Michael Gaiss

Michael Gaiss is currently on a sabbatical, where he is exploring a variety of entrepreneurial and talent focused initiatives while also traveling, spending time with his family, and advising a number of startups.

Previously, he was Senior Vice President with Highland Capital Partners for 13 years, where he led marketing efforts at the firm and worked with over 125 startups and emerging growth companies on marketing strategy, product/company launches, communications and programs. In addition, Michael created and spearheaded a number of key strategic talent and entrepreneurial initiatives including Summer@HIGHLAND (since 2007, a comprehensive entrepreneurship program for student-led startups), PepsiCo10 (first of its kind collaborative partnership with a Fortune 100 company to find and work with the most promising start-ups), Career Network (a platform to help Highland-backed companies more effectively compete for talent), StartupTrek (never done before reverse trek bringing early stage startups to top technical universities to better recruit), and the Highland Entrepreneur Center (a dedicated co-working space that hosted 95 seed and early stage initiatives since 2001).

Earlier in his career, Michael was Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Gentia Software (Boston/London) where he led the efforts to re-brand the company in the analytical application space, notably around the Balanced Scorecard. Before that he was Vice President of Marketing at IQ Software (Atlanta), a decision support software tools company. Prior to IQ, Michael held a variety of marketing product management and software development roles at Unisys Corporation (Blue Bell, PA, Christchurch, New Zealand and Minneapolis) as well as Analysts International (IBM Rochester, MN). He is a graduate of the University of Michigan (B.S., Computer Engineering) and the University of St. Thomas (M.B.A., Marketing).

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