CEO of Rookie Road Michael Gursha ’10 (Whitman and Newhouse) joins us to talk about startup life on June 10

Join Syracuse University alumnus Mike Gursha for a Fireside Chat via Zoom Wednesday, June 10 at 3 p.m. to informally talk about “startup life” — from building a team and company culture, to finding smart partners and smart money.  The event, which is part of a series of “Tea Talks” in partnership with The Republic of Tea, is open to the community.  The Zoom link is here.

Gursha will be sharing his perspective as chairman and CEO of Portland based Rookie Road, Inc., a one of a kind digital destination that provides the rules, lingo, and gameplay for a variety of sports in an easy to understand way. He became CEO in 2016 after serving as a special advisor to the founder.

Before Joining Rookie Road, Inc., Gursha was appointed as the inaugural entrepreneur-in-residence at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, one of the nation’s top schools of communications. At Newhouse, Gursha worked with students, faculty & staff on entrepreneurship & innovation, lectured at Newhouse and other schools on Syracuse University’s campus and helped administration/senior leadership with new strategic ideas around innovation. He also co-taught a course called New Ventures in Media.

Prior to Newhouse, Gursha was the vice president of strategic initiatives at Curemark, LLC, a New York-based biotechnology company focused on the treatment of neurological disorders. Gursha was one of the initial team members at Curemark and, over the years, held various positions with the company, including director of business development.

Earlier in his career, Gursha’s interest in technology led him to Google, where, at age 18, he spent two summers working in the new business development group at the Mountain View, California headquarters. During his time there, he assisted the team responsible for improving the Google Search Index and supported the director of business development on early-stage partnerships for Google Health. He also spent several months at Time Inc. Home Entertainment, working on new product development for major brands such as People, InStyle, Sports Illustrated & Time magazine.

Gursha serves on the board of directors for America On Tech a non-profit focused on technology education. He also serves of the board of directors of the contemporary art council for the Portland Art Museum and is a member of the Whitman School of Management’s advisory council at Syracuse University. In addition, he serves on the board of directors for PowerSpike, a private venture backed company started by Syracuse University alumni and incubated in the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at Syracuse University. 

Gursha is interested in mentoring other SU student startups.

Gursha graduated Magna Cum Laude from Syracuse University in 2010 with a dual degree from both the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. He got his entrepreneurial start as a student when he won Whitman’s Panasci Business Plan Competition for Dream Water, a sleep-aid beverage to improve quality of sleep.