Tastemaker X

The Team

TastemakerX Team Marc

Marc Ruxin

Co-founder & CEO

Marc has been obsessing about music since the age of six when he first discovered the Beatles, wedged between Joan Baez and Brahms in his parents scant record collection.
After college he got lucky and landed the prestigious job of "Assistant to the Assistant" to the President of EMI Records group. After successfully mastering the stressful world of lunch ordering and laundry pick-up he got his dream job in the A&R department as a scout. Suspecting that the modern world was passing the music business by, he went back to business school to try to get a more specific handle on the wacky world of big business.

After school he worked at WPP Group, where he was a Marketing Fellow and ultimately led corporate ventures on the West Coast. Soon after arriving in SF he caught the internet bug and helped run one of the earliest user generated video sites (Eveo) and MPEG4 companies (iVast). Both were a bunch of years too early. Just prior to founding TastemakerX, which he had been plotting for the better part of 25 years, Marc was the Chief Innovation Officer, for McCann Erikson and Universal McCann helping big brands create better, cooler digital advertising with emerging platforms.

Marc sits on the Boards and Advisory Boards of numerous adtech and consumer internet start-ups in Silicon Valley as well as being on the BoD of the San Francisco Film Society. Marc has a BA from Hamilton College and an MBA from Columbia Business School, and lives in San Francisco with his wife and three children. Marc blogs about music and film at www.snoozebutton.com and other slightly larger publications.

Best Concert

Jeff Buckley, Fez Bar, 1993

Desert Island Band

Velvet Underground

Favorite All Time Album

Nick Drake 'Bryter Layter'

TastemakerX Team Sandro

Sandro Pugliese

Co-founder, CTO & Chief Product Wrangler

As a serial entrepreneur, Sandro built his career by following his passions for technology and music. He has always looked for ways to fuze these two loves. His experience includes A&R at EMI, Elektra and Arista Records, co-founding and serving as the technology partner at RedStapler, a boutique interactive agency, and most recently a Co-Founder of Sooloos, a luxury digital music server business acquired by Meridian Audio. He has also delved into the world of analytics and business intelligence with his close friends at Tenthwave Digital. Sandro has a BA from Hamilton College and lives in DUMBO Brooklyn with his wife and son.

Best Concert

Lazy Dog, Nikki Beach Club, South Beach 2002

Desert Island Band


Favorite All Time Album

Jeff Buckley 'Grace'

TastemakerX Team Jesse

Jesse Jimenez

Co-founder & VP Software Dev

As a Technology Maven and serial entrepreneur, Jesse has been developing cutting edge technology for over a decade. He got his start architecting financial applications for Fortune 100 company TIAA-CREF and went on to found several successful software companies in NYC. Most recently, he co-founded Agave Lab, a mobile and social app R&D center based in Guadalajara, Mexico. Jesse holds a black belt in Hap-Ki Do, is addicted to video games, coffee, and cooking.

Best Concert

Morrisey, Teatro Diana, GDL 2011

Desert Island Band

Nick Cave

Favorite All Time Album

The Cure 'Half an Octopuss & Quadpus'

TastemakerX Team Andy

Andy Kieffer

VP Product Development

Andy Kieffer is an early stage software exec with a long history in venture backed startups. Before moving to Mexico, he helped run a Kleiner Perkins-backed social networking startup (Visible Path). He was an advisor at a seed stage venture fund (Starter Fluid), and helped grow a 10 person startup to 1000+ employees and billions of dollars of market valuation (Kana). He can also drink more tequila than the rest of the team, combined.

Best Concert

Zappa, 1984, Turn of the Century Theater in Denver

Desert Island Band

Tom Waits

Favorite All Time Album

Lou Reed 'Berlin'


Tastemaking investors include: Guggenheim Partners (Billboard, C3, Variety Magazine), Baseline Ventures (Task Rabbit, Instagram), True Ventures (Schematic Labs, Automattic) AOL Ventures (bit.ly, Solve Media) and Tekton Ventures (Seamless Receipts, DoodleDeals). Additionally the company has attracted advisors and angel investors from the music industry and the media world including John Battelle, Marc Geiger, Ian Rogers, Mich Mathews, Paul Bricault, Andrew Anker, Ted Rheingold and Michael Kassan.