Seth Berger (Sixers Innovation Lab)

1776 at Ambler Yards - 300 Brookside Ave Ambler, 19002 Philadelphia
Wed, Oct 24, 2018, 5:30 PM (EDT)

About this event

Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. We host monthly fireside chats to bring you a candid look at entrepreneurs in our ecosystem. We believe storytelling is an essential piece of the startup puzzle and these chats provide the perfect place to learn from a fellow entrepreneur and meet other hustlers in the Philadelphia area. Join us for drinks, food and make meaningful connections with people who inspire! 

This month we are featuring Seth Berger, the founder and CEO of AND 1, lifetime entrepreneur and dedicated father at our Ambler Yards campus. For more information on Seth, please read below. 

Seth Berger

AND 1 — 1993-2000, 2002-2005

As Founder and CEO of AND 1, he ran an upstart basketball sneaker, apparel and entertainment company. After starting out selling screen printed tee shirts in 1993, the Company moved into the broader apparel and footwear market. AND 1 reached its height it 2001, when it attained the No. 2 spot in the US basketball footwear market. At its peak, AND 1 had revenues of $285 million, including its licensees. In addition, AND 1’s entertainment division created the Mix Tape tour and Streetball, an ESPN series that was the No. 1 rated show among male teens, eclipsing SportsCenter. AND 1 also donated more than 5 percent of its annual profits to youth-based charities. In 1999, the partners sold a stake in the business to TA Associates, a venture firm out of Boston. In 2005, the company was sold to American Sporting Goods, a private shoe company based in Irvine, Calif. — 1999-2001

Seth served as CEO of from 1999-2001. He helped raise $15 million in financing for the business, hired its staff, and launched a site dedicated to basketball fans all around the world. Despite negotiating a partnership deal with, the business was unable to generate enough revenues to continue, largely because broadband capabilities were not strong enough to sustain its business model. Seth shut the business down in 2001.

Lightning Gaming — 2005-2006

In the fall of 2005, Seth took on a part-time CEO role for another start up, Lightning Poker. This business was the brainchild of Brian Haveson, former CEO of Nutrisystem. Brian was traveling the country as a professional poker player, and he approached Seth with his idea and patent. Seth helped raise $1 million in financing, hired a staff, created an automated poker table, and negotiated an international distribution deal with Shufflemaster, a public company. After 12 months, he turned the Company back over to Brian, as part of their original agreement for his term of service. Lightning Gaming now holds many slot machine licenses, in addition to its original product, and is a non-traded public company. More information can be found at

Gravy Train — 2011-2012

Seth self-funded a small venture in the mobile gaming space. GravyTrain created a Facebook game, “imthnkgof” (I am thinking of), and launched it in December of 2011. Although the idea was executed well, the market for these games started to crash, led by Zynga, and Seth shut down the business before wasting too much money.

Seth and his wife, Christelle — also a Wharton School graduate — have three boys, ages 17, 14 and 12. They also have guardianship of five brothers from overseas. The oldest boys are graduates of Brown University and Skidmore College, and the younger boys currently attend American University and Chestnut Hill College. Prior to Wharton, Seth was Legislative Director for US Representative Harold Ford, Sr. from 1989-1991. He was, at 21-years old, the youngest Legislative Director on Capitol Hill. As an undergraduate at Penn, Seth was a four-year letter winner, captain and MVP of the Sprint Football team. He played one year of junior varsity basketball. Seth also received the Bowl senior award for service to the community. He is still waiting for his first 10-day contract in the NBA


  • Seth Berger

    Seth Berger

    Sixers Innovation Lab

    Managing Director

    Seth Berger earned his MBA in 1993 from the Wharton School and his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from University of Pennsylvania in 1989. Seth has been the CEO of four businesses in the consumer space. In these ventures, Seth has started with a hyper focus on the understanding of the target consumer, with the philosophy that every consumer business must meet and communicate a specific consumer need to survive. After that, he has worked to create branding and marketing strategies to drive messaging that sticks in a world of constant consumer messaging.

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  • When

    Wednesday, Oct 24
    5:30 PM - 8:30 PM (EDT)


    1776 at Ambler Yards
    300 Brookside Ave Ambler19002

    Brought to you by

    • Anthony Maher

      Anthony Maher


      Chief Growth Officer & Head of Incubation