Guillermo Söhnlein

Guillermo Söhnlein


Diverse Experience and Leadership

Consistently proven leader with 18+ years of professional experience, first in law and then in early stage technology ventures.Demonstrated early career skills in legal positions with private, non-profit, and government organizations.After transition into high-tech entrepreneurship, launched new ventures in Silicon Valley and in the Washington, DC, area, including one successful exit via acquisition.Held several interim CEO/COO-type positions with growth-stage startups, and worked with many others as a formal or informal consultant, advisor, and mentor.Excelled across a variety of technologies (Internet, speech recognition, telephony, security, mobile, Web 2.0) and industries (legal, military, aerospace, technology, angel investing, travel, consulting, environment, education).

Success in Chaotic Environments

Leveraged legal, military, and entrepreneurial training to comfortably succeed in unsettled operational environments.Easily adapted to unfamiliar geographic markets, industries, technologies, organizational structures, and roles, even when pushed outside of personal “comfort zone.”Especially decisive in situations with unclear objectives, incomplete intelligence, tight timelines, and high stakes.

Creative Problem-Solving

Exceptionally adept at “out of the box” thinking and undertaking unconventional approaches as a means of solving complex problems.Led startup tech venture through three shifts in strategic direction in order to properly position for acquisition during economic downturn when other industry ventures ceased operations.Created two new entrepreneur-focused committees to address local economic development and entrepreneur development issues.Launched one non-profit organization and one for-profit venture to stimulate the creation and growth of international aerospace-related private ventures.

Strategic Planning and Operational Execution

Strong strategic planner and visionary thought leader, equally at home in the Board room, at a podium, in a media interview, on a business plan competition judges panel, or on a client site.Worked with entrepreneurial founders, Board members, and senior executives to develop and hone high-level business strategies.Leadership experience in operational roles also demonstrated success creating and managing processes, infrastructure, execution plans, success metrics, reporting, and control mechanisms, especially in high-growth organizations.First-hand expertise in every aspect of business operations, including product development, marketing, sales, business development, customer/client support, fundraising, legal, finance, IT, human resources, and corporate governance.

Professional Networking and Team-Building

Developed a strong and growing professional network of contacts across a range of industries, geographies, roles, and sectors.Leveraged personal introductions, events, and online media to create meaningful relationships across the world.Repeatedly recruited, trained, motivated, and mentored teams at all levels (Board, executive, staff) for paid and volunteer positions.


To develop an overseas presence in Dubai, Shanghai, Singapore, or Buenos Aires for a growing organization by applying U.S.-honed strategic planning and operational management skills.

Work History

Work History
Apr 2002 - Mar 2008

Founder and CEO

Fortivo Corporation


·Incubated various business ventures, including Space Angels Network and Fortivo International, which organizes overseas trips for U.S. angel investors

·Successfully completed a number of consulting engagements, including:

  -Strategic planning, marketing operations, and investment due diligence for a $300M hedge fund

  -Web strategy, content development, and site deployment for a state-funded non-profit agency focused on high-tech economic development

  -Business planning and marketing strategy for an information security startup, a speech recognition technology startup, and an international specialty tour operator

·Hired by consulting client ( as Vice President of Sponsorship Sales to develop new commercial sales function

  -Honed overall business strategy and sales strategy, product road map, pricing schedules, staffing plan, and marketing collateral

  -Implemented sales management processes and IT infrastructure

  -Primarily responsible for hiring, training, and managing a distributed 4-person national sales team

  -Helped grow commercial revenues 320% in 10 months, including a key strategic account with Chevron

  -Launched and managed commercial sales initiatives in 3 U.S. markets

  -Oversaw almost 60 client relationships, including campaign implementation, success tracking, reporting, and renewals

  -Helped prepare investor materials and participated in meetings with multiple top-tier venture capital firms in Silicon Valley and Eastern U.S.

·Hired by advisee ( as Chairman and CEO to hone business strategy and raise seed capital

  -Drafted business plan and created financial models

  -Negotiated strategic partnership relationships

  -Prepared investor presentations and conducted meetings with multiple top-tier venture capital firms in Silicon Valley and Eastern U.S.

  -Raised $250K+ seed financing

·Hired by consulting client ( as Executive Vice President to create new processes and develop corporate infrastructure in anticipation of growth and venture financing

  -Developed and implemented operational, financial, customer support, and human resources controls

  -Prepared investor presentations and participated in meetings with multiple top-tier venture capital firms in the Washington, DC, area

  -Helped the Board of Directors raise $250K equity bridge financing en route to $8M in venture financing

Aug 1998 - Feb 2002


Milo (acquired by Voxeo in 2001)



·Held a number of leadership positions, including CEO

·Primarily responsible for overseeing growth to 34 employees and 2 offices

·Developed corporate strategic plan, including thorough market research

·Oversaw 10 direct reports

·Recruited and managed 10-person Advisory Board

·Negotiated 4 office expansions/relocations

·Actively participated in raising $1.4MM in outside funding

·Managed most client relationships and project delivery schedules

·Acted as General Counsel, including during M&A negotiations


·Reported directly to CEO in order to manage post-acquisition integration

·Maintained P&L responsibility over $3.5MM organization

·Led 16-person application development group

·Managed several large client engagements

·Actively participated in key client and partner negotiations

·Co-developed a new strategic plan, including transition provisions

·Worked as part of the corporate executive team to promote the company’s strategic vision, both externally and internally

·Collaborated with VP of Marketing and VP of Sales to develop training materials for entire company

Jun 1995 - Jul 1999

Judge Advocate

United States Marine Corps


·As a 2nd Lieutenant (O-1), filled a Major’s position (O-4) and established the Installation Law Section in the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate

·Served as the Installation Law Officer on a military base with 10,000 service members and 5,000 civilian employees, advising the base commander (Major General), directors, and unit commanders

·Substantive legal expertise included: labor law, contracts, environmental and natural resources law, ethics, Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act, Congressional inquiries, Family Advocacy Programs, and base security

·As Defense Counsel, acted as lead counsel in over 100 cases, including general courts-martial, special courts-martial, administrative separations boards, boards of inquiry, and competency review boards

·As Senior Defense Counsel, led a staff of 4 judge advocates and 1 clerk

·Developed course in Constitutional Law for clerks, paralegals, and judge advocates