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Ken Waagner

Advisor Greater Chicago Area, US

Serial entrepreneur with 30+ years in the entertainment and technology sector. With a focus on food systems for the last decade.

Serial entrepreneur with 30+ years in the entertainment and technology sector. With a focus on food systems for the last decade.

followers
following
3 vouches

Involved In

Founder

Smartley-Dunn Solutions, Ltd.
E.A.T. - Education, Agriculture and Technology
Transformer, Inc.
The Food System
Education, Agriculture and Technology
HitIt! Recordings

Advisor

Isobar

Positions

Founder Smartley-Dunn Solutions, Ltd. July 1998 - present
Founder E.A.T. - Education, Agriculture and Technology September 2010 - present
Consultant Frankly Inc. May 2015 - September 2015
Founder Transformer, Inc. January 1982 - December 1999
Co-Managing Director Dali Records March 1993 - November 1993
Co-Founder The Food System February 2015 - present
Consultant Isobar January 2009 - present
Founder Education, Agriculture and Technology September 2010 - October 2014
Consultant WIRED 2004 - September 2008
DJ/Pirate The LAB 1996 - 2001
Founder HitIt! Recordings December 1993 - December 2000
Director of Promotions WaxTrax! Records June 1991 - December 1992

Interested In

Advisor With
  • • Accelerators
  • • Business Development
  • • Business Strategy
  • • Community development
  • • Food technology
Markets of Interest
  • • Events
  • • Food and Restaurants
  • • Media
  • • Mobile
  • • Small Businesses
  • • Social Impact
  • • Restaurants and Retail
  • • Specialty Food

You Should Know About Me

Key Strengths

Digital marketing • Digital Strategy • Marketing Strategy • Social Media • User Experience Design

Key Accomplishments

I am a serial entrepreneur who owned 5 companies by the time I was 25 including: a record company, booking agency, concert promotion company, artist management company and a logistics company - all while running a print shop.

I worked with several multi-platinum selling bands by the time i was 30, moved to Chicago in 1991 to help run an independent record company here and ended up starting my own record company in 1993 that I ran until 1999-2000 - around the same time I shifted my focus to full-time technology consulting - given that we had been early adapters of technology including: web, database development and content delivery.

From 2000-2010 I was actively involved in the growth of the interactive media, live streaming and content delivery on behalf of clients, customers and partners including the band Wilco, who I worked with for 10 years from 2001-2011.

In 2011 I started a project called Education, Agriculture and Technology (E.A.T.) that evolved into a non-profit with a $1m annual budget and a privately funded $125m social impact venture fund that I left at the end of 2014.

I have spent the past year consulting technology companies ranging from Fortune 100 to startups and non-profits and am currently working on a handful of projects in tech, food and events.

How I like to work with people
As an Advisor

I have been mentoring and consulting entrepreneurs and creatives my entire professional life and try to provide them with experience and encouragement - and a sounding board. I like to be available as much as possible to people and organizations I am advising - especially by e-mail or in regular face-to-face meetings when possible.

3
Vouches Received

1
Vouches Given

Think Ken is awesome?
Vouch for them.

Todd Kasten
We worked together  •  Vice President of Client Development, Ticketmaster. Previously Owner / Principle, Clique Control. NYU grad.
Simply put, Ken is the real deal. He knows what he is talking about and makes things happen. I've been lucky enough to work with Ken on ma ... ny projects and all have been a joy!
Dave Meeker
Vice President, Isobar. Previously Managing Partner, EffectiveUI.
Ken and I have been working together on various initiatives for almost 2 decades. His background in media and entertainment, combined with h ... is expertise in digital solutions makes him a strong contender to advise organizations looking to expand their products and/or services to new audiences. He also has been doing a ton of work with non profits and socially aware businesses and has many connections that can be leveraged to help people accelerate their initiatives.
Dave Meeker
Vice President, Isobar. Previously Managing Partner, EffectiveUI.
Ken and I have been working together on various initiatives for almost 2 decades. His background in media and entertainment, combined with h ... is expertise in digital solutions makes him a strong contender to advise organizations looking to expand their products and/or services to new audiences. He also has been doing a ton of work with non profits and socially aware businesses and has many connections that can be leveraged to help people accelerate their initiatives.

Dave Meeker
We worked together  •  Vice President, Isobar. Previously Managing Partner, EffectiveUI.
Dave has consistently been one of the most forward thinking people I know for the 17+ years I've known him. He leads by example and has a pr ... oven track record of delivering on ideas both on his own and on behalf of his clients and partners.