Ash Creek Capital Advisors
Business advisory and investment banking services
to small and medium-sized businesses
Ash Creek is a boutique Merchant Bank dedicated to assisting businesses who have a clear vision of their goals and objectives. We have provided capital to over 20 businesses and we have learned that entrepreneurs are excellent at figuring what product their businesses need in the marketplace, but almost every one of the businesses we have advised was required to pivot at some point during their evolution and find new solutions in order to create a sustainable business for the long run.
Ash Creek’s team is ready to help your company navigate for long-term success.
Learn how we can help
For over 20 years, Ash Creek team members have assisted small and mid-market companies. Our team works with management teams to achieve their objectives with customized plans that will get the business first to achieve breakeven, then permit acceleration of their revenue growth and finally to figure out the best way to provide company management, their employees and their investors with a meaningful return.
Rolling up our sleeves
Every business pivots. But it’s not always clear when to pivot and what direction to go in. And harder to actually make it happen. Ash Creek assesses all aspects of a business and its strategy, capabilities and opportunities. We work closely with sponsors, investors and management to chart a clear path to profitable growth. And, only if needed, we roll up our sleeves and take on temporary roles in the company.
In special situations where industry challenges cause significant problems for users or consumers, Ash Creek assembles a team both from within and without its ranks to diagnose root causes and design comprehensive solutions.
These efforts often require significant investment by both you and us, and are only undertaken where we have specific expertise and long-term commitment to the solution.
Especially for startups, most entrepreneurs have a keen eye for market needs, product viability and have built at least at first iteration of a workable technology/product/solution. But not all of them have a competitive advantage in distribution. And that makes all the difference.
Where we have existing relationships, Ash Creek members roll up their sleeves to make warm introductions and/or to follow through to enterprise-wide B2B sales.
Learn how we can help
Most of our investments have been made in conjunction with family offices and other investment groups. There is no minimum investment.
Before we invest our capital in your business, we will conduct extensive due diligence to make sure the economic, marketing and financial models all work together to efficiently get your product launched with an appropriate valuation. Generally, we invest our own capital but sometimes we will look to other sources of capital to fund the business in conjunction with our members. It is not unusual for us to create a Special Purpose Entity (SPE), a limited liability company, for investing in situations where the investment requirement may be larger than the position our members may be funding along side other investors.
Finally, while we have funded a number of businesses, in 2021, we were pleased to learn that one of the businesses funded back in 2019 has become a Unicorn and will exit the year with a $1 billion valuation. This situation occurred because our members seeded a business after extensive due diligence and the management group delivered on a vision that will carry them forward into the future.
Listed below are businesses in which Ash Creek members are currently involved:
AllWork helps brands and retailers more efficiently staff their stores and respond to the challenges presented by the work preferences of Millennials. The company’s enterprise SaaS solution enables brands and retailers to source, schedule, monitor, train and evaluate their BA, freelance and in-store support, allowing them to maximize sales and reduce costs.
The first and only Unified Cyber Defense Platform with Intelligent Response Automation. It’s a Platform not just another tool. BluSapphire Enhanced Detection & Response (EDR) product is an elegant and ease to use platform to address the cyber defense stack – detection, analysis, response & remediation – a single tool that utilizes AI and machine learning to span the cyber defense stack in a single pane of glass.
CSI is a state-of-the-art, high growth, cyber security company with multiple products targeted to enterprises and consumers. CSI is NOT an anti-virus vendor – CSI’s key product, EndpointLockTM, provides PREVENTION from zero-day malware. The EndpointLock product is part of FirstData’s merchant package.
NanoVapor Inc. offers breakthrough nanotechnologies in the industrial management of vapors from gasoline, petrochemicals, oil and its derivatives. By working at the molecular level, NanoVapor’s systems are significantly safer, faster, healthier, greener, and more cost effective than conventional methods.
Perch uses computer vision technology to bring retail customers the ability to physically interact with products in a way that drives 5-10x greater engagement. For the retailer, use of the perch technology drives greater sales lift of between 30 and 130%.
“The future is voice.” ping is patented, cross platform voice technology that allows users to hear all their messages and email read aloud, when touching their device is dangerous, illegal (driving) or simply inconvenient. Software-only telematics provides drivers, parents, fleets and auto insurers, extensive driving behavior, analysis and reporting.
SAFE is a Modern Healthcare Company leveraging technology and innovative marketing techniques to disrupt the spread of chronic infections and facilitate care for those afflicted. Their mission is to create healthcare systems that empower patients and enable providers.
Swaponz is a technology and consumer product company that is combining its patented Infinite Swap product platform with the power and excitement of Augmented Reality to inform and engage customers at the point of sale and during events. Their partnership with Dreamscape Immersive combines Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies to create a new form of mainstream location-based entertainment.
The new standard in enterprise e-commerce for liquor brands. Thirstie builds the most powerful and flexible tools to enable internet commerce. Whether you’re a large or small brand, Thirstie’s meticulously-designed APIs and unmatched functionality help you create the best possible product experience for your customers. Many of the world’s most recognized brands are scaling faster and more efficiently by building their businesses on Thirstie.
Tsū is a social media platform whose users capture value by creating and sharing original content from all over the world. Our community includes celebrities, athletes, artists, and everyday people.
Zone Flow focuses on the development of reactor technologies to improve the efficiency of the production of hydrogen and syngas by the steam methane reforming (SMR) process. SMR is the dominant process worldwide for the production of hydrogen and its derivatives.
We are 25+ business leaders with over 1,000 cumulative years of leadership
experience running businesses across a broad array of industries.
And we bring that experience to bear for every one of our clients or investments.
Our Industry Experience
Mergers & Acquisitions
Energy and Industrial Technology
Learn how we can help
Our Functional Experience/Consulting Expertise
Organization Effectiveness Assessment
Business Analysis/Competitive Assessments
Executive Assessment/Talent Management
Interim Management Engagements
Operating Counsel and Problem Solving
Start Ups/Pivots/Talent Management
International tax partner with three multinational firms; tax principal with three of the big four accounting firms: corporate tax experience are two major pharmaceutical companies. Extensive experience in litigation, mergers and acquisitions, restructuring and general business matters. Etcetera
Alternative investments and asset management, with 25+ years of experience in identifying, seeding and investing with high-quality Hedge Fund managers. Having evaluated approximately 2500 HFs, currently specializing in identifying manager skills and constructing risk-controlled, concentrated portfolios comprised of liquid, high conviction/high potential payoff idiosyncratic ideas sourced by nimble and/or early-stage HF managers. Former Managing Director at UBS and Chief Investment Officer & Head of the world’s largest ($48B) FOHF group, Alternative Investment Solutions. Conducted HF due diligence and strategy research across all HF strategies, managed numerous portfolios and chaired investment committees. Also, a former trader for ten years at IFC, a global macro HF; traded derivatives across a wide range of markets. BA (Economics) from University of Rochester.
Entrepreneur, advisor, and direct investor in middle-market private equity and real estate transactions. Managing partner in several private equity backed portfolio companies. Specialization in structured real estate finance with a focus on high yield and opportunistic / distressed debt and equity investment, as well as advisory and capital raising initiatives. Former senior executive at Babcock & Brown LP, Contrarian Capital Management, Bank of America, and Union Bank of Switzerland. BA Columbia College.
Managing director of consulting group specializing in start-up and middle market and specialty finance companies and treasurer of real estate group. Wide-ranging experience as Chairman, CEO, COO and CFO for NYSE/NASDAQ listed and private venture developed firms, including Global Telesystems Group, Arrow Electronics, Texas Gas Corporation, White Motor Credit Corporation and the Ford Motor Credit launch team. BA Vanderbilt, MBA Columbia.
Former senior financial services executive with diversified background in domestic and international leasing/lending – multiple industry sectors. Specialized in Big Ticket Tax Leveraged Leasing – structuring, advisory and syndications. Primary and secondary market focus related to investments. Related positions – Managing Director, Bank of America, and Credit Commercial de France. Senior Vice President, GE Capital, Transamerica Finance Corporation, MetLife Capital. Vice President, Citibank, Xerox Credit Corp.
Management Consultant in professional services firms. 17 years as a serial entrepreneur; launched four companies – sold one, running one and is starting a new venture to scale behavioral health services. Prior to these activities< spent 15 years as social science researcher at elite universities at the intersection of psychology and business, including research scientist at Yale School of Medicine. BA Kenyon College, PhD Yale University.
Independent consultant. Former Managing Director and Head of North American Sales & Relationship Management covering Financial Intermediaries for BNP Paribas’ Global Securities Services. Prior to BNP Paribas, he worked at heritage JP Morgan’s Morgan Guaranty Trust Company and Citibank, N.A. in the Financial Institutions Group. BS Fairfield University.
Advisor and consultant in structured asset-based finance, including equipment financings and leases, the acquisition of asset-based portfolios and specialty finance companies, lease equity placement and the structuring and placement of asset-backed debt in the public and private markets. Executive positions with Babcock & Brown LP, UniCapital Corporation and Morgan Stanley & Co. BA Trinity, MBA NYU Stern.
Investor and venture capitalist with experience in manufacturing, high tech electronics, medical devices, energy conservation, defense industries and Internet-related software companies as well as government and academia. Extensive international business and finance experience in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Serves as officer or director of several privately held companies and currently CEO of two early stage ventures. President of the non-profit parent foundation for the Yale Daily News Publishing Company. BA Johns Hopkins.
Retired senior investment banker with extensive international and cross border merger and acquisition as well as financial advisory experience across a variety of industries at The Bridgeford Group/Mizuho, JPMorgan, Credit Suisse/First Boston and Lehman Brothers located in New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo and London. AB Harvard College, MBA Stanford GSB.
Strategic consultant focused on private credit investing. Investor with extensive experience in fixed income, relative value, sector allocation, and market timing. Formerly Vice President and head of Macquarie Investment Management’s Delaware Funds’ Emerging Markets Debt business. Previously Managing Director at FH International Asset Management, focused on multi-strategy investing in sovereign and corporate emerging market debt. Prior extensive experience as a market maker and proprietary trader in the Primary Dealer community for US Treasury Debt. BA, Beloit College and MBA, Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
Private equity investor, board director and advisor in media and marketing services, including Screenvision Cinema Network, where he actively ran the company as President, Chairman and CEO. Media, advertising and marketing executive in senior level positions at Procter & Gamble, International Playtex, Mattel, J. Walter Thompson, and E. & J. Gallo. BS in BA, Boston University. Former Chairman of the Boston University National Alumni Council. Listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in Finance and Industry.
Paul Mansour has served at financial institutions (MBIA, Conning Asset Management) for more than 35 years as head of business units for credit research analysis, business development, marketing, and investment policy, focusing on municipal credit markets. He holds a BA in economics from Colgate University and an MBA from Pace University.
Entrepreneur, Former Owner and President of Sherman Plastics Corporation. Over 40 Years in the Plastic Industry. Expertise in sales, management, and manufacturing.
Sherman Plastics Corporation is a four-time Illinois recycling grant recipient
and a leader in recycling and distributing plastic resins and compounds.
Global Investment Banker, Strategic Partner and Trusted Advisor with a proven international track record of success in creating and executing Board-mandated initiatives and strategic visions by addressing market complexity recycling grant recipient
and a leader in recycling and distributing plastic resins and compounds.
Multi-faceted President/CEO in retail, consumer marketing and healthcare fields, with both domestic and international experience related to business development, organizational turnarounds, start-ups and leadership assessment Specialist in crisis management, development of growth strategies and market evaluation/analysis. Former senior executive with Duty Free Shoppers, Sephora and Phoenix House.
Retired Managing Director of Deutsche Bank with responsibility for US leveraged and structured finance credit group. Various other positions were at Bankers Trust before its acquisition by Deutsche Bank. BA, Trinity College.
Venture capital and private equity investor in early stage companies specializing in information technology and communications, notably wireless communications, web and Internet protocol services and SAAS as Founder and General Partner of Dakota Ventures LLC. Chairman of Deutsche Bank Microcredit Development Fund. Former President and CEO of Dakon, Inc., distributor of consumer, agricultural and industrial products. BA Georgetown, MBA American University.
Private Equity investor in real estate and growth capital companies. Extensive merger, acquisition and restructuring experience with consumer, retailing and general manufacturing industries as senior investment banker at Bank of America, Bear Stearns and Credit Suisse/First Boston. BA Williams, MBA Wharton/Univ. of Penn.
Mark Ruchman MD is an ophthalmologist specializing in reconstructive oculoplastic surgery. He has over 30 years’ experience in managed care with particular emphasis on policy development, technology assessment, utilization management and quality improvement. He was a founding partner of a large multi-unit eyecare practice and led successful efforts to achieve first ever accreditation from the Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care ( AAAHC). He has experience as Chief Medical Officer of a private equity backed nationwide managed vision company. Currently, he oversees eyecare for a major insurance company sponsoring corporate employee benefit plans. He is a recipient of The Honor Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in recognition of his contributions to professional education and is a former Director of The International Eye Foundation. He is a Life Fellow of The American Academy of Ophthalmology and an member of The American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He graduated from Williams College magna cum laude where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his medical degree from Yale University.
Former senior financial services executive with background in both domestic and international lease and project financing, managing equity investments for Philip Morris Capital, a subsidiary of a large multinational company Additional roles included being Vice President of Credit and Chief Compliance Officer. Prior experiences in accounting and audit. BS New York University, MBA Pace University
CEO, Board member, investor and executive leader with a broad background in leading and managing subscription based membership businesses. Former Chairman and CEO at Vistage a Private Equity acquired company. Sold in 2018. Served as a Director at The Advisory Board Company (NASDAQ listed) sold in 2017 for $2.5B. Board member and strategic advisor at venture backed businesses and not-for profit boards. Experience in leading and managing several businesses, including President, Executive Programs at Gartner (NYSE) and SVP at Warner Music Group. Coauthored book “The Power of Peers”. BA Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Former senior financial services executive with experience in asset based financing and other tax related structures. Developed and marketed a computer model to analyze tax oriented leasing transactions. Managed leasing portfolio for a major bank. Placed equity investments in
International lawyer, business developer and executive leader with a broad background in technology, finance and international business operations. Experience in government, Fortune 100 companies, and entrepreneurial start-ups. Founded a business development company after progressively more responsible legal, operating and international positions with United Technologies and Praxair, including CEO of public company in India and Energy Services in U.S. Former Navy nuclear submarine officer. Serves on boards of several technology and not for profit companies, including advanced aircondtioning and energy technologies, new business incubators-accelerators, and aviation museum. BA UC Berkeley, MBA Rensselaer Polytechnic, JD University of Connecticut. Private Pilot.
Michael P. Zarrilli has extensive experience and expertise in Finance and Investments. He spent 32 years with JP Morgan and predecessors in multiple managerial and transactional roles involving all aspects of fixed income including bonds, lending, bankruptcy, CLO’s and Structured Credit. For 12 years, he was Investment Committee member and COO for KLS Diversified Asset Management LP, which was a $4 billion fixed income hedge fund with global clients investing in rates, credit and structured credit markets. He serves on several Investment Committees, including WPI and Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association.