Michael Jones (entrepreneur)

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Michael Jones
Mike Jones high res headshot.jpg
Born Michael Jones
(1975-08-13) August 13, 1975 (age 43)
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Residence Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Education University of Oregon (B.A.)
Occupation Entrepreneur

Michael Jones (born August 13, 1975) is an American entrepreneur and investor, with more than $2.5 billion in exits.[1] Jones has founded, advised and invested in numerous businesses, including Userplane, Tsavo Media, MoVoxx, People Media, Brizzly, and Myspace.[2] Jones is currently the CEO of startup studio Science Inc.[3][4] In 2017, Jones was named one of Los Angeles’s 500 most influential people by the Los Angeles Business Journal.[5]

Education[edit]

Jones attended Lake Oswego High School and has a bachelor of arts in international business and marketing from the University of Oregon where he was named Student Entrepreneur of the Year in 1997.[6][7]

Business career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In 2001, Jones founded Userplane, a Los Angeles-based company that provides instant messaging and other applications for companies such as Myspace and Honda. In 2006, Userplane was acquired by AOL.[8] In 2005, Jones began angel investing, primarily focused in the Los Angeles area. He has personally invested in more than 30 startups.[9] In 2008, Jones launched Tsavo Media, an online media network company which was later sold to Cybernex for $75 million.[10]

Myspace[edit]

In 2010, Jones was hired as the CEO of Myspace where he was tasked with the company’s relaunch, one of the more high-profile turn-around challenges in the industry.[11] This included stabilizing a historically negative traffic and user trend, reducing the operational cost of the business by nearly 90 percent, and pivoting the product from its legacy as a social network to a social entertainment destination,[12] then selling the business on News Corp’s behalf to SpecificMedia.[13] Jones left Myspace in the summer of 2011.[14]

Science Inc.[edit]

In 2011, Jones launched technology startup studio Science Inc.[15][16] Science initially received $10 million in backing from a number of well-known investors, including Eric Schmidt’s Tomorrow Ventures, among others.[17] In its early stages, Science Inc. built various tech startups internally and offered support services to early-stage startups.[18] Jones spent much of his time working with the companies’ CEOs and investors on strategy, growth and business development.[19] In 2011, Dollar Shave Club launched with investments from Science Inc. Science was Dollar Shave Club’s first investor, before the startup raised a $1 million seed round in March 2012.[20] Other startups that have come from Science include DogVacay, Hello Society, HomeHero, FameBit, Delicious, Playhaven, and Quarterly.[21][22][23] His exits in 2016 include Science portfolio companies HelloSociety (acquired by The New York Times),[24] FameBit (acquired by Google)[25] and Dollar Shave Club (acquired by Unilever).[26] In 2017, Science Inc. launched its initial coin offering for its blockchain-focused incubator, Science Blockchain. It was the first incubator to do so.[27] In February 2018, Science Inc. closed on $75 million for its venture fund with traditional limited partners, including a fund of funds, sovereign wealth funds, foundations, and other institutional investors.[28] The capital will be used to back breakaway companies coming out of Science's incubators, co-invest in deals that were not seeded by Science, and will be used to co-invest alongside other venture investors.[29]

Science Blockchain[edit]

In September 2017, Science Inc. announced Science Blockchain, an incubator focused on blockchain-based companies, funded through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).[30][31] The offering falls within U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) private placement exemptions from registration under Regulation D (SEC) and Regulation S.[32] The ICO only allows accredited investors to buy tokens in the ICO.[33] The ICO offering is being managed by The Argon Group, via its subsidiary Argon Investment Management LLC, under the Regulation D Section 506(c) exemption from registration issued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.[34]

Awards[edit]

Forbes' 25 Most Influential Kingmakers in Consumer and Retailer Companies[35]

Fast Company's Most Creative People In Business 1000[36]

Los Angeles Business Journal - Los Angeles's 500 Most Influential People 2017[37]

TechWeek100[38]

CryptoDaily Top 30 Cryptocurrency Innovators[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Crunchbase"
  2. ^ "Mike Jones" Updated, November 16, 2015
  3. ^ "Mike Jones Launches Technology Studio, Science, In LA With $10M From Eric Schmidt And Others" Techcrunch, November 16, 2011
  4. ^ "The next big thing coming out of Silicon Beach? Mobile everything" USA Today, July 14, 2015
  5. ^ "LA 500: Michael Jones" LA Business Journal, August 11, 2017
  6. ^ "University of Oregon Alumni Association" UOAlumni.com, April 26, 2014
  7. ^ "Take a tour of former Myspace CEO and tech incubator Mike Jones' Malibu mansion" Business Insider, May 8th, 2015
  8. ^ "AOL snaps up IM developer Userplane" CNET, August 14th, 2006
  9. ^ "Former MySpace CEO Michael Jones launches $30M VC fund to back Indian mobile startups" TechCircle India, July 2015, 2015
  10. ^ "Former MySpace CEO launches a startup studio" CNET, November 11th, 2014
  11. ^ "Saving Myspace: CEO Mike Jones Talks About Rethink, Relaunch and–Fingers Crossed–Resurgence" AllThingsD, October 27th, 2010
  12. ^ "For Myspace, a Redesign to Entice Generation Y" The New York Times, October 27th, 2010
  13. ^ "Exclusive: Myspace to Be Sold to Specific Media for $35 Million" AllThingsD, June 29th, 2011
  14. ^ "Myspace Acquired, CEO Out: Email From Mike Jones To Employees" TechCrunch, June 29th, 2011
  15. ^ "Former MySpace CEO creates startup incubator called Science, invests in former MySpace execs" VentureBeat, November 16th, 2011
  16. ^ "The Most Innovative Social Media Companies 2013" Fast Company, February 13th, 2013
  17. ^ "Mike Jones" Crunchbase, Updated November 16, 2015
  18. ^ "Mike Jones" Crunchbase, Updated November 16, 2015
  19. ^ "15 Questions with Mike Jones" CNN Money, May 13, 2015
  20. ^ "Science Incubator Turns Up the Heat With New Services" LA Business Journal, June 28, 2015
  21. ^ "Science Inc. to buy Social Bookmarking Site Delicious" Social Tech, May 8, 2014
  22. ^ "Science Inc. Acquires Mobile Ad Network PlayHaven From Upsight" TechCrunch, September 24, 2014
  23. ^ "Science Incubator Turns Up the Heat With New Services" LA Business Journal, June 28, 2015
  24. ^ "The New York Times acquires influencer marketing agency HelloSociety" TechCrunch, March 11, 2017
  25. ^ "Google acquires FameBit to connect YouTube creators with marketers" TechCrunch, October 11, 2016
  26. ^ "Unilever Buys Dollar Shave Club for $1 Billion" Fortune, July 19, 2016
  27. ^ "A Venture Firm Turns to Coin Offering for Incubator Gambit" Wall Street Journal, August 2, 2017
  28. ^ "Science, the L.A.-based incubator, just closed on $75 million for its first real venture fund" TechCrunch, February 2, 2018
  29. ^ "Science, the L.A.-based incubator, just closed on $75 million for its first real venture fund" TechCrunch, February 2, 2018
  30. ^ "Why Science is turning to ICOs for its incubator" TechCrunch, August 4, 2017
  31. ^ https://science.tokenhub.com/
  32. ^ "A Venture Firm Turns to Coin Offering for Incubator Gambit" The Wall Street Journal, August 2, 2017
  33. ^ "A Venture Firm Turns to Coin Offering for Incubator Gambit" The Wall Street Journal, August 2, 2017
  34. ^ "A Venture Firm Turns to Coin Offering for Incubator Gambit" The Wall Street Journal, August 2, 2017
  35. ^ "25 Most Influential Kingmakers in Consumer and Retailer Companies" Forbes, October, 29, 2013"
  36. ^ "Most Creative People In Business 1000: The Complete List" Fast Company, January, 29, 2014
  37. ^ "LA 500: Michael Jones" Los Angeles Business Journal, August, 11, 2017
  38. ^ http://techweek.com/losangeles/ "TechWeek100 Investor" ] TechWeek
  39. ^ "The Top 30 Cryptocurrency Innovators" CryptoDaily, October, 27, 2017