STURGES J. KARBAN
Chief Executive Officer & Board Member
Sturges Karban began his career in investment banking directly after graduating with honors from Harvard University in 2000, whereupon he spent two years working as a Financial Analyst for Robertson Stephens. Working exclusively in the firm’s private capital practice, he helped to structure corporate finance transactions for both private and public companies in the life sciences, enterprise software, media, and telecommunications industries. Mr. Karban was instrumental in a number of large-scale Private Investment in Public Equity (“PIPE”) and “Spot Secondary” transactions for the firm’s publicly listed corporate clients.
In 2002, Mr. Karban took a position as a Senior Associate at Jefferies & Company, helping to establish a financial services investment banking practice in the firm’s Boston office. In this capacity, Mr. Karban advised clients on a wide array of corporate finance advisory mandates (including IPO, MBO, M&A, poison pill, debt recapitalization, and PIPE transactions).
In 2004, Mr. Karban left Jefferies and co-founded KarEd, LLC, a residential real estate development company that purchased, rehabilitated, and managed 15 multi-tenant residential buildings in Hartford, Connecticut. Kared sold its portfolio of assets to a regional development company in late 2006.
In 2006, Mr. Karban assumed the role of COO and Director for Cutting Edge Music Services, a leading provider of music services and financing solutions to the independent film and television marketplace. He helped grow the company to five offices worldwide with over 65 employees, and was involved in providing musical elements and services to over 100 feature films and television programs. He was also instrumental in structuring and raising Resonant Music (1) Limited Partners, 3AM Music Limited, 4AM Music Limited, 5AM Music Limited, and Starr Scores, a portfolio of private equity funds that invest in the music publishing and master recording rights of the music created for feature films and television programs. This group of funds currently manages more than $100 million in investment capital and intellectual property assets.
In 2010, Mr. Karban and Philip Moross formed Meridian Advisors, LLC (“MMA”), a boutique consultancy based in Los Angeles, New York, and London, to advise a number of companies in the media and entertainment space on a host of strategic and financial issues. Also during this time, Mr. Karban acted as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Finance for Caldera Mineral Resources, a holding company that had acquired a Colorado-based gold mining operations with over $1 billion of indicated precious metal resources.
President & Board Member
Randy has over 30 years of sales and executive management experience. He has built sales and business development teams for early stage companies funded by venture capital firms including Kleiner Perkins, Norwest, Battery Partners and others. As the corporate officer in charge of sales, business development and marketing for Carrier Access, Mr. Shipley grew revenues from less than $5 million per quarter to over $40 million per quarter in less than two years, achieving a market cap on the NASDAQ of over $2 billion. Randy is the Founder of CrowdFundConnect, the first company to provide an active white label crowdfunding site to a FINRA registered broker/dealer.
General Counsel & Board Member
Lawrence Horwitz has practiced securities law in Orange County, CA for 20 years and is presently the managing partner of Horwitz + Armstrong, LLC, a firm primarily focused on corporate finance and securities regulation. Mr. Horwitz has owned and operated two investment funds which provided bridge financing to companies positioned to complete public offerings. Also, Mr. Horwitz was one of the founders and served on the board of directors of Beta Oil & Gas, Inc., a NASDAQ-traded company.
Mr. Horwitz’s practice has expanded to include representation of a number of private and public companies in the legal cannabis industry. This exposure and deal flow has proven valuable to MJIC’s operations, as has Mr. Horwitz’s unique skill set acquired through years of small-cap public securities practice.
Mr. Horwitz received both his BS in Business Administration and JD from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Lake Forest with his wife and two daughters.
Managing Director, Capital Markets & Member of the Investment Committee
Urban Smedeby brings over 20 years of investment banking and fund management experience with early-stage companies. He is the co-founder of two boutique investment banking firms, establishing Bentley Richards and Associates in 1991 and Bridgewater Capital in 1994, where he remains President.
During his career in corporate finance, Mr. Smedeby has structured, negotiated, and successfully completed 100+ transactions in various equity and debt structures. He co-managed Triton Private Equities, one of the first PIPE (Private Investment in Public Equity) funds, which set the standard for how small and mid-cap companies access secondary financing. He co-managed Instream Capital LLC, a convertible debt fund that was a component of a $4 billion hedge fund. In connection with Bridgewater Capital, Mr. Smedeby also co-managed the Oceanus Value Fund, which focused on bridging the financing gap between venture-capital funding rounds and the funded firm’s initial public offering or other liquidity event.
Mr. Smedeby’s ability to access the European capital markets through his long-standing relationships is a key advantage that MJIC provides for its portfolio companies and shareholders.
Mr. Smedeby serves as a corporate director of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce and holds FINRA Series 62 & 63 securities licenses.