Co-founder and Chairman of the Board
Michael Bates is a 20-year veteran of the software industry, and a founder of IQzone. He has a long history of developing consumer-focused technology with a particular passion for mobile solutions.
In 1999, Michael led the launch of IQorder, the first online shopping portal available also accessible via mobile devices. The company was acquired by InfoSpace in 2000 for $58 million. Prior to that, Michael focused on researching and investing in emerging technologies. In 1990, he launched two successful companies, Software Marketing Corporation (lead product BodyWorks®) and AutoMap (lead product AutoMap Road Atlas), which grew to combined annual sales exceeding $20 million. Automap was sold to Microsoft, and Software Marketing Corporation was sold to Softkey International (later The Learning Company and now a division of Mattel) where Michael accepted a two-year position as a Senior Publisher. Prior to these ventures, Michael had joined P.C. Globe as Vice President of Sales and drove annual sales to $8 million within the first year. Michael launched his career at Applied Knowledge Groups, a vendor of serial-based networking products. Michael is a graduate of Arizona State University.
President and Chief Executive Officer
As President and CEO of IQzone, Inc., Mr. Wolfinger is responsible for daily corporate operations, as well as development and implementation of the company’s go-to-market strategy. Additionally, through Mr. Wolfinger’s leadership, the company has been able to structure and obtain multiple rounds of corporate funding. During Mr. Wolfinger’s tenure as CEO, he has steered the company through several seismic shifts in the mobile industry, most recently navigating the company’s pivot into the mobile advertising sector. In addition to providing innovative solutions for traditional mobile advertising, Mr. Wolfinger’s vision led to his spearheading the invention, patenting, and global expansion of the company’s unique mobile advertising placement, Postitial.
Mr. Wolfinger came to IQzone with 25 years of experience in the wireless industry, including his tenure as President of MCI/WorldCom Wireless, which became the largest reseller of wireless services in North America. In that role, he was responsible for managing and delivering in excess of $1.4 Billion dollars in annual revenue, with approximately 5,000 employees. In addition, Mr. Wolfinger managed several other divisions for MCI/WorldCom, including prepaid long distance cards, RealCom (shared tenant services), and MC Comm. He also served in several management and senior management positions at US West Cellular, now Verizon.
Jack Furst is a founding partner of HM Capital Partners LLC (previously Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, Inc.), a leading private equity investment firm currently managing over $10 billion in funds. The firm has completed more than 400 transactions in excess of $50 billion. Previously, Jack was a partner of Hicks and Haas, a merger and acquisitions and corporate finance specialist for The First Boston Corporation (now Credit Suisse First Boston) and a financial consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Jack received his BS from the College of Business Administration at Arizona State University in 1981, and his MBA from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Texas in 1984.
Chris Kitze has led a successful trail of start-ups. Most recently he co-founded Yaga, Inc., a developer of payment and accounting solutions for content providers,later acquired by BitPass. Prior to Yaga, Chris was the CEO of NBC Internet, a company created as a result of the XOOM.com and Snap.com merger. Chris also co-founded Point Communications Corporation, which was acquired by Lycos, where he stayed on as Vice President of Marketing, helping take the company public with a $225 million valuation. Chris received Israel’s prestigious Albert Einstein Technology Award that recognizes leaders who have pushed the envelope of technology in the service of mankind. Presently, Chris is chairman of the board of wine.com. He holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Colorado.
Allan Kaplan has extensive experience building and investing in companies focused on next-generation data communications, Internet infrastructure, services, and software. Mr. Kaplan most recently was co-founder and Chairman of Limelight Networks (COMPX:LLNW) one of the world’s leading content distribution networks. Prior to co-founding Limelight, Mr Kaplan was a co-founder of Entera, Inc. and served on its board of directors through its acquisition by Cacheflow in 2000. In 1993 Mr. Kaplan co-founded and served as Vice President and Director of Primenet Services for the Internet which later merged with GlobalCenter, Inc. where he served as Senior Vice President and on its Board of Directors. GlobalCenter was acquired in 1997 by Frontier Communications, Inc. where he served as Vice President of Network Service until 1998. He currently serves as a managing member of KG Investments, LLC a private venture fund, Director of Unicorn Media, and a Venture Partner at Greenhill SAVP.
Ms. Downs serves as Vice President of Smartcomm LLC, a Phoenix based company that specializes in the research, development and marketing of investment opportunities in the wireless industry. The company also has a license applications preparation service, Smartcomm License Services, for clients seeking to obtain spectrum licenses from the Federal Communications Commission. Ms. Downs currently oversees Smartcomm clients and portfolio companies, and assists the company in identifying and developing new opportunities. Through Smartcomm, Ms. Downs has become an active member of CTIA, APCO, and the National Association of Broadcasters. Ms. Downs also serves as Vice President for Caribe Spectrum Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation seeking to build a 4G Mobile Broadband network in Latin America.