Ark Applications, LLC
Learn. Evolve. Grow.
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About

About Us

Founded in 2015, Ark Applications focuses on helping companies realize their full potential through creating lasting and mutually beneficial partnerships. Whether through consulting or investment, we firmly believe that every engagement must reflect the core values of our business. We not only want to provide value for the businesses with which we consult, but also be the helping hand that enables them to be more successful.  Nothing brings our team more happiness than seeing others succeed in their businesses, especially when we are an essential part of making that happen.

The team at Ark Applications creates meaningful change in the local community through philanthropy and continuous involvement with local businesses both large and small. The Tampa Bay area is a thriving ecosystem of hungry entrepreneurs eager to make an impact on the world, and it is our hope to assist these rising stars on their journey. As part of this commitment, our founding partners are heavily engaged in mentoring local entrepreneurs through their bumps in the road.

Learn a little bit more about our Managing Directors and Advisors below:

 

Values

Our company was founded with the mantra of doing right by all parties involved. We aim to build a positive team and family spirit not only with our investments, but also our consulting opportunities. Business is not always about just the monetary aspect, but also adding value to relationships that are created along the way.

We strongly believe that we as a team should have a positive impact on the local community through our engagements, volunteering, and support of other local businesses. It is important to be part of the wave of change - a rising tide lifts all boats in the harbor.

 
 

Principal Partners

 
 
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PARTNER

Daniel D. Greco II, MBA

Daniel D. Greco II is a highly proficient Senior Executive, C-Suite Officer, Entrepreneur, Consultant, and Board Member with over 20 years of success across supply chain, logistics, manufacturing, higher education, pharmaceuticals, entertainment, insurance, and private equity. Leveraging extensive experience in operations management and organizational development, he is a valuable asset for innovative companies looking for leadership vision; strategic planning; process improvement; and growth. His broad areas of expertise include business strategy; financial analysis, forecasts, planning, and management; risk management; negotiation; Six Sigma; scaling; and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) integration.

Prior to joining Ark Applications, Dan served as Chief Operating Officer & General Manager of a lighting company based in Tampa, FL. Other experiences include working in high-profile operational assignments for world-class organizations such as BASF Corporation, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, and The Walt Disney Company.

Dan earned his BS in Consumer Studies from Syracuse University and a MBA in Supply Chain & Innovation Management from Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management. Dan and his wife reside in Tampa, FL with their three children.

Activities & Affiliations

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Startup Weekend Mentor
  • University of Tampa Entrepreneur in Residence
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Syracuse University Martin J. Whitman Mentorship Program

 

Education

SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY
MBA, 2009

SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY
B.S., Consumer Studies, 1998

 
 

 
 

PARTNER

R. Bob Smith III, Ph.D.

Bob Smith is the Chairman and CEO of PAR, Inc. which he and his wife, Cathy, founded in 1978. Today, PAR is a leading publisher and developer of assessment products, software, apps, the PARiConnect online testing platform, and other related materials developed to meet the need of professionals in psychology, counseling, career counseling, and education. Prior to founding PAR, Bob worked as a practicing clinical psychologist. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the United States International University in 1970, and earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from the State University of New York in Albany in 1973. Bob is active in the community and supports a variety of educational and charitable organizations including Meals on Wheels, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, the Straz Center for Performing Arts, Tampa Preparatory School, and The University of Tampa.

Activities & Affiliations

  • Meals on Wheels
  • Humane Society of Tampa Bay
  • Straz Center for Performing Arts
  • Tampa Preparatory School
  • The University of Tampa

Education

STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK IN ALBANY
Ph.D., Pyschology 1973

UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
B.A., Pyschology, 1970

 
 

 
 

PARTNER

Justin Smith, MBA

With over 10 years of experience in marketing, Justin has significant capabilities in promoting products and services. His entrepreneurial spirit has enabled him to manage project and bring ideas to life through careful planning and implementation. During his professional career he has spearheaded new areas of business including app development, video content generation, user interface design, and creative marketing efforts. As a creative problem solver, he strives to find simple solutions to complex problems. Justin Smith received is BA in Multimedia Design and Development from the American University in Washington, DC. He also recently earned his MBA from The University of Tampa’s Sykes Business School with a focus in Entrepreneurship.

 

Education

UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA
MBA, 2016

AMERICAN UNIVERSITY
B.A., Multimedia Design and Development, 2003

Activities & Affiliations

  • Meals on Wheels
  • Freestyle Muay Thai
  • University of Tampa - Entrepreneur in Residence

 


 

Advisors

 
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ADVISOR

Brayton Bolinger, MBA, MSM

With over eight years of experience managing teams, Brayton has a balanced approach between establishing operational efficiencies, motivating sales teams, and delivering a superior customer experience.  His diverse skillset ranges from classic car restoration, carpentry, and furniture making to corporate strategy development and entrepreneurial ventures. Brayton has a passion for a challenge and harnesses his unique background to develop unique, holistic, and insightful business solutions to create real value for clients and customers.  He received his BA in Exercise Science from Malone University in Canton, Ohio.  He also recently attained his Master of Business Administration and Master of Marketing degrees from The University of Tampa’s Sykes College of Business.

Activities & Affiliations

  • Startup Weekend Mentor

Education

UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA
MBA MS Marketing, 2016

MALONE UNIVERSITY
B.A., Exercise Science, 2008


 
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ADVISOR

Daniel McDonald, MBA

Daniel is passionate about entrepreneurship, startups and small businesses in Tampa Bay. For the past two years Daniel has consulted over 120 companies and assisted them in accelerating their businesses. He also specializes in pitch coaching for startups to present for investment, exposure and competitions. Daniel serves as the advisor for Ark Applications assessing all investments and finding perfect matches for the firm. Daniel is involved in the community serving as the Accelerator Manager at the Tampa Bay WaVE, Community Organizer for 1 Million Cups Tampa and an Organizer of Startup Weekend Tampa. Recently Daniel graduated from the University of Tampa Sykes College of Business with his Masters in Business Administration.

Activities & Affiliations

  • Tampa Bay WaVE Accelerator Manager
  • 1 Million Cups Tampa Community Organizer
  • Startup Weekend Tampa

Education

UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA
MBA, 2016

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA
B.A., Journalism & Media Studies, 2012

 

 
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ADVISOR

Jennifer Finney, MS

Jennifer has worked extensively with startups and small businesses in the Tampa Bay Area. In both 2015 and 2016, Jennifer won the Hult Prize with the team she formed at the University of Tampa. In January of 2016 she spent two weeks in India building her company, Optimrkt, and working with micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses. Optimrkt was ranked in the top 30 among 20,000 Hult Prize social entrepreneurship teams around the world. Jennifer has also worked at Florida Funders, an investor network and online investing platform that helps accredited investors find and invest in early-stage Florida based companies. Jennifer is also an active partner in Social Venture Partners (SVP), a global network in over 40 cities and nine countries engaging over 3,500 active philanthropists where she was instrumental in launching first SVP Fast Pitch in Tampa in 2017. Currently, Jennifer is an employee benefits advisor at Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners.

Education

UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA
M.S., Business Entrepreneurship, 2017

UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA
B.S., Public Health, 2016


 
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ADVISOR

Jessica Wolfe

Jessica Wolfe is an entrepreneurial-minded Agile Coach, Certified Scrum Professional and soon to be Certified Agile Leader that has helped several technology teams achieve success in a fast and demanding environment. While working with amazing teams in the technology industry, she has actively contributed and become an expert in the software development life cycle, process improvement, and analysis of requirements, goals and planning. She is an active promoter of Agile throughout the Tampa Bay community, as well as organizer and host of Lean Coffee for All Things Agile. She possesses a passion for all things technology related which enables her to understand and help achieve software development excellence and lead teams in many capacities.

 

Activities & Affiliations

  • Tampa Bay Agile
  • Startup Weekend Mentor
  • Lean Coffee Host

Education

ROWAN UNIVERSITY
B.S., Biological Sciences, 2007

 


 
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ADVISOR

Marvin Scaff

Marvin D. Scaff is a software entrepreneur and technologist. In his 35+ years of experience, Scaff has served as a founder, chief executive officer and chief technology officer. He has shipped multiple 1.0 products, and played a significant role in many successful companies. As Co-Founder and CTO of Adjoy, Marvin led the effort to secure $6.8M Series A investment from Almaz Capital and all 5 founders of Catalina Marketing along with other prominent investors. Adjoy is disrupting the CPG marketing technology industry.

Activities & Affiliations

Founding judge and mentor for Next Generation Entrepreneurs a program from the Pinellas Education Foundation that encourages and foster entrepreneurship in Pinellas County High Schools.

Education

Studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
University of Kentucky, Lexington Kentucky (no degree)

Semantic Computing Summer Program
University of California, Berkley, CA

Lean Launchpad Entrepreneur Educators Program
Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA


 
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ADVISOR

Ben A. Vinson, Jr.

Ben A. Vinson, Jr. has over 7 years of experience working in asbestos law, beginning his career at Fleming & Associates in Houston, TX. In 2012, Ben left Fleming and Associates and formed his own practice, Vinson Law PLLC, and continued working in asbestos-related law. In 2017, Ben Vinson was named US Supreme Court bar member, & “Officer of the Court” and was awarded the distinction of being recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as a Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyer for the State of Florida. Aside from his accomplishments in founding and growing Vinson Law, Ben also competed in IRONMAN clocking in at under 15 hours.

Education

SOUTH TEXAS COLLEGE OF LAW
Juris Doctor, 2011

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
B.A., Economics, 2003