Kaleil Isaza Tuzman

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Kaleil Isaza Tuzman
Born October 1971
United States Boston, Massachusetts
Alma mater Harvard University
Occupation Managing partner of KCP Capital.
Known for Entrepreneur, Co-founder of govWorks.com, subject of documentary Startup.com (2001)

Kaleil Isaza Tuzman is an entrepreneur and Managing Partner of KIT Capital.[1] Tuzman started his career at Goldman Sachs and has worked in the digital media industry for more than 20 years, serving as President of JumpTV and chief executive officer and chairman of KIT digital, Inc.[2] Tuzman was also co-founder of govWorks.com, the subject of the documentary Startup.com (2001), which followed the company from its founding to bankruptcy.[3] After being arrested September 7, 2015, in Colombia, he is currently being held in a Bogotá prison for extradition to the United States, where he will be tried for accounting fraud and SEC violations.[4]

Entrepreneurial life[edit]

After graduating from Harvard University, Tuzman worked on Wall Street for five years at Goldman Sachs, before launching govWorks, Inc., an Internet startup, along with his childhood friend Tom Herman. As the company's CEO, Tuzman was able to quickly raise $60 million in venture capital; however, like many companies of the “dot-com era”, govWorks, Inc. was negatively affected by the burst of the "dot-com bubble" and was sold to First Data Corp. for nearly $20 million. The journey from the company's founding to its sale was chronicled in a documentary Startup.com (2001),[5] which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2001.[6]

Soon after govWorks.com folded, Tuzman founded Recognition Group (now known as KIT Capital), a company aimed at providing exit strategies, financial restructuring, and interim management for distressed companies. Among dozens of projects, KIT Capital managed the sale of Tigris Corp., a privately held strategic sourcing and supply chain consultancy based in New York City, to Verticalnet, Inc. in 2004.[7] In 2001, KIT Capital/Recognition Group took over KPE,[8] a struggling web development subsidiary of Grey Global Group, where Tuzman took the role of the CEO and chairman. He sold the company to Mobilocity, Inc. (which was subsequently sold to Agency.com) less than a year later.[9]

In May 2005, Tuzman was brought in as the President of JumpTV, a small start-up that focused on delivering foreign Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) content.[10] Under his leadership, the company grew to become a leading company in delivery of syndicated foreign television content over the Internet around the globe. In August 2006, Tuzman JumpTV's IPO, with Morgan Stanley as the lead underwriter, raised over $60 million; they raised an additional $100 million in a secondary offering, less than a year later.[11] In late 2007, Tuzman sold in the public market a substantial portion of his shareholding interest in JumpTV, which subsequently floundered after his departure.

In late 2007, Tuzman purchased a controlling interest in ROO Group and became the company’s CEO and chairman of the board.[12] After financial restructuring and key acquisitions ROO, an Internet video technologies company, became one of the leading end-to-end IP video providers under the new name of KIT digital. KIT digital listed on the NASDAQ Global Market in August 2009 under the ticker "KITD".[13] Tuzman left KIT digital in April 2012.[14] After his departure, Tuzman made public bids to acquire the company in several open letters to KIT digital's board of directors, believing the company was being purposefully mismanaged to bankruptcy by insiders.[15]

Executive Board Positions[edit]



Chairman of the Board, KIT digital, Inc.


On Monday, September 7, 2015, Tuzman was arrested in Colombia on charges of accounting fraud; the following day, the firm's former chief financial officer, Robin Smyth, was arrested in Australia. Both were charged with conspiring to mislead investors and regulators about the firm's financial health, and each faces both criminal and SEC charges. Tuzman is also charged with conspiring with an unnamed hedge fund operator, between December 2008 and September 2011, to inflate Kit’s trading volume and share price via "match trades" that permitted Kit to conceal purchases of its own stock. Kit Digital filed for bankruptcy in 2013 and is now known as Piksel, Inc.[16]

Following his arrest, Tuzman was held in La Picota prison in Bogotá, awaiting extradition. The conditions at La Picota prompted his legal team to file a complaint with the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (part of the Organization of American States), which was signed by over 150 other inmates citing numerous abuses such as lack of medical care, lack of running water, extortion, etc. The complaint has been acknowledged by the Commission and has resulted in an investigation into the Colombian prison system.[17]


In 2005, Tuzman published a book The Entrepreneur's Success Kit: A 5-Step Lesson Plan to Create and Grow Your Own Business.[18]


External links[edit]