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General Information


Harvey Mudd College, BS 1997

Current Companies

Chief Turtle Wrangler

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Dan Shapiro

Dan Shapiro is the CEO and primary turtle wrangler at Robot Turtles, LLC, a company created when he accidentally launched the bestselling boardgame in Kickstarter history. Dan spent the last two years leading a Google subsidiary that operates comparison shopping products. Shapiro landed at Google when they bought his previous company, Sparkbuy Inc, where he was founder and CEO. Sparkbuy was a comparison shopping website that offered a happy fun face on top of scary good data.

Before Sparkbuy, Shapiro was founder and CEO of Ontela, a pioneering mobile imaging company, where he was named CEO of the Year by MobileBeat. Ontela was frequently recognized including the Dow Jones Top 10 in Wireless list, the CTIA award for Best Social Networking Application, and Breakthrough Startup of the Year by the WTIA. Ontela is now a part of Photobucket Inc.

Prior to founding Ontela, Shapiro managed development of the RealArcade service at RealNetworks, enabling thousands of end-users to play classic games such as Monopoly, Scrabble and Rollercoaster Tycoon on their desktops. He arrived at RealNetworks by way of Wildseed, where he managed software development for the Identity Cellular Phone. Shapiro started his career at Microsoft working on Windows 98, Windows 2000, and Windows XP.

Shapiro’s articles have been published in the Washington Post, Wireless Week, and the Seattle PI, and he is a frequent speaker at conferences and events. He serves on the board of the nonprofit Washington Technology Industry Association. He is a mentor for the Founder’s Institute, 500 Startups, and Techstars. He has been awarded eleven US patents, and received his B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College.

Recent Milestones


Company Date Round Size Participants
Skilljar 11/2013Seed$1.1M5
Apptentive 12/2012Seed$1.2M10
Vizify 3/2012Seed$1.42M8
Smore 12/2011Angel$425k9 6/2011Series B$3.5M5



  1. Ex-Amazonians raise $950K for online instruction platform Everpath ( [edit]
  2. Apptentive Scores $1.2M From Founder’s Co-Op, Google Ventures, To Help Mobile App Publishers Solicit Better Feedback ( [edit]
  3. Vizify Raises $1.2 Million To Help You Make A Great First Impression Online ( [edit]
  4. Citation Needed [add]
  5. TechCrunch ( [edit]
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Last Edited 2/21/14

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