Senior Digital Advisor
Brendan Burns has spent over 20 years at leading media/technology, graphic arts and financial institutions including Culture.tech, 1000|Museums, Moody’s, Salomon Brothers, and AdOne, an Internet software pioneer. For the past 10 years Burns has managed consulting, advisory and strategic growth assignments under Stepping Stone Capital Partners and Stepstone Art Resources.
Since 2004, Burns has been a professor and senior lecturer in the Entrepreneurship Program at Columbia Business School. Burns is the co-lead professor for the innovative Entrepreneurial Greenhouse Program. Prior companies (graduate teams) are responsible for launching notable companies such as Happy Family (exit to Danone Group for $300 million), Olapic (exit for $150 million), Betterment (last round valuation $500 million+), Flexport (Ycombinator grad, current valuation over $800 million), FSAStore and many others. Curriculum is very process focused and geared to help motivated teams turn ideas into true, sustainable economic value and job growth. Notable social entrepreneur graduates include Out2Play and CityHealthworks among others.
Currently, Burns is the managing partner of Stepstone Art Resources, LLC (“STAR”). This holding company works directly with artists, foundations and museums and drives value to the creative and cultural sector; current Portfolio companies include See.me and Boomboomprints.com (both previously venture-backed) and includes 1,000,000+ artist/consumer subscribers. Prior to this Burns developed a turnaround and strategic repositioning as the CEO of 1000|Museums, a venture-backed ecommerce/art licensing pioneer. 1000|Museums built a global network of art museums such as the Guggenheim (NYC), the Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam) and the MFA Houston.
Earlier in Burns’ career, as part of the founding team at AdOne (started in 1995 as a pioneering Internet advertising company), Burns led a series of successful financings from leading venture firms including Venrock and the Pritzker family. Ultimately, Burns engineered a buyout with the financial backing of the Hearst Corporation, Scripps, and Advance/Newhouse (subsequently raising over $30 million). Under Burns’ guidance, the company became a pioneer in dynamic Internet classified advertising and built the largest network of local-based media websites in North America.
Burns has a MBA from the Graduate Business School of Columbia University and earned his BS from Fordham University, both in New York City. Since 2004, Burns has been an adjunct professor in the Lang Center for Entrepreneurship at Columbia’s Graduate Business School and serves on the Advisory board of the Lang Fund which invests in and mentors promising student-originated startups. He lives is Richmond, MA with his family (wife, 3 children).