Mark Achler
Mark Achler

Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Print Overview

Mark is the Managing Director of Math Venture Partners - - an early to mid-stage technology venture capital fund and an Adjunct Lecturer of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Kellogg.

Mark was recently the senior vice president of new business, strategy and innovation at Redbox, where he managed the Company's long-term planning and expansion into new business opportunities.  Achler was featured as a mentor to a tech startup on Bloomberg TV's "The Mentor.", and in Inc. Magazine Trep Life series.

Achler started his career by co-founding one of the first personal computer retail stores in the country and participated in the launch of the IBM PC in Boca Raton in 1981. He then moved to Apple, where he was the worldwide introduction manager for the Apple Company.  

Upon leaving Apple, Achler co-founded and served as chief executive officer of the Whitewater Group, a company that specialized in development tools and programming languages and shipped the second application for Windows 1.0. After building and eventually selling the Whitewater Group, he co-founded the video game company, Kinesoft Development, where he served as president. Kinesoft was instrumental in developing the technology that allowed Sega and Nintendo scrolling action arcade games to be played on Windows 95.  After leaving Kinesoft, Achler served as a founding general partner in Kettle Partners, an early-stage venture capital fund. While at Kettle, Achler was the lead investor in local Chicago companies such as Surepayroll (sold to PAYX) and Novarra (sold to NOK).  

Fueled by a lifelong passion for building new businesses, Achler also has helped to co-found Emmi Solutions, a provider of patient education, where he first served as president and later became chief executive officer.  

Achler is a frequent speaker, resource and ardent champion for the entrepreneurial community; where he is a mentor for TechStars and the Chicago High Tech Academy.  He thinks he has had a fun and eclectic career and his wife thinks he can't hold a job - all a matter of perspective.    

Print Vita
BA, 1980, Social Studies Education, Minor in Economics, Purdue University

Other Professional Experience
SVP Innovation, New Business and Strategy, Redbox, 2009-present
Board member, President/CEO, Emmi Solutions, 2002-2007
Founding Partner, Kettle Partners, 1997-2002
Co-founder and President, Kinesoft Development, 1994-1996
Co-founder and CEO, Imagination Pilots, 1993-1993
Co-founder and CEO, The Whitewater Group, 1986-1992
PC Product Manager, SPSS, 1984-1986
Apple //c Introduction Manager, Apple Computer, 1983-1984
Co-founder, Computers Etc., 1981-1983

Print Research

Print Teaching
Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
Entrepreneurship: Building Innovation, Teams, and Cultures (KIEI-952-5)

**This course was formerly known as MORS 952-A/MORS 952-B**

Most venture capitalists will agree that the key determinant of success in an early stage company is the management team. In an environment where formal business plans are of little help and ideation continues around the development of the right business model, management teams must be innovative, resourceful and adaptive. People, not plans, define outcomes. But attracting, coordinating, and encouraging the right co-founders and employees is incredibly tricky, even when you're not faced with scarce resources and deep uncertainty.

This five-week course explores the factors that define high-functioning teams, and offers frameworks and approaches to assembling, motivating, and coordinating effective teams in highly fluid and challenging contexts. Topics include the psychology of teams, legal aspects of team building, and how to divide responsibility, compensation, and equity among the founders.

Culture is key to sustainable success in the face of evolving needs, crises, and opportunities. We leverage a powerful intent-driven framework designed to define and grow corporate cultures to create lasting value. The goal is a repeatable methodology for achieving a "flow state" of innovation bringing together founders, employees, customers, and investors to achieve extraordinary outcomes.

Executive Education

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