Bob Cooper – Founder & Managing Partner
Bob Cooper is the founder and Managing Partner of Frontier Service Design, LLC, a consulting firm that works with corporate clients to identify, design, build and launch innovative services that create new and recurring revenue streams. With over 25 years of experience in marketing, branding, technology development, interactive media, business design and executive leadership, he has launched one of the first firms in the United States to focus exclusively on service design. In fact, this is his second time on the “frontier” of a macro trend.
In 1991, at the age of 29, Bob Cooper quit his full-time marketing job, raised a small amount of angel investment money and started an interactive marketing company called Frontier Media Group, Inc., based in Malvern, PA. The company was a pioneer in the development of high-impact multimedia for sales support, training and entertainment. Over the next seven years, Frontier Media Group grew to become an internationally recognized firm, employing over 75 people with consistent net profits in the upper teens. Leveraging the advent of the World Wide Web in 1995, the company was well regarded for its consulting, design and production services related to interactive marketing for Fortune 500 clients including: Merrill Lynch, Procter & Gamble, Pfizer, Bell Atlantic, Du Pont, Comcast, Rohm & Haas, ARAMCO, Children’s Television Workshop, the Philadelphia Flyers and others. Frontier worked with clients in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Japan and Saudi Arabia.
Frontier was recognized by AdWeek as one of the nations’ “Top 50 Interactive Agencies;” by Deloitte & Touche as one of the “Fast 50,” a list of the 50 fastest growing technology firms in the mid-Atlantic region; and by the Philadelphia Business Journal as one of the 100 fastest growing private companies in the Philadelphia region. In 1998, Cooper was honored to be recognized as “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the local Chamber of Commerce.
Realizing that time was right, Cooper decided to sell Frontier in May of 1998 to Icon CMT, a NASDAQ traded company based in Weehawken, NJ. In doing so he earned his investors a 70X return on their investment. Four months later, Qwest Communications (NASD: Q), acquired Icon CMT for its Internet infrastructure and professional services capabilities. At Qwest, Cooper served as Senior Vice President in charge of Strategic Consulting where he built a nationwide staff and worked closely with Qwest’s major account teams to develop Internet and e-commerce strategies for Fortune 100 corporations. He left Qwest in the fall of 1999 to launch his own consulting firm, Ricochet, Inc., and worked with a wide variety of start-up entrepreneurs and venture capital firms in fund-raising and due diligence efforts.
From 2001 to 2002, Cooper served as turnaround CEO for Vertical Alliance, Inc. , a VC-funded enterprise CRM application developer in Plymouth Meeting, PA that had fallen on hard times as a result of the economic downturn. Very quickly, he repositioned this technology product company into an ASP (application services provider) for the sports and entertainment ticketing industry and within nine months found a strategic buyer for the company. The company is still serving the ticketing industry as Vertex Tickets.
In 2004, Cooper served as turnaround CEO for RealTime Media , an online marketing firm based in King of Prussia, PA. While there, he streamlined operations and established a new market position for the company – compliance-based marketing – which leveraged the company’s expertise in the legal aspects of web marketing. In addition, he helped to recruit a new full-time CEO who continues to grow the business. .
In 2005, Cooper served as interim COO for Qbit, LLC, a data compression software firm in Bethesda, MD co-founded by John Sculley, the former CEO of Apple Computers. While there, he clarified the company’s strategic position within the entertainment and consumer electronics industry.
From 2005 until 2008, Cooper worked with CEOs of mid-sized businesses to refine their strategies and build their revenues. Much of this work centered around identifying entirely new sources of revenue, as well as sources of recurring revenues that could be locked in over time. Beyond coming up with the ideas, Cooper also oversaw the market research, the service design and the marketing launches of all these projects. During this period, he also served as an adjunct professor in the MBA program at Penn State, where he designed and delivered a course entitled, “Growing a Professional Services Firm.”
In 2007, Cooper helped raise the initial venture funding for AnySource Media LLC, a developer of software that could be embedded directly into HDTVs and other consumer electronics devices with a data center back-end to support easy and fast TV navigation and e-commerce transactions. Just two years later, AnySource was acquired for $15 million by DivX, Inc (NASDAQ: DIVX) and the core AnySource software was integrated into LG HDTV and Blu-Ray players. Since then, DivX was acquired by Sonic Solutions, which was then acquired by Rovi.
In fall of 2008, Cooper launched Frontier Service Design, LLC a consulting firm, focused on helping clients improve, diversify and increase their service revenues. Clients have included Fortune 500 clients such as American Express Business Travel, Wyndham Worldwide, IKON Office Solutions, and Johnson Controls, as well as small to mid-size companies and startups.
In 2011, Cooper helped co-found Zonoff, Inc., a firm that provides a comprehensive software platform to channel partners like electronic device makers, service providers and retailers who, in turn, deliver “Connected Home” products and services to the consumer mass market. In addition to being an investor, he also serves on the board of directors.
Cooper holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is a frequent speaker and has conducted workshops for a variety of venues including Entrepreneur’s Forum of Philadelphia, Drexel University Business Plan Competition and Philadelphia Business Journal “Philadelphia 100” Conference. He had lectured for graduate level courses at Drexel University, Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and Penn State. Cooper co-authored a book about Philadelphia-based entrepreneurs entitled, “Dream, Inc.”, and has been recognized as “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the local Chamber of Commerce.
Cooper has served on the boards of various Philadelphia area companies and non-profit organizations including AnySource Media ; FMP Media Solutions ; ColorQuick ; and the External Affairs Committee of the Penn Center for Bio-Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves on the boards of Zonoff, Inc and JW Pepper, and maintains offices in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania and St. Augustine, Florida.