Our Mission

The mission of Crowd Companies™ is to bring Empowered People & Resilient Brands together to collaborate for Shared Value.

Our Strategy: A Brand Council

We are creating a Brand Council to bring internal, corporate agents of change in a setting where they can further learn and engage in the Collaborative Economy.

We offer three services: 1) Connection with innovative peers in a private, real-world and online setting. 2) Get education by industry experts in centralized calls and meetings. 3) Move to action by partnering with the innovation Network of startups who want to work with large companies.

The Movement: The Collaborative Economy

The Collaborative Economy is an economic model where people are creating and sharing goods, services, space and money with each other in what is also known as the Sharing Economy. Some people are also building their own products, known as the Maker Movement. Combined, this movement means the crowd is getting what they need from each other.

The bold question we’ll ask and answer is “What role do companies play if people get what they need from each other?”

Topics we will explore:

  • What is driving this movement, and what impacts does it have on society, sustainability and stakeholders?
  • How does a model of sharing impact models of consumption?
  • What are the benefits and challenges of local commerce in neighborhoods?
  • What are the benefits and risks of crowdfunding and co-innovation?
  • How can we tap new business models such as on-demand, subscription, and marketplaces?
  • How can global manufactures partner with the Maker Movement?
  • How do mobile sensors and the Internet of Things enable these new models?
  • What are the total impacts of 3D Printing to design, manufacturing, supply chain, and beyond.

Our Vision

In this embedded SlideShare “The Future of Business Models” we discuss our vision regarding the market changes, as well as showcase how brands are achieving Shared Value in this new market.


Why now?

In the first phase, people created media then shared it, we call this social media. In the second phase, people are creating physical goods, and are sharing the physical world. In both phases people are empowered by social networks, mobile devices, online marketplaces, and other new technologies. The startups that are fueling this movement are heavily funded, and will not soon go away. We believe this movement will have significant impacts to current business. We believe that brands can still have a place in this new ecosystem, which we call the Collaborative Economy.

Why us?

For nearly ten years, Jeremiah Owyang has helped large companies navigate the first phase in social business spanning roles on the brand side and the startups side as a Forrester Analyst and an Altimeter founding partner. (Learn more about his bio here). Now, he’s starting this new venture, Crowd Companies™, to help brands navigate this next phase of disruption.

Crowd Companies™ tests and adopts the sharing services, such as crowd sourcing the logo and crowd sourcing the website design services. We tap talented workers from online service marketplaces and participate in collaboration. We use co-working, and shared transportation when possible.


Crowd Companies™ will offer members private education sessions from industry experts. Our proposed curriculum for 2014 includes:

  • The Collaborative Economy foundations for business: presented by Jeremiah Owyang
  • Why sharing matters, a vision for the future, presented by Neal Gorenflo, founder of Shareable Magazine
  • The Maker Manifesto, presented by Mark Hatch, Author and CEO of Techshop
  • The Mesh, Why the Future of Business is Sharing, presented by Lisa Gansky, author, entrepreneur
  • Products with Purpose, presented by Jules Pieri, co-founder and CEO of The Grommet
  • Emerging Currencies: Reputation commerce and Bitcoin phenomenon
  • How 3D Printing as a Service revolutionizes design and manufacturing
  • More private education sessions conducted by industry experts and startup leaders in the Innovation Network will be announce in the near future.


Business has changed. New terms are needed to describe how we’ll navigate for success. Here are some terms that we’ll be exploring and using:

  • Catalysts: That’s what we call our council members, and our internal team. We’re all folks who make positive changes in companies.
  • Empowered People: We used to call them ‘consumers’, but now they have the tools to get what they need from each other.
  • Collaborative Economy: A business model of shared ownership and access between people, startups, cities and large companies.
  • Maker Movement: People who create, fix, modify their own unique goods.
  • 3D Printing: A process for making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model, typically by laying down many successive thin layers of a material.
  • Shared Value: Companies and their customers can win together where build something bigger.
  • Resilient Brands: Companies that work with their empowered people can become more innovative, agile, sustainable, empowering, and profitable.
  • Sharing Economy: An economic movement where there's shared access to goods, service, space, and money rather than ownership.


Jeremiah Owyang

Jeremiah helped major companies navigate the first phase of sharing, called social media. He’s committed to helping companies through the second phase of sharing, as people share and create the physical world around them.

Over the course of his career, Jeremiah has identified big trends before they happen, and helped major companies through the transition. Read his full bio here.

  • Founding partner and research director at Altimeter Group, currently on board of advisors.
  • Former Forrester Analyst covering social computing for the interactive marketer.
  • Global Web Marketing at Hitachi Data Systems, where he launched the social media program

Jeremiah has been advising and influencing business leaders globally.

  • Is a professional speaker. Keynotes business conferences around the globe.
  • Is highly read. His online publications often receive over 100k views from his blog, Web Strategy
  • Is frequently quoted in publications and media, such as WSJ, NYT, USAToday and more.
  • Socially, is available on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+

Quick facts about Jeremiah:
Former Jazz Piano performer, also once played trombone professionally at the SF Fillmore.


Angus Nelson
Member Success

Angus enjoys helping people strategize ways of getting from “where they are” to “where they want to be”. At Crowd Companies™, he's helping members onboard, and taps his knack for connecting ideas and influence, in order to get things accomplished.

Members really enjoy working with Angus, often citing his warm personality and refreshing candor, which makes getting work done a lot more fun. A student of human behavior, leadership, and bettering the world around him, he was awarded Volunteer Citizen of the Year in 2002, Wausau, WI, and ranked in the top 5% of Monster.com’s Motivational Speakers in 2008. You can learn more about Angus at angusnelson.com

Quick facts about Angus:
Identical twin to Marcus Nelson, modeled for JCrew before his hair loss, and was a stay-at-home dad for 4 years, becoming an expert in toddler bodily functions.


Julie Viola
Operations Manager

Julie covers all-things operations at Crowd Companies; from finance and HR to event management and logistics. She has had the pleasure of working with Jeremiah for four years at Altimeter Group as their HR manager. Her experience as a senior executive assistant has provided her with a unique set of problem solving skills. Her professional background also includes zoning and planning at the municipal level.

As a transplant to the bay area from the east coast, Julie takes advantage of the perfect weather to hike everywhere from Los Gatos to Lake Tahoe.

Quick facts about Julie:
She has never eaten a Big Mac or a Whopper.
One of her close friends was a kindergarten classmate.
She played Sharks/Minnows with a world superbike champion.


Karen Khounthavong
Executive Assistant

Karen is the schedule keeper and email tamer. Members will probably chat with her at least once during their experience with Crowd Companies™ and she is here to make it the best experience.

Karen is from Zirtual, a shared virtual assistant firm. We live the movement, while considering her an important member of the team.

Knowledgeable in visual arts, marketing, and publishing, she loves to communicate and find the most beautifully simple way to get to a win/win for all involved.

Quick facts about Karen:
She enjoys flower arranging and being outside
She is currently learning boxing
She is a dog person and is respectfully fearful of cats


Board of Advisors

Vivian Wang, Market Advisor
Scott Monty, Executive VP of Strategy at Shift Communications
Fred Neil, Founding Member, Home Depot, now President, Spectrum Management Associates
Terry Young, Founder and CEO, sparks & honey
Lance Richards, Global HR Thought Leader


We're proud to be associated with these world-changing companies. The first 24 companies are founding members at time of launch of Crowd Companies in Dec 2013. Our current and growing roster includes:

  1. Adobe
  2. American Eagle
  3. AutoDesk
  4. Barclaycard
  5. Cisco
  6. Intel
  7. Intuit
  8. Nestle
  9. PayPal
  10. Swisscom
  11. Verizon
  12. Visa
  13. Walmart
  14. Western Union
  15. WholeFoods
  16. Taco Bell
  17. Abbott Labs
  18. Fedex
  19. Hallmark
  20. Oracle
  21. Wells Fargo
  22. Polycom
  23. Clorox
  24. Symantec
  25. MasterCard
  26. TD
  27. Fujitsu
  28. Sears
  29. TD Ameritrade
  30. SAP
  31. Samsung
  32. Southern Company
  33. PepsiCo
  34. Panasonic
  35. Esurance
  36. Robert Half
  37. Electrolux
  38. Assurant
  39. Apollo Education Group
  40. Xerox
  41. VMware
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