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Coach For

Entrepreneurs

I started my entrepreneurial experience when I was living in London, England. I had just received my MBA from Stanford and was working for the Economist Intelligence Unit, a subsidiary of the Economist newspaper, as a senior marketing consultant.

I realized after two years, that I could do this consulting business on my own and could increase my salary substantially in a short period of time. I found a partner who also was American and had been working in market research in the UK for several years.

Armed with $50,000 of borrowed money, we started Taylor, Nelson & Associates, Ltd.
Even though I had an MBA from a prestigious university, I never took any courses in starting a business, and I had no business experience that would help me with a new venture.

And, further, I had no coaches, consultants, or mentors who could help me.
All my friends thought I was crazy and should stick with working at a large corporation, work my way up the ladder and eventually retire to the south of France with a secure pension.

In spite of everything, I followed my instincts, persevered, and the company, now TNSGlobal Ltd, became one of the three largest market research companies in the world, with gross sales exceeding $2 billion at the time it was sold.

My second venture was starting a Venture Capital firm. There were virtually no entities in the UK available to entrepreneurs to fund start-ups or even small businesses that needed additional capital. I spent months running around the London financial community trying to find a source of such funding. I was wined and dined by the financial investment community who were curious about my agenda but ultimately decided it was way too risky.

Finally, an insurance company outside the traditional London arena agreed to fund my new venture with enough capital ($60 million in today’s dollars) for investment in other companies and to pay all our operating costs.

I had no idea what to do with this money, and we were inundated with opportunities. It was exciting and scary, but I just plunged in.

The first three investment opportunities were the oldest clock company in the world, Thwaits & Reed, Ltd), the rights to salvage the First World War German Navy and a start-up restaurant to be called “Hard Rock Café”.

To expand upon my international business successes, I left Taylor, Nelson and launched Karifa & Associates, LTD, an investment consulting firm based in the UK and Egypt.

The company focused on acquiring businesses and managing investments throughout the region.

 

After about ten years, I returned to the US and served as a visiting lecturer at the Graduate School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.

After leaving that post I founded SeniorSurfers, Inc., a start-up venture established to train senior citizens how to use computers and software.

After a successful career launching, growing, and leading businesses around the world, I am now using my business acumen to serve nonprofit institutions as a coach, mentor, and consultant.

As a member of the elite Stanford Graduate School of Business’s Alumni Consulting Team (ACT), I advised nonprofit groups throughout the San Francisco Bay area for many years and I am now involved in extending ACT to Orange County where I currently live.

My work has involved supporting business initiatives and donation optimization for Stanford University, the San Jose Opera, Cardiac Therapy Foundation, Conservation Strategy Fund, and Counseling and Support Services for Youth, among many other institutions.

I recently became an Expert-in-Residency at the University of California at Irvine (UCI) where I am working as a coach/mentor within UCI’s Wayfinder program.

 

 The program provides comprehensive assistance to UCI-affiliated startups. It is designed to accelerate venture development by providing teams with working space, strategic guidance and other valuable support resources.

It was while working at UCI that I decided to establish a new way of helping budding entrepreneurs to reach their dreams.