Quick Intro

Early Days

I grew up in and around the beaches in Southern California surfing, skating, and riding BMX. My initial introduction to computers & programming was in 1984 experimenting with generating rudimentary vector graphics and connecting to BBS boards on my Dad’s Compaq Portable loaded with MS-DOS and dual 5 1/4in floppy drives. The term 'portable' is relative in this case.

My first job was at the flagship retail store for The North Face in Palo Alto. Legendary Climber Paul Gagner was the manager at the time, and my first introduction to climbing was on a work trip to Yosemite Valley. (Pics!). I didn't know it at the time but the excursion became a transformational launching pad of sorts, rocketing me deep into a world of action sports. I spent many a day during the summers chasing rock on the sharp end of the rope in the Valley culminating in many ascents of classic lines and big walls. You learn a lot about yourself and ability to handle challenging situations when runout 20-30 above your last traditionally placed anchor. Meanwhile in the opposite season, Snowboarding replaced surfing with my first day on a snowboard in 1986.Duct taped Sorels, Oakley Blades and OG Sims boards were considered high-tech.

Tahoe Life

Midway through college, A winter trip to Tahoe turned into a 12 year hiatus in Squaw Valley to pursue big mountain riding which was the marriage of my climbing experience and love of snow. First by competing in Big Mountain Extreme Ski and Snowboard competitions, then by playing a key role of the production and development of the first Ski Cross events at the ESPN Winter X-Games, World Skiercross Events, and US Freestyle Events in Vail. Eventually Ski Cross made it’s Olympic debut as a medal sport at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver-Whistler. During my off hours, I spent my free time learning HTML, and coding websites for local businesses. This was the mid-90s Wild West with few standards and slow dialup internet connections.

Skydiving & Base jumping
A member of South Beach Beverage’s (SoBe) Team Lizard, Greg performed many demonstration and stunt jumps into high profile sporting events, such as the NBC Gravity Games, AMA Motocross Outdoor Nationals and the Burton US Open of Snowboarding.

I was fortunate at the time to be able to explore SE Alaska in the early heliskiing days around Valdez. These were self-guided runs and you used pre-purchased poker chips which you exchanged for flights based on the distance from the LZ. This leveraged every skill I had at the time - Big mountain riding, mountaineering, route finding & Self rescue. The experiences became another transformative point in my life - and I’m not talking about an early descent of The Ramp on Meteorite peak, I’m referring to my love of helicopters and flying.

Aviation & Aerial Coordination
Learned to fly in LGB
Became friends with Fred North - he included me on a few cool jobs, capturing various digital content for his promotional site since he just recently migrated to the USA and was busy making a well deserved name for himself.

He led two expeditions to Mt Everest which eventually led to the successful World Record for Highest Elevation landing by a Helicopter (Unmodified Eurocopter AS-350).

Power Up Your Wings

The success at Mt. Everest led to being sought out by Red Bull to build the Aviation marketing program in North America. The highlights include creating the world’s first aerobatic helicopter, rewriting the FAA regulations to utilize a restricted category aircraft for marketing purposes, developing and managing over 500+ International Events, and helping create and market the Red Bull Air Race in the USA, which won two Emmys for technical field production.
Attendance record in Rio, spawning multiple video game titles As key member of the North American Strategic Marketing team, he helped grow revenue from 1.2 Billion to 3.7 Billion in 4 years.

The Startup Journey Begins

Following his tenure in the energy drink market, He was invited to join Ardica Technologies, a global leader in the portable power market – specializing in Fuel Cells, and battery products, to help gain entry into outdoor sporting markets. Along with Shawn Biega, Greg was an integral part of the 3 man team led by Hap Klopp, the founder of the North Face. The team responsible for productizing, marketing and selling a military technology for entry into the consumer market. The pinnacle achievement was landing International Fashion house Hugo Boss as a strategic integration partner. Though the consumer product was eventually unsuccessful , this was his first taste of at the startup world and a harsh lesson of how important alignment within an organization from the Board to management to the employees is critical to success. This ‘adventure’ was chronicled in the book ‘Almost’ authored by Hap Klopp & Brian Tarcy. ** Link **

Filled with bravado of working at Ardica and naively thinking that startups are easy, I ventured out and founded my first company, Enabled Modular Power, Inc (EMP). Our small team was incubated at D2M when they were located in Palo Alto. My time was split equally between building the company (Brand, Fundraising, BizDev) and product design (physical form factor, consumer features, & 3D prototyping). EMP’s focus was on building a modular independent power & accessories system which could added to a garment after it was made. This approach came directly from the lessons and difficult challenge of being “deeply integrated” into the manufacturing processes of clothing partners in the previous company. From a product standpoint, we focused on small modular LiPo battery packs to power the upcoming onslaught of new handheld mobile phones. In the previous company, the concept was not considered a viable revenue stream (and it was off the mark in terms the founder’s vision) . I can appreciate and respect the perspective, however, Mophie turned the concept of modular power into a $1B company in 4 years. Oops. EMP’s biggest challenge were synonymous with other early stage companies - Capital. We had solved the first client problem and inked a partnership deal with one of the largest clothing manufacturers (60+ brands) in Los Angeles, however, trying to raise $1.3M at the end of 2010 was next to impossible after the housing and financial crash of 2008. Capital markets were tight, and though we had raised $840k, we needed to hit $1.3M to make it go. Oh well, another one bites the dust. All was not lost with a private sale of the technology to an independent buyer.