Smarterer People

Dave Balter, Co-Founder, Executive Chairman
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Dave Balter

Co-Founder, Executive Chairman

Dave created the vision and original seed funding for Smarterer, his 5th startup. He remains actively involved in the strategy and direction of the business.

Dave is the founder and CEO of BzzAgent, Inc., a venture-backed social marketing firm which has delivered more than 2,000 programs for the world’s largest brands. Prior to launching BzzAgent in 2001, Dave ran and sold two promotions agencies, and even wore a suit to work for a few years in the financial marketing industry. Since its launch, BzzAgent has been featured everywhere from the CBS Evening News to the BBC to The New York Times Sunday Magazine, and is the subject of two Harvard Business School cases. Dave co-founded the Word of Mouth Marketing Association in 2004 (WOMMA) and has authored two books on the subject of Word of Mouth and Social Media, Grapevine and The Word of Mouth Manual: Volume II.

In 2007, Harvard Business School dubbed Dave one of Boston’s “Hottest Technology CEOs.” Dave was named to the “40 under 40” list by The Boston Business Journal and Advertising Specialty Institute, and in 2008, Dave was recognized as a Future Legend by the AdClub. Dave is an active angel investor, including startups like FitnessKeeper, ProctorCam, E La Carte and Relay Rides and sits on the advisory boards of the Wharton Future of Advertising Project, Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange, and the Boston Boys & Girls Club Marketing and Communications Committee.

Sarah Hodges
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Sarah Hodges

VP Marketing and Strategy

Sarah runs Marketing at Smarterer, is an advisor to Flybridge Capital and is the co-founder of, a learning campus that lets entrepreneurs learn from experts. Prior to Smarterer, she helped RunKeeper grow to a community of over 10M passionate users as the Director of Marketing. Before RunKeeper, she led web analytics and online optimization at Carbonite leading up to the company’s 2010 IPO. She learned the ropes in online marketing as the co-owner of Pavo Real, a women’s clothing ecommerce site. Sarah likes pisco sours, long walks on the beach and unicorns. She wishes she hadn’t spent so much money on her MBA.

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Daniel Pratt

Product and Business Development

Daniel is a marketer with a passion for helping communities grow both online and offline.

Prior to joining Smarterer, Daniel studied Political Science at Suffolk University in Boston, MA. His love of entrepreneurship grew after traveling to Central Europe and Central America to conduct research on street food vendors and their impact on the informal economy.

Daniel is a proud graduate of the inaugural class of Boston Startup School, and sits on its board of alumni. When he’s not busting out some serious metrics, you can find him cooking something tasty and brewing some of the finest beers around.

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Luke Miller

Content Management Associate

As a content manager, Luke ensures that the Smarterer community maintains the highest quality tests around.

Prior to joining Smarterer, Luke studied Philosophy and played football at Brown University. After graduating, he moved to Boston in search of a career with an exciting startup. His love for complex challenges and simple solutions made Smarterer a natural fit.

He started as a summer intern and they still can’t seem to get rid of him. Luke likes new music, feral cats, and Philly sports teams.

Michael Kowalchik, Co-Founder, CTO
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Michael Kowalchik

Co-Founder, CTO

Michael is an Internet technologist and innovator. Before co-founding Smarterer, Michael was co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Grazr, a web technology company based on web feeds and social media data analysis, where he led the engineering team.

Prior to co-founding Grazr corp, Michael worked for seven years in in the advanced research and development labs of Hopkinton, MA based EMC Corporation and before their acquisition by EMC, Data General Corporation. He worked with cutting-edge distributed computing and storage architectures, parallel processing, hardware, software and systems design and analysis. While at EMC, Michael was awarded patents on large-scale, high-performance, storage architectures.

Michael is also founder of TenZeroLab, a mentoring project for startups. He actively helps first-time entrepreneurs and provides technical assistance and advice to others in the Boston startup community.

David Sturgis
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David Sturgis

Software Engineer

David Sturgis is a software developer and architect with over a decade of experience building packaged enterprise software for vertical markets.

Before joining Smarterer, Dave spent 12 years as a software developer for DCIT, an enterprise business applications company, where he specialized in data management, analytics, and e-commerce connectivity. He has also worked as a Boston area technology consultant for Divmod, Inc, assisting web developers and companies with security, database technology, and backend web development.

In the open source community, Dave is a frequent contributor to (and sprint coordinator for) the popular Twisted networking engine. In his spare time, he writes interactive fiction, cooks, and gardens, though not necessarily in that order.

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Joe Quinn

Community Manager

Joe is an up and coming marketer and communicator with a passion for genuine relationship cultivation and organic community growth.

Before embarking on his Smarterer adventure, Joe earned a Communication and Natural Resource Conservation degree from UMASS – Amherst. He went on to work alongside conservation minded organizations Remineralize the Earth, Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, and the North Quabbin Regional Landscape Partnership as he increased their visibility both online and off.

Joe has jumped headfirst into the startup scene with engaging written content and a personal social media voice. When not speckling blog posts and Tweets with lame pop culture references, Joe can be found rocking out to Scandinavian black metal, scoping out the best vegetarian eats, and shredding gnar.

Jim Myers
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Jim Myers

Software Engineer

Jim is a software developer with a passion for entrepreneurship, internet tech and tackling tough challenges.

Prior to joining Smarterer, Jim co-founded the career knowledge-base Lend Experience, which allows professionals to easily give-back their career experiences to students. Jim is also actively involved in data modeling via his research in the market for Financial Transmission Rights, a type of energy derivative, where he and his collaborators developed the first framework for modeling risk and abnormal returns in these markets.

Jim's interest in modeling doesn't just end with data. The lethal combo of short-shorts and a chiseled jawline earned him a stellar roster picture for the Gettysburg College Cross Country Team. When he isn't striking a pose, Jim enjoys mountain biking, cooking, running and from time-to-time wood-working.