- About Us
We're excited to bring to Austin, the Founder and CEO of our Grind Startup of the Year Winner for 2019, Albert Santalo of 8Base, Inc. Albert Santalo is a computer scientist, Internet entrepreneur and angel investor with experience in high growth, venture-backed technology companies. His passion lies in designing products and building companies that disrupt traditional business models.
For our Fireside Chat, we welcome Ryan Merket to the stage in September! Ryan is a Partner at Firebrand Ventures, a seed-stage VC firm, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and previously held key roles at Facebook, Reddit, and Amazon.
Ryan Merket is a Partner at Firebrand Ventures, a seed-stage VC firm focused on investing in passionate founders in the Greater Midwest. A native Texan, Ryan spent 10 years in San Francisco where he was an early employee at Facebook and helped launched the Facebook Login button across the internet, and 8x'ed Reddit’s revenues as head of Reddit’s Ads Products. He was also the co-founder and CEO of MMTG Labs, a Sequoia backed startup that was acquired by InMobi in 2012. He’s spent the last 3 years at Amazon on the Startup Business Development team, a team of ex-founders and VCs, who flew around the US mentoring and advising startups. When he’s not helping his portfolio companies, meeting new startups, or mentoring founders, you can find him hiking or swimming in the beautiful spring-fed pools in the Texas Hill Country.
Albert Santalo is a computer scientist, Internet entrepreneur and angel investor with experience in high growth, venture-backed technology companies. His passion lies in designing products and building companies that disrupt traditional business models. He is an advocate for empowering entrepreneurs everywhere to build Silicon Valley technology companies in their local communities and was standing alongside President Obama at the signing of the Jobs Act in 2012. He is founder and CEO of 8base. He is also a board member and/or advisor to various technology ventures and has raised in excess of $100 million for his companies.
He is the former Chairman and CEO of CareCloud, a company he founded in 2009 that is working to modernize the antiquated healthcare industry with a cloud-based platform. CareCloud reached #127 on the 2014 Inc. 500 list and is backed by NVP, Intel Capital, First Data Corp. and others. Previously, he was Founder and CEO of Avisena, a revenue cycle management company for physicians. Prior to Avisena, he worked at the Hackett Group / Answerthink (NASDAQ: HCKT), a management consulting firm, where he served as a director in the IT Transformation and Strategy Practice. During his tenure at Answerthink, he worked with Global 2000 companies, assisting them with technology strategy and transformation initiatives.
He is the lead inventor and holds a U.S. patent for Avisena’s A/R Management Methodology. He holds a Master of Business Administration Degree from Florida International University. He is the recipient of the FIU 2004 Charles E. Perry Visionary Award for outstanding Alumni and was inducted to the FIU Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame in 2006. He also is an active board member of Goodwill Industries of South Florida and is a member of Accelerated Growth Partners, Miami.