The Official Spiel
I provide 1:1 startup consulting and business planning to entrepreneurs who are experts in what they do, but have never built a business before. Through our work together, they get clarity, guidance and an action plan that sets them up for success so they don’t waste valuable resources guessing and pivoting.
Since graduating from the Wharton School and leaving the frenzy of Wall Street behind, I’ve spent the last 20-plus years helping first-time founders create and grow businesses that fast-track profitability and get funded (if they want).
Even though I’m based in Chicago, I work with clients around the globe, advising founders with businesses ranging from clean energy to life sciences, retail to consumer products, entertainment, food & beverage, health and wellness, tech of all kinds… and distilleries, of course.
The no-B.S. Spiel
I believe that when you’re starting a business you have two choices:
Go it alone, learning painfully (and slowly) through trial and error.
It’s tempting with so many free and low-cost resources available. You might save a few thousand dollars up front, but in my experience you will certainly spend more money, energy and time in the long run as you guess and pivot.
Get expert support and personalized guidance from the start.
This is how you can accelerate your learning curve and avoid making expensive mistakes. Yes, it’s an investment. But if you want your startup to take off sooner rather than later, it will hands down be the best one you make.
You’re in the driver’s seat — so you get to choose which road you take.
A Proven Track Record
Over the past 20+ years, client results include…
A client built an industry-leading tech platform that was later acquired for multiple millions by a German conglomerate.
A distillery secured millions in funding and go on to become England’s largest whisky producer, crafting myriad award-winning spirits.
What it’s like working with me.
I don’t do it for you, I do it with you — combining your vision and my expertise to help you achieve your goals. Customers not engaging? Investors not investing? Whatever the dilemmas, we’ll tackle them together, with me leading the way.
I wouldn’t be helping if we only focused on the bright side, so I’ll always give it to you straight. If the numbers don’t add up or the market potential isn’t there, I’ll say so and help you course-correct. When it comes to your success, there’s no room for fairy tales.
I don’t give advice based on fads or because I got lucky founding one startup. With me, you’re getting tailored advice from someone who’s been in the game through booms and busts and everything in-between, helping entrepreneurs like you build businesses that grow and get funded.
When you contact Startup Distillery, you won’t reach a “team” — you’ll speak directly with me. I’ll get to know you and your business, guiding you every step of the way. Clients know they can come to me any time, with any question, in any circumstance. When you work with me, you’ll have my decades of experience at your complete disposal.
This is your shot. Let’s make it count.
Whether you need to raise funds or you simply want to fast-track profitability, you’re in the right place.
There may not be any shortcuts, but there is a fast track.
You know that having an experienced guide will help you reach your revenue goals faster. Whether you need to create a roadmap, dial in your business model or build financial projections, together we’ll develop your blueprint for success.
I know how to help you get funded, period. It starts with a plan.
If you need funding to get your business off the ground, then you need a business plan that’s tailored to your unique business and will wow even the most seasoned investor. 99% of my clients who have sought funding have secured it. That’s not a coincidence. So before you enter the proverbial shark tank, come see me.
A limited budget doesn’t have to mean a limited plan.
I’ve distilled my methods and expertise into a step-by-step Business Plan Kit that shows you how to get it right — using worksheets, templates and an ebook that explains it all (at an affordable price). Made for any industry and instantly downloadable.
And now, for the personal spiel…
(lest you think I’m all work and no play)
With a husband, two sons and a dog named Super Cooper, I swear the occasional Jedi mind trick is used only in the service of good.
I think humor is one of life’s remarkable remedies — which might explain why I’m co-author of the humor book M.I.L.D.E.W. | Mothers-In-Law Do Everything Wrong (Andrews McMeel), a fun-filled look at one of life’s oldest marital challenges (if you know, you know).
Mallomars and Graeter’s ice cream (preferably mint chocolate chip) are the way to my heart.