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Famed digital media pioneers join forces to launch Brain+Trust Partners

(BUSINESS NEWS) What happens when five industry pioneers finally merge their expertise and experience to form a company? Brain+Trust Partners, that’s what.

Five heavyweights join forces

After moving far beyond their initial industry fame to lead massive teams and companies across America, five digital media pioneers (that anyone in tech, marketing, or communications can name) have come together to form Brain+Trust Partners.

“Five years ago, there were roughly 500 [marketing technology] tools on the market, and now there are over 5,000,” said partner Tim Hayden. “It has become tough to believe the 55 emails a day that business leaders get, proclaiming there’s a better conversion tool, a better social listening tool.”

That’s the crux of Brain+Trust, “to come in as a common sense, experienced partner for a build-to-buy strategy, to offer strategic guidance and insight” to companies and executives inundated by the noise of the onslaught of promises the tech industry offers.

You know the five founders:

The five partners are all names you know for their work at Ford, GM, the US Missile Defense Agency, Comcast, Zignal, IBM, Edelman, Voce, and their many industry-altering efforts that have landed them in college textbooks and countless case studies (in alphabetical order):

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Hayden tells us that all of the partners have learned from the front lines, noting that the corporate world is changing – Walmart acquired, Unilever acquired Dollar Shave Club, Starbucks developed their own payment system prior to partnering with Square. Brands are “making economic moves in acquiring proven technologies instead of building them [in-house].”

And that’s where we predict Brain+Trust Partners’ sweet spot will be. They’re experts on all corners of the process and have experienced the ups and downs of the market.

Hayden says they’re a “light solution to standard consulting partners,” as their focus is strategy as they “vet vendors, tools, and agencies, reducing the cost of business with assured confidence.” Brands now have help in going to market and move forward with plans with more confidence. #CompetitiveAdvantage

“I’m thrilled to be part of Brain+Trust,” Barger opined, “because my partners are all brilliant thinkers who fit this mold; we share outlooks and approaches, and we have a similar desire to emphasize business results. When you find a cadre of colleagues who share your perspectives and priorities, AND you enjoy working with them and consider them friends, the sky’s the limit on what you can accomplish — for yourselves, and for your clients.”

Why headquartered in Austin?

If you note in the list above, the partners live all over the nation, but the company will call Austin home (as do we at The American Genius). But why?

Hayden noted six sensible reasons they’re headquartered in Austin:

  1. It’s business friendly. Hayden says they were advised by counsel that Texas is the most business friendly, from a taxation, court, and regulatory perspective. If they were seeking VC funds or going IPO, they would have considered other cities.
  2. Austin offers better access. If you’re in California and want to meet Tim Cook or Ross Perot, Hayden notes it might take six weeks if you’re able to get a meeting. In Austin if you’re an entrepreneur seeking to meet with Brett Hurt or Michael Dell, it could be this week. Austin is collaborative.
  3. Austin is the center of an “incredible engineering community,” supported by so many universities like the University of Texas, the Austin Community College system, Texas State, St. Edward’s University, Southwestern University, and even nearby Texas A&M.
  4. People stay. When Trilogy shipped in people from across the nation years ago, they stayed. When Dell brought in so many MBA folks, most stayed. Tivoli? They stayed.
  5. Austin has a burgeoning cottage industry – Whole Foods, Central Market, Sweet Leaf Tea, the list goes on.
  6. Logistics. “We’re in the middle of the country, and it’s only a 3.5 hour flight anywhere in the nation,” said Hayden.
  7. “Plus, it’s home,” asserts Hayden, who spent the last two years in the valley, keeping his home in Austin unoccupied and furnished for an eventual return. “Austin has the best of combined values, environment, and ecosystem for an organization that is about change and tackling the future with confidence.”

We’ll be watching for Brain+Trust Partners here in our own back yard to start their next professional chapter as a united front and be referenced in even more case studies and college textbooks.


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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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