Some people have watched the Internet unfold. Others, like Ben Padnos, worked at the center of the storm creating brands and ultimately creating history. An Internet sales and marketing pioneer, Ben has been in and around early-stage technology companies since the mid 1990s, including more than four years in the early Yahoo! (NASD: YHOO) days.
Since 2011, Ben has been investing in “hard” technology companies targeting massive markets with “disruptive,” technology backed by strong intellectual property portfolios.
In 2004, Ben Co-Founded BetterPPC, a scientific testing and optimization platform for pay-per-click advertising, and a search engine optimization firm, DONE! SEO. He merged the two businesses in November 2006 to create a full-service Search Engine Marketing (SEM) technology-enabled services provider, Better, Inc. The El Segundo-based SEM firm was acquired by Tsavo Media in September 2008.
Ben founded DONE! Ventures, LLC in October, 2001 after leaving Yahoo’s strategic “think tank swat team”, ValueLab, where he was involved in forging relationships with key Fortune 500 companies. DONE! has incubated several successful businesses, including eCreditCards, a network of financial-services lead-generation websites (featuring such clients as JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, American Express, Discover Financial, HSBC, etc.), and credit card marketing business opportunity CashFlowFromCreditCards.com.
Prior to Yahoo! ValueLab, Ben was a Manager in Yahoo’s West Coast sales group and one of the company’s top worldwide revenue producers, generating nearly $100 million in sales as Yahoo! grew from fewer than 200 people to nearly 4,000 between 1997 and 2001.
After attending the University of Michigan, Ben headed to Southern California to become employee #2 and Director of Marketing at CD-ROM turned web media company, Carlsbad, California-based University Netcasting, Inc. (UNI). He successfully developed the marketing, advertising and sponsorship plans for UNI’s launch of a new collegiate on-line sports network, FANSonly.com. This strategy was included in the company’s business plan that secured nearly $5mm in venture funding, and the company was later acquired by Boston-based Student Advantage, which went public on the Nasdaq in 1999. FANSonly was spun out of Student Advantage and is today part of CBSi Advanced Media.
Ben serves on the Board of Directors of PADNOS, a family owned and operated scrap metal and paper processing and recycling firm founded in 1905 and based in Holland, Michigan.