Executive Leadership, Technology Marketing & Human Capital
Mark Bunting’s career has run the gamut from serial entrepreneur, C-level technology executive, professor, author, board member, television personality, venture partner and even retail and hospitality operator. His 35+ year career in Dallas/Austin/NY/SF/LA and Miami has included stints with The Wall Street Journal, SkyTV, Rackspace, McAfee, Apollo Education, the University of Texas @ Austin and countless other start-ups. His areas of influence includes technology, media, marketing, education (non & for-profit), human capital and restaurant/hotel tech. More recently his immersion in AI/ML (Artificial intelligence & Machine learning) has him focused more broadly on generative intelligence and its impact to both industry and society at large.
As founder and Chairman of his latest company “Grata” (gratitude in Italian)– he has been working passionately since 2019 to build & deploy the world’s first recognition platform to provide 80M front line hourly workers the recognition, resume and reward they so justly deserve (all the while providing HR performance data/analytics and reputation services to the brands that employ them). “We can use digital tools to make it easy to recognize and show appreciation to this group of employees who have gone under rewarded and underappreciated for far too long.” This greatly accelerates employee retention and job satisfaction and frankly – it’s the right thing to do for our hardworking peers.
Mark and his wife Kelly reside primarily in Dallas, TX with lots of time in Austin. They are the proud parents of 3 almost perfect children (Jeb, Skyler and Thomas) and one fabulous (new) daughter-in-law (McKenzie). A self-described “gym rat” – he is somewhat obsessed with fitness/nutrition and sunny afternoons on his boat on Lake Austin (next to the Hula Hut) – where he also enjoys an occasional margarita and cheap Tex-Mex. He might also have a decent fondness for cars (fast Italian ones). Lastly, he is a huge Texas Longhorn football (and Boston Celtics basketball) super fan.
Professor of Technology Marketing and Advertising & Entrepreneurship
In 2010 Mark accepted a position with The University of Texas @ Austin with an initial course designed to function as a primer for students wanting to enter the broad fields of “communications and marketing/advertising” (but specifically in the technology industry). That course grew to a weekly showcase featuring top-tier executives from advertising/PR/creative services as well as emerging platforms and technologies like Facebook, Google and TikTok. Additionally, thought leaders from social media, mobile, augmented reality, software & services, virtual reality and the emerging practice of AI bring true practioneer (hands on) insights and experiences to the class. Starting in 2018 (concurrent with Mark’s time as a Venture partner @ S3 Venture Capital) he began teaching 2 additional courses (both on entrepreneurship). Today in his 13th year – he lectures to approximately 700 students each weekly (in his 3 classes) on one very packed “Thursday” on the 40 Acres here at The University of Texas @ Austin.
Additionally, Mark became the first “Coach of Entrepreneurship” in Division 1 athletics under former head coach Tom Herman for the Texas Longhorn Football program. His mentorship of these athletes helped prepare todays players for the advent of NIL (Name Image and likeness) and contributed to the equity our student athletes.
Celebrated Offensive Coordinator in Tech – Former Chief Marketing Officer at Rackspace & McAfee
Marks occasional “gun for hire” gigs have included both McAfee (software) and Rackspace (Enterprise Services) and even a stop leading Strategy and Development on an assignment at Apollo Education / University of Phoenix (For-profit EDU). At the beginning of his career in technology (Silicon Valley & Houston) with The Wall Street Journal and even throughout his time as SkyTV’s “Computer Guy” – his tenure and depth as a technology marketer is hard to challenge. During his SkyTV time alone he worked with over 300 technology brands including multiyear relationships with Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, and Hewlett Packard (just to name a few). Even in his role as serial entrepreneur – his superpowers have always been around communication, team building, innovation and eventually driving growth. His portfolio of companies and products is deep and wide as is his collection of relationships within the marketing / agency community. Emerging technologies in the field of marketing and specifically content creation drives much of his curiosity and practice.
Serial Entrepreneur and Active in the Start-up World
Mark has been starting businesses as far back as his childhood. He graduated from mowing yards to launching a couple of money-making ventures in college. Even with his first real job at The Wall Street Journal – he had his “side hustle” before that was even an expression. With more than 3.5 decades in the industry Mark has worked in a myriad of technologies from enterprise software, networking, consumer services, dev-ops, infrastructure & cloud, security, social media, advent of mobile, human capital solutions, restaurant & hospitality tech and more recently in web 3.0 and even augmented reality. Likewise his start up life has been across the spectrum from media/entertainment and content to mobile photography, email and automated marketing services, enterprise Human Capital solutions and even restaurants and hospitality. “Since having some early success professionally – I have had the privilege to do things that really interest me and generally with people I really like.”