Carle Stenmark

The companies we partner with are founder-driven and managed by passionate people—people I genuinely enjoy and respect.

Former entrepreneur himself (he ran a rather successful lawn-mowing business in middle school), Carle’s optimism and empathy are evident in all he does. Here’s how he maintains it.

DO WELL, BE GOOD

I think the fact that the brands and companies we work with all make positive, healthy contributions to the markets they serve makes us all feel pretty good.

LEADING THE WAY

I’m fascinated by the possibility of creating new routes to market and how entrepreneurs can leverage technology to deliver an improved consumer experience.

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Your parents were both doctors. What did you learn from them?

I learned the value of helping others, especially those less fortunate than us. That was instilled from the beginning. We also learned the importance of smiling.

It’s true, you are a smiley guy.

Life’s too short to not enjoy it… and help others enjoy it along the way.

What kind of neighborhood did you come from?

I grew up in Park Hill - a mostly middle-class area of Denver. Fortunately I attended an inner city public school and was exposed to a lot diversity and other perspectives. Once I became aware of my own privilege it shaped a lot of my values. It fueled my commitment to community involvement.

Today your ‘community’ includes entrepreneurial founders.

These are ambitious, incredibly smart people. They’re passionate and motivated by their work ethic and stop at nothing to see their vision to fruition. In all cases I think their passion to solve a problem is palpable. And whether they’re involved with a consumer product or software the companies we partner with are uniformly innovative, creative and willing to take risks. These are people I genuinely like a lot. I build great friendships along the way. These relationships will hopefully last beyond our work together or any of our transactions.

You began here working with consumer product brands. What drew you to switch to VMG Catalyst?

I’m fascinated by the possibility of creating new routes to market and how entrepreneurs can leverage technology to deliver an improved consumer experience. Leading a new vertical within the VMG franchise and building a diverse team that develops a differentiated strategy within consumer technology is super exciting.

You talk a lot about consumer-centricity. What does that mean to you?

Ultimately, a Company’s ability to generate cash or profitability drives long term value and the businesses that deliver tremendous end-user value supported with a strong and easy to communicate brand will spend significantly less on sales and marketing because end-user evangelism or word of mouth marketing will drive adoption. That’s true for brands in all sectors.

As you look to the future for Catalyst what most excites you?

Playing a part in helping to create the next generation of iconic brands is thrilling. The consumer ecosystem is evolving so rapidly and being at the forefront of the business that will innovate and disrupt the way consumers interact with products, services and marketplaces makes me smile even more.

Are you smiling right now?

:)

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