Rick Gibson has had 40-year career building businesses, founded/co-founded several successful technology companies and advised over (75) others. Rick reviewed 1000+ companies and mentored hundreds. Rick is a Senior Investor Partner at Sustainability Partners, an investor in large infrastructure retrofit and new-build projects for municipalities, universities, schools, hospitals, airports, corrections and other public entities. The Fund provides HVAC, boilers, chillers, LED lighting, windows, roofs, motors, pumps, meters, elevators, broadband, vehicles, water and waste systems, all with zero customer capital, via a month-to-month utility service agreement. It is completely off-balance-sheet, not debt, and covers maintenance costs.
Since 1999, Rick has served as Managing Director of HOTventures, a "mentor capital fund" for the Southwest U.S., that invests in/advises fast-growth companies, in domains from Ballistic Armor to Agriculture, including IT, Healthcare, Sustainability and Media. Rick’s been involved with several companies that’ve had liquidity events, as either co-founder or investor, and his portfolio has more foreseeable exits. Rick has invested almost one hundred million dollars. Since 1996, he’s been a key player in several “mentor-driven accelerators” including Idealab, the world’s leading tech incubator in the 1990’s. Rick wrote for Inc.com for several years see: www.inc.com/author/rick-gibson and a long-time columnist for BizAZ magazine.
Rick has been an investor, advisor or board member in dozens of innovation companies including: AgriTrak, AppTech Fund, Avisere, Beamz, The Book Patch, Bourque Industries, BrightGuest, Clear2there, CopperKey, DarkPulse, Decon7, EquiSight, Flypaper, Funding Universe (now Lendio), Imagenomics, LabTrack, LifeBot, Medipacs, MedSphere, Mobile Authentication Corp (MAC), MojoVideo, MSDx, NetWorth, NFusion, NuvoMed, Octopi, Real Time Companies, Sokikom, StrongWatch, Wizzax, World Wide Wheat and Zero Waste Wines. He was a limited partner in Solstice Capital II (one of the largest venture capital funds in Arizona).
Rick has several times been a judge for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, and on Angel Capital Association’s National Collaboration Committee. Rick was often a Mentor and Panelist for FundingPost.
In Tucson, for many years Rick served on the Executive Board and Screening Committee of the Desert Angels and is Mentor-Emeritus for UA’s Arizona Center for Innovation (AZCI), was Adjunct Instructor for UA’s Eller School Entrepreneurship Program and on UA’s MBA Advisory Council.
In Phoenix, was on the board of ASU’s Technopolis, Entrepreneur-in-Residence,Instructor for LaunchPad/LaunchPrep entrepreneurship programs, and ASU TechBA mentor coaching companies from Mexico. For many years, was on the Selection Panel for Invest Southwest Capital Conference’s Venture Madness, judge for ASU’s Edson Entrepreneur Initiative, creator of "Entrepreneur's Resource Guide" for BizAZ magazine and member of Philanthropic Council of Banner Alzheimer's Foundation. Rick continues as a judge for the AZ Commerce Authority’s ‘Arizona Innovation Challenge’ and on the Venture Ready Panel.
In Flagstaff, Rick is Director Emeritus for the NACET incubator (Northern Arizona Center for Emerging Technologies) having served since 2008. NACET has overseenMaricopa Center for Entrepreneurship and Chandler Innovations Incubator.
Rick was an early stakeholder in Bill Gross' Idealab and founded one of its first companies, E-Ticket Inc, which merged with Nederlander Organization's RealTime Syndication Network to become FeatureCast Inc. Rick served as Vice-Chairman. FeatureCast secured online license for and executive-produced: Fox's America's Most Wanted, Teen Magazine and National Enquirer. Rick participated in strategic planning with the ten original Idealab CEOs. Idealab created several well-known technology companies including: Overture (acquired by Yahoo for $1.6B), United Online (was NetZero and Juno), Aptera, Internet Brands, CitySearch, Energy Innovations, eSolar, Desktop Factory, Picasa, Tickets.com, eToys and Evolution Robotics. [See http://idealab.com]. 1998-2000, Rick was an advisor to the board of directors of Petersen Publishing, producers of 100+ magazines like Motor Trend, Hot Rod and Teen.
Rick started GNP Development Corp with Bill Gross, and in 1986 they sold it to Lotus Development Corp for $10 million. In 1991, they co-founded Knowledge Adventure Inc, which in 1996 they sold to Cendant for $100 million. Knowledge Adventure became the largest children's CD-ROM edutainment company in the world (almost $400 million in annual revenues), owned by Universal Studios, known for 'JumpStart' (20 million units sold) and ‘Blaster’ series.
1986-1991, Rick consulted to software companies including Ashton-Tate, Que Software/Macmillan and SPSS Inc, and arranged sales of technology to Symantec, Microlytics and Paramount Publishing. Rick directed a division of Ashton-Tate and was Chairman of 4-5-6 WORLD. Earlier, Rick directed national sales/marketing and helped start or re-start: Fisher Corp, KLH, Ultralinear and Androbot Inc (personal robot start-up by Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E Cheese). Rick began his career as one of the very first store managers for The GAP Inc, which now has 3,700 stores worldwide including Old Navy and Banana Republic.