STRONG NETWORK. DIVERSE EXPERIENCES.
We fund, connect, and immerse you with mentoring and knowledge to help you achieve MVP. Through massive action and iteration, this team helps you gain traction to kick ass.
David has over a decade of technology service and real estate investment experience. AgniTEK is a full service IT Solutions company serving Texas companies for over 10 years, with extensive experience in Managed IT Services, Network Management, Document Management, Website Design & Internet Marketing, Custom Software & Database, Programming, Data Backup, Storage & Disaster Recovery Planning. We deliver Reliability, Consistency, Simplicity, and Value. We work with clients to identify company objectives, research relevant technical options and provide recommendations that align business technology with their business goals. We are recognized for integrating business technologies, streamlining operations and improving our clients’ bottom line. We empower you to focus on managing your business not your technology. Most importantly, we deliver what we promise.
Bill is the Managing Partner of Promentum Sports, one of the fastest growing communications consulting firms in the U.S., serving notable clients such as the NBA, NFL, Heisman Trophy winners, Olympic champions, and leading collegiate athletic programs. Bill was personally responsible for the coaching and preparation of Johnny Manziel and his 2012 Heisman acceptance speech which ESPN deemed “one of the best in history”. Bill is also the Chief Operating Officer of the Daniel Stark Law Firm, one of the largest personal injury firms in Texas and a leader in the legal industry for its innovation in technology and progressive team culture. With a graduate degree in educational psychology and years of experience on stage and in the boardroom, he’s used his unique understanding of what drives human behavior to accelerate performance in media, communications, and the corporate world. He has fully embraced two simple ideas: 1) Your words matter, & 2) People are important.
Shelly Brenckman ’79 wears many hats at Startup Aggieland as the facility’s only full-time employee since May 2013. Although her title at Startup Aggieland is Marketing Coordinator, she also serves as a Mentor, Event Planner and Office Manager with some responsibility for managing student workers and representing Startup Aggieland at outside events. She helps Assistant Director Don Lewis with strategic planning , creating new programming and developing related course curriculum. In particular, her work focuses on donor development; sponsor and speaker recruitment; and recruitment of mentors and new student entrepreneurs.
As Marketing Coordinator, Shelly is the Webmaster and Social Media Manager, as well as the Mobile App manager. She creates all branding for Startup Aggieland and communicates the facility’s story both internally and externally through print, radio, social media and gorilla marketing. As a Mentor, Shelly has advised nearly every student venture launching from Startup Aggieland and some that never became official clients. She also has advised former students and remote-learning students in other states. Shelly connects student startups with funding and board members by tapping her extensive network of alumni, administrators and CEOs.
Shelly was instrumental in the launch of one student tech startup, founded during Startup Aggieland’s inaugural 3-Day Startup. She raised funding, secured venues and vendors, obtained donations and managed marketing campaigns for several inaugural Startup Aggieland events, including Startup Aggieland’s first Startup 101; Startup Aggieland’s Open House & Launch Party; Startup Aggieland’s Plaid Party; several ESociety events; and Startup Aggieland’s inaugural Elevator Pitch Competition last semester. She is currently responsible for planning Startup Aggieland’s Inaugural Investor Day 2014 with Mark Cuban. She has raised money in support of Ideas Challenge and for other A&M programs, including student scholarships and faculty awards.
In collaboration with Assistant Director and Executive Professor Don Lewis and CNVE Executive Director Richard Lester, Shelly drafted and co-authored a $300,000 TOP Grant for Startup Aggieland. She is now working with Professor Lewis on design and implementation of a project she initiated in 2011– the new Startup Learning, Living Community for Hullabaloo Hall. She also assisted in a recent redesign of the Think Tank at Startup Aggieland and with overall design, naming and structure of Startup Aggieland. Shelly sourced most of the furnishings in Startup Aggieland with “shopping trips” to A&M Surplus– loading and hauling much of it alone.
Prior to working for Startup Aggieland, Shelly was Vice President of Communications from December 2011 through June 2012 with Aggie Angel Network, Inc. AAN is a non-profit Texas corporation providing early-stage investment opportunities for SEC-accredited angel investors in startups led by Texas A&M University faculty, former students and students; and also in ventures based on patented IP developed at TAMU. Since 2000, Shelly has been a founding member of the Board of Directors for Lake Conroe Lighthouse, Inc. and has served as president of the endowment fund since 2002. She was elected the first woman president and later treasurer of a 32-year-old non-profit Texas corporation with 823 individual and commercial members.
In 1986, Shelly founded a Texas corporation that produced and distributed a monthly glossy newsstand and subscription magazine. Distributed internationally and the first of a new genre, the magazine garnered many awards and accolades. In 1991, Shelly won First Place in a Business Plan competition staged by Mays Business School’s Center for Entrepreneurship– leading to her corporation’s successful private stock offering with a venture capital firm in San Antonio.
Headquartered in offices at a Northgate-area bank building, Shelly’s company helped to co-found the local AD Federation Club and sponsored the founding of an Entrepreneurship Club in Student Activities. A member of the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce, her company provided full-time and part-time jobs for many people in Bryan-College Station. During that 20 years, Shelly served as a consultant for Texas A&M University and for state agencies within the A&M System.
Shelly launched her first business at age 10, a lemonade stand, and made serious money staging large neighborhood carnivals at age 11 and 12. She produced and sold a neighborhood newspaper at age 13. By age 14, she took her first job working as a graphic artist for the Kolb Agency. From age 13 through college, she worked two jobs year-round while running her own small businesses– selling golf balls from golf course lakes and recycling glass and aluminum from neighborhood construction sites. After college, she worked at several well-known advertising agencies, serving as a Production Manager and later an Art Director, then as Creative Director and Head of Marketing for a Hanna Barbara toy manufacturing subsidiary. She has worked as an Art Director and Editor for other publications; and as a cost engineer and consultant for energy firms and resort developers.
Her diverse experience as a corporate officer and board member for various companies and non-profits, as a technologist, published book author and editor, magazine publisher and editor, and as a business owner makes it possible for Shelly to mentor a variety of student startups in various matters from raising capital to business formation. While not a lawyer, Shelly has studied business law at Texas A&M and completed continuing education coursework in corporate board and non-profit law. In her limited free time, Shelly does some political consulting for candidates seeking statewide and local office, as well as some consulting for public school districts on bond offerings and strategic partnerships. Shelly’s idea of a good time is doing fun work with fun people who make a difference!
Shelly is a lifetime member of her local A&M Club as well as a Century Club member of the Association of Former Students. She also is a supporting member of the 12th Man Foundation, KAMU-TV, Corps of Cadets Association and the WFSN. She is a contributor to the endowed professorship for Rodney Hill in the College of Architecture. She has earned ten ADDY and IABC awards as well as a Downbeat Music Award. Shelly received a President’s Lifetime Achievement Award from the Points of Light Foundation and President George H.W. Bush, but– the single recognition that she is most proud of receiving is as namesake for Startup Aggieland’s Bulldog Brenckman Award, hand-sculpted by Professor Rodney Hill, AIA. This award is presented annually by Startup Aggieland’s Board of Directors to a selfless student who has committed an extraordinary amount of time and made a significant impact in helping other students at Startup Aggieland.
From Seed Sumo:“Shelly is one of the most hardworking and selfless people you will ever meet. She does a tremendous job of connecting people within the entrepreneurial community.”
Kevin Klughart is a patent attorney with a particular emphasis on patent preparation/prosecution in the electrical, electronic, semiconductor, and software technology fields.
Dr. Klughart’s technical background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with special emphasis on digital and software systems, Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University with a concentration in RF/microwave circuit design, and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University specializing in low power integrated circuit (IC) design. Dr. Klughart’s legal training includes a Juris Doctor and Master of Intellectual Property degrees from Franklin Pierce Law Center and a Master of Laws in Taxation from Boston University.
Dr. Klughart’s Ph.D. qualifying exams were taken in Electromagnetic Theory, Computer Architecture, and Analog Circuit Design, with graduate coursework also including analog CMOS/BiCMOS IC design, communications theory, data compression, speech DSP, microwave RF design and electromagnetic theory, digital computer architecture, neural networks, and advanced mathematics. Industry experience includes over 15 years as a software systems programmer and hardware design engineer involving a wide variety of analog, digital, and software systems, including senior positions as a software engineer and mixed-signal analog IC designer including employment at Mostek Corporation and Dallas Semiconductor.
Dr. Klughart is a Registered Professional Engineer in four states (CA,MA,NH,TX) and has in the past been one of 14 subject matter experts participating in the NCEES electrical engineering EPE exam preparation and review team. NCEES is responsible for generating and scoring exams that certify professional competence in a variety of engineering disciplines. These exams are a prerequisite for licensure as a Professional Engineer in all states and territories of the United States as well as some other countries. In this capacity Dr. Klughart was a subject matter expert in analog/digital circuit design & biomedical / microwave / computer / software engineering and lead chair in developing the NCEES PE exam in the Electrical Engineering Computer sub-discipline.
Dr. Klughart is a named inventor on ten U.S. patents and also an avid runner, cyclist, and swimmer. His hobbies include (among other things), welding in a variety of processes (SMAW/GTAW/GMAW/OXY) and lathe/mill machine metal work.
From Seed Sumo:“Kevin is one of the strongest IP attorneys in Texas.”
Josh Tabin joins vcfo as a Technology Practice Manager for the Houston office. He is based in Houston but supports clients company-wide in this position.
With over 22 years of diverse business experience, Josh brings C-level operational and financial executive leadership to vcfo clients. His strategic perspective on developing business that relates long-term vision to short-term execution has equipped him to ensure that strategic vision becomes a business reality. Josh has a proven track record as a catalyst for operational change - both in the context of turning around a stagnant business as well as taking a thriving enterprise to the next level - which has prepared him to help clients consistently face tough business realities and create actionable roadmaps to profitably grow their companies. Josh is accustomed and committed to building collaboration across functions and stakeholders with often competing interests, making him a valuable member of your leadership team as he works with you to grow your business to the next level.
Prior to joining vcfo, Josh was the Chief Operating Officer at FullQuota, a leading content marketing agency that provides both strategic and tactical services to technology companies. Josh was instrumental in starting the FullQuota business as a subsidiary of OptimizedNow, a strategic consulting firm from the founders of Rackspace and Microsoft Global Partner Hosting. During his time at OptimizedNow and FullQuota, Josh helped companies like Microsoft and Lockheed Martin develop their Cloud business models and go to market strategies.
Prior to FullQuota, Josh founded and served as the President of Mosaic CFO, providing strategic financial and advisory services to small and mid-sized firms. Josh engaged as a virtual CFO for venture-funded startups and private equity-backed companies to develop accounting, finance, human resources and information systems as well as providing strategic guidance on acquisitions, capital raising and sale of the company. His clients included companies such as Mochi Media, Click Forensics, Golfballs.com and Validas
Before launching Mosaic CFO, Josh was the Chief Financial Officer at RigNet, Inc. (NASDAQ: RNET), a leading global provider of managed communication services for the upstream oil and gas industry. In his first year alone, Josh was directly responsible for raising over $60 million in growth capital and completing $35 million in acquisitions.
Prior to RigNet, Inc., Josh served as the VP-Finance/Treasurer for Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) in San Antonio, Texas. During his time there, Josh created a discipline of tracking financial plans to their results in a way that demonstrated to lending institutions an ability to set financial targets and achieve them consistently. This initiative ultimately led to the company’s ability to raise significant debt financing to support their hyper growth. Today, Rackspace is one of the largest and most respected cloud and hosting providers in the world.
Josh has held several other key positions throughout his career, including Chief Financial Officer at Cutstone Ventures, the Associate Director – Corporate Financial Planning at SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE:T) and the Regional Manager – Strategic Operations at SBC Wireless. He is the Co-Founder of Startup Houston, a speaker, panelist and continuing advisor to several startups.
Josh holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas and a BBA in Accounting from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.
From Seed Sumo:“Josh brings an enormously diverse experience set to Seed Sumo .”
Doss Cunningham is an entrepreneur, senior executive, and investor with more than 10 years of executive management experience in consumer products.
Mr. Cunningham is currently the Chairman and CEO of Nutrabolt International, an industry leading nutraceutical business with annual sales exceeding $150 million and operations in over 40 countries.
Mr. Cunningham is also an investor and principal in Green Leaf Capital Partners, a St. Louis based private investment fund focused on providing growth capital to middle market businesses.
In 2013 Mr. Cunningham realized one of his long-term goals as an entrepreneur and co-founded Seed Sumo, a startup accelerator based in College Station, Texas. Seed Sumo provides early stage startup capital and mentorship to new consumer and technology ventures. This latest development has provided him with an opportunity to give back to the entrepreneur community, and is noted by Cunningham as the most rewarding thing he has done so far in his career.
Mr. Cunningham received a B.A. in Accounting and later earned a Masters in Finance from Texas A&M University.
From Seed Sumo:“Doss is an extremely valuable mentor for Seed Sumo founders. He genuinely wants each of the startups to succeed. He helps founders think about the long term effects of their decisions. The leadership skills he instills into each founder is invaluable. His identity and customer development expertise is second to none.”
James Benham is President and Co-Founder of JBKnowledge, an information technology services company and makers of the SmartBidNet, SmartReality and SmartCompliance cloud solutions. James graduated from Texas A&M University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master of Science in Information Systems. In his final year at Texas A&M in 2001, James co-founded JBKnowledge with father Jim Benham, Executive Vice President, and long-time friend, Sebastian Costa, Vice President of Operations.
Since 2001, James’ JBKnowledge team has grown from 6 to just under 100, with developers, designers, marketing, sales, client relations, and administrative employees working from five states and two countries. James leads strategy and business development for project teams in systems consulting, enterprise application development, mobile development, electronic data interchange and custom web development for commercial construction, insurance, and risk management firms across the United States, Caribbean, Middle East and Canada. James’ benchmark projects include custom risk management dashboards for two of the largest third party administrators in the U.S., integrated bid management for several hundred commercial general contractors in North America, and a web-based risk management software with unprecedented automation capabilities for paperless document and workflow management. During this time, JBKnowledge has been awarded six Aggie 100 and five Newman 10 business growth awards.
James is an active member and supporter of the Construction Open Software Alliance, Risk Management Society, Construction Financial Management Association, Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Associated General Contractors of America, American Society of Professional Estimators and the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets Association. In addition, James gives an average of 25 presentations a year at local, regional and national construction industry conferences and events, speaking about innovative technology tools and trends. James has written over 35 articles for construction and technology industry publications on technology standards, issues, and development. James’ company, products and writing have been featured in publications such as Texas CEO, Construction Today, Construction Business Owner, Construction Executive, AGC TechBrief, 3D Visualization World, Estimating Today, The Construction Economist and many more. In January 2014, James was recognized among ENR Texas & Louisiana’s 2014 Top 20 Under 40 for his advancements in construction technology.
In 2012, James was elected to City Council Place 6 of the City of College Station, Texas, where he serves as Chairman of the Research Valley Technology Council and is on the board of the Brazos Valley Wide Area Communications System. James and his company are headquartered in College Station where he lives with his wife Lori and two daughters. Learn more at jamesbenham.com.
From Seed Sumo:“James brings a ton of real world experience to the table. His deep knowledge of technology startups helps our startups see the bigger picture and also avoid huge pitfalls.”
Spencer Clements brings over twenty-five years of company formation, capital raising, project finance, real estate, golf course and hotel/hospitality experience to Seed Sumo. Spencer founded William Cole, Inc. in 1996 and named it after his two sons. The William Cole Companies provide preeminent real estate development and ownership services across a wide range of commercial, hospitality and residential projects. The company remains focused on creating value for its investors, partners and clients through thoughtful, long-term approaches to development and asset management.
The Company invests for its own account, on behalf of its investment partners and as a joint venture development partner. William Cole’s current focus is on strategic commercial and hospitality development opportunities in Texas, including Traditions Club and Community, an emerging new town that is home to the Seed Sumo campus and is the epicenter of the One Health Plus Biocorridor at Texas A&M University. At Traditions Spencer is the partner-in-charge over real estate development, home building, and commercial land development.
Prior to forming William Cole, Spencer worked at the boutique consulting firm of Kenneth Leventhal & Company and also as Director of Project Finance at Golf Services Group in Houston, Texas.
Spencer holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Finance from Rice University, where he was the Dean’s Award recipient and was named a Jones Scholar. He holds a BS in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University, where he was a President’s Endowed Scholar and was admitted into two national engineering honorary societies.
From Seed Sumo:“Spencer brings a ton of experience at all levels of business, from concept stage all the way through exit. He network is extremely deep and diverse, and his ability to see the big picture makes Spencer one of our most valuable mentors.”
Danny is the CEO of Daniel Stark Law, P.C., a law firm with offices in Bryan/College Station, Waco, and Austin, Texas. The firm is nationally known in the profession for their innovative technology, customer service programs and employee/firm culture.
His law firm of eight lawyers and 25 support staff handle cases involving injury and wrongful death for plaintiffs. Danny is also an owner of Legal Monkeys, LLC, a software and services company that supports plaintiff firms nationwide. In his spare time, Danny enjoys spending time with his wife and two children snow skiing, coastal fishing, and doing anything that involves adventure and the outdoors. Danny is also a pilot and enjoys flying his Beechcraft Bonanza for both business and pleasure.
From Seed Sumo:“Danny has been extremely successful in all of the ventures he has been a part of. Although Danny is known nationally for his law practice, he is making huge waves in the startup world with his new venture legalmonkeys.com. He’s extremely connected and has an amazing knack for helping startups maximize all available resources around them.”
As founding principal of Hollinden | professional services marketing, Christine Hollinden, CPSM is passionate about helping professional services firms distinguish themselves from the pack. Her energetic and forward-thinking approach has earned her industry recognition and status as a sought-after marketing consultant and speaker.
Prior to founding Hollinden in 1993, Christine’s career included serving as Director of Marketing for KPMG in Houston, Regional Communications Manager for Coopers & Lybrand, and Marketing Coordinator for Grant Thornton. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Houston at Victoria, and a Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University. She also holds the prestigious CPSM (Certified Professional Services Marketer) designation and is a Kolbe CertifiedTM Consultant.
Dedicated to her field, she served as an adjunct professor of marketing at the University of St. Thomas in Houston for over ten years and currently teaches Social Media for Business at Rice University’s School of Continuing Studies.
From Seed Sumo:“Christine is a PR whiz and her marketing experience is second to none.”
- All Mentors
- CONSUMER PRODUCTS
- Product Management
- Ecosystem Development
- VENTURE CAPITAL
- CUSTOMER ACQUISITION
- CONTENT MARKETING
- GROWTH HACKER
- GRAPHIC DESIGN
- SUPPLY CHAIN
- TECHNOLOGY | SAAS
- LEAN STARTUP
- GROWTH HACKING
- CUSTOMER DEVELOPMENT
- GUERILLA MARKETING
- SOCIAL MEDIA
- TEAM DYNAMICS
- Company Culture
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- demo day
- seed sumo