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 44)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California
NationalityAmerican
EducationUniversity of Oregon (B.A.)
OccupationEntrepreneur

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