Paul Scanlan is an Emmy Award-winning technologist, serial entrepreneur, investor and advisor obsessed with disruptive new technologies, business models, and forces for positive change.
Paul’s career started out in marketing, branding, and advertising in Chicago (his hometown) at a boutique advertising firm from where he was recruited in 1996 to join a prominent WPP brand consulting company firm named SBG Partners in San Francisco (known today as SuperUnion). While at SBG, Paul rose through the ranks to become a managing partner of the firm while working with some of the largest brands in the world, including Coca-Cola, General Mills, Clorox, Nestle and helping to grow the company’s flourishing technology practice.
In 2000, Paul left SBG to cofound MobiTV a Silicon Valley technology startup that became one of the earliest and most successful streaming TV services (25 million paying subscribers). In the early 2000’s, MobiTV was well-known for helping pioneer an entirely new category in the entertainment industry and continues to be a market leader today powering some of the largest and fastest growing TV services. Paul remains involved as an active board director.
Founding and growing MobiTV was a roller-coaster-ride of experiences, including some very challenging early years followed by breakneck growth, opening of offices around the world (London, Tokyo, Mexico City, Mumbai), raising over $100M in Venture Capital, winning an Emmy Award from the Television Academy, filing an S-1, and more. Yet, Paul’s fondest memory of it all was experiencing how the chemistry and motivation of the early team came together to forge a celebrated startup culture capable of disrupting a massive and defiant industry: the cable TV industry. Some of these accomplishments and insights into the MobiTV culture were profiled in a detailed chapter of Tarang Shah’s popular book, Venture Capitalists at Work: How VCs Identify and Build Billion-Dollar Successes.
In early 2016, Paul transitioned from his role as President of MobiTV (staying on the board of directors) to start another venture, Legion M. Using brand-new securities laws enabled by the JOBS Act, Paul and his cofounder from MobiTV, Jeff Annison, saw a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create the world's first fan-owned entertainment company – beginning yet another exciting startup journey. Less than 3 years in, Legion M is already one of the most successful JOBS Act companies, with three record-breaking rounds of finance (all oversubscribed), a thriving community of enthusiastic shareholders and multiple award-winning projects (including MANDY, which was the best-reviewed film at Sundance 2018 and currently Esquire magazines #1 movie of 2018). As a small team facing an ambitious challenge, Legion M is reinventing what it means to be a shareholder (see Legion M video here), and excitedly pioneering another new frontier, this time in the entertainment industry.
Paul’s infatuation with the disruptive potential of teams and culture led him to join the Global Board of Directors of the thought-leading Haufe-Umantis. Based out of Europe (Switzerland and Germany), Haufe-Umantis is a market leader in a new wave of management consulting firms focused exclusively on developing corporate culture, deepening employee engagement and ultimately effecting large-scale corporate transformation. Haufe’s clients include some of the world’s biggest companies, including Daimler, Swisscom, Nike, as well as fast-growing startups like Vice Media.
Paul is an active investor and advisor to numerous startups, holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications (radio, TV and film) from the University of Wisconsin and is a frequent speaker and/or contributing journalist for several media outlets and events, including Huffington Post, The Hollywood Reporter, CNBC, MSNBC, Streaming Media West, Digital Hollywood, and more.