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Welcome

Next Sparc is a focused private capital group with a passion for helping growth-stage Internet, e-Commerce, Mobile and Saas-based businesses reach their potential. We are seasoned, hands-on partners looking to collaborate with emerging technology entrepreneurs while leveraging our deep operational experience, capital, and extensive resources.

 In addition to investing in growth stage enterprises, we also invest selectively in real estate, private equity funds and alternative investments that meet our risk and return targets.

Is Next Sparc the right match?

 Next Sparc is aggressively seeking majority acquisition and/or controlling interest investments in the emerging technology space. We are targeting eCommerce (online retail) companies and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions focused on Marketing Technology and Health Care/Fitness.

  • The Online Retail targets that we pursue generally fit the following criteria:
  • Revenues of $3M-50M (or more) ideally with gross margins of 40%, EBITDA of at least 10%
  • For smaller sized businesses, must show a market opportunity to grow to $25M+ over next 2-5 years or tuck-in possibilities for existing portfolio
  • Prefer capital efficient situations: primarily drop ship, low inventory, no or very limited physical retail locations
  • Consumable driven products with strong hobby or affinity group; anything that results in re-ordering and includes a repeatable customer base (Food Crafting is a great example)
  • Home Furnishings and designer items
  • Sports & Fitness, including outdoor fitness, triathlons, biking, cycling, running, skiing, yoga, golf, hiking, and apparel
  • For SaaS opportunities, we look for the following:
  • Revenues of $5M-30M (or more)
  • Solutions which include heavy focus on leveraging mobile and social media platforms
  • Vertical focus on Marketing Technology (Analytics, Search Marketing, Lead Generation, etc.) and Health Care/Fitness

We are dedicated to building a great portfolio of companies that can leverage a common technology and operational infrastructure. Your enterprise could be the next great addition to our team. Contact us today to discuss how we can provide the spark to help your business grow to the next level!

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About Us

Next Sparc was formed by Len Pagon following the successful sale of his firm, Brulant to Rosetta in 2008. With its experienced leadership, Next Sparc is focused on actively participating in the daily operations of its portfolio companies, and is actively evaluating majority acquisition opportunities with growth stage companies based in North America.

Our team includes an extensive network of industry leading professionals from interactive marketing, private equity and successful entrepreneurial organizations. As we evaluate new companies to invest in, the people and the culture they have built is just as important to us as the idea and business that they have created. Read about some of our core values.

Emerging companies have a plethora of options when seeking investment capital including angel investors, private equity, and venture capital. The advantages to working with Next Sparc, include:

  • Personal attention and active participation in strategic operational management
  • Becoming part of a unified entity focused on driving rapid but controlled growth – increase success opportunities through diversified ownership and leveraging new leadership
  • Access to personal equity resulting in efficient decisions on key financial, operational and management decisions

Next Sparc has a proven formula for achieving successful growth, and it includes more than experienced financial and operational acumen. We are adamant on creating a fun atmosphere in our companies. Throughout our careers we have witnessed the positive effects of professional environments that promote teamwork, collaboration and most of all, a break from the daily grind.

Len Pagon Jr.

Len Pagon is Chairman and CEO of Next Sparc, LLC, which invests in emerging Internet-based, software and services-based companies and helps them achieve significant growth. During the last eight years, Next Sparc has successfully completed many investments.

In addition, Len currently serves as an Operating Advisor and a General Partner to Resilience Capital Partners, a leading private-equity firm that specializes in investing in middle-market companies in a broad range of industries.

Len was the former Vice Chairman of Rosetta and the former Chairman, CEO and founder of Brulant, Inc. Under Len’s leadership, Brulant became the third largest, privately-held interactive agency in the country in 2008. In the six years prior to its sale to Rosetta, Brulant was able to grow from $4 million to approximately $80 million in revenue, generating an EBITDA over $18 million. In July 2008, he sold Brulant to Rosetta, which was backed by private-equity firm Lindsay Goldberg. After becoming the largest, independent interactive agency with revenue exceeding $250 million, Rosetta was acquired by Publicis in July 2011 for $575 million. Brulant provided end-to-end services to their clients to help them build, operate and optimize their on-line channel. Brulant uniquely fused the creative design and internet marketing capabilities of an interactive agency with deep technology expertise and “Big 5” management consulting firm knowledge and approach. Brulant was a three-time Inc. 500 winner, eight-time Weatherhead 100 winner and a five-time NorthCoast 99 winner for best places to work.

During Len’s tenure as CEO of Brulant, the agency made several successful acquisitions and spinouts. He also led Brulant’s successful negotiated merger with Rosetta. At Rosetta, Len was responsible for strategic growth and expansion and oversaw mergers and acquisitions. Len is currently on the boards of Flight Options (the second largest fractional jet company in North America), COMS Interactive (a rapidly growing SaaS company focused on long-term healthcare), KINETiQ DIGITAL (a provider of digital strategy and analytics) and Streamlink (a SAAS solution providing both grant and board management products). He is also actively involved in the real estate market investing in both office and residential properties with strategic partners largely within Ohio.

Len is an active executive committee member and past Chapter Chair for the Cleveland Chapter of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). He has received various awards and earned significant recognition as a foremost entrepreneur and high-growth business leader. Len was named the 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young and to the Crain’s Cleveland Business annual “Who’s Who in Technology” and “40 under 40” lists.

Len and his wife, Kata, and their three sons reside in Novelty, Ohio. Len enjoys any competitive or outdoor activities including traveling, golf, soccer, fishing, hiking, skiing, cycling and running.

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Miles Molyneaux

Miles is CFO of Next Sparc, before which he spent his formative years as a Director with PwC in the Transaction Services group.  He also acts as CFO of several portfolio companies.

Miles Molyneaux is currently the CFO of Next Sparc, a family office, which invests in emerging internet-based, software and services-based companies and helps them achieve significant growth. In that role, he also serves as CFO of KINETiQ DIGITAL, responsible for accounting, administration and human resources.

Prior to joining KINETiQ DIGITAL, Miles was VP of Finance at Hilite International, a global Tier 1 automotive supplier based in Marktheidenfeld, Germany. Miles spent the most formative years of his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in the Transaction Services group, where he ultimately achieved the level of Director, providing both buy-side and sell-side diligence and consulting services to corporate and private equity clients in the US, South America, Europe and Asia. Miles has also worked at a regional turnaround consulting firm, as well as a federal bank in West Palm Beach.

Miles holds a BS in Accounting and MBA in Finance from Case Western Reserve University. He is a Certified Public Accountant (Ohio - inactive), Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor and Certified Turnaround Professional. Miles enjoys boating, baseball and spending time with his wife, Rebecca, and their three daughters.

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Case Studies

To date, Next Sparc has participated in and/or led over twenty investment transactions. Each of the companies in our portfolio have business models based on software development or are significantly leveraging technology to thrive in their respective markets. In every case, our knowledge of interactive marketing and internet technologies provided a distinct competitive advantage to these operations.

Flight Options Case Study

Company Overview

  • Flight Options offers a range of private-jet services including: fractional ownership, leasing, charter memberships and aircraft management
  • Second largest fractional jet operator
  • Operates and manages one the largest private aviation fleets in the United States
  • Maintains four operating locations with 680 employees: Cleveland, Ohio; Teterboro, New Jersey; Palm Beach, Florida; and Las Vegas, Nevada

Value Creation

  • New Management
  • Built a new executive team, sales force and operations center
  • Refocus on maintenance
  • Process Improvement
  • Reduced annual operating costs and new labor pilot contract
  • Reduced third party charter
  • Business Mix Change
  • Restructured product offerings and simplified pricing to improve competitive positioning
  • Added to existing fleet
  • Financial and Information Management
  • New controls and reporting to ensure strict cash management
  • Cost management via maintenance
  • Sell or Deploy Assets
  • Re-established brand recognition through new paint scheme
  • Sold off excess lift capacity

COMS Case Study

Company Overview

  • Focused on processes and systems for long-term care facilities, COMS combines business administration, disease management and long term healthcare knowledge to increase facility profits, reduce medical errors and address resident healthcare needs
  • The product suite improves post-acute care resident outcomes and reduces hospital readmission by 50%, while simultaneously reducing 30 day mortality rates by over 60%
  • Installation base has grown from 20 nursing homes in 2010 to over 300 nursing homes in 2015.
  • Founded 2009

Value Creation

  • Value Guarantee
  • Only company in this space to offer a documented ROI on revenue and cost
  • Robust Product Roadmap
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) architecture allows for consistent new product developments
  • New product enhancements scheduled quarterly
  • Strong Executive Management Team
  • Extensive experience in long term care, health systems, and software development
  • Key Industry Focus
  • Long Term Care business consistently growing with no projected downturn
  • Slow adoption of technology and support in nursing home industry, allows for massive upside for opportunity

Rosetta Case Study

Company Overview - Divested in 2011

  • Rosetta is the largest independent interactive marketing agency in the United States
  • Services include personality based segmentation, creative development, and deep technology expertise
  • Industry experience focused on Consumer Healthcare, Retail, Financial Services and B2B
  • Headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, additional offices in New York, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; and Los Angeles, California

Value Creation

  • Strategic Acquisition
  • Since 2006 Rosetta has acquired five separate companies to compliment its existing services and facilitate rapid growth
  • Integration of systems, personnel and cultures has become a competitive advantage
  • Talent Development and Executive Recruitment
  • Significant investment in growing existing high potential talent and executive development
  • Recruitment of external industry experts to fill key roles within management and execution teams
  • Financial, Operational and Information Management
  • Customized IT infrastructure has provided financial and operational insights and controls that are unparalleled to other agencies
  • Profit margins have consistently outpaced all private and public competition

Stonebriar Case Study

Company Overview

  • Originates secured loans and leases (average size of $5-25 million) that are collateralized by essential-use assets in a variety of industries (marine, rail, transportation, energy, real estate, etc.) seeking to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns with credit, structure and asset level protection.
  • Headquartered in Plano, TX and originates assets throughout North America
  • Over $1b in invested assets

Streamlink Case Study

Company Overview

  • Provides leading edge SAAS process management tools for non-profit and public sector institutions.  B
  • Board management (BoardMax) and grant management (AmpluFund) products drive performance while increasing visibility and accountability. 
  • Streamlink is coming off a strong year in which they reached over 500 customers, 80% gross margin and a 90%+ customer retention rate.
  • Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.  Next Sparc has a board seat and observer role.
  • Streamlink expects to increase core business revenues in 2016 by over 50% by scaling the sales team, securing larger ticket sales and expanding channel relationships. 

Applyboard Case Study

Company Overview

  • ApplyBoard uses proprietary technology to match prospective international students with universities throughout North America.  University enrolment in North America has been declining for several years and ApplyBoard provides a channel for universities to fill classroom seats with (typically) students who pay full tuition.
  • Applyboard has relationships with over 250 universities that have provided specific hurdles to ApplyBoard that, if met by prospective students, will grant admission to the university.
  • Students from anywhere in the world can easily find and apply to the best programs based on their academic background, desired course of study and financial situation.  ApplyBoard streamlines the application process, reducing the applicant’s time searching and applying to schools by more than 90%.
  • Headquartered in Waterloo, Canada.   Next Sparc has a board seat.

Hoodmart Case Study

Company Overview

  • Hoodmart is the pioneer in the direct-to-end-user business model for commercial cooking exhaust hoods.
  • Primary customers include individual restauranteurs, small restaurant groups, HVAC installers and commercial kitchens.
  • Headquartered in Elyria, Ohio, acquired by Weinberg Capital Group in 2016 with significant investment from Next Sparc and involvement including a board seat.

Genomoncology Case Study

Company Overview

  • Genomoncology has developed a unique SAAS approach to rapidly and interactively analyze and interpret sequenced genomic data.  Client oncology researchers and clinicians have direct access to patient data as well as onsite genomic analysts, enabling Genomoncology to capture critical findings for the cancer researcher or clinicial oncologist and produce a robust analysis report in less than a day.
  • The company has experienced strong growth and several partnerships with key institutions and hospitals.
  • Headquartered in Cleveland, OH, Next Sparc has a board seat and some operational involvement.

KINETiQ Digital Case Study

Company Overview

  • KINETiQ DIGITAL is the next generation digital agency, driven by data intelligence and united by the passion for delivering meaningful business results to clients. 
  • Brings together digital strategy, data intelligence and innovative digital execution to solve clients’ most difficult business challenges.
  • Launched by the principals that built Brulant/Rosetta into a top-10 and largest privately held digital agency.
  • Acquired Bay area advanced analytics start-up
  •  Headquartered in Cleveland, OH with an office in San Francisco.
  • Next Sparc owns a majority of the company and is responsible for day-to-day operations.