RedRocketVC: Powerful Lessons for Any Entrepreneur- with George Deeb [Big Lessons]

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George Deeb Founded iExplore.com in 1999 which was the #1 adventure travel site that grew to over 1MM visitors per month. George was named Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2001. George was CEO of Media Recall and helped to build a $25MM sales pipeline. He also cofounded RedRocketVC and Ensemble.

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Both iExplore and Media Recall were both venture backed startups and sold to billion dollar companies.

In addition to iExplore and Media Recall, George co-founded RedRocket which is a startup consulting and shared executive and fundraising firm . He also runs Ensemble which is an all star powered digital services suite.

There is a laundry list of companies that George is an advisor and investor which includes GiveForward ( http://www.inspiredinsider.com/ethan-austin-giveforward-interview/ ) which I have interviewed and many others.

What will you learn in this interview?
- What are some of the lessons that George learned from big companies he worked with?
- How Bedford Lancing book’s entitled Endurance, inspired George Deeb to be a successful entrepreneur?
- How did George emphasize the importance of giving focus to each business?
- What are some of the best advice that George shared for entrepreneurs?

FUN FACT:
George collects adventure stories
Former member of michigan marching band

Business Mentors, Tools, Books mentioned:
Endurance by Bedford Lancing
RedRocket VC
iexplore
media recall
ensemble

Background:

George has a passion for helping companies to grow their businesses and formalized his consulting efforts as the Founder and Managing Partner of Red Rocket in 2010. George has consulted or mentored over 500 companies since launching Red Rocket. George has a very deep base of relationships in the digital, venture and private equity communities, in Chicago and nationwide. George’s skills are particularly deep in strategy, corporate development, business development, fund raising, financial planning, sales, online marketing, e-commerce and online media/monetization. And, George has experience with both B2C and B2B companies, as he has personally been a successful CEO of both types in the past. Given George’s diverse background below, his clients have ranged from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations, and he knows how to apply the appropriate growth and execution strategies for companies large or small. As author of 101 Startup Lessons-An Entrepreneur’s Handbook, George is also an featured speaker/mentor for many entrepreneurial organizations. George was named to the 2012 Crains Tech 50in Chicago, was a finalist for the 2012 “Mentor of Year” by Built In Chicago and is a contributing blogger on entrepreneurship for Forbes, Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal, The Next Web, Alley Watch, Founder Institute, Startup Beat, Crains Chicago and others.

From 2009-2010, George was the CEO of MediaRecall, a B2B digital video services and technology business. George lead the sale of the business to Deluxe, a $1BN entertainment studio services business, in February 2010 at up to a 10x return on invested capital. George helped to build a $25MM sales pipeline from big brand entertainment clients and cut a strategic content monetization and strategic distribution relationship with Getty Images. George provided growth capital for MediaRecall prior to the sale to Deluxe.

Between 1999-2008, George was the Founder and CEO of iExplore.com, the #1 adventure travel website with over 1MM visitors per month. George lead the sale of the company to TUI Travel PLC, the largest seller of leisure travel in the world with over $25BN in revenues, in 2007 (where he stayed on as the divisional head for two years). iExplore is where George sharpened his skills in digital marketing and monetization for ten years, including launching a tour operator and digital publishing business from scratch. iExplore was a venture backed business, including a strategic relationship with National Geographic. George was the seed capital for iExplore. George was named an Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2001, for his efforts at iExplore.

Between 1991-1999, George was an Investment Banker with Credit Suisse First Boston, doing mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance in the retailing/consumer industry group. Key clients included Home Depot, Pep Boys CVS, CompUSA, Linens N Things and Babies R Us. George was a top ranked banker amongst his peers and completed over 50 corporate finance and M&A advisory assignments.

George received his BBA in finance from the University of Michigan in 1991. He is also a founding mentor of the Chicago chapters of TechStars and Founder Institute.

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