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

Verified Expert  in Product Management

Growth Product Manager

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

Brandon is a technology executive with 19 years of experience, including working as a management consultant for the Global 1000. He has successfully founded and exited his startup and executed a GTM strategy that yielded an ARR of $20 million in year 1—and a projected $200 million in year 2. Brandon expertly helps accelerate early and growth-stage companies, identifying sustainable growth opportunities and enabling informed decisions with in-depth analysis.

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.

Expertise

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
CG LLC
  • 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.

Analyst

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.

Tasks:
• 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

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