THE XCELERATE GROUP TEAM
Nurturing a new launch is hard work. Intended profits can be elusive. We understand – it’s what we do!
Whether you are a well-known brand with an established supply chain or an early-stage innovator, commercializing innovation is never simple. A botched launch tarnishes your brand. Done correctly, delivering a culture of portfolio innovation can make you wildly successful.
A few decades of experience have taught us a thing or two about bringing new products, services, and technologies to market. Do you plan well? Are you nimble executors? Can you anticipate when to pivot? Can you seamlessly scale from test pilot to a full-scale ramp?
Xcelerate Group team members bring real-world success having launched products for multi-national and early stage companies. Our large-co experience includes varied brands like Home Depot, GE, Lowes, Pro-Build, Corning, Nissan, IBM, CIT, GAF, Sodimac and Newell Rubbermaid.
We combine “big-co” experience with incredibly talented entrepreneurs. ‘Scramble’ that with distribution channel expertise and access to capital, and out pops what is incredibly hard to create – commercialization success!
CEO, Managing Director
Bruce Street - CEO, Managing Member
Bruce is a strategic business advisor and serial entrepreneur, specializing in the development of innovative product and service portfolios to achieve sustainable growth. He launched Xcelerate Group as a vehicle to bring together an incredibly talented group of business people. A team that shares a uniting passion to develop and grow businesses, while nurturing the entrepreneurs and innovators within. Leaders with a wonderful mix of expertise, passion, ethics, and a desire to give back.
Experienced across diverse channels, categories and geographies, Bruce’s background includes portfolio work in building materials, home décor, baby and elder care, health and wellness, construction tools and services in B2C and B2B environments. He has been involved with various Fortune 500 companies including Newell-Rubbermaid, Kimberly Clark, GAF, United Technologies, and Accenture, as well as numerous early-stage companies including, HealthPlanStore, CHI Continental and Leslie Building Products.
Following Xcelerate Group’s expansion into South America in 2013, Bruce serves as the CEO of XG SA, assisting North American and European brands to expand distribution into Latin American retail.
Bruce, his wife and daughter are passionate about raising awareness and funding for Childhood Cancer research.
Cristian Grez Wilson - President, Market Director - LATAM
Cristian leads XG's South American business. As a retail sales channel development expert and entrepreneur, he has developed complete product portfolios, managed customer relationships and established go-to-market execution for various product categories including Outdoor Grilling, Camping, Housewares, Lighting, Pest Repelling, Welding, Seasonal Gifts and Millwork.
Cristian is a well-rounded leader. Experienced in market research, sourcing, brand development, customer messaging, packaging, POP, solving difficult in-country service needs and international logistics. He has broad P&L understanding from both the supplier and retailer perspectives. He is adept at the unique requirements to launch portfolios under existing brands, new brands and private label brands.
Cristian’s distribution client expertise includes Supermarkets – Lider / Walmart, Jumbo, Unimarc, Tottus; Home Improvement – Sodimac, Easy, Chilemat; and Department Stores – Paris, Ripley, Falabella, La Polar and Hites.
Cristian brings a robust understanding of Latin American culture, business execution and entrepreneurism. He and his wife have 2 teenage boys.
Joe Clamon - Advising Member
Joe is a seasoned banker, investor and strategic advisor. He brings deep business and financial perspective gained from a career spanning commercial banking, financial syndication, healthcare industry roll-up, IPO and merger, and involvement in financings, mergers and workouts across a myriad of industries.
Among other experiences, Joe gained his expertise as SVP financial syndication at Citibank NA, launched and led a $24b lending group as Group Executive at The CIT Group, at Healthdyne Technologies acquired many early-stage companies to build a platform which eventually became Matria Healthcare, and as President of Wachovia Leasing providing financial and workout leadership across industries. As an owner, investor and executive, Joe has helped start companies, nurture early-stage to full-scale, re-organized, divested, lived the ride of a successful IPO, and dealt with the difficulties of the FDA regulatory approval process.
Joe brings insight and laser focus to identifying and executing on strategic market opportunities.
Married with 2 grown children, Joe and his wife are active in ministry and the development of faith leaders.
Peter Lauer - Advising Member
Peter is an active venture Investor / Advisor in early-stage Technology & Banking companies. Recent community & business leadership roles include BOA for Iberia Bank, Georgia Region; CEO / BOD of Big Brothers-Big Sisters Metro Atlanta; BOD of Bobby Dodd Institute and Harvard Business School Club Atlanta.
Peter Co-founded the Cost Management Group (CMG) to help companies reduce Indirect and Service spend. Based on deep expertise of across 7 spend verticals, the co-founders built a portfolio of 25 spend reduction offerings, selling to end-users ranging in spend from $100M to $20B.
As a Partner/Sales Leader for Advisory Board Company (Washington, DC), Peter helped develop and spin out The Corporate Executive Board, which IPO'd in 1999 and was subsequently acquired by Gartner Group.
Peter's love of Innovation & Biz Dev were ignited early in his career in GE’s Robotics & Factory Automation business, and on the Corning team developing "Gorilla Glass". He’s done deals in Korea, Japan and France, with a sales background across Europe & North America.
A Mechanical Engineer from Lehigh and MBA from Harvard, Peter loves technical manufacturing ranging from turbines, naval nuclear pumps, cars and bowling balls. Peter is married with 3 children. He is an avid reader of non-fiction with an emphasis in political economics, competes in and promotes the great sport of Platform Tennis, including the founding “Peachtree Paddle” in 2005.
Kurt Baumberger - Advising Member
Kurt, an Innovator in Residence at Duke University, brings tremendous innovation, product launch and start-up experience to the Xcelerate Group team.
His early career on Madison Avenue inspired a life-long interest to develop and launch products, including early involvement with well-known brands such as Advil and USA TODAY. With The Coca-Cola Company over 10 years, Kurt was instrumental in launching PowerAde and building the promotional relationship between Sprite and the NBA.
Kurt caught the “entrepreneurial bug” working with a start-up Israeli company creating 3-D shopping experiences for brands including Coach, Neiman Marcus, and Manolo Blahnik. He then launched a start-up in the franchising space which created local store marketing promotions using a new print-on-demand system.
Leaning forward, Kurt moved to a Silicon Valley start-up working with SEGA, Atari, Electronic Arts and Xbox to publish games for mobile phones. The fourth in his portfolio was a start-up automating auto dealership sales. After a rapid rise, the 2008 credit crisis derailed the entire auto and technology target markets, bringing his company to a stand-still and teaching invaluable lessons of scaling and deleveraging.
A published author, his first book about these experiences called Adapt or Die: How The Internet Is Killing Dealer Profits And What To Do About It. The book became a “must read” for the industry and led to advisory work helping launch the Nissan LEAF and Tesla S.
His latest book, Innovation Navigation: How To Get From Idea To Reality In 90 Days takes companies and entrepreneurs step by step through the innovation process to reduce concept, market and execution risk.
Kurt graduated from the College of William and Mary with a Psychology degree and Duke University with an MBA. He is married with 2 children. Community passions include Emily K Family Life Center assisting working families to send their children to college, Computers For Youth providing computing resources to the disadvantaged, and Camp Kudzo supporting diabetic children.