As a serial entrepreneur, Ryan Kavanaugh is currently building the next generation of innovative, practical solutions that transform the way people live and work. Over his career, he has built a portfolio of successful businesses that have won numerous awards and continue to thrive. He is also a leader in the emerging field of mobile technology with a passion for creating new ideas and technologies.
Ryan Kavanaugh has been actively involved in the startup ecosystem since 2005. He began his career as an executive at a large company in Denver, CO, responsible for leading a team of developers and business analysts. Ryan Kavanaugh then became an executive at Vistumbler, where he managed all aspects of user acquisition, customer support, and product development for one of their top-performing products. In 2009 Ryan founded Nerve Software, where he led all facets of product development, including sales, marketing, and customer support operations for their flagship product called “Nerve.”
As a young man, Ryan Kavanaugh started his business at age 19, selling snowboards and skateboards out of his garage. After graduating from the University of Colorado – Boulder with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing, he founded the company that would eventually become Focus Brands Inc.
Focus Brands Inc is one of the largest privately-held retail companies in America, with over 2,700 stores throughout North America. The company operates under three primary brands: Bath & Body Works, Yankee Candle, and Pacific Sunwear. Focus Brands has also expanded into international markets, including Australia and Singapore. In 2016, Focus Brands acquired Pacific Sunwear for $228 million; it was sold to Pacific Retail Group Ltd., owner of Aussie brand “Gap” for $1 billion in 2017.
And it’s not surprising that he has become one of the most sought-after speakers at conferences, events, and entrepreneurship meet-ups for his thought leadership on building a successful business. In fact, in 2018, Ryan Kavanaugh was estimated to earn nearly $250,000 from speaking engagements alone.
A self-described “serial entrepreneur,” Kavanaugh has founded multiple companies throughout his career. In his first endeavor, he launched a company in the “acute care delivery” industry that highlighted the healthcare system’s shortcomings, including long wait times and limited access to specialized treatment.
After leaving that company, Kavanaugh launched his next company, which focuses on the “education and training” industry. He works to address the lack of qualified workers eager to acquire new skills in this industry. Kavanaugh has also developed a business model that offers a path for unemployed people.