Founder and CEO
Steve has more than 20 years of experience in the automotive technology space. He started his career in 1999 selling software to car dealers and has overseen more than $1 billion in automotive technology acquisitions.
Steve served as TrueCar’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, and AutoTrader.com’s Vice President of Product Management and Business Development, overseeing the acquisitions of vAuto, Kelley Blue Book, HomeNet Automotive, VinSolutions, and DealerScience.
Earlier in his career, Steve served as Manheim’s Director of International Development, overseeing Manheim’s overseas investments, including establishing new joint ventures in Dubai, Istanbul and Beijing.
In his spare time, Steve serves as President of the Emory University Alumni Board, on the board of the Emory Impact Investment Group (EIIG), and the board of the Emory Entrepreneur Network. He serves as a board member of both Advent Resources and T-Drill. He also serves as a board member of Community Consulting Teams (CCT) Atlanta, a nonprofit providing pro-bono management consulting services to small Atlanta-area non-profits. For fun, he likes to ride his three motorcycles on the racetrack and hang out with his eight rescue cats.
Senior Venture Associate
Justin founded and ran a wholesale grape and bulk wine marketplace, growing the platform’s registered userbase to thousands of wine firms and becoming the industry’s largest online source of publicly listed inventory for sale. Prior to striking out on his own as a founder, Justin held various strategy and operations roles, including as an internal consultant within AT&T’s global supply chain strategy organization and an early team member of a high-growth B2B SaaS startup, where he reported directly to the CTO.
As a former startup employee and subsequent founder, Justin has developed a special appreciation for the unique challenges of growing an early stage venture and loves the chance to be a sounding-board and thought-partner for other founders.
Justin is an alum of Emory’s Goizueta Business School and for fun enjoys listening to audiobooks, taking long hikes, and attempting to become handier one weekend DIY home project at a time.
Managing Partner, AVStrategy
Mike has more than 20 years of product, technology and operations experience centered in automotive technology solutions. He has held leadership roles in a wide range of business
operations and company growth stages ranging from early startups to acquisition and transformational shifts to mature digital marketing platforms and scaled operating models in the automotive industry.
Mike started his career as a consultant with Accenture and American Management Systems as a software developer and most recently managed and led the Dealer.com business as the General
Manager and Senior Vice President - one of the largest digital marketing platforms in the industry with more than 10,000 dealers and partners.
In his spare time, he enjoys a range of adventures in the outdoors, wrestling with his two boys, and mentoring the next generation of leaders that will impact our world and industry.
Siddhant "Sid" Pyasi is an alumnus of Singapore Management University, where he was a Dr. Goh Keng Swee Scholar and read Finance and Information Systems. He's worked at a Big 4 advisory firm, an investment bank's FX trading technology team, and an automotive tech startup, and is interested in the intersection of finance, tech, and automotive.
He also writes an irregular newsletter about things happening in the world.
Outside of work, he likes to play the guitar, golf, and read about history.
Todd Smith is a serial entrepreneur who has pioneer automotive digital marketing and communication solutions in the automotive retail industry. He has 30 years of retailing experience notably as a successful Chevrolet Dealer and the founder of ActivEngage.
Todd’s latest venture 360Converge is using Deterministic Identity with omnichannel communication to redefine customer engagement.
Damon Bennett is a senior automotive industry professional with a longstanding and successful track record in various sales and business development roles. Throughout his 20-year career, he has managed and driven business for organizations such as NADAguides.com, Kelley Blue Book, and Cox Automotive. At Cox Automotive, he was responsible for leading, supporting and developing the team responsible for all data syndication partnerships across Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader.
In his spare time, he enjoys flying, traveling and cooking.
Josh Searcy brings 20 years of digital product strategy and management experience to the Automotive Ventures consulting team. His advice on product road map, product/market fit, competitive analysis, buy/build/partner decisions, monetization and product/tech operational effectiveness has guided teams of all sizes from startups to established enterprises.
Josh has over 15 years in automotive technology where he has served as Chief Product Officer for the Hearst Corporation's Automotive Group and Director of Product for AutoTrader.com.