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SAN DIEGO – Bill Walton, executive chairman of CONNECT San Diego Sport Innovators (SDSI), announced today that Jeff Kearl, executive chairman of SkullCandy and chief executive officer of Stance Inc., has joined the SDSI board of directors.
CONNECT SDSI is a business accelerator that connects and drives the growth of San Diego's action sport and active lifestyle innovation cluster, now numbering more than 600 action and sporting goods companies.
“The diverse knowledge and relationships Jeff brings will be extremely valuable to the SDSI initiative," Walton said. "Jeff has a lifetime of experience investing and building start-ups, the root of what SDSI is about. His expertise will further our commitment to up and coming innovative sport businesses in San Diego; to help grow the next Adidas or Callaway.”
Kearl has focused his career on building or investing in early-stage companies. He is the founder and managing director of Monarch Partners, an angel fund whose investments include Allegiance Technologies, Costa Vida Mexican Restaurants, Logoworks, Longboards Ice Cream, Skullcandy and Stance. Kearl founded and raised two rounds of venture capital for Logoworks, an online graphic design company he sold to HP in 2007. He is chairman of the board at Skullcandy, an audio products company with revenues exceeding $100M. He also is on the investment committee of Innoventures Capital Partners, a fund focused on providing loans to early-stage and venture-backed companies. He currently acts as chief executive officer of his most recent investment, Stance Inc., a start-up company focusing on socks for the action sports industry.
“CONNECT has a long history of helping entrepreneurs build great companies through education and fundraising support, among other things," Kearl said. "It is probably the most successful organization of its kind in the country. Once I found out that CONNECT had started to focus on action sports businesses, in addition to the technology and life sciences companies it already serves, I became intrigued. Once Bill Walton took the reins I knew the fun meter would be all-time. I was in.”
About CONNECT SDSI
CONNECT SDSI is a business accelerator that connects and drives the growth of San Diego's vibrant sports economy by offering innovative programs and services for start ups, mature companies and service providers. Building on CONNECT’s world-renown success accelerating innovation in San Diego over the past 25 years, CONNECT SDSI offers mentoring, education and capital funding opportunities for start-ups; best practice collaboration, access to new technology, and public policy advocacy for mature companies; as well as deal flow to our service providers and the San Diego investment community.
The complete list of the SDSI Board of Directors is available on the SDSI website www.SDSportInnovators.org For more information about CONNECT SDSI please contact Garrett Hale at (858) 964-1314 or GHale@connect.org
Program Manager/Assistant to the Executive Chairman: Bill Walton
CONNECT SD Sport Innovators (SDSI)