Zach Clayton is CEO of Three Ships, which he founded in 2009. Three Ships builds world-class teams with the digital edge to create the next generation of market-leading businesses. The company incubates these digital first businesses by creating a clear data-driven strategy, building a best-in-class leadership team, and structuring strategic partnerships with advertisers and media companies to unlock growth through performance-based marketing programs. Currently, Three Ships has four independent companies as well as minority investments and joint ventures.

Two examples of how Three Ships adds value from incubation to exit are Demand Signals and Pillar4 Media. Three Ships incubated Demand Signals as a portfolio company, built a highly unique machine learning software product, and then exited the company, which was acquired by Tranzact (NYSE:WTW). Three Ships incubated the mattress review site, sourced and helped acquire several similar review sites, and ultimately spun out the business as Pillar4 Media, the marketplace leader in the mattress and fitness categories.

Zach is a “digital lifer.” He started New Media Campaigns, a web and application development firm, as an undergraduate and published his first research paper on social media well before Facebook was public or Instagram existed. He holds a BA from UNC Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar and elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar. Zach is the co-author of the best-selling leadership book True North. Zach serves on the boards of the Dix Park Conservancy and With Honor.