Our dedicated mentor team plays a vital role on the success of TWO39 LABS and its participating startups.

Meet TWO39 LABS mentor, Carlos Blanco.

Carlos Blanco is a seasoned business executive and entrepreneur with extensive domestic and international sales, marketing, P&L and operational experience.

During his career, he held executive positions at world-class organizations with responsibility for driving business results and profitability via direct and indirect channels.

Currently, Blanco serves as the Senior Director Sales, Worldwide Cloud and Managed Service Providers. In this capacity, I have senior management and P&L responsibility for the service provider business worldwide.

What made you want to become a mentor for TWO39 LABS?

“I have been mentoring for a long time. I started a business when there were no accelerator programs and you could not Google any relevant information. I made a million mistakes- which is to be expected. Luckily, everything came out all right. But, I believe a lot of entrepreneurs today believe that their failures are possibilities. I believe in sharing those past experiences with entrepreneurs today and just reassuring them that it’s okay and the “plane can crash”. You really only learn that from experiences, and I enjoy sharing those experiences.”

What elements do you think make for a successful entrepreneurial community?

“I think you have to have a variety of different businesses. A major highlight (in the TWO39 LABS program) is the different businesses that are in the program. I think there is a lot to be learned from one business that can be applied to another. I would say the biggest thing is diversity in companies and entrepreneurial backgrounds.”

What value do you see in TWO39 LABS for southwest Florida and beyond?

“The void that you fill and the support that (the TWO39 LABS program) provides takes some businesses that would have failed otherwise, or would have never lived up to its full potential simply because they just didn’t know. (Programs) like this help to fill that void and help entrepreneurs become successful.”

Key takeaways you hope mentees take from TWO39 LABS?

“For me, it’s just watching them be successful and at the end of the process seeing their development and pivots to become a better business.”

More about Carlos Blanco:

In 2000, with the backing of private equity, he founded Next Level, a provider of sales, marketing and analytics services to technology companies in the US, Canada, EMEA and Latin America.

Clients of Next Level included, among others, Cisco, Intel, Seagate, Citrix, Microsoft, Oracle, Symantec, SAP, IBM, HP, ViewSonic, CA, NEC, Nortel, Sun, AMD, Autodesk and LG. In 2008, Next Level was acquired by Everything Channel (The Channel Company), a division of an international media conglomerate United Business Media.

After Next Level, Blanco founded three start-ups: The Big Kaboom, Pigs on the Roof and ER Texting. At each of these companies, he held a leadership role, a board seat and provided investment capital.

Currently, he supports and volunteers at Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement, The Chapman Partnership, Biznovator and Children's Home Society; also serving on the St. Brendan High School Board of Trustees.

Blanco’s Specialties include:

Routes to Market | Channel Strategy | Cloud | SaaS | Start-ups |Sales, Marketing and Management | Consulting |Networking | Senior Leadership | P&L | CEO | Finance | Managing Director | Alliances | Distribution

In the TWO39 LABS accelerator, selected entrepreneurs/startups participate in workshops, work with industry experts, and mentors to accelerate their companies. The 12-week cohort is followed by the final pitch- where entrepreneurs will present their companies to investors. The winner of the pitch contest will be awarded $5,000 at the end of the program. Follow along as we continue to update the startups process! Learn more about the TWO39 LABS entrepreneur accelerator program here:

The mission of TWO39 LABS is to provide startup companies and entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to accelerate growth and build successful companies. In turn, these companies will bring and retain economic opportunity, innovation, technology, and investment to Southwest Florida.