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About Matt

Guest Shark on Shark Tank, Bestselling Author, ‘Burn the Boats’

Matt Higgins is one of the preeminent investors in the consumer, sports, and entertainment space. Created alongside Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, RSE Ventures has built an expansive multi-billion-dollar investment portfolio of over 100 leading brands and unicorns across sports and entertainment, media and marketing, consumer and technology industries – including several of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies.

Higgins became one of the first employees – and ultimately Chief Operating Officer – of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the federally funded government agency created to plan the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site. Mr. 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.

Making his mark on two NFL franchises, Mr. Higgins spent 15 years in senior leadership positions with National Football League teams, overseeing the revenue functions of the New York Jets as Executive Vice President of Business Operations, and then serving as Vice Chairman of the Miami Dolphins from 2012–2021.

Higgins serves as an Executive Fellow at the Harvard Business School, co-teaching the course “Moving Beyond Direct-to-Consumer”, the leading course on direct-to-consumer brands in the United States. Making a splash on ABC’s Shark Tank, Matt joined the likes of Chris Sacca and Sara Blakely, as a Guest Shark on the Emmy award-winning TV show during seasons 10-11. In 2023, his debut book, Burn the Boats, landed on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list.

Pushing the boundaries of the consumer experience, Higgins expanded RSE’s focus to scale some of New York City’s most iconic brands, from Magnolia Bakery, David Chang’s Momofuku and Milk Bar to &pizza and Bluestone Lane. Higgins has overseen the expansion of these concepts into grocery stores, with the launch of CPG products all across America. From Magnolia Bakery’s soft baked cookies in concession stands at the U.S. Open, Milk Bar’s famed ice cream hitting the freezer aisle, and Momofuku’s Chili Crunch Oil becoming a household pantry staple, Higgins has taken these quintessential brands global. With investments in Magic Spoon, Gorgie, Outstanding Foods, and Banza, Higgins has become a proven backer of the next generation of new wave brands disrupting the CPG space.

Additional highlights of RSE’s portfolio include Resy, an Open Table competitor acquired by American Express in 2019; MSCHF, the art collective of the zeitgeist; Beta Technologies, building a next generation electric vertical take-off and landing (evTOL) aircraft; and Relevent Sports, a media rights agency, with a joint venture with global soccer leagues Premier League and LaLiga, organizing matches around the world attended by over 365,000 fans in US and Mexico. Higgins is also co-owner of VaynerMedia, the largest social-media-first agency in the world founded by Gary Vaynerchuk.

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.

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 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.”
Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce

“Matt was a hit!!!!!”
Speech Topics

The Art of Scaling Innovation: Drones, Cupcakes, and UV Light

An exhilarating exploration of the dynamics behind scaling innovation across diverse industries, Matt will take you on a journey that transcends traditional boundaries, where he explains how drones, cupcakes, and UV light can showcase the fascinating future of entrepreneurship. Discover how Matt leveraged his visionary mindset to navigate the complexities of scaling innovation. With investments industries far and wide, Matt has numerous examples of building businesses from consumer driven platforms to industrial applications, and scaling local favorites to international conglomerates. Unearth the strategies, insights, and experiences that have propelled Matt to success in diverse domains. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, an innovator, or simply curious about the art of scaling innovation, this talk will provide you with valuable takeaways and inspiration to embark on your own groundbreaking ventures.

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.