Dave Berkus has a proven track record in operations, venture investing and corporate board service,both public and private. As an entrepreneur, he has formed, managed and sold successful businesses in the entertainment and software arenas. As a private equity investor, he has obtained healthy returns from liquidity events in over a dozen investments in early-stage ventures. As a corporate mentor and director, he was named “Director of the Year” for his directorship efforts with over 40 companies in the past decade.
He formed his first entrepreneurial business at the age of 15, a record company, which he grew through the years to become a premiere manufacturer of quality vinyl albums with its own Hollywood production plant and record label. Dave took that company public nine years after graduating from college. Self-programming the company’s early mini-computer system, Dave began licensing software to hundreds of businesses, soon seeing the immense opportunity in enterprise computer software.
Selling his share of the public record company, Dave founded Computerized Lodging Systems Inc (CLS), which he guided as CEO for over a decade that included two consecutive years on the Inc.500 list of America’s fastest growing private companies, expansion to six foreign subsidiaries and twenty nine foreign distributors while capturing 16% of the world market for his enterprise products. Known as a hospitality industry visionary with many “firsts” to his credit in advancing technology in the hospitality industry, in 1998 he was inducted into the Hospitality (HFTP) “International Hall of Fame”, one of only thirty-two people so honored worldwide over the years.
Smiling at Success; Laughing at Failure
No entrepreneur’s “big idea” survives interaction with the marketplace intact. Great entrepreneurs are flexible and coachable. Dave tells stories of entrepreneurs he has financed and coached, some of whom have excelled beyond their wildest dreams, some who have lost it all. Each story leads to a lesson for us all, as Dave explores the world of entrepreneurism from the unique viewpoint of a nearly sixty year veteran entrepreneur-angel investor.