Matthew Pierce – Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director
Mr. Pierce has over 15 years of experience working in entertainment and technology. He is currently the founder and chief executive officer of OLabs, a joint-venture between Manatt and Originate that creates, funds, and develops technology companies. Versus is a portfolio company of OLabs. Prior to founding OLabs, Mr. Pierce was Vice President of Strategy at Originate, working with early-stage technology companies. He has also worked at Warner Bros and the Boston Consulting Group. Mr. Pierce is a Lecturer at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles (“UCLA”) Anderson School of Management and in the Economics department at UCLA, where he teaches entrepreneurship. Mr. Pierce is a graduate of Stanford University and he earned his MBA from UCLA.
Craig Finster – Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Finster has over 15 years of experience in finance, accounting, and corporate development for technology companies. He currently serves as the Managing Director of Originate’s Strategic Advisory Group, working with venture stage companies on strategic and financial issues. He previously spent four years leading the investment team at Originate, focusing on seed and early stage companies. Mr. Finster is the former CEO of a venture capital backed technology start-up, which was sold to strategic buyer. He holds bachelor’s degrees in economics and finance from the University of Arizona and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Mr. Tingle began his career in the Canadian banking sector, and has been involved in the capital markets for the past 20 years as an advisor, and also as a director, for both private and public companies. Brian is experienced in a range of corporate transactions including acquisitions, mergers, takeovers and financings; his speciality being the effective delivery of the due diligence process.
Ms. Gahagan is currently a principal of a privately-held merchant bank based in Vancouver, British Columbia and London, England. Prior to the commencement of her involvement in merchant banking seven years ago, Ms. Gahagan graduated from Queens University Law School and practiced corporate law for 20 years. Ms. Gahagan has extensive experience advising companies with respect to international tax-driven structures, mergers and acquisitions.
Keyvan Peymani is a veteran senior executive and thought leader working at the intersection of technology, media, and venture capital. Mr. Peymani serves as the Head of Startup Marketing for Amazon Web Services and is responsible for the global marketing strategy. Prior, he served as a Venture Partner and Senior Advisor to Touchdown Ventures, a VC firm pairing with several leading corporations to establish and manage their platforms. He served as the Managing Director, Digital Strategy Division at ICM Partners, one of the world’s largest talent and literary agencies, and was the firm's chief digital executive, reporting to the Executive Board. He also served as the Vice President of Direct to Consumer Business Planning and Operations at Warner Bros., where he led strategy, operations, planning and development for the division. In addition, he oversaw three business areas, including mobile apps, and worked on industry-leading forays into OTT, the first fully digital movie apps, the first screenings of movies in Facebook, and the acquisition of Flixster. Prior, he was the head of content acquisitions for catalog content and led the wholesales efforts at Netflix; he led alternative business development for Disney’s music group; and he was the Chief Operating Officer of Nettwerk Music Group. Mr. Peymani has a BA in Religious Studies and a BA in Neurobiology with concentrations in Neuroscience from Northwestern University. He holds an MBA from the Anderson School of Business at UCLA.
Mr. Vlasic, serves as a Vice-President and Manager at Vlasic Investments, L.L.C. Mr. Vlasic is a Founding Partner at RSVP Capital. He founded Amplifinity, LLC. He co-founded RSVP Capital in 2007. In addition to his activities at RSVP, Mr. Vlasic serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of uRefer and as a Manager at Vlasic Investments (VILLCo). He also actively invests in new startups. He is a veteran entrepreneur who has led several companies in the technology space. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of Amplifinity, LLC, and has been its Member of the Board of Directors since 2009. Mr. Vlasic served as the Chairman of O/E Automation and Head of Operations at O/E Systems. He began his career at Reynolds Metals Company, working in their sales organization. Mr. Vlasic serves on multiple boards within the Henry Ford Health System, The Henry Ford Foundation, and the University of Michigan College of Engineering's Center for Entrepreneurship. He is a graduate of Rollins College and earned his M.B.A. with Distinction from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
Avril Millar is a non-executive director of FxPro, PassFort and The Security Circle, and advises Kepler Partners and many others. A civil engineer by training, having then built her own Wealth Management business from the mid 80s over 20 years, she has spent the last decade since its sale entirely sector neutral, leveraging her extensive business knowledge, personal contacts and strategic vision to support her client companies and their Executive teams through step changes to sustainable success. She is also the author of The Kama Sutra of Work and the mother of an Olympian.
Mr. Frazier currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Business Development and Strategy at Studio 71, a leading digital media company owned by the ProSiebenSat.1 Group, where he oversees strategic business development for influencer brands. Frazier is an accomplished executive with a proven track record in the global media landscape with experience in all areas of media and entertainment, including film, television, digital media, publishing and gaming. Mr. Frazier has built several multi-million dollar brands over the past few years, including a card game called Joking Hazard, the Guava Juice toy subscription box, and most recently The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls table top game. His core competence lies in driving transactional revenue with new product launches, especially mobile games. Prior to joining Studio71, he worked at Marvel for close to a decade, starting in business development with the studio's publishing and theatrical divisions. Here he helped launch Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, before rapidly moving on to the Marvel's television arm as its Marketing Director, overseeing popular animated television series including Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Iron Man: Armored Adventures and Super Hero Squad. Frazier last served as the VP of Games Marketing for Marvel, where he launched over 40 games on global platforms, including properties like The Avengers, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, and Disney Infinity.
We thrive when we work together - when our communication is thoughtful, respectful, and helpful. If there is a problem, we ask for help. If someone asks for help, we give it. We are a team. We actively seek out people with different backgrounds, different skill sets, and different opinions to collaborate with us because it makes our products, and our company, better.
We listen to everyone we work with. We try to understand before we act - and when we act, we create solutions that are tailored to the problem. We solve problems one individual at a time.
We want smart, thoughtful, curious, creative, collaborative problem solvers as partners, and as teammates - wherever they come from. We want people who add to the culture rather than fit into it. We want people that will make us, our work, and our communities, better.
We are curious. We experiment. We want to learn. We listen to the data, we acknowledge where we can get better, and then we work to make that happen.