People around the world, and the groups and organizations which they belong to, are increasingly turning to social networks as their primary means of accessing information, communicating and collaborating. As daily usage continues to grow exponentially and eclipse traditional forms of communications and media, a large demand is being created to leverage these networks for applications and online computing services: applications that go beyond entertainment and simple advertising. This has given rise to a new form of Socially Aware applications that leverage both the infrastructure provided by Social Networks, and the powerful connections which occur and are represented by social and group graphs.
GroupAppz was founded to address this need. Started in 2010, the company is positioned to become the premier provider of group based application services worldwide. By exploiting the power and widespread adoption of popular social networks and ubiquitous mobile technologies, our unique and proprietary platform allows groups and their members to create, manage and share their processes and activities online, build membership, engage with their member’s, deliver news and information, and conduct commercial transactions, enabling them to be more productive and successful. As the innovators of the GroupGraph™, we enable organizations to extend beyond their own group into a network of groups of aligned interests. In a similar fashion to a social graph, the GroupGraph helps individuals better understand their group relationships and the relationships of others within their network.
Stephen Layne - CEO & Co-Founder
Steve is an accomplished entrepreneur, technologist, and executive with over twenty-five years of global experience in the creation, growth and operational management of software, telecommunications, and social networking firms. A recognized pioneer in the development and commercialization of Electronic Mail, Steve has started five companies, all which have been successfully sold or merged with multinational firms including, Sprint, IBM, Xerox, and The Active Network. An early believer in the future of social networks, Steve was an investor and the CEO of LaxPower.com, the largest online community for the sport of lacrosse that was acquired by The Active Network , and more recently, Stuzo, one of Facebook’s original Certified Development partners, acquired by the Dachis Group. A graduate of George Mason University, Steve and his family reside in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Joseph Cellucci - CTO & Co-Founder
Joe is a serial entrepreneur who has both co-founded and helped to lead several successful technology and internet-based media companies. Joe most recently has served as the CEO and Managing Partner of Enable Consulting, LLC which is focused on the delivery of cloud and social business solutions. As a partner and the CTO of LaxPower.com, Joe led the product development and system engineering efforts. Prior to co-founding Enable in 2002, he was President and CEO of ProCaveo, Inc., where he led repositioning of the company, focusing it on security and business integration. Previously, Joe spent five years at CoreTech Consulting Group, an information technology-consulting firm, where he served in various positions, including Director of Marketing and Practice Manager for the electronic business technologies and application services consulting practices. Prior to CoreTech, he spent four years as Technical Planning Manager in the professional services organization for Soft-Switch/IBM. He holds both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in computer science from Villanova University.
Elizabeth Murray - Operations & Co-Founder
Elizabeth Murray is a versatile operations manager with over 25 years working with and for senior executives in small, mid-sized and large firms. She has extensive experience working with technology-focused start-up companies from inception through merger and acquisition. During her professional career, Elizabeth has held operations management roles for several organizations including The Active Network, LaxPower, Entigo, United Messaging, IBM, and Soft-Switch. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Goldey-Beacom College, and resides with her family in Philadelphia, PA.
Gevi Marotz - Lead Designer
Born in Afula, Israel and raised on four continents, Gevi Marotz's approach to Interactive design reveals the nuance of an old world aesthetic converging deftly onto the canvas of contemporary design. The eldest son of two artists, Gevi grew into a world composed of images and enjoyed his transition from crayons to computers with projects in photography and fine art along the way. Attentive to the influence of clearly expressed typography, user-friendly navigation tools, and the clear use of a grid system, Gevi's work thrives in doing the thinking for the user so they don't have to. His experience in Web, App, & Print design draw upon his preternatural gift for art that led him to earn a degree from the award-winning School of Advertising Art in 2005. Working on projects commissioned by companies such as HBO, Samsung, DreamWorks, and Papa John's, Gevi's reputation as an uninhibited and inspired designer continues to be recognized by his clients as well as most recently online at SmashingMagazine.com.
Michael Callahan is a graduate of Malvern Prep and Penn State where he earned a degree in Security & Risk Analysis. While at Penn State, Michael was a member of the WishVast team. This was an entrepreneurial venture that developed a cell phone-based social networking system specifically designed to address the needs of community members in developing countries by creating a platform for users to communicate as groups completely via SMS messaging. The project addressed specific issues facing these countries such as job placement and price transparency throughout the farmers market. He spent the months of May and June of 2010 in Eastern Africa implementing the platform and conducting research on mobile and smart phone penetration in developing countries.
Callahan spent the remainder of the 2010 summer working for the District Attorney's office in Delaware County, PA working in the Internet Crime Unit. A native of the Philadelphia area, Michael enjoys traveling and is an avid sports fan.
Board of Advisors
Jim Jenks is vice president and executive producer at Major League Baseball Advanced Media. He previously was the sports editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Jim also worked at ESPN, where he worked in the Internet division as the executive editor and producer for ESPN.com before serving as director of research for ESPN's television networks. His newspaper career included stops at the Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger, The Tampa Tribune, The Hartford Courant, Newsday and his first sports editor position at The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, California. Jim also served as the President of the Associated Press Sports Editors Association (APSEA).
Terry Mackin – Foresight Labs
Terry is the Founder and President of ForesightLab, is a global media executive who has led companies and their brands to success on every stage and every platform. His versatility, innovative business practices, and prescient insights into market and technology trends are key reasons he was named one of Mediaweek magazine's "50 Most Indispensable Executives in Media."
From whiteboard brainstorming to comprehensive strategies to execution planning, Terry is a proven master of the intricacies of directing and growing media properties, helping inspire every stakeholder to believe and every investor to expect profitability and success.
John Katsaros is a principal at Silicon Valley-based Internet Research Group (IRG), a leading market research and consulting company focused exclu¬sively on helping innovative companies gain market share. In March 2000, the original company named IRG, which Katsaros had founded, was acquired by Jupiter Commu¬ni¬cations. IRG provided strategic consulting for dozens of high tech companies, including IBM, Lotus, Cisco, Oracle, Sun, and Hewlett Packard, as well as some of the Valley’s brightest venture-backed start-ups. Subsequent to working with Jupiter, Katsaros, along with Peter Christy, started a successor research company, NetsEdge Research Group which they later renamed Internet Research Group after the original IRG partners obtained the rights to use their former brand name. Katsaros has more than thirty years’ experience in senior-level sales, marketing, product devel-opment, and business planning positions in a variety of environments ranging from Fortune 500 companies to startups. He is also the co-author of Getting It Right The First Tim (2008)' the author of Selling High Tech (1994), and was a contributing author to Tricks of the Internet Gurus (1993). He is a frequent speaker at conferences and has written many reports on electronic commerce and infra-structure. Industry and national media call Katsaros for commentary about innovation-related events. He has also appeared as an industry expert on CNBC and CNN.
Michael A. Cusumano
Michael A. Cusumano is the Sloan Management Review Distinguished Professor of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, with a joint appointment in the MIT Engineering Systems Division. He specializes in strategy, product development, and entrepreneurship in the computer software business as well as Internet services, consumer electronics, and automobiles. He is a director or advisor of several public and private companies as well as a well-known consultant and speaker. He has published 9 books, most recently Staying Power: Six Enduring Principles for Managing Strategy & Innovation in an Uncertain World (Oxford, 2010), named one of the best business books of the year by Strategy + Business magazine.