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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

James Jackson

Founder & CEO


Location: Madison, WI

Industry: Online Marketplace

In a startup world, reigniting passion can be difficult some days, said James Jackson, founder and CEO of Spotz. “I learned long ago that you can’t just be a ball of energy, positivity and passion all the time,” he said. “That may sound counterintuitive, but you need to let your team in to who you are and a bit of vulnerability.”

The key is not to the point of sounding fearful, Jackson said. “Be honest with struggles, worries and concerns with the appropriate amount of transparency,” he said.

His approach to growth at Spotz has been proactive and steadfast while leading by example and with transparency.

Spotz is known for creating a marketplace for space-as-a-service. The company’s mission revolves around being the place for any space. The marketplace facilitates the seamless rental of both indoor and outdoor spaces, connecting individuals seeking space with hosts who have spaces available for rent.

Looking back over the past year, Jackson sees two standout achievements that have defined the firm’s journey. The first was the successful conclusion of a fund round, a testament and belief that investors have in the company’s vision. “It’s humbling to see our hard work and dedication acknowledged through their support,” said Jackson.

Equally significant was the bold pivot made in the company’s business strategy with a shift from the conventional Saas model to an innovative two-sided marketplace for space-as-a-service. “This shift had a profound impact, empowering individuals and businesses across various sectors to maximize the potential of their spaces, opening doors to unprecedented opportunities,” said Jackson. “Our pivot not only expanded our horizons but also solidified our position as innovators within our industry.”

The firm is now in a position to raise a second round of investment as the vision is delivered into the marketplace to prove the model the team has worked hard to create, said Jackson.

Jackson credits the unwavering commitment from his team for the successful transitions. “We navigated a complex process, exploring multiple go-to-market strategies, ultimately finding our rhythm by rapidly adding hosts (and facilities) city by city,” he said. “This journey demanded strategic precision. It was like piecing together a complex puzzle where each decision contributed to the bigger picture.”

As a second-year Titan 100, Jackson said the honor has added a deeply meaningful layer to his founder’s journey. “Recognition as a Titan 100 isn’t just an accolade,” said Jackson. “It’s becoming part of a dynamic community that propels growth, celebrates achievements, and underscores the vital importance of leadership in every facet of life.”

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What is your secret superpower?

I find a way to win. People that know me well would say it is like a modern day MacGyver.


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