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Meet Derek Distenfield


Derek Distenfield is the COO, CFO, and Co-founder of GSD Venture Studios. For over 15 years, he has blazed high impact careers in startups, corporate, and nonprofit organizations. Most recently, he launched and subsequently sold Cult Following, a successful growth marketing and brand building agency. Prior to this, he served as the Chief Operating Officer for 360 Payments, driving the people, processes, technology, marketing & finance for a $2 billion payments company. As the growth strategist behind Bunker Labs USA, he transformed a nonprofit serving veteran entrepreneurs into a premier national brand. He also ignited immediate growth in a highly regulated industry as CEO of NextGenJustice, a social enterprise startup that served as an alternative to traditional legal venues. As a founding visionary and chief evangelist, he developed a product that grew its consumer base 50% 17 of 18 months in business. Derek has been a keynote speaker at the Military Defense and Veterans Opportunities Summit, One Spark Innovation Conference, and International Conference on Business Incubation. He is also a mentor and startup business advisor for GrowthX, Google Pioneer Accelerator, and LifeFlip Media as well as a columnist for Forbes and a college lecturer at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.


Derek Distenfield is passionate about breaking barriers, leading innovation, and inspiring people to believe they can achieve. Known for bringing revolutionary new ideas to organizations that deliver explosive growth and for being efficient with limited resources, Derek’s high tolerance for ambiguity and complexity makes him an invaluable source of inspiration and advice for growth-oriented startups and founders. At GSD, Derek is the operational mastermind who brings a variety of resources together to best serve each portfolio company. Derek lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and two children, and travels frequently to Russia to work with GSD’s international client base.


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