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About Matt

Co-Founder and CEO, RSE Ventures, Guest Shark, Shark Tank, Executive Fellow, Harvard Business School

Matt Higgins is the CEO of RSE Ventures, an incubator and investment firm that he co-founded in 2012 to pursue opportunities in the sports, media, entertainment, food, and technology sectors. He’s also the Chairman and CEO of Omnichannel Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: OCA). 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.

A lifelong New Yorker, Higgins spent much of his early career in public service at the site of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil. He was appointed one of the first employees — and ultimately Chief Operating Officer — of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the $2 billion dollar federally funded government agency created to plan and oversee the rebuilding of the 16-acre 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 One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the United States.

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After transitioning to the private sector, Higgins has spent 15 years affiliated 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 Chair of the Miami Dolphins from 2012 - 2021. At RSE Ventures (“RSE”), Higgins has incubated numerous businesses and successfully backed many challenger brands from inception, including RESY, an OpenTable competitor that American Express acquired in 2019; Drone Racing League, the world’s premier drone racing circuit; and the International Champions Cup, the largest privately-owned soccer tournament featuring Europe’s top clubs. Starting in 2016, he broadened RSE’s focus to rapidly expanding food concepts including David Chang’s Momofuku, Fuku, Milk Bar, &pizza, and Bluestone Lane.

Higgins has a deep lens into consumer trends through RSE’s partnership with Gary Vaynerchuk in the leading digital-first marketing firm VaynerMedia. Higgins was the agency’s first client over a decade ago and RSE went on to acquire a significant ownership stake in the business. The agency has over 900 employees and is regarded as one of the top advisors to Fortune 500 companies on emerging marketing strategies before they go mainstream — including, for example, serving as the U.S. agency of record for TikTok. Through RSE, Higgins also teamed up with Jesse Derris to launch a brand strategy and communications firm that over the years has represented a number of leading DTC brands, including Warby Parker, Harry’s, Reformation and Everlane. Through RSE’s affiliated venture fund, Amity Supply, Higgins is an early shareholder in many disruptive brands, including Hims.

Higgins is an Executive Fellow at the Harvard Business School, where he co-teaches a course on emerging consumer trends with Professor Len Schlesinger, “Moving Beyond DTC,” through Harvard’s Short Immersive Program (SIP). Higgins also has been a guest shark on ABC’s hit show, Shark Tank, appearing on seasons 10 and 11, and Harper Collins’ William Murrow imprint will release his book, “Burn the Boats!,” in 2022. In 2019, he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, joining the ranks of seven former U.S. presidents, Nobel Prize winners and other leaders for work to improve society. He is also a longstanding board member of Autism Speaks. 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.

National Dance Institute

Matt was a hit!!!!!

Chase

"Our attendees definitely valued his feedback and sat up straighter when he was talking. I’d say his charisma and energy was very well-received. It went great!"

By Creators, For Creators
What Matt Talks About

Shark Tales

It’s not about where you began; it’s where you end up, and how much distance you covered. Dropping out of high school is not the typical path to success, but when growing up on government cheese, with the responsibility of caring for his sick mother, Matt was forced to think differently. Matt shares the lessons he learned from his humble beginnings, working for Mayor Rudy Giuliani during 9/11, and as a young sports executive that led him to earn a seat as a Shark.

Investing in Entrepreneurs – How to Identify Opportunity

With an eye towards innovation, Matt has led investments in companies including Momofuku, MilkBar, the Drone Racing League, Resy, Bluestone Lane and VaynerMedia. By examining the people behind the brand, to see the true vision ahead, Matt helps describe what successful investing can look like.