What are we about?
In June 2016, Groundswell was founded by three serial entrepreneurs and Space Coast natives, eager to see greater startup activity in the area.
For a little over a year, we brought together technologists, entrepreneurs and innovators at any coffee shop, restaurant or office space that would let us borrow a table.
Today - Groundswell lives in a skatepark-turned-coworking-space, hosting more than 30 events per year and continuing our mission of building a place where Space Coast innovators an build, grow and thrive.
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Meet our Founders
Mark Mohler has been a lawyer for over twenty years and is a founder of Corridor Legal Partners, a full service business and transactional law firm. He was formerly a partner in the Tax and Business Groups of BakerHostetler, one of the largest law firms in the US. Mark previously served as general counsel to a public company venture/incubator and during his tenure was the chief legal officer for companies from idea through IPO. Having been on “all sides of the table,” he was a co-founding entrepreneur of a venture and private equity-backed multi-national company, has served on staff to one of Florida’s largest venture funds, is a founder of LaunchPad40 Capital Partners, a spacecoast-focused venture capital firm, and has been a member of the board of directors of many venture-backed companies. He has a BS, Juris Doctorate and Master of Laws in Taxation degrees from the University of Florida.
John Vecchio has been in the software industry for 30 years and co-founded three software companies. The companies raised over $75M from prominent venture firms across the US. His first, N2 Broadband, was acquired for $120M in 5 years. His latest, Clearleap, is the underlying multiscreen video streaming technology to customers including HBO, NFL, Verizon and Time Warner. He has worked on product strategy, software development & investor pitches with numerous start up companies in the Atlanta area. His is a patent holder and his team at N2 Broadband was awarded a Technical and Engineering Emmy for his Video on Demand system. Currently, John is a partner at Mosley Ventures working with Sig Mosley, one of the most prolific early stage investors in Atlanta. He resides on several Boards and has led several investments into early stage technology companies in the Southeast.
Bud Deffebach was a Patent Attorney for the Atlanta, GA based intellectual property law firm Jones & Askew, and with Harris Corporation, specializing in patent licensing. In 1997, Bud joined ATLC, Ltd., a patent licensing firm, as a Partner. ATLC has generated over $2 billion in royalties for its clients, including entities such as AT&T, Stanford University, Harris Corporation, Kodak and Cypress Semiconductor.
Bud is an active board member, investor and advisor to companies including Sarda, NexStreem, ZippSlip, 3D WiFi and others. Bud also co-owns Matt’s Casbah, develops commercial real estate and is a very strong believer in, and supporter of, Club Esteem and the University of Florida College of Engineering.
Bud is married to Dr. Kim Deffebach and they have two children, Lee and Kate. Hobbies include surfing, diving, golf, mountain biking and snowboarding.
Meet Our Staff
CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER
MARKETING & LOGISTICS
How we can help
Joining the Groundswell network means gaining access to resources and workshops specifically tailored to your needs. From workshops for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to test their aptitude to growing companies finding proven strategies to scale, Groundswell is here to help.
Groundswell pairs early-stage companies with experts who know their industry and are ready to help. With mentors ranging from business strategy to manufacturing to raising capital, Groundswell has the resources your team needs to ideate, get started and grow.
Meet our Mentors
Pawan has 17+ years of experience in problem solving with proven ability to successfully manage projects with developing and leading multicultural team to design and develop various aircraft interior products
Originally from Texas, Kailas started his tenure in the northeast following a Bachelors and Masters from MIT. While in graduate school, he and John McBean invented the technology, performed the initial clinical research and recruited the core team that would form Myomo. Kailas also created Xitome Design, a leading humanoid robotics company. The MDS robot Nexi built by Xitome, was named one of the top inventions of 2008 by TIME magazine. Kailas resides in Indian Harbor Beach, FL with his wife, and 2 daughters.
Shane Close is a User Experience and User Interface Designer with two decades of success creating engaging interactive applications and digital media for agency, startup and Fortune 500 clients. Shane is passionate about solving problems through design and creating solutions that allow users to be more efficient and productive.
Keith is a ‘rocket scientist’ and a dreamer on a coffee-fueled mission to get stuff done. He is passionate about creating value as a business leader, as a mentor, and in the community. Career highlights include roles in R&D Management, Innovation Leadership, Strategy and building awesome stuff for sea, air, space, terrestrial, and subterranean applications.
PITCHING AND INVESTMENT
James is currently the Vice President and General Manager of Trinetics Group - a Melbourne, FL based contract manufacturer specializing in plastic welding and assembly services. You may have seen him as half of team Brogrammers on The Runner, distributed via Verizon's Go90 platform.
SALES AND MARKETING
Andy Quintana is currently the Senior Vice President of Business Development for Accent Technologies. His primary focus is developing and executing a Channel Strategy. He has 14 years of experience at IBM starting out as a Chemical Engineer working his way into leadership and sales roles. He enjoys coaching and connecting others while mentoring several individuals on a one-on-one basis on aspects of career development and business development. He has a passion for helping and empowering others to succeed.
Alex is an expert in digital media. Alex has served previously as the Chief Digital Strategist of TedX at Ted conferences, a Vice President of Product at AOL and the CEO of Emurse.com, a job hunting website acquired by AOL. He is currently on the Executive Committee for the United Way in Brevard County Florida and an occasional speaker/advisor in the local technology startup community.
Adam Hoffmann is a recent transplant from Portland OR. He has worked in the digital marketing space for over a decade, serving as a UI/UX designer, program manager, strategist and design thinking facilitator. Throughout his career, he has participated in and led strategic initiatives for Fortune 500 companies, including Intel, Nike, Google, and GE, as well as a number of start-ups.
The Honorable Roger W. Baker was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate as Assistant Secretary and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in May of 2009, serving until March, 2013. He is recognized for transforming the federal government’s second largest IT department, with 8,000 people and a $4 Billion annual budget, into a customer-driven, results-oriented organization.He also served as CIO for the U.S. Department of Commerce from 1998 to 2001. Baker, currently serving as a consultant, has worked extensively in the private sector for a variety of successful technology companies, most recently as Chief Strategy Officer for Agilex Technologies.
A growth marketing expert and certified space-nerd, Aaron is a recent Space Coast transplant passionate about rapid experimentation and product-market fit. Aaron has been on the ground at every level of the growth marketing process and, started, Cohoot, where he leads and manages a community for salespeople and marketers to share information and collaborate.
DIGITAL MARKETING & SEO
Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His work has also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing solutions.
Jason has 20 years of experience in technology and product development. Although primarily focused on web application development throughout his career, he has also held positions of Product Manager, Solutions Architect and Director of Engineering. Jason has worked for small and large companies alike including 2 medical software startups and 1 e-commerce startup here in Melbourne. He has also worked as an engineer for Philips Healthcare and Florida Power and Light. Having managed product life cycles for small and large companies, Jason is well equipped to guide entrepreneurs down the right path to a successful outcome.
Anthony Eden is the founder of DNSimple, a 25-year software developer, and a seasoned international speaker. In addition to bootstrapping DNSimple, Anthony has been an early-stage member of numerous small businesses and startups since the late 90s. Anthony has a large portfolio of open source projects that he either created or contributed to, using multiple languages including Java, Python, Ruby, Clojure, Go, Erlang and Elixir. Anthony has spoken at conferences in both the US and Europe on topics such as software development techniques, best practices for systems design, and how to build a sustainable business. When he's not working you can find him surfing, snowboarding, playing board games, and traveling.
Kim Shivler, M.Ed. is a communications strategist, coach, trainer and instructional design consultant. For 30 years, she experienced success in a variety of roles requiring combining technical acumen with communication soft-skills including teaching technology, developing online software training, technical writing, technical project management, and technical evangelism for Tivoli (an IBM company). Kim provides training and coaching programs that help technical teams and professionals communicate with non-technical audiences, enhance communication internally and externally, and leverage their strengths to advance their careers.
Jonathan Reed is a senior executive in Communications Systems, Aviation, Aerospace and Defense. He spent most of his career at Harris Corporation where he led multiple businesses before moving to division and corporate roles leading Strategy and Business Development broadly across the company. He excels at driving business growth through strategy, innovation and execution. He recently founded Strategy First LLC, a consulting firm specializing in business planning, management processes and talent development for small to mid-sized businesses.
A New Jersey native, Bob relocated to the Space Coast from the Northeast in 2012 to lead the human resources and administration functions at Melbourne-based Harris Corporation. Newly retired, he is passionate about collaborative problem-solving, designing a company structure and building a team of the right people to move goals forward, and establishing an operating cadence with robust processes to drive success. Bob has participated in more than 100 merger and acquisition transactions of varying sizes over the course of his 30 years on the senior leadership teams of Fortune 500 businesses.
STRATEGY AND GROWTH
Bryan Stewart currently serves as the CEO for PracticeWise, LLC. PracticeWise is a mission-driven company that serves individuals and organizations working with children and families struggling with behavioral health challenges. Bryan has over two decades of leadership experience including nearly 7 years of service as a US Marine Corps infantry officer. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio State and an MBA from Webster University. He is a straight-talker who is passionate about learning, growing, and helping individuals, teams, and organizations find and walk out their purpose.