Hello, my name is Steven Sponder. I am an entrepreneur who has founded, co-founded and invested in various businesses in California, Hawaii, Florida and Virginia over the past 30 years.
As an owner and investor in restaurants, I have been involved with a variety of cuisines ranging from Italian to Cajun to Asian to American Regional. My restaurant concept creation and development projects have appeared in business and consumer publications including USA Today®, The New York Times®, Bon Appetit® and Gourmet Magazine®. The Nation’s Restaurant News® credited me with creating a Team-Service system used in restaurants around the world. I’m proud that restaurants I created over three decades ago continue to thrive and have served millions of guests over the years – including 5 U.S. Presidents.
As a technology entrepreneur, I founded two Information Technology companies – one selected by Microsoft® for a joint-venture, and another backed by U.S. and European Venture Capitalists and selected for a joint-venture with AOL-Time Warner® before being acquired. In the joint venture with Microsoft, my business solution for the restaurant industry was singled out by Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates and demonstrated by him at keynote presentations. During my time as an information technology entrepreneur, I led the formation of strategic alliances with global companies including Oracle®, GE® and IBM®. I also produced Business Plans that resulted in the successful raising of multiple rounds of institutional Venture Capital funding.
In addition to entrepreneurial projects, I have also served as a Business Plan Competition judge. My Advisory Board roles have included businesses, universities and trade associations. I have also been a speaker and panelist on a variety of entrepreneurial topics.
I am grateful for the entrepreneurs who guided and mentored me early in my career – and I in turn provide mentoring advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.