Management Team

Bob Martin

Bob Martin is the Chairman & CEO of JumpStart Partners, Inc. a merchant banking firm specializing in mergers, acquisitions, and corporate change allowing companies to achieve their growth objectives.  JumpStart Partners, Inc. was founded in 2000, and  has worked with over 60 clients including Royal Dutch / Shell Oil, IBM and Vivendi Universal.

Mr. Martin also co-founded Internet REIT, Inc (iREIT), a leading Internet media company with over 250,000 web properties.  While serving as CEO of iREIT, the company raised over $125 million in capital, completed over 100 acquisitions, and grew its online audience to over 40 million unique visitors per month.   Prior, he was the Vice-President of Sales & Marketing for MagRabbit - an Austin-based leader in logistics and customer care.  Mr. Martin previously was Director of E-commerce at Trilogy Software, an enterprise software company. He also held roles with Advent International Global Private Equity and Procter & Gamble (Customer Business Development Division) in Boston

He sits on the Board of Advisors for RPM Capital, ILS, and formerly The Middleware Company (which was acquired by Precise Solutions, Nasdaq:PRSE).  Bob currently is a member of the Success Committees for both the Austin Technology Incubator and the Clean Energy Incubator and is a member of the Advisory Council for The University of Texas’s Technology Commercialization program.  Mr. Martin is also a co-founder of the Energy VC Forum, and has authored a number of articles on investment and mergers & acquisition trends.  He has previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Austin Coalition on Workforce Development and the Executive Committees of the Austin Clean Energy Council, the Houston Angel Network and the Austin Technology Council.  Mr. Martin graduated with honors from Harvard University with a BA in Economics, attended Sloan Business School at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA Charterholder).  

Steven Meyers

Steven Meyers has worked at the forefront of business development and operations in the energy-efficiency and energy-financing industries for more than a decade.  Steven is currently president and founder of the Rational Energy Network, offering technical, financial, strategic, and market analysis.  Since Rational Energy’s recent inception in August 2003, clients have ranged from early-stage companies and entrepreneurs to large utilities and multinational corporations.  As a Vice-President at Invesys PLC, Steve developed technical products and services for the Electric Utility Industry.  While a Vice-President at Enron Energy Services, Steve conceptualized and managed a portfolio of investments in energy-efficiency projects at dozens of Fortune 500 companies.  Previously, he worked at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, with Energy Service Companies (ESCO’s) in Singapore and California , as an independent consultant, and with an Internet start-up.  Steve has published articles and spoken nationally on these issues.  Steve received his MS in Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and a BS in Physics from Haverford College .  Born and raised in Wisconsin , Steve and his wife Lauren now make their home in Austin , Texas .

Charles Shields

Charles Shields has 25 years of business experience as an entrepreneur and executive for major international corporations, manufacturing organizations, foreign governments and The World Bank.  He currently works as an advisor and interim executive in high tech and growth company operations.

Charles founded several high tech engineering firms that provide systems design, integration, installation and training for the electronics, biomedical, automotive, printing, metal fabrication, communications and other industrial sectors. Under his direction, these firms have installed over 900 systems in 60 countries, on 4 continents for over 300 of the Fortune International 500 firms.

As a commercial diplomat in Europe, he assisted over 400 Euro firms planning entry or expansion into the US market, including strategic planning, feasibility studies, mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, licensing and technology transfers. As President of Swedish State Industries, Western Hemisphere, he directed strategic planning, marketing, distribution, licensing, technology transfers and M/A activities for 23 divisions. Shields served as a consultant to The World Bank, advising 5 South American governments for administrative organization.

Charles has a BA in Developmental Economics from the University of Texas and an MBA in International Business from Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management. He holds over 50 patents worldwide for control systems, apparatus and methods and is conversant in 6 languages.  Shields has served on the Boards of Directors of over 45 domestic and international companies. 

Board of Advisors

Don McCullough, Chairman MPS Capital, Philadelphia, PA

Don McCulloch, Jr., is chairman of MPS Capital, Inc., a private investment firm focused on consumer products and Internet companies. He plays an active leadership role in strategizing, reorganizing, and managing those investments such as JumpStart Partners.

Prior to forming MPS Capital, Inc., McCulloch served as chairman and CEO at Nutri/System, Inc. Previously, he held the President and CEO positions at C. F. Hathaway Co. He also held several positions at PepsiCo, Inc., including senior vice president of marketing for their Pizza Hut division, vice president of marketing for the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Group and business manager of tennis for Wilson Sporting Goods.

McCulloch holds both a BA in government and an M.B.A from Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Elaine Wetmore,, CEO Austin Entrepreneur's Foundation, Austin, TX

Elaine Wetmore is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Austin Entrepreneurs Foundation, an organization dedicated to facilitating mutually beneficial, sustained relationships between the entrepreneurial and the non-profit communities in Central Texas.

Prior to joining the AEF, Wetmore had been President and Chief Operating Officer of venture-backed start-up Knowledge Discovery One, Inc. ("KD1"). Earlier this year, she presided over its acquisition by Net Perceptions, Inc., the leading provider of marketing software and services for retailers. Wetmore had joined KD1 as CFO in 1998 and was previously CFO and vice-president of Tivoli Systems, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of IBM.

Prior to Tivoli, Wetmore worked for IBM for 13 years in various financial management positions supporting software and hardware business units in Texas, New York and Vermont.

She has also been on the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Austin, Board member and Vice President of Austin's State Theater, Board member of the local chapter of the Financial Executive's Institute and is currently an Adjunct Professor of marketing at St. Edward's University and on the Board of the Austin Community Development Corporation.

Wetmore has a bachelor's degree in Finance from Penn State University and an MBA in Strategic Management from Pace University.

Craig Fryar, EVP Business Development, Torquin Holdings, Austin, TX

As a technology "Evangelist" Craig Fryar has over twenty years experience in launching new companies and products. As a partner at Seedstage he works with entrepreneurs to craft their concept into a clear, concise, fundable proposition.

Prior to Seedstage Craig served in key management positions in business development, product management, marketing and sales for Dell, Apple Computer, Technology Works, Interplay and Ashton-Tate. Craig served as President of a successful software startup, Peninsula Gameworks, and most recently served in business development for a privately held Austin-based investment and product venture company, IDM Partners.

Active in the local community, he serves as a board and advisory board member for several businesses and organizations including AdvocateWeb. He holds a degree in Business and also Communications from Texas Tech University.

In 1999 he founded an Austin-area group called "G3", Geeks Glorifying God, which serves the local high-tech, faith-based community. According to Craig the best software he has ever shipped are his three kids!