Jeff Sloan – Founder / Managing Partner
Jeff is one of America’s leading entrepreneurial and small business experts. The website he co-founded in 2002 known as StartupNation has become a leading provider of high quality content relating to starting and growing a business.In his role at StartupNation, Jeff has co-hosted the award-winning nationally syndicated call-in StartupNation radio show – which has aired in over 85 markets; keynoted numerous conferences – including the Microsoft Small Business Conference and the Small Business Administration of America annual conference. He’s appeared on numerous national television news networks as an entrepreneurial expert – including CNN, CNBC, Fox and others. He’s authored a highly acclaimed book on starting a business known as “StartupNation: Open for Business” published by Doubleday; and has received numerous awards – including U.S. Small Business Administration “Journalist of the Year”.
As the lead partner at Aria Ventures, Jeff guides a portfolio of fast growing startup ventures from startup to exit including strategic planning and modeling to fundraising to marketing and sales to team-building.
Jeff’s expertise has been earned from his own lifelong journey as a serial entrepreneur across a broad range of businesses ranging from traditional businesses to high tech ventures, including the development and commercialization of his own invention, the “Battery Buddy” to the launch, growth and successful exits of a variety of ventures ranging from Clarity, Genego, Aereous,and Rubicon Genomics.
Most recently, Jeff has turned his focus to the support and facilitation of local commerce through a new venture he founded and leads known as Wantify, a new web and mobile based platform and through Main Street Nation which is a leading provider of content relating to local commerce.
Rich Sloan / Partner
Rich Sloan is a seasoned, successful entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in launching and growing businesses that have positive social and environmental impact. Rich co-founded StartupNation in 2002 with his brother, Jeff Sloan.
As chief startupologist, Rich has co-hosted StartupNation’s award winning nationally syndicated StartupNation radio show and co-authored the acclaimed how-to book, “StartupNation: America’s Leading Entrepreneurial Experts Reveal the Secrets to Building a Blockbuster Business.”
Rich is recognized as one of America’s most passionate evangelists for entrepreneurship, whether in the small business or corporate environment. He has been a contributor and expert source to major media outlets including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Costco Connection, Fox Business Channel, CNN, CNBC MSNBC, ABC News and NBC.
Rich’s current portfolio also includes CEO and founder of FWD:Energy, Inc. and co-founder of Fan Label, LLC.
Matthew Damman / Partner
Matt is a Partner at Aria Ventures and has over 20 years experience working in, operating and starting businesses. While having worked for large firms like JPMorgan and Cardinal Health, Matt’s passion has always been in building early stage companies.
Matt created and launched Walkie Chalk LLC in 2015, inventing the Walkie Chalk®, a revolutionary product, and taking it from an idea to the shelves of national retailers like Michael’s, Toys R Us, Bed Bath & Beyond and Walgreens in less than twelve months. In 2016, Creative Child Magazine named Walkie Chalk Toy of the Year. Prior to joining Aria Ventures, Matt was most recently the President of Fonegear LLC, a growing consumer electronics company with overseas manufacturing and global licenses and retail distribution.
Prior to Fonegear, Matt was with Greenview Capital in the Chicago area, a boutique investment bank, where he led multiple capital raises and was a key member in the formation of several companies in the tech and clean-tech spaces.
Matt has also co-hosted the award-winning nationally syndicated Start-Up Nation radio show with Jeff Sloan and has acted as an advisor to numerous start-ups.
Matt holds a BGS degree from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and an MBA in Finance from Michigan State University. He is a mentor at the Mike Illitch School of Business at Wayne State University and resides in metro Detroit with his wife and three children.