Founder & CEO
Location: Dane County, WI
Industry: Space as a Service
James Jackson found early professional success as a stockbroker after graduating from the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater, but he sought a new challenge that would have a broader impact. That helped guide his professional journey to his current role as founder and CEO of Spotz.
He founded his first consulting company, Winsanity, so he could take on interim executive positions to accelerate companies by improving their marketing, sales efficiency and channel development. At one IT services firm, he increased sales from $4 million to $8 million in a year.
While growing Winsanity, Jackson was also a channel manager for Cisco Systems, where he received global recognition as one of six top teams out of 50 for consistently outperforming sales goals. In 2011, Jackson was invited to become the executive vice president of Orion Energy Systems, with a focus on sales and marketing. In 2016, he became president, directing all sales, customer service and global channel and field sales. In nine months, he doubled underperforming division revenues, simplified operations and added partnerships and distributors to recoup a $5 million performance gap and overcome an $8 million deficit. The changes resulted in divisional profit increases of 300%.
In 2019, Jackson decided to turn around another company — one that would combine his passion for youth sports, vision for community development and his experiences with SaaS and IT companies. He acquired a software company that he was advising, revised its product so it could help people gather and gave it a new name and identity: Spotz.
Spotz is modernizing the community space rental experience, making it possible for people to get together anywhere while helping communities and organizations maximize venue resources. The company provides an online platform where organizations, municipalities and small businesses can manage, promote and communicate their available spaces for the public to rent.
Jackson served on advisory boards and boards of directors for multiple private companies and startups in diverse industries. He’s a frequent speaker on effective networking, business acceleration, general business and motivation. He serves as president of the Middleton Basketball Club, with 7,500 youth coaching hours.
“Every experience shapes who we are and, more importantly, every misstep is a lesson and a blessing for us and others. It doesn’t always feel that way in the moment but maturity and reflection change the view!” Jackson said.
“There has never been a better time to share those insights through so many different mediums to help others. Joining boards, mentoring, sharing relevant stories on LinkedIn, empowering your teams to do the same.
“I truly believe the journey is the destination and the more we can help others focus on how ‘now’ is what matters most, the more we can all be successful at whatever we choose.”
Someone once told James, "You canâ€™t do those three things in the 24 hours before you leave, you wouldnâ€™t survive.â€ And so James decided to do them. In a span of 20 hours, he climbed Mount Sinai in the dark (without a camel) to watch the sunrise, hiked the Colored Canyon, and dove the dangerous Dahab's Blue Hole.And yes, he lived! In fact, he has lived to see several of the basketball players he coached go on to play for the NBA.