Bill Townsend

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Bill Townsend in 2010

Bill Townsend (born 1964) is an entrepreneur who helped build several global companies, most notably search engine Lycos, social networking pioneer, whose intellectual property formed the basis of LinkedIn, GeoCities (sold to Yahoo!) and (sold to Google and ebay). He is an author, motivational speaker, and guest lecturer at conferences and universities worldwide, including TED.[1]


Townsend has founded, co-founded or served on the executive management team or board of directors at several leading Internet companies most notably Internet search engine Lycos[2] and

He is a partner in PacAirVentures, a global developer of entertainment complexes, featuring unique entertainment, retail and restaurant concepts including vertical wind tunnels, network connected gaming arenas, stem cell and DNA repair centers, music products and music performance immersion camps, and others, operated through the brand name PAVA. He serves on the Board of Directors of, the second largest pureplay e-commerce retailer,[3] and created the company's FirstFromASIA division,[4] which brings Asia's hottest, trendsetting products to the U.S. market. He was a board member at YourOffers.[5]

Townsend appeared on ABC Television's Extreme Makeover Home Edition in 2010, when his charity assisted a family of nine that lost their home in fire, restore and acquire musical instruments.[6] He also appeared on CNBC's Treasure Detectives in 2013 unveiling a $12,000,000 violin by Antonio Stradivari [7]

Yes You Can! How to Be a Success no Matter Who You Are or Where You're From was released on paperback and Kindle e-book in July 2012. A Mandarin version is scheduled to be released in China and Taiwan.[8]

Townsend is an inventor whose products have included technology products and processes, the carbonixx guitar pick line, Blaxx drum sets, Storyline Stxx drum sticks, Il Cremonese violin treatments, and thermal footwear designed for motorcycling.[9]


Townsend earned an MBA from Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business where he held the John Schoen Entrepreneur-in-Residence chair and lectured on leadership and entrepreneurship.[10] He earned his BA at The College of Wooster.[11]


In 2000, Townsend founded The Amati Foundation, to help expand the stringed arts, specifically education in playing, making, and preserving the violin.[12] In 2006, he released a seminal study on consumer attitudes toward classical music events and how those attitudes affect attendance at orchestras in the United States and Europe. The study was featured in The Strad magazine. In 2009, The Amati Foundation moved its headquarters to California and opened an office in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. In 2010, The Amati Foundation partnered with ABC Television's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Townsend began studying violin making under the tutelage of Ziang Mei then continued learning techniques from William Hilton (a student of Vhakn Nigogosian), and Alberti Genduso (who has studied with the German masters Horst Kloss and Karl Roy, director of the Bavarian State School of Violin Making in Mittenwald, Germany). In 2005 he introduced a wood treatment system to increase sonority and harmonics in instrument making. This system, Il Cremonese Violin Treatments, creates a base chemically matching the ground used by Antonio Stradivari from which to apply varnish and protect wood.[13][14] One of his instruments was featured in The Smithsonian Institution's Heart & Hands exhibition about musical instruments and their makers.[15]

Townsend is the son of Jacquelyn Mayer, Miss America 1963.[16]


Townsend was the 1992 Republican candidate for United States Congress in Pennsylvania's 20th Congressional District, narrowly losing by 1½% to 16-year Democrat incumbent Austin J. Murphy.[17][18]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ "Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, LED LCD TV, Digital Cameras and more!". Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  4. ^ "Newegg Launches "First From Asia" Program". 2011-11-30. Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  5. ^ "YourOffers. Creating happier, more loyal customers". Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  6. ^ "Amati Foundation & Extreme Makeover: Home Edition". Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  7. ^ "Afghanistan: Inside a Firefight". 
  8. ^ "Yes You Can : How to Be a Success no Matter Who You Are or Where You're From: Bill Townsend: Kindle Store". Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  9. ^ "NEW Bill Townsend Chinook Sock". Retrieved 2013-02-11. 
  10. ^ "Baylor University || Executive MBA". 2012-01-09. Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  11. ^ "Wooster Alumni Community - Margaret Miller Townsend '37". 2009-10-13. Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  12. ^ "Become A Patron". Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  13. ^  . "Techie enjoys new life as a violinmaker - YNN - Your News Now". Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  14. ^ Los Angeles Times Magazine, December 2004 print edition
  15. ^ "William Townsend Violins". Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  16. ^ "Motivational & Inspirational Speaker". Jackie Mayer. Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  17. ^ Lawrence Kestenbaum. "Index to Politicians: Townsend". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  18. ^ The Congressional Record and Republican National Committee

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