Tyson Ventures has a diverse background that spans back to the late 70s, with participation on a national level. See below for business highlights, background and venture history.
- Acquired with partners the largest solar distributor in North America including co-founding a solar fund dedicated to financing, owning and operating large commercial solar power systems
- Significant real estate investments spanning decades including a large master planned community development located on the Texas coast
- Sourced private equity, debt and creative financing solutions for many ventures and companies
- Advised and consulted entrepreneurs across diverse business segments in the spirit of fostering ideas and growth (including “outside the box”)
- Founded second-largest cable-TV company in Austin, Texas – later acquired by Time, Inc.
- Founded 3rd largest operator of hotel Pay-TV/interactive television systems (one of the Inc. 500 fastest-growing private companies in 1992) that included the largest hotels in the world – later acquired by one of the largest cable-TV companies
- Founded interactive-TV company focused on serving the largest hospitals in US including finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
- Acquired with partners a distressed cable-TV company that resulted in a high return to investors upon disposition
- First FCC (Federal Communications Commission) licenses in US for direct satellite reception of cable-TV content at hotels and AML microwave distribution city-wide for private cable-TV
- First contracts executed with HBO, The Movie Channel, Showtime and others for hospitality market including first national contract with Ramada Hotels
- Pioneered the first satellite teleconferences with IBM, American Bar Association, Ford Motor Company and others
- Acquired a public company with partners that became the largest provider of satellite-delivered programming to private cable-TV and wireless systems serving over 1 million customers
- First gaming industry approved remote/in-room gaming system for hotels
- Member Central Texas Angel Network – CTAN is the largest angel investment network in Texas and one of the top 5 most active angel investment networks in US http://centraltexasangelnetwork.com/
REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT — PRESENT
Various investments that span large developments from Arizona to the Texas Coast.
Tyson Ventures — Present
Austin-based private investment and consulting company focused on start-up, early stage, turnaround, growing entities, and strategic exits. Over 40 years experience that includes the founding of numerous companies, sourcing significant capital, leading various sizes of mergers, acquisitions, and facilitating exits.
Sentient Ventures 2014 — Present
Venture Partner — Sentient is a private equity firm that invests in seed, early, and expansion stage companies. In aggregate $88 million in private equity funds have invested in 22 companies. The firm has significant capital and co-investor strategic relationships available and continues to actively look for new investment opportunities. Investments include Allegiance Mobile Health, the largest private Texas based provider of medical transportation and 911 emergency services and ESO Solutions that is taking patient care reporting to the next level. view website »
Central Texas Angel Network
Member — CTAN is the largest angel investment network in Texas and one of the top 5 most active angel investment networks in US view website »
Energy Finance Company 2009 — 2013
Co-Founder — Energy Finance Company (EFC) was formed to provide the capital for quality credit commercial, municipal and government customers desiring solar power systems. EFC’s Funding Solar Energy Fund, LP (the “FUSE Fund”), is the vehicle that owns and operates the solar projects and provides up to 100% of the capital required. The FUSE Fund uses a unique business model that offers a simple, low-cost way, to purchase solar electricity.
Soligent 2007 — 2013
Co-Founder — Soligent is the largest solar distributor in the United States and a system integrator. Beginning in 2007, Mr. Tyson explored opportunities in solar power as solar cell performance was improving at a rapid pace and cost significantly declining – a winning combination both environmentally and economically. In 2009, he co-partnered with ITOCHU, a Global 500 company with over $32 billion in revenues to purchase the company. Soligent is the outcome of a merger between two solar powerhouses, DC Power Systems and Solar Depot. Working with its national network of over 7,000 qualified solar installers, Soligent designs and supplies solar power systems for business, residential and government applications. view website »
Gaming Solutions Interactive 2012 — 2016
Co-Founder/Managing Partner — Gaming Solutions Interactive, LLC (GSI) was formed to provide advanced interactive television gaming products. The company has evolved its technology towards a NextGen Multi-Screen App that allows anyone with a smartphone/tablet to access both real-money and social games in a unique player environment – smartphones/tablets become controllers and second screens. GSI partnered with the largest provider of interactive television to casino hotels based in Las Vegas (serving over 125,000 rooms) to demonstrate its viability once gaming regulators approve.
Magic Lantern 2007 — Present
Investor — Magic Lantern Entertainment (MLE) is a kids and family entertainment studio founded and managed by experienced, professional executives from Universal, Warner Brothers, and Hanna-Barbera. MLE’s chairman Jack Crosby, is the former chairman of the Sundance Institute, the co-founder of Imagine Entertainment, and a founding director of Orion Pictures. Magic Lantern has been involved in a diverse collection of television and direct-to-video projects and an aggressive development agenda of television series, motion pictures and broadband programming. view website »
U.S. Online 2003 — 2004
Co-invested with Summit Investment Management in the acquisition of USOL, one of the largest private cable/satellite television companies in the US with over 130 apartment properties. Per business plan, timely and successfully disposed of the company’s assets to major cable television operators.
View Summit Investment Website »
WSNet 1997 — 2002
Invested in World Satellite Network, Inc., (WSNet), a public company based in Minneapolis. Served as Chairman, President and CEO until 1999. In 1999, acquired the company and taken private with a newly composed management team. WSNet became the largest distributor of satellite television programming to the private cable and wireless television industries serving over one million subscribers.
By Invitation Only 1999 — 2002
Invested in Forever, Inc., and assumed the position of Chairman. Advanced the company from a conventional local service company to www.ByInvitationOnly.org, an Internet portal for members worldwide
Health Answers 1999 — 2002
Founder & CEO of Cable Healthcare (evolved to HealthAnswers.com), which became the largest operator of interactive and patient education systems in hospitals (Mr. Tyson was a finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards). Major medical centers served included the Mayo Clinic, Cedars-Sinai, Baylor, and Baptist Memorial – some of the largest and most recognized hospitals. The company’s business model evolved due to a dramatic shift in the health care industry resulting in a migration to a leading full-service sales training agency specializing in blended learning solutions for today’s pharmaceutical and biotech sales professionals and managers.
Hospitality Network 1983 — 1993
Founder & CEO of Hospitality Network. The company became the third largest operator of hotel in-room Pay-TV and interactive television systems (one of the Inc. 500 fastest-growing private companies in 1992). Relocated to Las Vegas, the company grew to serving over 125,000 large casino hotel rooms. In 1990, the company was the first to contract with such notable hotels as Bally’s and the 3000 room Las Vegas Hilton, the largest hotels in the world at the time. In 1993, Mr. Tyson sold his interest in the company to Community Cable Television (the Las Vegas cable television operator) and Prime Cable. The company was later sold to Cox Communications.
Austin Satellite Television 1981 — 1985
Founder & CEO of Austin Satellite Television (AST). AST was granted the first FCC license in the United States for microwave distribution for private cable television systems, allowing the company to “beam” its programming citywide in Austin, Texas. The company entered into joint ventures with several of Central Texas largest real estate developers to construct and operate conventional cable systems in large communities. AST became Austin’s second largest cable operator including serving over 13,000 high-end apartment homes and new developments around Austin. AST was sold in 1985 to ATC, a subsidiary of Time, Inc.
Global Communication Systems 1980 — 1981
Assistant to the President of Global Communications Systems (founder and Chairman of Spectradyne, the largest hotel Pay-TV company), the nation’s largest private cable television system based in Houston, Texas. Global Communications grew to provide broadband satellite television service to over 30,000 apartment homes. Mr. Tyson introduced the company to low cost satellite headend technology and pioneered satellite teleconferencing for clients including IBM (their first), DataPoint, the American Bar Association and Ford Motor Company.
Video Vista 1976 — 1979
Founder & Managing Partner of Video Vista, the first company in the United States to be licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for direct satellite reception of cable television programs at hotels including developing the first contracts for programming with HBO, The Movie Channel, Showtime and others. Video Vista was the first company to secure a national contract with Ramada Hotels with satellite installations coast-to-coast (managed the engineering, construction and maintenance of over 100 installations).