Michael Scharf is an executive coach, strategy and finance consultant, advisor and board member for companies large and small.
Michael’s career has been focused on helping companies across a wide spectrum of industries. His teams have been responsible for almost $10 billion in financings, mergers and acquisitions. He is a recognized business leader and advisor, succeeding with early-stage entrepreneurial partnerships as well as Fortune 500 Companies.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Northwestern University, Michael spent the first phase of his career in commercial banking. Starting at First Interstate Bank, where he managed a $100 million operation by the age of twenty-five, he later launched the first multi-state, multi-divisional marketing program. While working full time, Michael earned an MBA from California State University. After ten years with First Interstate, Michael joined Great Western Bank to lead their consumer credit division. In a little over 2 years, he grew the division from a $500M to $1 billion operation, through a combination of organic and inorganic strategies.
In 1994, Michael moved to TRW Information Systems, launching one of the first online consumer loan systems and locating the eventual buyer of the company. Three years later, Michael left the corporate world and began advising CEOs of large health care and financial services organizations on strategy and acquisitions. During that period, he was invited to join the team at Venture Point, the nation’s only high-tech Small Business Development Center. During his tenure with Venture Point, he helped 100 early-stage companies raise $80 million in equity capital.
In 2002, Michael founded Results Network, a successful executive coaching and development consultancy. Two years later, he founded EMJK Holdings, as a catalyst for new ventures. EMJK supplied management, advisory services and access to private equity. In addition to Results Network, the company’s portfolio included:
- Veriflash, Inc., a credit card security company based on two of Michael’s patents,
- Rion Holdings, LLC, an innovative building products company where Michael launched of the company’s first two products.
- Zoomoozik, an online record label. As COO, Michael scaled this startup from concept to more than 7,000 artists,
- GoLiveSMS, a specialty text messaging company, with a focus on enterprise messaging for the financial, health care and nonprofit sectors.
After exiting EMJK in 2010, Michael launched what is now Uplink Capital, a boutique investment banking partnership. Uplink is focused on securing equity and debt financing for emerging and middle market companies.
Michael has advised the boards of Visa USA, a US Small Business Administration SBDC, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the UCI Institution for Innovation.
At the beginning of 2019, Michael is returning to advising, consulting and coaching, working with executives and entrepreneurs confidentially and directly.