Charles M. Stack
Charles M. Stack is an internet pioneer based in Cleveland, OH and is noted for playing an influential role in internet retailing and web services. A serial entrepreneur, Charles has been recognized by InfoWorld Magazine as a "Top 10 Innovator" in e-Business.
Early Life and College
In his early years, Stack founded a local YMCA Christmas tree program that ran for over 30 years. While attending Cleveland Hawken High School, he ran the Red Raider Horse Show committee, which increased its revenues by over 50% in less than two years. After high school Charles when on to Kalamazoo College and eventually received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. While attending Kalamazoo, he had his hands in multiple start-ups, including his own furniture business and kayak manufacturing enterprise, while also serving as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. Charles went on to Case Western Reserve University to study law after graduation from Kalamazoo College. He received a Doctor of Law (JD) in Intellectual Property in 1982.
Charles' first big success came quickly after graduation, as he founded and operated Parallax, Inc. from 1984-1991. Parallax provided asbestos case management services to law firms and corporate law departments. In 1992, Charles used his resources from Parallax to launch the first online bookstore- Books.com, which was acquired by CUC in 1996 and eventually by Barnes & Noble in 1998. Charles became the VP of the Internet Commerce division for CUC International after the company acquired his Books.com. He served this position for a little over a year before he began his next venture, Flashline, Inc., which was founded to address the new opportunity in software components and web services. Flashline was acquired by BEA in 2006 for $50 million and later by Oracle in 2008 for $8.5 billion. After Flashline was acquired by BEA in 2006, Stack joined the company as the vice president of their web services group, which he remained as for one year before he chose to focus on venture investing.
Charles served as a board member for the Ohio Venture Association and invested in multiple start-up organizations. However, it was not long before he was back at creating and pursuing another idea. In 2008, Charles started a technology group that focuses on mobile application development and training called iNomadics. Two years later in 2010 he founded Sideways, Inc., a digital publishing company focused on new ways of storytelling in the age of the tablet. Sideways is credited with creating the SkyMall Catalog app, which is the largest iPhone app ever with over 14,000 records.
His latest venture, Flashstarts, was founded in 2012 and is a software start-up accelerator in Cleveland, OH.