Ask your questions about entrepreneurship and public-private cooperation to Jeff Hoffman, live Thursday, Nov. 21 at 11:00 a.m. EST on the U.S. Department of State's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/usdos
Jeff Hoffman is an accomplished entrepreneur and innovator in the fields of Internet, e-commerce, and entertainment. Having launched his first software company while still a student at Yale University, Hoffman has founded and grown a series of successful startup companies in his career, guiding his companies to both acquisitions and public offerings.
Jeff writes a regular column on innovation and entrepreneurship for Inc. Magazine, and works with the White House, the Executive Office of the President, the US State Department, and the US Department of Commerce to support business and economic growth initiatives all over the world.
Jeff is currently a founder and partner in ColorJar, LLC, the Idea Accelerator company that helps entrepreneurs and small business owners launch and grow new business ventures. Prior to that, Jeff served as the CEO of Enable Holdings, Inc., one of the world’s leading excess inventory solutions companies. Enable Holdings, a publicly traded company, operates online sites uBid.com and RedTag.com, and specializes in the liquidation of excess inventory from major brand name manufacturers and retailers. The company has sold over $2 billion worth of computers, consumer electronics, jewelry, apparel, collectibles, and other products since its launch.
Jeff’s first startup was a software company in the travel industry named CTI, a company that quickly became the industry leader in technology for the travel and tourism industry, and was later acquired by American Express. For his achievements, Jeff was twice named one of the 25 Most Influential Executives in travel and tourism worldwide. Hoffman was also a founder and CEO of early e-commerce pioneer Virtual Shopping, Inc., which developed patented, proprietary software and hardware for online retailing on the Internet, and was later acquired by Europe’s Wallenberg Group.
Hoffman is perhaps best known as a founder and CEO in the Priceline.com family of companies, where Jeff led the development and launch of Priceline’s consumer company (Priceline YardSale). Hoffman also served as an executive in Walker Digital, the parent company of Priceline and one of the country’s most innovative creators of intellectual property and new business models.
After Priceline, Jeff was a founding partner, Chairman, and CEO of Black Sky Entertainment, an independent production company in the film and music industries. Hoffman’s firm successfully produced such independent films as CABIN FEVER (a horror film made for $1.4 million that has grossed over $100 million worldwide).. In the music business, Jeff has produced concerts with Elton John, reality programming with Boyz II Men, had his artists (pop band LMNT) open for Britney Spears, hosted charity events with members of *NSYNC, produced musical events with Ashanti, Fat Joe, Cash Money Millionaires, and more.
Today Jeff serves on the international advisory boards of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Kauffman Foundation, the APEC Startup Initiative (21 member nations), JumpStart, the US State Department’s GIST program (Global Innovation through Science and Technology), building entrepreneurial ecosystems in emerging nations on every continent.
Jeff recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization for his contributions to the field of entrepreneurship, as well as being inducted into the Hall of Fame by the National CEO Council, and receiving the 2012 Champion of Entrepreneurship Award from Rising Tide Capital and JP Morgan Chase.
An avid sports fan, Jeff has served on the board of the Evander Holyfield Foundation as well as being named Chairman of the Major League Baseball All Star Game Committee.
Jeff dedicates a significant portion of his time to mentoring other entrepreneurs. In this capacity, Jeff has served as a mentor in Stanford University’s Venture Lab, an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Georgia Tech and Rollins College, and has judged business plan competitions at MIT, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Pepperdine University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as advising the entrepreneurship programs at Kent State University. Jeff also served as a coach and mentor in the Kaufman Institute’s FastTrac Entrepreneurs Boot Camp.