Professor Spotlight: Brandt Williams

Professor Spotlight: Brandt Williams

Nationality:  U.S.

Hobbies:  Fly Fishing, Hiking, Skiing, Musician

Favorite music band:  I have always been a huge fan of Eric Clapton but I have too many favorites to mention.  Add Chris Thile, Mike Dowling, Robert Earl Keen, Emmy Lou Harris, Lyle Lovett, Nicki Bloom and the Gramblers, Dave Alvin to the mix and you get an idea of my musical taste.

Favorite App:  Instagram for social media and Slack for work stuff

Favorite Book:  My all time favorite book is the Phantom Toll Booth


Background:  Brandt Williams has a knack for transforming ideas into Acquire-able, Invest-able and IPO-able ventures. In other words, he knows what it takes to develop and grow scalable and sustainable business models.

As a serial entrepreneur, Brandt has served in founder/co-founder, VP and/or CEO roles for six (6) early stage ventures. From co-founding an enterprise software venture that was later acquired by Amazon, to serving on the leadership team of a company that was invested in by Apple, Ernst & Young, RedRock and Sierra Ventures and later sold, to founding a company that developed proprietary web services for his past employer (First American Corporation).  Brandt spent several years at Microsoft and Apple.  During the 1990s’ he spent his time as a startup co-founder and eventually joined another Fortune 500 company to become the CMO of a large division.  The gravitational pull to smaller more nimble organizations was too strong.  Brandt is currently a Partner and Board Member at Zoo Labs, the Founder and CEO of SkipStone, and spends his downtime as an Adjunct Professor in the Design MBA Program at California College of the Arts.

Brandt takes a lean approach to business growth and wears many hats. His main strengths lie in his resourcefulness and ability to build revenue in a variety of industries. Brandt has succeeded in both mature and emerging market segments, with Fortune 500 companies and with high-growth early-stage ventures.

He can be traditional or disruptive, depending on the needs of the client and the organization.


Actual Occupation:  Partner and Board Member at Zoo Labs,  Founder and CEO of SkipStone, Adjunct Professor, California College of the Arts

Company website:


How did you first hear about the DMBA program?

“My first exposure to the DMBA program was around the time of it’s inception.  My wife is the current Chair of the Fashion Design Program at CCA.  There was a definite buzz about this new leading edge education curriculum.”

What drew you to teaching at this sort of program?

“I started teaching 2 years ago in the undergrad program.  I teach the only business class for undergraduate design students.  It was a class that originally a Fashion business class that we morphed into a more general business class for all design students.  I have been a business models strategist for many years and the opportunity to teach Business Models and Stakeholders came up and Nathan asked if I would be interested.  I said yes…”

What aspects of your background influenced your draw to this program?

“For the past 10 or 15 years or so I have focused my professional life in working with businesses or divisions of large enterprises on creating revenue.  Most recently as a CMO at a Fortune 500 company I took it upon myself to be the advocate of for revenue generation.  The future of work is changing and I want to share my experience with younger professionals that are eager to be change agents.”

What attributes to you commonly see with DMBA student?

“The students are intelligent and passionate and eager to learn.  This is a perfect combination to take advantage of everything that the CCA DMBA program has to offer.”