Innovate Partners

We empower visionaries
to fundamentally reshape
meaningful markets.

Innovate Partners was founded to provide support, knowledge and resources to emerging companies that are creating change. As an operationally oriented Private Investment Company, we primarily focus on growth stage venture capital and early stage private equity in companies that have substantial market traction with a proven and identified opportunity to scale.

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We believe the future lies in people that are positively disruptive.

Innovate Partners is focused on being operationally oriented. We are involved in the day-to-day strategy and execution of each business in which we invest because we believe the future lies in entrepreneurs who can deliver true market-changing execution.

We help our investments through every step of the growth process.

We take a thoughtful, ethical approach to our investments with a strategy based on the holistic principle that emerging growth companies need more than just capital in order to succeed. We walk side-by-side with the companies we invest in, helping them through each step of the growth process.

Geographically Close

We like to be within arms-reach of our investments.

Control / Active Position

We choose to remain operationally involved in the companies we invest in.

Narrow Syndication

We prefer to invest prior to institutional money and with a limited number of co-investors.

New Technologies

We seek out brands and companies that use new technologies to deliver market-changing results.

Built For Acquisition

Our past investments have successfully sold to Fortune 500 companies.

First To Market

We focus on brands and companies that we envision becoming leaders within their markets.

Innovate Partners is not just a venture capital firm - it is like a family. The support we have received by far surpasses any other VC/PE firm I have ever encountered.

Kristian Rauhala Co-Founder PEAR Sports, LLC.

Pear
Sports, LLC

Developed by a passionate team of entrepreneurs with athletic, technology and design backgrounds. PEAR Sports is a coaching system of interactive audio workouts from professional trainers that exist to educate, motivate and keep you company on your journey. Born from the desire to make the latest training science accessible to anyone looking to attain a fitness goal. We believe heart and soul is better than charts and graphs that’s why we focus on a dialogue, not a directive. PEAR entertains and inspires, whether you have a singular focus or want to try something new every day. PEAR will help you get there.

California
  • 2211 Michelson Drive, Suite 300
  • Irvine, CA 92612
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Innovate Partners are partners in every sense of the word. They don’t just invest their money, they’re generous with their time, ideas and world-class contacts.

Cynthia Stamper Graff, President of Lindora, LLC.

Lindora, LLC

Lindora was founded in 1971 by Dr. Marshal Stamper when he opened the first Lindora weight loss clinic in Newport Beach, California. Since that time Lindora has become one of the largest clinical weight management providers in the nation with weight loss clinics throughout California, one in Dubai and an online Lean For Life program. Lindora’s unique approach integrates medical supervision, a focus on lifestyle, nutritional education and one-on-one coaching to create a comprehensive and clinically proven weight loss program.

California
  • Costa Mesa, CA
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From day one, the IP (Innovate Partners) network has proven extremely beneficial, and has already led to important partnerships and additional revenue for imATHLETE.

Jeff Matlow, Founder & CEO I Am Athlete, LLC.

I Am Athlete,
LLC

imATHLETE provides online race registration and management software to support any endurance event, big or small. Whether hosting a local 5k race, an international marathon, Olympic Triathlon, or half century cycling event, imATHLETE offers solutions to help drive more registrations, collect more donations, engage more participants and generate more revenue.

California
  • 2800 28th Street, Suite 385
  • Santa Monica, CA 90405
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This is my second portfolio company with Innovate so clearly I’ve had a very positive experience. The resources, as well as a complete Board of Professional Industry Advisors is unmatched.

Christine Burke, President of FxA, LLC.

F x A, LLC

Founded as a division of FxA LLC, Chic Buds exists to cherish and celebrate individuality, creativity and personal style amongst all women and girls through more fashionable and practical choices in technology accessories. The product lineup not only solves the modern girl’s tech style challenges but also delivers the function and quality she requires. Chic Buds goal is to encourage and empower women around the world to work hard, follow their dreams, keep their heart on the right path and of course delight in who they are, style and all.

California
  • 2211 Michelson Drive, Suite 300
  • Irvine, CA 92612
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Historical Investments

  • Expensable

    Acquired by Insperity in 2010

    Best expense management product on the market… really—SaaS solution that brings incredible ease, integration and analytics to expense and travel reporting.

  • Swell

    Acquired by Billabong in 2009

    Surf Apparel Company that has been committed to offering the best products in the surf industry since 1999. Dedicated to supporting the waves and beach that support the surf lifestyle, and most importantly, killing it when it comes to surf lifestyle apparel & gear.

  • Ocean Minded

    Acquired by Crocs in 2007

    OM is a leader in sustainable footwear, apparel and accessories. The Ocean Minded brand enables an individual to identify, visualize, and embrace their Ocean and environmental passions in the course of their daily adventure.

  • Co-Ev Magnetics

    Acquired by Tyco in 2000

    Specializing in building power components including digital and analog telecom interface transformers, broadband signal splitters and filters, inductors, switching power and other magnetic components including products for power supplies and power converters.

  • Interworks

    Acquired by Sanmina in 2001

    Semiconductor modular subsystems to the industrial markets. Pioneered modular flash and DSP based subsystems that were embedded in the VOIP, COM and control markets.

  • Jabra

    Acquired by Great Nordic in 2001

    The leader in Bluetooth and wired headsets for the mobile telephony market and today is one of the most known brands in the world.

  • Ultimate Ears

    Acquired by Logitech in 2008

    UE offers premium in-ear monitors that have changed the course of the music industry and now, how consumers listen to their music as well. “Music the way it was meant to be heard”.

  • Payoff.com

    Los Angeles, CA 2009

    Payoff is a free tool that uses a social gaming approach to help people take control of their money and reach their goals. Payoff inspires a deeper level of engagement in the game of real life.

  • Emisense

    Acquired by CoorsTek in 2012

    Serious technology going on here—advanced digital sensors that improve engine and turbine performance through patented measurement and ceramics technologies.

  • CanopyHR

    Acquired by Mangrove in 2012

    People focused payroll and HR information systems for the middle market. SaaS, single database solution that changes and improves the way clients meet their human capital needs.

Portfolio

Historical Investments

Expensable

Irvine, CA

Acquired by Insperity in 2010

Best expense management product on the market… really—SaaS solution that brings incredible ease, integration and analytics to expense and travel reporting.

Swell

San Clemente, CA

Acquired by Billabong in 2009

Surf Apparel Company that has been committed to offering the best products in the surf industry since 1999. Dedicated to supporting the waves and beach that support the surf lifestyle, and most importantly, killing it when it comes to surf lifestyle apparel & gear.

Ocean Minded

San Clemente, CA

Acquired by Crocs in 2007

OM is a leader in sustainable footwear, apparel and accessories. The Ocean Minded brand enables an individual to identify, visualize, and embrace their Ocean and environmental passions in the course of their daily adventure.

Co-Ev Magnetics

Berwyn, PA

Acquired by Tyco in 2000

Specializing in building power components including digital and analog telecom interface transformers, broadband signal splitters and filters, inductors, switching power and other magnetic components including products for power supplies and power converters.

Interworks

San Jose, CA

Acquired by Sanmina in 2001

Semiconductor modular subsystems to the industrial markets. Pioneered modular flash and DSP based subsystems that were embedded in the VOIP, COM and control markets.

Jabra

Nashua, NH

Acquired by Nordic in 2001

The leader in Bluetooth and wired headsets for the mobile telephony market and today is one of the most known brands in the world.

Ultimate Ears

Irvine, CA

Acquired by Logitech in 2008

UE offers premium in-ear monitors that have changed the course of the music industry and now, how consumers listen to their music as well. “Music the way it was meant to be heard”.

Payoff.com

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angele, CA 2009

Payoff is a free tool that uses a social gaming approach to help people take control of their money and reach their goals. Payoff inspires a deeper level of engagement in the game of real life.

Emisense

Los Angeles, CA

Acquired by CoorsTek in 2012

Serious technology going on here—advanced digital sensors that improve engine and turbine performance through patented measurement and ceramics technologies.

CanopyHR

Irvine, CA

Acquired by Mangrove in 2012

People focused payroll and HR information systems for the middle market. SaaS, single database solution that changes and improves the way clients meet their human capital needs.

A World-Class Team. Focused on
Building World-Class Brands.

Robert Allison Principal and Managing Partner

Robert Allison founded Innovate Partners LLC in 1995 after serving as Founder, President and SVP of several electronics companies. He was also a General Partner of Edgewater Private Equity Funds. Today he manages the Emerging Growth and Equity Fund and has facilitated over fourteen investments – Including Jabra, Interworks and Emisense.

Lisa Williams Financial Analyst

Lisa Williams joined the Innovate Partners in 2013 after spending many years in commercial real estate acquisitions and finance. Her role includes the research and analysis of potential acquisitions and investor relations. Lisa graduated from the University of Notre Dame and is a licensed California Real Estate Broker.

Richard Conn Principal and Managing Partner

Richard Conn leads the fundraising efforts from the New York office. Richard’s background includes nearly twenty years of practicing international corporate law, founding his own advisory firm, co-authoring Collier’s Labor Law and the Bankruptcy Code, and graduating from Dartmouth College & Fordham University Law School.

Alan Pettis Counsel

Mr. Pettis joined Innovate in 2008 with over 30 years experience in public and private financing, acquisitions and dispositions. He was a partner with the international law firms of Latham & Watkins and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Mr. Pettis earned Bachelor of Arts and L.L.B. degrees from the University of Texas.

Jeff Conner CFO

Mr. Conner joined the Innovate team in 2000. He has held many operating roles within portfolio companies and is currently serving as COO of FxA, LLC. Prior to joining Innovate, he held various financial analyst and accounting positions. Mr. Conner earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Finance from California State University Northridge.

Cathy Niu Senior Accountant

Ms. Niu joined Innovate in 2007 and serves in our Accounting Department. She also provides Senior Accounting services to our portfolio companies. Cathy received her AA degree in Accounting from Orange Coast College.

Katie Bennett Marketing Director

Mrs. Bennett joined Innovate in 2006 and serves in our marketing and sales operations group. Her assignments include direct to consumer and channel management programs for portfolio companies. Prior to joining Innovate she was a merchandise marketing specialist at Swell.com. Katie graduated from the University of San Diego with a BA in Business.

Shellie Lindquist VP of Admin

Ms. Lindquist joined Innovate in 1995 and serves in our Corporate Administration Department and Human Resources Department providing administrative HR services to portfolio companies. Shellie received her BA in Communications from the University of Chapman and an AA from Marymount Palos Verdes.

Simon Sollberger VP of Design and Branding

Mr. Sollberger originally joined Innovate in 2007 and rejoined in 2011 after serving as Creative Director at Logitech Inc. He provides Design & Brand leadership for the portfolio companies. Mr. Sollberger has a Mechanical Engineering Degree from Technical College of Bern and a B.S. in Industrial Design from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.

Board Of Advisors

  • William Cvengros

    William Cvengros Founder and Former CEO of PIMCO Advisors

    William Cvengros has been a member of the board of trustees of Janus Funds since 2011, where he is on the Investment Oversight and Money Market Committees and is Chairman of the Audit Committee.

    Mr. Cvengros was the Chairman of National Retirement Partners (NRP) from 2006 until its assets were sold to LPL Financial in 2011. NRP was a national network of advisors to sponsors of corporate retirement plans. From 2002 to 2004, Mr. Cvengros was a member of the Venture Partner/Advisory Board of Edgewater Funds, a private equity firm providing growth capital to middle market companies. Prior to Edgewater, Mr. Cvengros was the Chairman of PacketVideo Corporation from 1998 to 2005 and the CEO & President of PIMCO Advisors L.P. from 1994 to 2000. A leading publicly-traded investment management firm, PIMCO Advisors was purchased by Allianz A.G. in 2000. Mr. Cvengros was Chairman of Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) from 1986 to 1994 and Vice Chairman & Chief Investment Officer of Pacific Life from 1990 to 1994. From 1986 to 1990, he was the Executive VP & Chief Investment Officer of Pacific Life, heading its Asset Management Group, which included PIMCO, Pensions, and Investments. From 1972 to 1986, Mr. Cvengros held various positions at Pacific Life, where he headed the firm’s Private Placements and General Account Portfolio Strategy.

    He has been on the boards of directors of Prospect Acquisition Corporation (2007 to 2009), Remedy Temp (1996 to 2006) and Furon (1987 to 1998). He is also on the boards of the Boys & Girl Clubs of Capistrano Valley, the Mission San Juan Capistrano - Preservation Foundation, and CASA of Orange County.

    Mr. Cvengros earned his M.B.A. from Northwestern University (Kellog) and his B.A. in Economics from University of Notre Dame.

  • Dick Allen

    Dick Allen Founder Caremark/Pyxis

    Dick Allen has over 40 years of experience in the health care industry, both as an operating executive and a seed capital investor and board member. He began his career at Baxter Healthcare, holding domestic and international management positions in finance and operations. After leaving Baxter, Dick co-founded Caremark, a venture capital-backed pioneer of IV therapies delivered in the home, and played a key role in guiding its rapid growth and IPO. Since Caremark’s sale to Baxter in 1987, Dick has been an angel investor providing seed capital for companies in the medical device, healthcare services, and healthcare IT markets. In this capacity, he has been a founder, board member, or early-stage investor in more than forty companies. He co-founded Pyxis Corporation and served on the executive committee of the board until the sale of the company to Cardinal Health in 1996.

    Dick is currently on the Board of Tandem Diabetes Care and several privately-held health care companies. He is the immediate past Chairman of the Board for JDRF (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), and he provides strategic oversight for the Mary and Dick Allen Diabetes Center at Hoag Hospital. He is a past Chairman of Hoag Hospital, the Orange County Community Foundation, and the Orange County Business Council. He is a past recipient of the Director of the Year award from the Orange County Forum for Corporate Directors.

    Dick received a BA (cum laude) from Yale University and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business where he served on the faculty as a Lecturer in Strategic Management for thirteen years.

  • Alex Good

    Alex Good Former Chairman, CEO and President of Skyterra Communications

    Alex Good is a seasoned CEO who has been at the forefront of building and growing companies in nascent technologies like mobile and satellite to leading Fortune 50 enterprises through regulatory and technological change. He has led both private and public companies and grown them into billion dollar businesses with a track record of successful exits.

    Mr. Good served as Chairman, CEO and President of Skyterra Communications until its successful sale in 2010. Earlier, he was the Executive Vice President of Bell Atlantic where he was a member of the Management Committee and led the merger and integration teams for the Nynex and GTE mergers (thereby forming Verizon Corporation). Reporting to Alex were the company’s Business Development, Strategy, Planning and Advanced Technology groups. Additionally, Alex also was the CEO of Bell Atlantic International (1994-1997) and of Skytel International (1990-94). Prior to that, Alex was appointed by President Reagan, and unanimously confirmed by the US Senate, as an Assistant Secretary of Commerce.

    Alex has or is serving on boards of both public and private companies, including Mobile Satellite Ventures, Skyterra Corporation, Infostrada, NexVerse, NextLevel Communications, Affinity Internet, SynXis Corporation and Astracon. Early in his career, Mr. Good practiced law with O'Melveny and Myers and Jones Day. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and Loyola University School of Law in Los Angeles.

  • David Porzio

    David Porzio Vice President of Product, MindBodyGreen

    Prior to becoming Vice President of Product at MindBodyGreen in 2015, Mr. Porzio was the Co-founder of Blucarat, a NY based ecommerce and social commerce SaaS company. Prior to founding Blucarat, Mr. Porzio was the Chief of Staff and head of MDC Corporate Ventures at MDC Partners. As head of Ventures, he was responsible for all early stage investments and corporate investments under $10 million dollars. Prior to joining MDC Partners, he was President and Co-Founder of DJP Group LLC, a private real estate firm focused on the purchase, development and monetization of residential real estate. Before co-founding DJP Group, Mr. Porzio served as Vice President of J Christopher Capital, a New York based venture capital firm which focused on media, fashion and real estate. Preceding J Christopher Capital, he was an attorney at Paul Hastings Janofsky and Walker LLP.

    Mr. Porzio is a graduate of Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences and Brooklyn Law School.

  • Tom Davin

    Tom Davin Chief Executive Officer, 5.11 Tactical

    Tom Davin is Chief Executive and Chairman of the Board of 5.11 Tactical, the global leader in tactical gear for law enforcement officials and first responders. (www.511tactical.com).

    Mr. Davin is a Board member of restaurant chain The Veggie Grill (www.veggiegrill.com) and GovX (www.govx.com), and is a founding Board Director the Infinite Hero™ (infinitehero.org).

    From 2004 to 2009, Mr. Davin was President and CEO of Panda Restaurant Group, Inc., one of the fastest growing chains and the leading Asian restaurant chain with more than 20,000 associates. He is a former Chief Operating Officer of Taco Bell Corporation and a founding executive of YUM Brands.

    Mr. Davin is a former U.S. Marine Corps Captain. His four years of infantry command assignments included roles as a company commander in 1st Recon Battalion and 3rd Recon Battalion, followed by selection to become an infantry tactics instructor at the USMC officer course, The Basic School, in Quantico VA. His military qualifications include US Army Ranger, Special Forces Combat Diver, Naval Parachutist and Jumpmaster.

    Mr. Davin earned a MBA from Harvard University, with Distinction and a BA from Duke University, Magna Cum Laude. He and his wife Molly have endowed an athletic scholarship for Duke Lacrosse where Mr. Davin was team co-captain.

  • James N. Hauslein

    James N. Hauslein Managing Director of Hauslein & Company, Inc

    Mr. Hauslein is currently Managing Director of Hauslein & Company, Inc., a private equity firm. Mr. Hauslein, from 1987 as a principal shareholder, and from 1991 to May 2001, served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sunglass Hut International, Inc (previously NASDAQ:RAYS), the world's largest specialty retailer of non-prescription sunglasses and significant retailer of popular price point fashion watches. Under Mr. Hauslein’s leadership, Sunglass Hut grew from a regional specialty retailer with $23 million in sales, to a global vertically integrated, mulit-channel retailer of sunglasses, watches, and related accessories with over $725 million in revenue when the company was acquired by Luxottica.

    Mr. Hauslein has served on the Board of Directors of GLG Partners, Inc. (NYSE: GLG; a $25 billion in asset alternative asset manager sold to the Mann Group in October 2010), Liberty Acquisition Holdings Corp (NYSE ALternext US: LIA and a $1 billion SPAC that merged with Priza in an $8 billion merger completed in November 2010). Mr. Hauslein is currently on the board of Crowdflik (a crowd sourced video app under development). In the past he has served on the boards of several businesses, including Elephant Capital LLC (a publicly traded private equity investment firm headquartered in Delhi India), Inmoo.com (a web based distributor of independent films sold to GoTV in 2014) and Crunch Fitness (a chain of 18 fitness clubs in 5 states which was acquired by Bally’s Total Fitness (NYSE) in December 2001). From August 2007 through March 2010, he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Atlas Acquisition Holdings Corp. (NYSE Alternext US: AXG, a $200 million SPAC).

    Mr. Hauslein is currently a member of The Board of Directors of the Jamestown Foundation (Washington, DC), the board of directors of the American Swiss Foundation, the board of Trustees of the Pine School (Hobe Sound, FL) and on the board of directors of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) where he also serves as Chair of the Finance and Investment Committee. Mr. Hauslein was formerly a member of the Board of Trustees of the Boys Club of New York, the Chairman’s Council of Conservation International (Washington, DC) and served on the advisory boards of several units at Cornell University. Mr. Hauslein has guest lectured in undergraduate and graduate level programs at Cornell University and at executive management programs at the J.J. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Hauslein has also appeared on a variety of business news programs on CNBC, CNN, and Fox News. Mr. Hauslein supports a variety of philanthropic causes spanning the arts, wildlife, the environment, and education.

    Mr. Hauslein received his MBA in 1984, with Distinction, from Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management, and he received a Bachelor of Science Degree, in Chemical Engineering, from Cornell University in May 1981. He is an emeriti member of each of the Advisory Council of Cornell’s Entrepreneurship and Personal Enterprise program, The Johnson Graduate School of Management, the Athletics Advisory Council and the Engineering College Advisory Council.

Board of Advisors

IPEG&E
Fund I

Innovate Partners Emerging Growth & Equity Fund I, LLC (IPEG&E Fund I) is an operationally oriented venture capital fund. Its focus is on emerging companies with disruptive technologies and prospects for both current and long-term income, strong revenues and attractive exit options.

The Fund makes equity and equity-related investments in companies that are active in the technology, business services and consumer products sectors, with a strategy currently focused on consumer technology and big data.

Contact

Orange
County

California HQ
  • 2211 Michelson Drive, Suite 300
  • Irvine, CA 92612
  • 949.502.8247
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New
York

New York
  • 250 Park Avenue, Ste. 700
  • New York, New York 10177
  • 949.502.8247
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NY
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