Cole, an entrepreneur and visionary in the licensing and fashion industry has been credited with pioneering the asset-light business model of brand management. As the Founder of Iconix Brand Group, Inc., he built a diversified portfolio of intellectual properties across fashion, home and entertainment based brands. Under Cole’s leadership, Iconix grew to be the second largest licensing company in the world. Prior to founding Iconix in 2005, Cole was the Chairman and CEO of Candie’s, Inc. for over a decade. Cole transformed the then known footwear brand into a global lifestyle brand. Earlier in his career, Cole founded his first start-up, New Retail Concepts, Inc. in 1986. New Retail Concepts was the creator the famous jeans brand, No Excuses.
In addition to building a global multi-billion dollar business, Cole has been a longtime supporter of women’s issues. He founded The Candie’s Foundation in 2001, a not-for-profit organization that worked to educate America’s youth about the devastating consequences of teenage pregnancy. Since its peak in 1991, the teen birth rate declined by 67%. The Foundation recently underwent a rebranding and is now TheNext.Org continuing its work for the prevention of teen pregnancy. He was also the leader of the team that created the Women’s Equality Party in New York State. Cole is also on the Board of Directors of The Mount Sinai Children’s Center Foundation, Crutches 4 Kids and was also a member of Governor Cuomo’s SAGE Commission.
Serge Kassardjian was the former Global Head of Media Apps for Google Play and Android leading global business development efforts with Media companies including Entertainment, Video, Sports, News, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Cable verticals. He was on the launch team for Daydream Virtual Reality, Android TV, ARCore and various mobile and tablet Android devices. Kassardjian formerly worked on incubation businesses in Google’s GeoCommerce division, focused on Payments and Offers and was a member of the original Google Wallet launch team doing merchant partnerships. He also was a Venture Capital Investor at Globespan Capital Partners and Corporate Development Director in Sony Music’s Global Digital Business. He started his career as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley. He is currently an active angel investor and advisor in various startups. Kassardjian received his MBA from Harvard and Bachelors and Masters in Engineering from Stanford where he was the President of his class.