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Gary Fowler Bizboard's CEO to Watch

Gary Fowler: Transforming businesses to thrive in volatile markets

The competition in today’s world is not just confined to local markets. Entrepreneurs now pine for more than just regional success and aspire to build a brand that is well-acclaimed in the global markets. As difficult as it may sound, decent planning, research, carefully crafted strategies, and fail-safe execution can make this journey much less drawn-out.

Gary Fowler’s award-winning growth stage AI venture studio company, GSD Venture Studios has taken it upon itself to help young and promising start-ups to realize their potential and successfully set up a shop across the international borders. And this commitment towards scaling, growing, and propelling each of their portfolio companies to global success is what sets them apart from the rest of the industry. Gary exclaims, “Very rarely do you see young companies projecting their future success in a global context. Where we provide a unique solution in allowing companies to set on a journey to specifically develop a global-scale business, rather than considering global market entry as an afterthought to growth.”

GSD Venture Studios offer exhaustive resources to their clients to plan and strategize beyond their immediate reach. Their global network of mentors, investors, and professionals make way for various new opportunities and their executive and recruitment support services ensure efficient management and growth of their portfolio companies. Gary explains, “We aren’t investors in the traditional and limited sense. We are directly involved in the growth journey every step of the process, stepping in at co-founder or executive levels and weighing in the decision-making process as the company develops. We provide connections and partnerships on a global scale that help build global success stories from scratch, without remaining limited to one locality and market.”

“Very rarely do you see young companies projecting their future success in a global context. Where we provide a unique solution in allowing companies to set on a journey to specifically develop a global-scale business, rather than considering global market entry as an afterthought to growth.”

What makes him an expert?

Before he founded GSD Venture Studios with Derek Distenfield, Gary filled several executives and leadership roles in top-tier companies such as ClickSoftware, Mirantis, Siemens, HP, etc. allowing him to hone his expertise in global strategic innovation leadership, sales, marketing, operational, and investment management. As a recognized expert in entrepreneurship, lean startup methods, innovation management, and technology development, he has been known to launch several startups- leading them from concept to capital raising to IPO.

He is also the founder of one of the top startup accelerator programs in Eastern Europe, a frequent keynote speaker at global conferences, a contributor to the Forbes magazine, and a co-chairman at the American Chamber of Commerce Technology Committee. Besides, Gary has worked on technology commercialization initiatives and industry partnerships for a 40-nation, $1B+ fund that employed 26,000 scientists and engineers across 500 research institutes as a sales and marketing executive consultant for the US, Russia, EU, Canada, South Korea, and Japan. For his remarkable contribution and multifarious talents, Gary was recently recognized as one of the ‘Top Ten Most Influential AI Executives for 2019’, ‘Top 30 Technology Executives to Watch in 2020’, and ‘10 Most Innovative Global AI Executives’.

Get Stuff Done!

Gary firmly believes in starting the day early and setting a tone for the rest of the day by engaging in some exercise. Apart from this, Gary loves to ride on his electrical bike, playing tennis, swimming and driving sports cars. He loves to communicate with people on both personal and professional levels to keep learning and growing as an individual while also doing the work that inspires him. The inspiration behind GSD Venture Studios creation was to discover the best and most resilient teams on a global scale and foster partnerships that will help emerging companies grow in the right direction with the right guidance, making confident and secure steps along the way. He shares, “I have helped grow businesses from startup to scaleup and unicorn before – Clicksoftware, which was acquired by Salesforce for 1.5B, and are among the companies that have seen successful growth and maturation. In this process, I discovered how important it is to expand your scope of business into other countries and beyond in a search for the best professionals and talents to build a resilient business. What I also noticed was that going global and tapping into resources beyond a given locale didn’t cross many startups’ minds very often — so GSD is the culmination of my personal success stories and the opportunity gap that I have identified and now fill with our portfolio companies.”

As digital transformation is taking over the world, AI, machine learning, and Quantum have become a megatrend among tech enthusiasts. Gary shares, “I am particularly interested in the impact that the combination of AI and Quantum will have to make our lives better. Also, the advances in Med Tech! What has been really exciting is my talk show Silicon Valley Tech & AI that runs the second and fourth Tuesday every month. The show features leading minds and characters from the tech world and discusses hot topics in the industry. For instance, one of our episodes is going to be centered around the migration of California’s tech minds to Florida during the pandemic through a discussion with the Mayor of Miami Beach!”

Holding an innovative approach since its inception, GSD Venture Studios had begun its global journey way ahead of the pandemic. Now that internet has made it possible to collaborate and work remotely, it is advantageous to be a part of the global network to be able to sustain a growing business. In the context of COVID-19’s implications for GSD Venture Studios, Gary asserts, “Where we see us moving is discovering more companies that want to establish a strong footing in the global arena, capture new target markets that the new scale can offer, and get ahead of the competition in its efforts to conquer the global market.” As a CEO, Gary values this global outlook that he and his team carry along with the mutual respect and mentorship, and moving ahead he aims to build a culture where his team is forward-thinking and responsive to all the unique qualities of the cultures they bring together as an organization with a diverse workforce.

Gary’s Legacy

“I believe my legacy is this new approach to scaling companies with global goals and strategies in mind — and the importance of a solid network backing in the process. It’s the reflection of how I have always approached startups and company growth- for me, it has always been about going above what is accessible nearby and instead always believing in the potential of tapping into new markets for opportunities and talents,” says Gary.

One big piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs that Gary believes will never get obsolete, he says “Build relationships. The relationships you build will eventually make your endeavor or break it, depending on if you have successfully developed a safety net you can fall back on and rely on whenever you need resources and support. It’s important to really take the time to invest in building tangible connections with people around you to ensure a two-way appreciation and understanding. This is the backbone of every successful entrepreneurial venture and it will always remain the key to success that’s sustainable and supported at all times.”

Originally published in


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