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Michael Rolph

Entrepreneur • Advisor San Francisco Bay Area, US

Founder of Heroic, a mission-driven digital media publication and fashion brand. Creative executive with education, culture, & startup exp.

Founder of Heroic, a mission-driven digital media publication and fashion brand. Creative executive with education, culture, & startup exp.

6 vouches

Primary Skillsets

  • Fundraising
  • Growth
  • Marketing
  • Product
I have an idea I'm commited to

Primary Cofounder Skillsets

  • • Fundraising
  • • Growth
  • • Marketing
  • • Product

Involved In


New Sincerity


Giant Steps
Ethonova, Inc.
Giant Steps Music


Advisor Ethonova, Inc. May 2016 - present
Advisor Giant Steps Music October 2015 - present
Founder & CEO New Sincerity October 2014 - present
CEO Wheel Media 2002 - present
VP of Marketing Jel Productions 2000 - 2002
Director of Online Marketing Campus Engine 1999 - 2000
Business Development Manager Wirestone 1999 - 2000
Coordinator of Career Development in Business University of California, Davis 1997 - 1999
Vice President US Financial Mortgage Corporation 1995 - 1998


University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business Certificate, Social Sector Leadership 2015 - 2016
University of California, Santa Barbara Law & Society: Sociology, political science, black studies 1986 - 1990
California State University-Sacramento Education: interpersonal relations, cross-cultural studies, human psychology 1996 - 1999

Interested In

Cofounder With
  • • Operations
  • • Product
  • • UI/Design
Advisor With
  • • E-Commerce
  • • Digital Media
  • • Diversity
  • • Ad Sales
  • • Editorial
  • • Media
  • • Publishing
  • • Social Justice
Markets of Interest
  • • Advertising
  • • Commerce
  • • Education
  • • Fashion
  • • Media
  • • Social Impact
  • • Content
  • • digital media
  • • social impact
  • • online publishing
  • • cultural communication
  • • web publishing

You Should Know About Me

Key Strengths

Digital marketing • Social Entrepreneurship • Brand Development • Creative Direction • Digital Content • Marketing Strategy • Social Media Marketing • Startups

Key Accomplishments

17 years growing companies and social good organizations in the roles of Founder/CEO, Strategist, and Advisor.

Director of Product Marketing for an edtech startup with over 2M users nationwide. VP of Marketing for a design and technology agency before founding his own firm, Wheel Media.

Certificate, Social Sector Leadership, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.

5 years in education and mental health, including the research of culturally diverse and under-served communities, and work at two universities in both an academic and counseling capacity.

7 seven years in banking, including co-founding a retail mortgage banking firm.

Passions: Building new communities, great companies, and helping the neediest among us.

How I like to work with people As a Cofounder

A passion to transform America's relationship to race, class, identity and eachother; to use the social web to inspire new relationships and build new communities.

Deep expertise in one or more of the following areas: digital media and web publishing editorial, revenue models, and/or platforms. Veterans of Upworthy,, Ozy, The Root, ViralNova, & similar pubs.

Vouches Received

Vouches Given

Think Michael is awesome?
Vouch for them.

Todd Anthony
They're my friends  •  Executive Creative Director, Pinwheel Content, Inc.. Previously Executive Creative Director/Partner, Minty Fresh Digital.
Michael has been running his own company for over a decade. This is a new venture that he is very excited about. I have no doubt that he wil ... l figure this out and make it a success. He is intelligent, well-connected, and very dialed into the startup culture in SF. High IQ, EQ... Really the whole package.
Daniel Burnett
They're my friends  •  Founder and Director, Potrero Medical and Founder and CEO, Consano Medical. Duke grad. University of Pennsylvania grad.
This is his passion. Kudos for him to taking a shot. Best of luck and let me know how I can help!
Remi Abbas
We worked together  •  Executive Director, Strategy and Insight, John McNeil Studio. Previously Director, Critical Minds.
Michael has an amazing ability to develop ideas that offer social good while demonstrating commercial viability. It's in his DNA. This combi ... nation means he understands the dynamics of what's happening culturally, and is tenacious enough to build business fit to serve the demand. Coupled with knowing what's going on from a market perspective, Michael has a deep understanding of media—he was running a media business when I first met him—and I've had a great many conversations with him about digital marketing, media and lifestyle. He knows his stuff. How to reach his audience—by combining media savvy with a solid business sense. He's spotted an opportunity and a skilled co-founder will help him build a business that majors on social good while achieving financial success.
Dan Neitz
They're my friends  •  Previously Sales Engineer, Trane. Previously Account Executive, EMC. University of Wisconsin-Madison grad.
Michael is very creative and is able to see the big picture. His view of whatever landscape he is looking at is very comprehensive.
Lauren Adrover, PhD
They're my advisor  •  Previously Doctoral Research, Northwestern University. Previously Preliminary Doctoral Research, Northwestern University. Northwestern grad.
Michael is a creative thinker, determined to turn his passion for social justice into a successful business that inspires compassion and com ... munity among its users. I am proud to vouch for him as his forward-looking approach to creating an online forum that supports cultural diversity and underrepresented communities stands to make a significant contribution to how people connect with others in ways that transcend socio-economic difference.
Patrece Bryan
Content and Communications Strategist, Marketing and Product Management Expertise. Start-up specialist. Amherst College grad.

Mitchell Posada
They're my friends  • #CMOasAService #GrowthHacker | Advisor @Block6Analytics, @BackspaceApp | Building a Smart/Connected Product?
Mitch has the unique ability to dive into new industries, organizations and teams and make an impact. He moves at the speed of startups, inn ... ovating, pivoting and executing.

David Porter
CEO/Founder, 8tracks. Previously GM and Director, Business Development, Live365. University of California, Berkeley grad.
David's leadership is brilliantly balanced between taking risk and wise patience. His knowledge of the digital music space is remarkable, an ... d his leadership skills across product and team are out of this world.

Patrece Bryan
They're my friends  •  Content and Communications Strategist, Marketing and Product Management Expertise. Start-up specialist. Amherst College grad.
Patrece a fantastic strategist and business development resource with expertise across more verticals than I can count. She sees the big pic ... ture of any project and takes a proactive, big-energy approach that's infectious AND gets things done. She works well across marcom and sales roles, and does so with integrity.