Richard J. Christiansen is a thought leader, educator, mentor, parallel entrepreneur, and humanitarian. He has founded or co-founded 49 businesses, of which 16 have become multimillion-dollar successes. Each was capitalized with $10,000 or less. His businesses have ranged from technology, import/export, SEO, lead generation, online sales, innovative products, and real estate.

Rich has authored a national best-selling book, The Zigzag Principle (McGraw Hill, 2011) and co-authored Bootstrap Business (Wizard Press, 2007), in which he outlined the lessons he learned while creating these businesses. He has lectured around the world, giving keynote presentations at universities, conferences, and corporate events. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as Forbes and USA Today, and he has been interviewed on countless radio, podcast, and television programs.

Together with his family, Rich loves to explore and spelunk slot canyons and crest the summits of high mountain peaks. He has stared up the throat of Mt. Everest three times. Long boarding weekly with his two youngest sons and zipping down the ski slopes like a teenager are among his hobbies. He is a passionate golfer and loves fast cars.

He and his wife are the parents of five sons as well as a daughter who came from Nepal. Rich is passionate about educating youth in third world countries. He builds and lifts wherever he goes.

One of Rich’s significant talents is spotting and mentoring winners, having launched and trained hundreds of young women and men over the years.

Currently, he does business in 14 countries and is a principle founder of HooDoo Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm.

CAREER EXPERIENCE

Hoodoo Holdings – Principal 2013 – Present
Hoodoo is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in people and companies that are “pre-profit.” Hoodoo Capital works with founders to orchestrate growth strategies and find the right investment partners for next-stage funding and success. Several of the notable companies in this portfolio include:

• Cards2Life – Creates 3D handcrafted, pop-up greeting cards that spring to life with each memorable opening. Domestically designed and laser cut, these cards provide exquisite, real-life detail that celebrates life’s most significant moments. www.cards2life.com
• AscentWear – Combining the latest in urban wear and high-end outdoor fashion, Ascent Wear is committed to providing the essentials of form, function, and style. Some of the brands Ascent Wear promotes are Patagonia, Oakley, and Nobis. The physical store is located in Provo, Utah, and the online presence is found at www.AscentWear.com

• FuzeFiber – Lasers ablate silver and gold nano particles into non-ionized and spherical particles. These nano particles are then applied to fabric, fibers, and apparel to kill existing bacteria and prevent the growth of new bacteria.

• StyleLounge – Amazon Private label product development infrastructure and channel development company.

• OmniEarth – Organic worm castings manufacturer.

Froghair – Founder and Chairman – Provo, UT 2009 – Present
International export company and provider of rewards for high-end corporate events

• Grew from a start-up to $13 million revenue in a five-year span
• Opened over 350 top vendor accounts in the USA, including Under Armour, Nike, Callaway, Tumi, Oakley, Fjall Raven, Black Diamond, Ralph Lauren, Osprey, and many other brands.
• Voted as one of the top 20 fastest-growing companies in Utah three years running
• Profitable from month one

The Storm Group – Provo, UT 2004 – Present
The Storm Group has engaged in the founding, formation, organization, building, and leadership of multiple companies. Many of these companies have grown from $0 to multimillion dollar businesses in less than two years. It is the holding company of the following entities:

• Custom Dreams – Portfolio of real estate holdings
• Golden Zephyr – Engineering outsource resource
• Mountain Grabbers – Business consulting services group
• Unconventional Kitchen – Healthy eating website for women with young children – 60,000 active followers
• The Mom Conference – Annual conference hosting 12 of the top thought leaders in their categories, specifically focusing on issues relevant to some 70,000 highly engaged moms
• DixieLand – Rental Properties
• CCD – Private label Amazon distribution channel
• SeaHero – Board game development company

CastleWave – Founder and CEO – NYC, NY & Provo, UT 2007 – 2010
A technology company specializing in strategic web consulting, high-purpose link building, search engine optimization, technology development outsourcing, and the creation of web technologies. Clients included The New York Times, Franklin Covey, Walmart, The Shop at Home Network, Warner Music Group, S&K Menswear, and Vringo.

• A $5,000 investment was turned into a multimillion-dollar business within one year
• The company was profitable from day one
• It was used as test case to prove the principles of the book, Bootstrap Business
• Awarded Utah Valley #1 Business to Watch and Top 50 Utah Valley Companies

Know More Media Inc. – Co-Founder and CEO 2005 – 2006
A business blogging network that employed over 60 remote expert business bloggers focusing on niche business topics.

• Oversaw development of management tool allowing mass scale and deployment of bloggers around the world
• Utilized SEO and search expertise to vault the network into prominence in the first four months of existence
• Many of the blogs established a page rank of 6 or 7 within a four month period

EggNesters LLC – Founder and Chairman, 2004 – 2007
A mortgage lead generating company, sourcing and qualifying prospective mortgage customers from the internet and off-shore call centers for mortgage brokers in the US and Canada.

• Grew lead generating business from $0 to $2MM in two years, with an overall contribution margin of 27%
• Profitable from second month onward
• Engaged over 900 marketing agents in India and the Philippines
• Developed understanding of the business nuances, challenges, and benefits of outsourcing business processes both near-shore and off-shore
• Serviced the nation’s largest mortgage brokers, including LowerMyBills.com, BankRate.com, Novastar Inc., FastFind.com and Global Mortgage Group
• Built a world-class website that established a Page Rank of 7 with top-ranking placement on the word “mortgages” in search engines

Tornado Solutions – Co-Founder and CEO 2004 – 2006
An online publisher of over 100 niche content sites that arbitraged online traffic in the form of both organic and paid search traffic.

• Grew from a start-up to $3 million in revenues at 43% contribution margin in less than 18 months
• Profitable from month one
• Generated more than 15 million internet page views per month
• Oversaw the specification, design, and implementation of all technology, allowing P&L to be tracked page by page on a day-to-day basis
• Established and developed extensive relationships with Google, MSN, and Yahoo
• Recognized as one of the USA leaders in paid CPC advertising as well as Organic Search Engine Optimization
• Developed a world-class reporting system that integrated with Google API, allowing automatic bid adjustments

KillerDeals, LLC – Founder and President, 2003
An online subscription service where users could purchase a preformed online storefront with pre-stocked closeout merchandise.

• Grew from 0 to 670 subscribers and 41,000 free users in five months, with an average ticket of $22
• Achieved profitability in second month
• Grew from $0 revenue to $16,000 a month

About.com, Inc., a PRIMEDIA Company – Web Services Division – Orem,UT, & New York 2002 – 2003
While I was at About.com it was the seventh largest traffic driver on the Web. The Web Services Division hosted consumer and business websites under the property names Freeservers.com, Bizhosting.com, CommunityArchitect.com and 50megs.com. About Web Services was the 15th largest Web Hosting Provider on the web, servicing over 5,000,000 users, 62,000 subscribers, and serving 300 MM page views a month.

General Manager
• Increased subscription revenue from $400,000 a month to $600,000 a month in first six months as GM
• Grew the number of paid subscribers from 40,000 to 62,000+
• Held attrition constant at 7%, when the industry average was 10%
• Maintained a contribution margin of 61%
• Increased monthly cash from $400,000 a month to $740,000 a month
• Grew subscription base at a rate of 120% in 2002. The industry average was 14%
• Established ranking as the 15th-largest web hosting subscription provider in a field of over 10,000 competitors
• Responsible for P/L of division
• Increased morale, focus, and productivity of the team. Accomplished growth with minimal head count increase – 27 employees
• Managed complex relationships with publicly-traded New York parent company, About, and grandparent company, PriMedia

Cyclone Trading – Founder and CEO 2001 – 2007 (Sold)
International trading company that exported outdoor gear, apparel, and tools to Latin America and Asia Pacific Rim.

• Grew the business from $0 to $1.8 MM in annual revenue while maintaining a margin of 17%
• Established over 140 key supplier relationships with manufacturers like Nike, Callaway, TaylorMade, Mizuno, Patagonia, Stussy, Polo RLX, Converse, and Wild Things
• Developed active relationships with 20 distributors in Japan and five in Latin America
• Negotiated industry leading pricing discounts for both in-line and discontinued merchandise
• Conducted trade missions endorsed by both the private and public sectors to Japan and Korea
• Sold in 2007

The Human Link – Orem, UT 2000 – 2001
Internet venture that developed communication and collaborative tools for private-label use by affinity groups.

President/CEO
• Oversaw the company’s legal administration, capital and legal structure, and ongoing relationships with outside corporate counsel, creating an effective and viable corporate framework for daily operations, due diligence reviews and audits
• Established and implemented general operating policies, programs, systems, and strategic initiatives for the launch, oversight and day-to-day operation of business, enabling private-label collaboration tools to be deployed by businesses attempting to virally grow their customer base
• Directed international team of marketing and engineering professionals to complete six web-based collaborative tools within six months
• Launched three private-label partnerships: GeoFamily, Yearbook Interactive, and LDS Living Family
• Entered into negotiation and discussions with many large companies regarding the deployment of the HumanLink technology to their customer base. (EarthLink, Parenting (Time Warner), About.com, Random House, MindArrow, Telefonica, NuSkin, etc.)
• Developed and released 500+ page OurFamily.com website in aggressive three-month timeframe with small team of multi-functional professionals
• Achieved 20,000 active members three months after launch

CareerWebSource – Sandy, UT 2000
Provider of online career content to libraries, associations, colleges, universities, and job boards.

General Manager
• Developed technology to automate manual content delivery systems. Created technology that produced over 500 mass-customized web-sites
• Managed a staff of 52 professionals including technical, sales, marketing, operations, finance, and operations
• Turned around six-month production backlog by restructuring engineering department
• Built team of engineering and marketing professionals, saving over $150K per month versus previous outsourcing strategy

Mitsubishi Electric PC Division, dba ACL Inc. – Spanish Fork, UT 1997 – 2000
Manufacturer and provider of long-life, high availability motherboards to the embedded and industrial markets.

General Manager, USA Operations, 1998 – 2000
• Grew USA business from $0 – $25 million dollars in two years of operation. Responsible for all P/L in USA.
• Maintained an average gross sales margin of +23% in the motherboard market
• Formulated the strategy, value propositions, and tactics to effectively penetrate the embedded long-life motherboard market in the USA
• Successfully directed the USA operations, including business planning, marketing, sales, legal, contract negotiations, technical support, accounting, and HR
• Managed daily communication and interaction with international headquarters in UK

Director, Technical Marketing, 1997 – 1998
• Established channel relationships with major USA software and hardware vendors, including Microsoft, Wyle, Itox, Compaq, Radisys, and Midway
• Led market research effort to determine how Mitsubishi could best open USA market
• Opened USA office, creating and establishing all legal, accounting, HR, marketing, and support infrastructures for USA Operations
• Oversaw the hiring of staff in the USA as well as support staff in the UK

Novell – Provo, UT 1991 – 1997
Provider of networking software and directory solutions.

Product Line Manager, NDS and Network Services, 1994 – 1997
• Responsible for a $14-million-dollar product line – Novell’s Cross-Platform Services
• Responsible for Novell’s NDS business partners (HP, SCO, Fujitsu, IBM, SUN, Sequent)
• Led team that fostered, developed, and delivered Novell’s Cross-Platform initiative
• Managed product marketing, outbound marketing, and partner marketing teams
• Implemented product life cycle to manage and control NCPS product line
• Product decision maker in contract negotiations
• Managed interface with engineering development group based in Bangalor, India

Product Marketing Manager, OS Branding, 1993 – 1994
• Developed, wrote, and implemented product strategies
• Coordinated the development, logistics and implementation of the OS Branding Program
• Managed Novell’s OS Branding marketing and business relationships with major partners

Strategic Systems Engineer III, Novell Labs 1991 – 1993
• Supported Mitsubishi – Apricot on all Novell engineering related issues and policies
• Facilitated joint marketing and product efforts between Novell and Mitsubishi -Apricot
• Trained, authorized, and approved self-certification sites at Apricot and Mitsubishi

Digital Technology – Orem, UT 1989 – 1991
Software manufacturer that implements and deploy technology solutions for publishing houses.

Director, Connectivity
• Supervised specification/installation/training of over 50 Novell networks across the world
• Specified, designed and recommended network configurations for corporate clients

NetLine, Inc. – Provo, UT 1987 – 1989
Manufacturer of hardware and software networking solutions.

Manager, Technical Services
• Supervised and managed all technical support affairs
• Trained and supervised 25 full-time national field representatives
• Organized the software, test, and quality assurance departments

PUBLISHED BOOKS & WORKS

Zig Zag Principle – The Road To Success is Never a Straight Line. McGraw Hill, 2011.
#5 National Best Seller, per Wall Street Journal and USA Today

Zig Zag Principle covers:
 How to create a firm foundation that will provide a more viable chance of sustaining a business.
 The sequence of zigs and zags that increase success in business -Drive to Profit, Add Resources, Add a Scale Element
 How to set guardrails that keep you from crashing your business and your personal life
 Planting hidden treasures to reward and highly incent yourself and your team
 How to avoid the “all or nothing trap” and find appropriate balance
 Failing efficiently and not fearing failure

Bootstrap Business – A Step-by-Step Business Survival Guide. Wizard Press, 2007

Bootstrap Business covers:
 A step by step process of how to take a $5,000 investment and bootstrap a successful company.
 How to build a business from where you are.
 How to avoid the big mistakes that kill most businesses.
 How to secure your future financially while maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

Citations

Quoted, interviewed, or referenced in hundreds of publications and news outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, CNBC, Monday Morning Memo, Business Q, What Would the Rockefellers Do?, Startup Professionals, Good Reads, and Entrepreneur Launch Pad.

University Presentations

Have given hundreds of presentations and keynote lectures throughout the world. A few of the highlighted venues have been The Gathering of the Titans at MIT, Harvard University, University of Washington, BYU, and, of course, SUU.

Colligate Events

Judge, panel member, and presenter at dozens of regional, national, and international businesses plan competitions. A few of the more noteworthy include: Presenter at National College Entrepreneur Organization Chicago IL and Fort Worth Texas in 2012. Judge of International Finalists Business plan and pitch competitions 2013 2015 and 2016.

EDUCATION

MBA, Marketing Emphasis 1991
Brigham Young University – Provo, UT
Graduated with Honors
BS, Electronic Engineering Technology 1989
Brigham Young University – Provo, UT
Networking Emphasis

Southern Utah University – Cedar City, UT 1987
General Education

HUMANITARIAN, PROFESSIONAL AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

 Stellar – Founded and directs a thought leadership and skill development group of business leaders in Utah Valley
 Southern Utah University, Founding Member and architect of the Entrepreneurship Leadership Counsel, 2015 – Present
 Founder Member of Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at BYU, 2012 – present
 Wizard Academy – Faculty presenter and contributor
 Personal Education Initiatives with third-world youth (with wife and sons have helped educated over 250 youth) 2002 – present
 Choice Humanitarian Activist and supporter, 2011 – 2015
 India Humanitarian Mission, 2008
 Organized and led Guatemala Humanitarian Initiatives with youth groups, 2011
 BYU Alumni Advisory Board, Electronic Engineering Technology (EET)
 Mountain Wilderness Medical & Avalanche Certified
 Himalaya Expedition Leader October 2001, 2005, 2010
Completed preparations for month-long trips to Nepal
• Culmination of intensive training program
• Completed humanitarian projects with local charities, including Kathmandu Teaching Hospital and First Hope
• Coordinated strategic promotions for key Mountain Grabber Company partners
• Climbed 4 peaks – Gokyo Ri, Cho La, Kalapatthar, and Khongma La
• Climbed with children to 18,500 ft. in the Khumbu region of the Himalayas
 Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers
 Certified Novell Instructor, Enterprise Certified Network Engineer
 Ecclesiastical leader of hundreds of youth over the past 30 years
 Boy Scouts of America – Silver Beaver, Wood Badge Trained and Staff, District Commissioner, Venture Advisor, Varsity Coach, Scout Master, and Eagle Scout