Brandon Pearlman, Product Manager in Chicago, IL, United States
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Brandon Pearlman

Verified Expert  in Product Management

Growth Product Manager

Chicago, IL, United States
Toptal Member Since
April 7, 2021

Brandon is a software and technology executive with 18 years of experience. He works as a management consultant for the Global 1000, has successfully founded (and exited) his startup, and helps accelerate early/growth-stage companies. He brings in-depth knowledge and a unique perspective to solving challenging problems. Brandon is passionate about solving complex problems by using data-driven insights.

Project Highlights

Founded, Grew, and Successfully Exited a Software Startup
Founded, raised venture capital, and scaled a big data and AI/ML software company. Successfully sold the business to a multinational public company in under four years.
Led Innovation Team at a Multibillion-dollar Company
Led the team from concept through product prototype, pitched the board of directors, and secured subsequent funding from the board.
Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at a Venture Capital Firm
Led the evaluation of new and growth-stage companies, making recommendations that led to millions of dollars in investment capital deployed.


Work Experience

Principal | Growth Executive

2017 - PRESENT
BP Genesis LLC
  • Worked on a fintech platform that combined banking, mortgage, and insurance product offerings for the B2C market. Performed across business units/offerings, ensuring operational consistency across product lines and engaging with dozens of external vendors.
  • Acted as an interim CEO/EIR for a corporate venture incubation team at a $3 billion industrial-focused company. Led the team from ideation through customer discovery to presentation to the board of directors and secured follow-on capital.
  • Served as a strategic advisor and consultant to companies focused on innovation, disruption, and digital transformation and worked with clients across a wide range of industries and customer segments.
  • Turned around an event-management company by reorganizing its focus on an enterprise SaaS model, developing a business strategy, and building a new financial model from the ground up. The company was able to raise a second round of investor capital.
  • Advised the CEO of a growing CPG company on the operations and sales strategy. The business grew from $4 million to $10 million.
  • Prepared the CEO of a food-delivery platform for investor questions and due diligence by developing KPIs to help tell the company's story. Analyzed sales data and developed metrics. The company went on to raise a seed round of funding.
  • Turned around an underperforming hospitality platform by reorganizing priorities and revamping the product roadmap.
  • Analyzed the business strategy, finances, and management team of prospective capital investments and delivered recommendations to a venture capital firm (confidential).
  • Reviewed the IP portfolios of Chicago-based universities and assessed inventions for commercialization opportunities.
  • Assessed a satellite-based platform for the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Kuwait (NASCO), identified issues, and advised stopping the process. The acquisition process was terminated, potentially saving tens of millions of dollars in capital.

Co-founder | Chief Operating Officer (COO) | Chief Product Officer (CPO)

2012 - 2017
Digital H2O, Inc.
  • Founded, raised funding, and scaled a big data and AI/ML software company. The company provided operational data-driven intelligence for the energy industry. Successfully exited the business to a multinational public company.
  • Directed the day-to-day operations, including general management, product roadmap, operations, strategy, fundraising, finance, and sales.
  • Created $24 million in enterprise value in under four years and achieved a six-fold revenue growth year-over-year.
  • Converted over 40 major oil-and-gas companies to customers, negotiating contracts with management and C-suite buyers.
  • Developed industry-leading artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) analytics products.
  • Integrated disparate datasets (public and private) into a unified architecture, enabling industry-leading data analysis.
  • Scoped, implemented, and drove joint-development projects with companies, securing customer-funded pilots.
  • Executed a successful exit of the business to an industry-leading strategic buyer.
  • Managed a team of engineers, data scientists, a UI/UX architect, and offshore contractors on all software and analytics development projects.
  • Achieved product-market fit and managed all product-related development, roadmap, strategy, and resource allocation.

Vice President of Operations | Business Development

2008 - 2012
  • Managed operations and business development and identified and negotiated the firm's most successful acquisition for a renewable energy-focused PE firm.
  • Acquired a financially distressed biofuel plant; raised $4 million in equity, and leveraged that to secure $36 million in bank debt. Additionally, secured a $10 million seasonal revolver to fund operational inputs for the plant.
  • Saw the asset generate revenue of over $150 million with around $20 million in net income by the end of the second year post-acquisition.
  • Developed a business plan and pitched to investors on a 25-acre tomato-based greenhouse using renewable energy; the evolution of which is now the successful Chicago-based company, MightyVine™.
  • Evaluated the biomass market, identified an unmet need in the market, and licensed proprietary tech to serve that market need which included negotiating and securing an exclusive agreement.
  • Secured $660,000 in incentives from the State of Kentucky while working with the Secretary of Energy.

Senior Consultant

2006 - 2008
SMART Business Advisory & Consulting
  • Deployed a legal management system and managed deliverables.
  • Spearheaded joint application development with client stakeholders.
  • Acted as an executive stakeholder regarding reporting and project tracking.


2005 - 2006
Huron Consulting Group
  • Worked on engagements with Fortune 500 companies spanning multiple industries.
  • Developed and deployed a multimillion-dollar enterprise software system across a global law department (Fortune 500, confidential). Worked with developers to customize it to meet the business's specific needs.
  • Overhauled the law departments' processes and procedures by developing a detailed process flow map and conducting interviews. Recommended business process optimization improvements.
  • Examined servers and C-suite computers at the forensics level for an SEC investigation of financial accounting, corporate governance, and internal control practices of a Fortune 25 company (NDA), which led to a $2 billion earnings restatement.
  • Analyzed the server and computer data for an SEC investigation involving earnings restatement, not for the same company as above, but for a Fortune 500 company (NDA), ensured the chain of custody, and conducted a meta-data level forensic analysis.

Founded, Grew, and Successfully Exited a Software Startup

Founded, raised venture capital, and scaled a big data and AI/ML software company. Successfully sold the business to a multinational public company in under four years.

The company, Digital H2O, provided insights into logistics and supply chain operations. Additionally, the company provided predictive analytics capabilities to inform operations. I served as the companies COO and CPO (chief product officer).

• Directed day-to-day operations including general management, product roadmap, ops, strategy, fundraising, finance, and sales.
• Managed engineers, data scientists, a UI/UX architect, and offshore contractors on all software/analytics development.
• Achieved product-market fit and managed all product-related development, roadmap, strategy, and resource allocation.
• Reduced software development time by ~33% by implementing a unique methodology based on Agile principles.

Led Innovation Team at a Multibillion-dollar Company

Led the team from concept through product prototype, pitched the board of directors, and secured subsequent funding from the board.

I was hired by the CIO of an industry-leading company (confidential) to run their innovation team.

• Responsible for all aspects of running the incubation process.
• Led a team of in-house employees and outside consultants through ideation, pain point interviews, customer discovery, storyboarding, and prototyping stages.
• Presented analysis and findings to the board of directors of the company.
• Built a case to continue to the next stage of the process and secured a funding commitment from the board.
• Secured funding for the next phase.

Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at a Venture Capital Firm

Led the evaluation of new and growth-stage companies, making recommendations that led to millions of dollars in investment capital deployed.

Energy Foundry, the VC fund, invests venture capital in today's most promising energy innovators, and we work with the world's leading energy companies to build and scale new ventures.

As an EIR, I Ied the evaluations into companies that have, at this point, raised tens of millions of dollars in venture capital from some of the most well-known VC firms.

My other responsibility as an EIR was evaluating commercialization opportunities through major universities' technology transfer/commercial offices. I evaluated IP portfolios, met with inventors of interesting technologies, and made recommendations for those that could be a foundation for a new venture.
2012 - 2014

Master of Science in Environmental Management and Sustainability

Illinois Institute of Technology - Chicago, IL, USA

2000 - 2004

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Economics

University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA, USA


Pivotal Tracker, Jira, Asana, InVision, Figma, Google Analytics, Confluence


ProductPlan, Blockchain


Agile, Agile Product Management, Requirements Analysis, User Testing, Marketplace Platforms, Data Product Management, B2B2C, B2C, Agile Project Management, Scrum, Agile Software Development, Agile Workflow, Iterative Development, Mobile App Design, Data Science, Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C)

Industry Expertise

Toys & Children's Products, Alternative Energy, Renewable Energy, Consumer Products, Sustainability, Venture Capital, Energy, Oil & Gas, Utilities, Logistics, Financial Services, Banking & Finance, Marketplaces, Insurance, Agriculture, Hospitality, Transportation & Shipping


Management Consulting, Business Development, Business Strategy, Product Strategy, Startups, Analytics, Sales Strategy, Strategic Planning & Execution, Product Management, P&L Management, Cross-functional Team Leadership, Coaching, Mentorship, Process Optimization, Performance Management, Business Turnaround, Growth, Program Management, Product Development, Product Launch, Lean, B2B, Product Roadmaps, Product-market Fit, Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Pitch Decks, Execution, Business Analysis, Data Analysis, Business Consulting, Market Research, Process Flows, Process Mapping, Roadmaps, Fundraising, Seed Fundraising, CEO, Early-stage Startups, Mobile, Web, User Stories, Go-to-market Strategy, Digital Product Management, Product Vision, SaaS, Enterprise SaaS, Communication, Mentorship & Coaching, Innovation, R&D, Head of Product, Chief Operations Officer (COO), POS, Business Technology, Dashboards, Software as a Service (SaaS), Business Transformation, Business Transformation Program Management, Lean Startups, Marketing, IT Projects, Research, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Video Games, Product Operations, Product Leadership, Go-to-market Plans, Product Owner, Feature Backlog Prioritization, Backlog Grooming, Mockups, Consumer Technology, Data-driven Decision-making, Feature Prioritization, Conceptualization, Growth Strategy, Requirements, Consulting, Portfolio Management, Ideation, Business to Consumer (B2C), Data Analytics, Technology, Data, New Product Development, Startup Consulting, Direct to Consumer (D2C), Planning, Product Ownership, Budgeting, Web Product Management, Business to Business (B2B), Optimization, Business Requirements, Vendor Management, Vendor Selection, Product Discovery, Business Process Analysis, Systems Analysis, System Process Mapping, Business Process Management (BPM), Customer Interviews, Analysis, Channel Strategy, Business, Management, Training & Training Content Development, Platform as a Service (PaaS), Platforms, Requirements & Specifications, Business Planning, Stakeholder Management, Launch Strategy, Product Planning, Business Models, Product Consultant, Pricing, SaaS Product Management, Product Strategy Consultant, Business Management, Product Growth, New Products, New Products & Services, Business Intelligence (BI), Analytical Thinking, Business Processes, Critical Thinking, Service, Team Building, Acceptance Criteria, Proof of Concept (POC), Client Delivery Management, Process Development, New Product Business Cases, Business Operations, Business Coaching, Executive Coaching, Scaling, Business Process Modeling, Operating Models, B2B Product Management, Product Sales, Sales Growth, Sales, Monetization Models, Monetization, Scope, Revenue Strategy, Product Coach, Market Research & Analysis, Market Strategy and Research Product Manager, Commercial Strategy, Best Practices, Workflow, User Requirements, System Requirements, Business Partnerships, Strategic Partnerships, Partnerships, Market Sizing, Market Segmentation, Market Opportunity Analysis, Business Cases, Backlog Management, Scope Management, Distributed Team Management, Value Proposition, Market Fit, Social Media, B2B Sales Pipeline, Brand Building, Business Plan Consulting, Research & Investigation, Project Timelines, Workshops, Project Estimation, Business Process Improvement (BPI), Project Planning, Process Improvement Project Management, Digital Product Development, Solution Architecture, Web App UX, Feature Analysis, Data Research, API Integration, Product Analytics, Beta Testing, User Surveys, Customer Acquisition, Customer Journeys, Journey Mapping, Data-driven Dashboards, Dashboard Development, Data Visualization, Timelines, Social Media Apps, Software Consulting, Capital Raising, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Use Cases, User Feedback, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Project Scoping, Senior Executive Management, Chief Product Officer (CPO), Technology Strategy & Architecture, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Feasibility Studies, Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), Enterprise Software, Team Leadership, Content, Media, Product Delivery, Cross-functional Collaboration, Stakeholder Engagement, Vision Development, Presentations, Strategic Initiatives, User Validation Testing, Project Consultancy, Qualitative Research, Investor Presentations, Pitch Deck Consultant, Project Management & Work Tracking Tools, Project Reporting, Project Delivery, Technical Hiring, Resource Allocation, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Revenue & Expense Projections, Web & Mobile Applications, Community Growth, User Validation, Opportunity Identification, SaaS Product Marketing, A/B Testing, Tech Sales, Product Frameworks, Customer Insights, Corporate Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), App Development, ROI, User Personas, Data Strategy, Strategic Planning, User Engagement, Operations Improvement, Process Design, Team Effectiveness, Jobs to be Done (JTBD), UX Wireframes, Functional Requirements, UI Prototyping, Director of Product, Business Administration, B2B Lead Generation, Applications, Sales Enablement, Product Positioning, Sales & Channel Enablement, Technology Trends, Go-to-market Optimization, Service Design, Operational Workflow, Startup Funding, Google Sheets, Excel Expert, Apps, Beta Programs, Storytelling, Negotiation, Consumer Electronics, Supply Chain Management (SCM), Innovation Management, Innovation Strategy, Advisory, Facilitation, Innovation Workshops, Sales, B2B Sales Pipeline, B2B, Enterprise SaaS, Customer Success, B2B Partnerships, Economics, Private Equity, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Acquisitions, Operations, Project Management, Joint Application Development (JAD), Business Process Optimization, Legal, Customer Discovery, Sales Pitches, Customer Analysis, Regulated Industries, Software Development, eCommerce, Investments, Cryptocurrency, Internet of Things (IoT), Growth Marketing, Operations Management, Restaurants & Dining, Mobile Apps, Instruction & Coaching, Product Design, User Experience (UX), Marketing Strategy, User Research, User Journeys, Discovery Workshops, Fintech, User Flows, Content Strategy, Writing & Editing, Technical Writing, Agile Product Delivery, Growth Hacking, Growth Marketing Product Manager, Machine Learning, Process Improvement, User Interface (UI), Wireframing, Customer Experience, Finance Product Manager, Lean Product Manager, UI Design, UX Design, Feature Planning, Hiring, Subscriptions, Branding, Agile Practices, Manufacturing, Cloud, Digital Marketing Strategy, User Interviews, Feature Roadmaps, App Growth, Miro, Notion, Airtable, Competitor Analysis & Profiling, Financial Modeling, Subscription Pricing, Agile Sprints, Sprints, User Acceptance Testing (UAT), Competitive Strategy, Crypto, Operational Efficiency Improvement, Forecasting, Cost Estimation, Operations & Business Support Systems (OSS/BSS), Product Marketing, Finance, Digital Asset Management, Financial Products, Financials, Sprint Planning, Organizational Design, Structure & Organizational Design, Organizational Development, Technology Consulting, COO, Web Applications, Technical Requirements, Product Requirements Documentation (PRD), User Journey Maps, Process Automation, Agile Leadership, IT Business Analysis, Software Implementation, UX Research, Validated User Research, Brand Strategy, Commercial Banking, Mobile UX, Consumer Applications, Mobile Applications, Mobile App Development, Web 3.0, Digital Marketing, APIs, Technical Consulting, B2C Marketing, CTO, Accounting, Intellectual Property Valuation, Technical Product Management, App Design, REST APIs, Data-driven Marketing, Grants, Valuation, Pricing Strategy, Markets, Gambling, iOS, Android, Pricing Models, Big Data, Data-driven Intelligence (DI), Cybersecurity, Consumer Services, Fintech Consultant, Non-fungible Tokens (NFT), Blockchain as a Service, Web Design, Google Advertising, Microsoft Teams, Retail & Wholesale, Mortgages, Data Governance, Design, Marketing Technology (MarTech), Redshift, Insurance Broking, Insurance Product Manager

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