We’re building a disruptive social intelligence platform that catalyzes the power of authenticity to ensure our customers are believable and celebrated on social media. We walk our talk in creating unprecedented value for our customers – and we have an absolute blast in the process! We wouldn’t do work this mentally taxing if we didn’t absolutely love it.
Melinda Wittstock, CEO + Founder
If you want to get a profitable return from all those posts, pins and Tweets, talk to Melinda.
With Verifeed, Melinda has innovated a predictive social intelligence solution that generates and measures your “Return on Authenticity”™ (or ROA™ so you can move past the vanity metrics that stand between your business growth and genuine connection with fickle consumers – and put a genuine multiplier effect on customer acquisition and retention.
A serial entrepreneur, award-winning journalist, and content marketer, Melinda has innovated algorithms and proprietary processes that parse and pattern millions of social conversations to understand and predict consumer behavior, tastes and motivations – and enable personalized social selling and marketing at scale.
Soon, Melinda saw in the social data that brands and businesses that “speak from the heart” in a genuine or authentic way win the lasting trust (and business) of consumers – and wildly outperform their rivals.
So, what else do you need to know about Melinda?
Melinda first understood the power (and profit) of targeted information and insight as a correspondent on The Times of London, where she began moving markets at age 22 with her predictive “superpowers” as a financial and media correspondent. Steve Jobs once told her she ”asked the best questions“. She moved into television, first creating, leading a team of 30 journalists, and hosting Financial Times daily business programming for CNBC in Europe and Asia. She was an anchor and host for BBC World, ABC News, and MSNBC and created the BBC’s nightly news magazine USA Direct in New York, growing its audience to 20 million.
Melinda launched her first ”business“ when she was five and earned $100 getting neighbors to pre-pay for her ”show“. At 19 came her second business, Montreal’s first English-language entertainment listings magazine. In 2003, she created the award-winning Capitol News Connection, a news agency covering Congress for 200+ TV and radio stations, newspapers and digital properties. Melinda created the crowd-sourced app Ask Your Lawmaker, which she built to engage more than 3 million people asking questions of their elected representatives in Congress in just 8 months. She also founded NewsiT, a game-changing crowd-collaboration mobile app for people to create and share news around shared interests that Marissa Mayer of Yahoo! described as the ”future of news“.
Melinda is also a dedicated and loving mother to her two wonderful children Sydney and Finn and golden retriever rescue Josie. She is a yoga and meditation convert, who also loves to sail, ski and travel the world, most recently to the Amazon rainforest where she spent two weeks with the remote Achuar tribe. She is an avid member of Maverick 1000, an entrepreneurial group dedicated to changing how the game of business is played, an alumna of the female entrepreneurship network Springboard Venture Forum and the D.C. area entrepreneurial group Mindshare.
Steve Little, VP Business Development
Steve is an acclaimed entrepreneur who has founded and grown a multitude of successful multi-million dollar ventures of virtually all kinds, beginning at age 13 when he built and sold his first business for a handsome 6-figure sum.
Over the years in Silicon Valley and Virginia, Steve has built, grown and exited dozens of successful investor-backed technology companies. His sales and business development leadership has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, employing hundreds of people worldwide, and producing dramatic returns for investors.
He has personally led six tech startups to successful acquisitions averaging $120MM+ each, raised more than $1BN+ in startup and growth funding for 11 businesses in multiple industries, led the buy-side M&A team for a major technology innovator to acquire and integrate 9 companies in less than 12 months.
Steve commands an uncommon breadth of experience and knowledge and is widely recognized as an exceptional leader who has mastered the skills necessary for creating opportunities where others don’t and producing superior and predictable value-growth results fast in highly competitive markets. Launching his own highly successful Internet information publishing business, ThePerfectBizBuilder, he enabled the successful bootstrapping of more than 1,000 successful startups. He is also the CEO and Managing Partner of Zero Limits Ventures.
At Verifeed Steve leads business development, and works closely with Melinda to architect “win-win-win” solutions for our enterprise and strategic F100 clients that drive unprecedented value. He also works closely with the team on marketing and sales funnels for Verifeed’s growing range of SaaS products.
Masha Sharma, VP Product + Technology
Masha is an entrepreneurial innovator who joined Verifeed to lead product, design, and technology development of Verifeed’s core platform and innovative algorithms. She is a proven product and engineering leader with an 18 year track record in enterprise software development, product strategy, process development, and mobile and web technologies.
She started out as a software engineer building a complex algorithmic video segment search at PBS Video, before innovating an artist discovery search and the first streaming radio application at XM Satellite Radio.
While working on her Masters in Information Systems Management at George Washington University, Masha lead pre- and post-merger technical programs for XM and Sirius Satellite Radio, which prepared the two companies technologies for a streamlined integration.
Masha became Director of Engineering at Millennial Media, where she built and oversaw the company’s strategic roadmap using agile methodologies. She also managed and delivered Millennial’s Audience Intelligence Big Data Platform.
Masha’s passion for product and technology took her out of the corporate world and into entrepreneurship. In 2014 Masha cofounded the mobile-wallet marketing platform Totalpass, where she served as a CEO. Then she cofounded a commercial real estate lending platform, InteractiveShares, which pivoted into a marketplace for lenders and borrowers and got rebranded into RealAtom.
Masha enjoys her anti-9-5 rhythm, building amazing products and innovating on technology and design.
Alex Komkov, Principal Solution Architect
Alex is Verifeed’s very own unicorn, with his versatility in data science, software engineering and product development mixed with his entrepreneurial spirit. At Verifeed Alex is responsible for natural language processing, machine learning, and technical architecture.
For his 12th birthday, Alex requested a computer, and he has been geeking out ever since.
He began early with systems integrations, pivoted into working with large-scale systems, and finally got involved with developing data science algorithms.
Still pursuing his Masters Degree in Computer Science, he already has a lot of on the job experience. At age 16, Alex and his friends founded a company that provided innovative services to public schools so parents could get grades and attendance notifications and make online payments, students could purchase school lunches using their RFID cards, and schools could have a fob-like access system with the backend digital tools to support it. The company, E-School, grew fast in many Russian schools and won Alex the Russian Presidential award for young scientists.
At 17, Alex co-founded SMS marketing startup, AvisoSMS. It was later acquired by one of the biggest Russian content-providers, SMS Online. At SMS Online, Alex worked on architecting and developing a large-scale mobile payments system.
Fast-forward to 2012, Alex co-founded TotalPass with Masha Sharma, where he served as CTO. TotalPass was a mobile-wallet marketing platform that allowed small and medium business owners to create event tickets, receipts, and advertising and deliver it onto consumer’s mobile wallet applications such as Apple Wallet and Google Wallet.
In his spare time Alex is an avid diver, crossfitter, and an equestrian. He is also a dad to a young champion Shiba Inu, who just won the Young Champion title at a dog show competition. Alex enjoys his active lifestyle: this year he made his personal best at a marathon and ran his first ultra trail race.