Juan Carlos Velten
JC could well be the only person who lists his failed startups in Linkedin - three in total - and calls them as such. No makeup required because failing is an integral part of JC's relentless pursue of opportunity, which has paid off handsomely.
JC is the founding partner of Zealmark, an innovation agency that helps tech companies in Silicon Valley craft their unique sticky story, develop innovation processes and generate a culture of ingenuity. JC always has a foot in the "do-good" space, and Zealmark also helps social enterprise companies stand from the pack with kick-ass communication and marketing. JC is also the Chairman of the Harvard Business School Community Partners, which generates pro-bono consulting opportunities for HBS's 7,000 Bay Area alumni so they can help non-profits using their business skills and talents. This 30-year organization has doubled in size in JC's two years as chairman.
He started his marketing career in brand marketing at Procter & Gamble’s international division developing all business aspects of multi-billion dollar brands in Latin America and Europe. Actually, his six years there saw a couple of failed product line extensions for the brands he was working on.
After his Harvard MBA he decided to go the tech route and landed a job at Silicon Graphics - then the coolest visual computing company on Earth. But the entrepreneurial bug had been planted and after two years JC became a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. In 2000 he started the tech firm - SoftCoin. The company created the first offline-to-online promotions for dozens of brands at Pepsico, Dr Pepper Snapple, P&G, Unilever, Nestle & Kraft; and got venture capital investment from Greylock, RRE and Draper, before it was sold to Kroger - America's second largest grocery store - in 2012. JC invented the SoftCoin - for which he holds three patents - wrote the tech specs for all the company's products during his years at the company and ran marketing. After SoftCoin he started The Funding Bee (TFB), a platform to enable schools and non-profits to create a marketplace to raise cash from parents, it was launched in four schools in San Francisco and failed miserably. Joining this distinguished list was Couperate, a system for consumers and businesses to easily negotiate coupons, and Vocal, a location-based message board that got exactly nowhere.
JC has an MBA from Harvard Business School, two bachelor degrees - in Marketing and in Economics - from the University of Texas at Austin, and a masters in philosophy from ITAM in Mexico City. JC is an avid screenwriter, a guest teacher at Stanford and USF, and a science nerd.
His Linkedin sums him up: "Intergalactic Defender."