We've been in your shoes!

Why Exponent was born

When I started my first company right out of school, I was shocked at how much I needed to know that I had never been taught. I was also hooked on startups!

Since then, I’ve spent most of my professional career in and around startups. Part of my involvement has always been around helping other startup founders to be successful.

Working in or with dozens of startups, I’ve seen recurring patterns and problems. Some were easy to deal with if you had seen them before, and some remained difficult. I started Exponent Advisors to deal with one of the persistent pain points: Founders often didn’t have all of the skills or knowledge to successfully execute on their vision and didn’t have the money to hire people with the requisite skills.

To address that, I’ve assembled a network of execution experts from a range of specialties, including operations, marketing, accounting, etc. Exponent Advisors was designed to fill your skills/knowledge gap with just the amount you need, without having to hire or commit to someone full time.

Although “Advisor” is in our name, we don’t just advise you. Occasional advice alone would be free. We help you execute on strategy, operations and tactics so that you can focus on what you do best. And since we don’t want to become your crutch, we train you and/or your staff to use whatever we set up, so that you can use us to do other things in other areas of your company, like prepare you for funding.

We’ve been around the block. We know what tools you need, how to set them up, and will do that with your specific needs and use cases in mind. We can help hire and/or manage remote resources, or assist with product management. With all that we can do, we are not for everyone. The only way for us to know is to start with a conversation. Either we have a great resource to help you succeed, or we aren’t the right fit. Let’s find out. The conversation is free and we’ll try to give you some actionable advice to remember us by either way, so you’ll think of us when the time is right, or refer us to another founder.

Tony Clemendor - Founding Partner

After graduating from Harvard Business School, I took the road less traveled and started my first company, Hidden Heritage, which I managed to sell 3 years later. For the next few years, I taught Business Planning and Startup Operations for a non-profit, city-sponsored program developed for low income founders and a for-profit program where I was lucky enough to work with an early innovation program in the aerospace field when the industry was facing a downturn.

I spent several years as an intrapreneur, creating systems for a startup group within Disney. I left when that group grew to over $4 billion and was recruited to join a Bay Area startup, Optionetics, as a cofounder. Our group grew Optionetics to over $80 million revenues prior to our acquisition by optionsXpress.

I’ve continued to feed my passion for all things startup through my involvement with the non-profit, BizWorld, which develops entrepreneurial programs for elementary and middle school age kids.

Before formally launching Exponent Advisors, I started advising several Bay Area startups and realized that while I enjoy advising, I was missing the hands on execution element, which I’ve made part of our model. Our network is comprised of similar, hands-on operators who love the energy and chaos of working from the inside to grow promising businesses.