Peter Marcum has a long history of growing businesses related to technology. He started in the tech field by personally coding a Public Housing Software program that he sold in the 1980s. Marcum understands the intersection between private capital, technology, and the ability to run a business. This has happened through mostly good, but a few bad experiences.
Marcum moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1990 as the owner of Computerland of Nashville, Birmingham, and Huntsville. Computerland specialized in LAN / WAN technology and was sold in 2005. Things had changed from brick & mortar destinations to online.
Pivoting, in 1995, Marcum founded Nashville Computer Liquidators, which bought and resold tech inventory and developed it into a $ 96 M business. He sold a 51% interest in 1998. The remaining 49% was sold in early 2000. He then co-founded a similar business, Essex Technology Group / Bargain Hunt stores and helped build it as a large reseller that now operates 62 retail stores (and growing) in the Southeast. Along the way, Essex became the largest eBay Store. Marcum’s Essex venture culminated in 2015 with the sale to a Boston Private Equity firm T.H. Lee.
In 2003, Marcum had formed and was CEO of WV Fiber, a National Fiber network specializing in wholesale bandwidth sales, with 23 colocation centers in the U.S. and Europe. WV Fiber’s customers included Akamai, along with millions of Charter Cable home users in 5 states. The network was built using equipment from Enron Broadband Network, purchased by Marcum at its bankruptcy proceedings. The AS number is 19151 (for techies wanting to google WV Fiber).
UseNetServer, a subsidiary with 35,000 online customers, was built across a 4 year period and then sold in 2007. UseNet was an early lesson for Marcum in how to operate a large-scale SAAS business online. WV Fiber was sold in 2008 and a small programming business was retained, which evolved into DevDigital.
Today, DevDigital is a successful technology firm with over 100 tech staff in the U.S. and overseas performing contract programming for the web or Enterprise clients. DevDigital has become partners in several operating businesses, and the formation of Kernel Equity is Peter Marcum’s next iteration.
Todd A. McCullough
Todd and Peter Marcum oversee Kernel Equity. Todd has spent a career helping companies of all sizes grow their businesses in a more systematic and repeatable way. He has created and taught the theories and has applied and refined them with clients over many years. Recently, Todd led the effort at North Highland (a global management consultancy) to build a Growth and Innovation practice globally.
Todd has advised over 100 of the Fortune 500 companies on the topics of growth strategy and innovation. He helped them learn to innovate and grow in a more disciplined way. Todd has worked extensively in Financial Services, Healthcare, Consumer Packaged Goods, Quick Service Restaurants, Retail and many other industries. In each industry he has worked with the major players to figure out how to differentiate themselves with customers, and against their competition.
Todd has also been the ‘consultant to the consultant’ for 5 of the 6 largest management consulting firms in the world. He has coached them on growth strategy, innovation strategy, methods and capabilities.
He led Doblin (now Deloitte’s Innovation Strategy group) for a decade and sold it to Monitor group, where he continued as a senior partner in their innovation strategy practice. Todd’s CPA and MBA give him a solid financial background, which he has complemented with design thinking for innovation. He teaches business students and executives (through Vanderbilt, Notre Dame and others) about design, and he teaches design students (through the Institute of Design in Chicago and soon O’More College of Design in Franklin, TN) about business, with the goal of integrating the disciplines for innovation.
Representative clients include Ford, McDonald’s, EY, Pfizer, HCA, Subway, Boston Scientific, SC Johnson, Coke, Target and GE, as well as many small firms and start-ups. He brings the toolset and theories from all these experiences to each new relationship. With smaller firms, he has a goal to ‘democratize’ innovation methods and theories, to make them available more broadly.