Chief Operating Officer, Ponderosa Advisors, LLC
Founder & Chairman, SafeSplash Holdings, LLC
MBA or no MBA?
Making this decision wasn’t a hard choice for Matt Lane (MBA 95). After earning an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering in 1991 and an MS degree in engineering in 1993, both at the University of Iowa, he wanted to expand the depth of his business knowledge—and to do it he sought a Tippie MBA.
Since then, Matt has held several roles throughout the global high tech industry. Currently he serves as COO of Ponderosa Advisors in Denver, CO. Ponderosa is focused on building information analytics for private equity and investment funds targeting the energy, agriculture, and water industries. Prior to Ponderosa, Matt was Senior Vice President of Technicolor’s Digital Delivery Group, a global leader in systems used for visual effects, encoding, archiving, management, and delivery of digital video and digital home applications. He also served as Managing Director of Hewlett-Packard’s Media and Entertainment business where he lead HP’s focus on the cable, satellite, telecom, and digital media industries as well as their “Game On” group focused on the online gaming market. Outside of the technology industry, Matt is the Founder and Chairman of SafeSplash Holdings, LLC, a consumer retail service company that operates premium swim schools for children under the brand SafeSplash Swim School, and has founded companies in the media industry (TrueLink Media, LLC) and healthcare industry (Med Hotel, LLC).
“My Tippie MBA experience greatly impacted my business network. My ability to have a broad range of business dialogues both with Tippie alumni and other business leaders has been substantially valuable. Having a strong network is incredibly important in building your reputation and your career.”
Matt started his career at Hewlett-Packard Company where he worked for 13 years before moving to Technicolor. He has held positions in R&D, manufacturing, marketing, operations, and sales. At Technicolor, he manages the North America sales organization, selling digital delivery products, software, and services to cable, satellite, telco, broadcast, and studio markets. While at HP, he was U.S. sales director for the Media and Entertainment vertical, director of HP's "Game-On" business, and vice president of marketing for the telecommunications vertical.
In his free time, Matt is an accomplished entrepreneur and venture capitalist, with a strong track record of starting and growing new businesses. He is the founder and chairman of SafeSplash Swim Schools, a private warm-water swim school that has begun expanding into additional states since its founding in 2002. Matt also founded TrueLink Media in 2002, a company he later sold as his focus moved toward other new ventures.
“Bringing big change to an established industry takes vision, innovation, planning, and implementation. Those are precisely the skills you develop at Tippie—inside the classroom and out.”
Although Matt has had an impressive career, he credits his Tippie MBA with creating opportunities he wouldn’t have had without it.
“A person’s professional career is an interesting result of brains, motivation, personal definition of success, luck, social skills, and opportunities you create for yourself. An MBA degree strongly influences one important factor in this list: opportunities. An MBA degree can introduce you to new skills, new perspectives and new social networks you didn’t have before. The result is broader and more significant professional opportunities.
“My experience at Tippie was easily the best investment I’ve ever made.”