Guest Shark on Shark Tank, Bestselling Author, ‘Burn the Boats’
Matt Higgins is a noted serial entrepreneur and growth equity investor as Cofounder & CEO of private investment firm, RSE Ventures. He’s also Host/Executive Producer of a new CNBC series “Business Hunters” (premiering this Fall) and is an Executive Fellow at the Harvard Business School where he co-teaches the course, “Moving Beyond Direct-to-Consumer.” His first book, “Burn The Boats,” was published by Harper Collins William Morrow in 2023. Higgins’ deep operating experience spans multiple industries over his 25-year career, which he draws upon to help founders navigate complex situations in order to reach their full potential.
Higgins began his career in public service as a journalist before becoming the youngest mayoral press secretary in New York City at 26, where he managed the global media response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He then became one of the first employees – and ultimately Chief Operating Officer – of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the federally funded government agency created to rebuild the World Trade Center site. Higgins helped organize the largest international design competition in history culminating in Reflecting Absence, the September 11th National Memorial, and the development of the 1,776-feet-tall One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the northern hemisphere.
Higgins has deep experience in sports, having spent 15 years in senior leadership positions with National Football League teams. He made his mark with two NFL franchises, overseeing the revenue functions of the New York Jets as Executive Vice President of Business Operations, and after leaving the Jets, serving as Vice Chairman of the Miami Dolphins from 2012 – 2021. Higgins cofounded New York City-based RSE Ventures in 2012 alongside developer Stephen M. Ross, amassing a multi-billion-dollar investment portfolio of leading brands across sports and entertainment, media and marketing, food and lifestyle, and technology industries. NYC’s iconic Magnolia Bakery is one of the latest additions to a portfolio that includes David Chang’s renowned culinary brand, Momofuku, and Australian-inspired hospitality/lifestyle brand, Bluestone Lane.
RSE has successfully backed many challenger brands from inception, including RESY, an Open Table competitor that American Express acquired in 2019; the Drone Racing League, which was named among Fast Company’s 10 Most Innovative Sports Companies; and Relevent Sports, the leading international soccer agency in the US. Higgins was the first client and ultimately only partner in VaynerMedia, the largest social-media first agency in the world founded by Gary Vaynerchuk – recently named Adweek’s 2022 Breakthrough Media Agency of the Year and ranked #5 on Ad Age’s 2022 Agency A-List.
Higgins’ reputation as a self-made serial entrepreneur earned him a spot as a recurring guest Shark on the Emmy award-winning TV show Shark Tank during seasons 10 and 11. In 2019, he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, joining the ranks of seven former US presidents, Nobel Prize winners and other leaders for work to improve society. He is also a longstanding board member of Autism Speaks, advocating for scientific research and greater acceptance of neurodiversity. Mr. Higgins received his Bachelor of Arts in political science and honorary doctorate from Queens College and his J.D. from Fordham Law, where he was a member of the Fordham Law Review.
Matt in Action
“Thank you for gracing us with your participation at our Gala and helping to make the evening a resounding success. What a gift it was to have you there to present. Thank you for sharing your story – everyone in the room was profoundly moved by your words. It was an honor to meet you.”
“Matt Higgins was very well spoken and he spoke from his heart. I won’t forget his words anytime soon. Our post-event survey responses on Matt have all been 5 star! He really connected with the audience, and with the community. The energy in the room was vibrant! Matt was outstanding.”
“Matt was a hit!!!!!”