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“…started his company with no funding in 2002 and it sold for $46M 8 years later.”
That would be a pretty sweet press release to write about your company, wouldn’t it? Well, that’s the story of SPADAC founder Mark Dumas, who sold his company to GeoEye, Inc. (NASDAQ: GEOY) in 2010. Join top entrepreneurs from around the area on Monday, April 23rd, as the National Capital Region Entrepreneurs Forum welcomes Mark as our next speaker!
Mark started SPADAC by himself in mid-2002 with no funding and started serving the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community. By late 2003 he brought on another founder – VP Jim Stokes – and the company grew to about 12 employees by mid-2004. In 2007 he raised about $6.5M in venture capital and he used that to grow his company to over 150 employees by the time he sold SPADAC for $46M in cash and stock in December of 2010.
SPADAC (now GeoEye Analytics, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of GeoEye, Inc.) has analysts located in places such as Hawaii, Florida, Germany, and the Washington, DC area. They are well-regarded as one of the best in the industry and pioneers in geospatial intelligence. Part of the company’s success has roots in Mark’s personal affinity for geospatial modeling, where he has devoted a great deal of his professional career. Many of the company’s initial contracts, initial software development, and client engagements were directly led by Mark, culminating in him being presented a civilian award for excellence from then-Maj. General Stanley McChrystal in 2005. Besides growing to 150 employees and attracting venture capital, Mark led the company through two acquisitions, made some bold moves to take the company through the 2008 market pullback, and ran a process where SPADAC was coveted by many suitors to (culminating in the purchase by GeoEye).
Prior to SPADAC and at the height of the dot-com bubble, Mark was a Senior Software Architect for a startup called MercExchange. MercExchange attempted to compete with Ebay with a variant of real-time dynamic pricing, something akin to a stock market for goods and services. The company never competed with Ebay but ultimately nabbed them at the Supreme Court with its patents.
Prior to MercExchange, Mark had a 4-year run at SAIC in Washington, D.C. – the company that would hire him out of Mississippi State University (MSU) and propel him into the Defense world of the Washington beltway.
A 1996 graduate of MSU’s Bagley College of Engineering (where he has been a frequent guest speaker), Mark was recently recognized as a Distinguished Fellow alumnus for 2012. An avid Bulldog, Mark and his family have endowed MSU’s Entrepreneurship Program with a 5-year grant to incentivize creative thinking in the hopes of creating future leaders.
Mark currently serves as the VP of Special Projects at GeoEye, Inc., where he handles strategic items for the Senior Executives. His duties include supporting M&A, strategic planning, and investments.
Originally from Memphis, TN, Mark now lives in Great Falls, Virginia and is married to Christina Dumas. Together they have 4 children: Maxwell, Sophia, Alex, and Teddy.
When & Where
A colleague once told me, “Ingar, you know, you really are a leader for leaders.” What he meant was that he trusted my advice regarding helping him grow his business. From my leadership positions in the Naval Academy community (class president, Board of Trustees for the US Naval Academy Alumni Association) to my leadership positions at companies as large as Raytheon and as small as a 15-employee artificial intelligence company, practical, growth-oriented leadership has always been my passion.
What my leadership training and experience mean to my clients is that I don’t speak in theoretical terms. As a submarine officer, a football coach, a front-line supervisor, a director, and a board member alongside the world’s best leaders, I have expertise that most leadership experts don’t have.
As an engineer by training (3 engineering degrees) and by profession, I use systems-thinking for every big problem. I do not use or recommend unproven approaches, and my insistence on validation helps me maximize productivity while minimizing risk.
What my engineering experience means to my clients is that my systematic approach and adherence to validated processes has allowed them to trust the insights they gained. This results in quicker implementation of changes and more rapid improvement in growth and profitability.
Learn more at www.ingargrev.com.