George L. Graziadio Community Service Award
Presented in Santa Monica, California, the awards recognize a select number of students, alumni, faculty, and corporate partners who exemplify integrity, stewardship, courage, and compassion, while enriching the business world through their superior skills and entrepreneurial spirit. University founder George Pepperdine and business school benefactor George L. Graziadio, Jr., both turned their own stories into models for success that endure throughout the university’s rich academic programs. Their commitment to experiential learning, entrepreneurship, ethics, and global mindedness continue to guide and inspire students.
Award Winning Projects
Most notably, he created innovative business strategies for a new online financial service during the early days of the Internet-era. This project became part of the Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, as one of the most significant technology advances in the insurance arena. McGraw-Hill’s Higher Education division is the world’s largest publisher of graduate level textbooks and publications. Working with McGraw-Hill Robert created the world’s first online series of textbooks and educational materials called PowerWeb. A password-protected Web site that offers professors a turnkey solution for adding the Internet to a course.
PowerWeb was the first site that provided students with current articles from Annual Editions, curriculum-based materials, weekly updates with assessment, informative and timely world news, refereed Web links, research tools, student study tools, interactive exercises, and much more. PowerWeb was chosen to receive The McGraw-Hill Companies Corporate Achievement Award in Innovation from Terry McGraw, Chairman, Vice President, and CEO. This is one of the highest honors within the corporation.
He was also the brains behind one of the first online SaaS (software-as-a-service) ventures. Working in a strategic alliance with the IBM think tank for SMBs and the IBM venture capital group, this new Company went public on the NASDAQ market and reached a market cap of some $150 million. The Company’s solutions were sold to more than four million customers through private label syndication on Fortune 2000 corporate Web sites, including JPMorgan Chase, Union Bank of California, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, and Inc. magazines, and through OEM distribution deals with Dell and Gateway Computers. Investors included Compaq, IBM, and Apollo Management.
Innovative Thought Leader For Entrepreneurs
Robert is recognized expert and speaker on entrepreneurial management. He is a life-long serial entrepreneur and a supporter of entrepreneurship, and was honored as a semifinalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) Program.
Robert has been quoted in a variety of publications and media outlets including: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Financial News, XM and Sirius Satellite Radio programming, Tom Peters NewsWire, Time Magazine, Fortune Magazine, Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge, Forbes.com, National Federation of Independent Business, American Venture Magazine, Home Business Magazine, Dallas Forth Worth News, Miami Herald, Export Today Magazine, Orange County Register, to Wells Fargo Small Business Report, Ceramics Today, and Today’s Chemist at Work.
Featured TEDx Presenter
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.
The Small Business Advocate Show
Robert is a Small Business/Entrepreneurship Expert, Brain Trust Member, on The Small Business Advocate Show. Since 1997, Jim Blasingame has put together the largest community of small business experts in the world, known as The Brain Trust. Trust members join Jim on The Small Business Advocate Show every weekday to deliver the best small business tips and best practices in dozens of categories, to help entrepreneurs become more successful. The Small Business Advocate Show is the world’s only weekday small business radio program and is sponsored by IBM, FedEx, and Administaff.
Talent and Innovation Challenges of the Americas (TIC Americas)
Each year TIC Americas presents awards as an international business plan competition and accelerator for young entrepreneurs with nearly 2,500 teams participating. TIC Americas is a comprehensive global program for young entrepreneurs to create and grow their business ideas. The program goes beyond the development of a business plan to include support, follow-up, networking opportunities for global visibility, and market access.
The best young entrepreneurs from around the world are chosen and awarded with cash prizes, training, mentoring, and other important tools to succeed in the business world. Awards are in the following categories: E-Business, Creative Design, Tradition and Culture, Spirit of Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship, New Markets, Environmental Conservation and Green Business.
The program is affiliated with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS). The program aims to advance the goals of the OAS and Presidential Summits of the Americas to create employment opportunities and reduce poverty by supporting and promoting youth entrepreneurship within the 34 Member States of the OAS. Since 2006, TIC Americas has built a portfolio of nearly 5,000 business projects that involve nearly 17,000 young entrepreneurs from 72 countries.
For the innovative contest he created an Online Mentorship program for the business plan contest winners. He has been a Business Plan Judge TIC Americas Contest: Medellin, Colombia (2008), San Pedro Sula, Honduras (2009), Lima, Peru (2010), San Salvador, El Salvador (2011), Cartagena, Colombia (2012), Guatemala (2013), Paraguay (2014), Panama (2015), Dominican Republic (2016).
Pepperdine University “Bootcamp For Entrepreneurs”
While studying as an MBA student at Pepperdine University, and as a part of a class assignment, Robert created a business plan that outlined the world’s first formal university-affiliated “Bootcamp” for entrepreneurs where working professionals earn a Certificate in 14-weeks instead of a business degree. So innovative was the idea that Pepperdine used his business plan to develop and launch their Entrepreneurial Management Program. Upon graduation Robert was hired by Pepperdine as a consultant, curricula developer, and later was hired as an instructor for this revolutionary non-degree Certificate Program.
Roadmap To Silicon Valley
Robert created Roadmap To Silicon Valley, an exclusive travel course to Silicon Valley & San Francisco. Provides a real-world introduction to the process of financing entrepreneurial ventures and the functions of the major venture capitalists. For the past fifty years Silicon Valley has been the world center for venture capital, technology investment, and innovation. The Silicon Valley “model” of financing deals and supporting entrepreneurial capitalism is widely used around the world. Getting a business plan funded by a venture capitalist is an “eyeball-to-eyeball” process. This travel course provides students a chance to learn about the world of financing entrepreneurial ventures through the eyes of Silicon Valley’s visionary venture capitalists, leading professional service providers and master entrepreneurs. The course also features a series of classroom lectures and online assignments.
The Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University develops business leaders who create value for their organizations. Nationally ranked in entrepreneurship by Entrepreneur Magazine and The Princeton Review, the school provides advice in start-up strategies, business and marketing plans, strategies for growing firms, and guidance in securing angel or venture capital funding. Entrepreneurship and ethics as well as written and oral communication skills are integrated throughout the curriculum along with elements of global business.
Students are provided opportunities for participation in student organizations, entrepreneurial internships, business plan contests, consulting team projects, and mentorship programs. Chapman’s entrepreneurship program was recently selected by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) as the first-place winner of the Innovative Pedagogy Award.
Additionally, Women 3.0 magazine recently included Chapman University in their listing of Top 50 MBA Programs with an entrepreneurship focus. The Argyros School of Business and Economics is fully accredited by AACSB and offers bachelor’s degrees in business administration, economics and accounting as well as the MBA and EMBA.
Robert was invited to develop and teach innovative entrepreneurship classes at Brandman. The MBA program on entrepreneurship focuses on the entrepreneurial process. Topics include idea generation and assessment, writing the business plan, financing, gathering needed resources, firm start-up and exit strategies. This course aims at creating knowledge, skills, and awareness in the critical aspects of funding, launching, and growing a new business venture and then leading it to a successful harvest. Brandman provides adult learners with broader access to quality higher education with cutting-edge curricula driven by innovative pedagogy and technology. Brandman has focused on developing an innovative curriculum, using a blended format of online and face-to-face instruction at 26 campuses located in California and Washington.
Cal-State Fullerton (CSUF)
Robert was invited to develop and teach innovative entrepreneurship classes at California State University Fullerton and their Small Business Institute. CSUF’s Small Business Institute has won over 40 awards for outstanding student consulting to small business owners. It won the 1996, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2005, and 2008 National Graduate Case of the Year Award from the Small Business Institute Director’s Association.
In his role as a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Entrepreneurship Institute Robert has written or edited more than a dozen books. His books are required reading at Harvard Business School, Stanford University, UCLA, USC, Wharton, Caltech, Indiana University, New York University and many more leading universities and colleges around the world. His entrepreneurship books and course materials are used in the Top 10 best graduate programs in the USA that teach entrepreneurship, and 8 of the Top 10 best undergraduate programs in the USA that teach entrepreneurship. His work has been translated into more than 10 languages.
Born in the United States, Robert has lived, worked, or studied in Spain, Germany, France, Austria, Colombia, and Mexico. He speaks in Spanish, German, and French. Robert earned his MBA from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California and Bachelors degree in International Studies from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
He has been very active outside of the business world and classroom. Once raced dirt bike motorcycles professionally. Although he has owned more than 28 motorcycles, he now spins his wheels by mountain biking in Southern California in the summer, enjoys skiing in the winter. He travels extensively around the world for business assignments, guest lecturing, presenting, nonprofit projects, and on holidays.