Hi, I’m Dan

I am a serial entrepreneur, starting several ventures spanning several industries and two decades. I have been a founder, CEO, CTO, and VP, as well as a mentor and advisor to other startups and founders. I’m happily married father of two, and former punk drummer in Los Angeles.

I’m always open to connect with interesting folks, so please reach out!

email: dbenyamin@gmail.com
https://twitter.com/dbenyamin
https://www.linkedin.com/in/danbenyamin/


Still Here? Read On!

I have had a life-long passion for technology and business, and how they intersect with our lives. I am especially interested in how innovation can be used in novel and oftentimes surprising applications. For over 20 years, I have developed or applied award-winning technologies used worldwide in a variety of industries. I have done this at both large-cap companies and three startups, two of which he was founder and officer.

Adtech: CitizenNet

In 2009, I founded and became CEO of CitizenNet. CitizenNet was one of the earliest platforms to leverage natural language processing, semantic analysis, and machine learning in order to predictively market to consumers on social media. Today, CitizenNet is the #1 platform for entertainment and branded content marketing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. In 2017, CitizenNet was acquired by Condé Nast, and has since gone on to receive numerous awards, most recently the Mobile Marketing Campaign of the Year in 2021.

Consumer Hardware: PhatNoise

Beyonce holding a PhatNoise PhatBox

Prior to CitizenNet, I was the Co-Founder and CTO of PhatNoise. PhatNoise developed the first software driven consumer MP3 device for the automotive industry, pre-dating the iPod by several years.

The company’s leading-edge designs and products have earned such accolades as Popular Science’s Best of What’s New, and PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice. In 2004, PhatNoise was winner of Frost and Sullivan’s Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award. If you’re interested, here’s a longer post about PhatNoise.

A year later, PhatNoise was acquired by Harman International (NYSE: HAR), where I continued as Vice President of Engineering. At Harman, I lead the teams that conceived and built the Drive+Play global line of iPod products.

These products have won Macworld’s Best of Show and the Consumer Electronics Association Innovations Award. It really was quite an amazing time.


Chips: Angeles Design Systems and Intel

Prior to PhatNoise, I was the first hire at a fledgling company started by two PhD students and a Professor at UCLA. Named Angeles Design Systems, the startup grew out of some DARPA projects we worked on at UCLA. While the company was successfully acquired by large IC EDA company, I always felt in retrospect it could have been much bigger! The company had some really neat technology that modeled the performance of signal processing applications against hardware designs – leading to very efficient implementations of things like image processing pipelines in early digital cameras.

I also spent about 9 months at Intel as a teenager! Did applications engineering for embedded processors. As you can tell, technology has been a lifetime passion.

Mentorship, Advising, Investing

Along the way, I have enjoyed working with other startups and entrepreneurs. I am consistently impressed by the drive, passion, and diversity of both thought and application by new founders. Their energy is infectious! I have mentored at Techstars, currently invest at The Fund, as well as personally advise a number of companies, especially through UCLA.

Education

I received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from University of California, Los Angeles, and am the principle author of more than a dozen patents and scientific articles.