About Us

Our Experience and Approach

Xcel Ventures was founded in 1998 to  leverage our 35+ years of experience in the tech industry and our passion for helping companies succeed. 


Our services are grounded in deep  understanding of your customer and your goals. It starts with a comprehensive consult to help identify gaps and opportunities; from there we utilize a best practices approach and develop a plan where we can do it all, or work hand in hand with you and your team to deliver maximum value and achieve your goals. 


Talk to us today about how we can support your growth, empower your teams, and put you on a solid track to success and profit.

Why Us?

We are experienced; and offer the strategic insight and multi-dimensional skills of a large firm with the nimbleness and flexibility that comes with being small.  


Business mentors are key—that’s why when it comes to client selection, we’re choosy too.  We want to give each of you the time and guidance you deserve.  Whether you’re seeking a strategic alliance with the right partner or a special skillset or tool, call us today. No project is too small or too big. Together we’ll create and refine your plan for success. We didn’t get there alone. And neither will you. 

Susan Harman

Principal Consultant and Chief Xcelerator

High-energy, data driven and results-oriented business leader in Innovation, Product Management, Strategy, Marketing.  


Public Company Leadership Experience:

  

Citrix.  Raleigh, NC     

Director, ShareFile Product Line Management & Innovation. 

Business leader and general manager for the “ShareFile" product line, responsible for the growth and health of the SaaS ShareFile for business product line in regulated markets:  Accounting, Finance, Insurance and Legal markets.   Responsible for long-term strategic planning, innovation, cross-product initiatives and market validation of products. 


LexisNexis (Reed Elsevier).  Raleigh, NC           

Vice President, Product Management & Innovation. 

Business leader in a highly matrixed organization. General manager for a global SaaS solution. Responsible for innovation, commercialization strategy, go-to-market, product roadmap and requirements, strategic partnerships and P&L. Achieved goals of ease, speed, high NPS and ALM Innovation Award. Developed strategic relationship with Microsoft. Mentored and trained teams in areas of innovation and product management. 


Intuit. Mountain View, CA and San Diego, CA     

1. Innovation Leader. Promoted to this corporate position to enable business units to rapidly innovate and experiment in innovation and in Open Innovation initiatives with partners. Created an Innovation Labs, a sandbox for testing, open innovation relationships to enable business units to collaborate with third parties, a relationship with MIT Media Lab for co-creation of technology, a ‘Face of Innovation’ and Collaboration website, and Innovation challenges. 

2. Product Management: TurboTax and New Business Initiatives. Identified new product offerings in healthcare, benefits, financial services, credit and payments, digital wallet for TurboTax, Quicken, Mint, QuickBooks. Utilized lean start-up methodology, ‘Design for Delight’ principals, and 3rd party ecosystem relationships to identify best ideas to pursue and quickest path to results. Granted 1 US patent. Recognized at internal global event as innovation leader.  

  

Apple. Cupertino, CA and Atlanta, GA    

Manager, USA Small Business Market. Created the national Small Business Market business plan and strategy and executed on this opportunity for Apple; growing to $600 million revenue in 3 years (when Apple was valued at $3 billion). Was Apple’s subject matter expert and speaker at industry events that included speaking at the White House. 

Marketing Manager for Southern USA Operations. Developed TV and print advertising, and sales and marketing programs for initiatives in SMB, Consumer and Enterprise business in the midwest and southeast. 

  

Enghouse Interactive (formerly Syntellect).  Roswell, GA    

Director, Marketing & Corporate Communications.

Managed the marketing, demand gen, telesales, public relations, corporate communications and analyst relation functions for this public call center / IVR solutions company. Developed positioning, branding, sales enablement tools and demand generation programs contributing to $10 million in pipeline revenue within six months. 

  

Software Publishing Corporation. Mountain View, CA     

Product Manager, and Group Product Manager, and Partner Manager. 

Hired as first product manager. Efforts directly contributed to $3 million incremental revenue in 3 months, industry leadership and successful IPO. Launched 2 new software products and created a bundled offering for consumers / SMB; each became #1 bestsellers in their categories. Developed OEM relationships with IBM, SONY, and TANDY. 

  

National Data Corporation. Atlanta, GA    

Director, Product Marketing. 

Product marketing and strategy responsibility for $120 million electronic payment processing division (retail and financial markets) of this financial services and electronic payments company.   


Small Company Leadership Experience:

  

Masterpack ERP Systems. Atlanta, GA     

Vice President, Global Product Marketing and Corporate Communications.  

Managed Marketing, Product Marketing, Demand Gen, Strategy, Public Relations, Corporate Communication and Telemarketing functions to effectively compete as the underdog against SAP. Surpassed all goals and within a six-month period increased metrics: top of funnel by 1,000%, lead conversion by 200%.  

 

Melita Plc. Atlanta, GA     

Director, Product Management and Marketing.

Managed the Product Management, Marketing, Strategy, Public Relations, Lead Gen and Proposal teams for this leading call center technology company. Created a vertical market focus and instituted a product life cycle product management. Created sales enablement and marketing tools that resulted in exceeding all goals; increased top of funnel by 400%. 

  

Leadfusion.  San Diego, CA       

Director, Marketing.

Developed sales enablement tools, PR and corporate communications for SaaS financial services offering that enabled achievement of revenue goals. Earned ADDY award from the San Diego Advertising Club. 

  

Intradiem (formerly Knowlagent). Atlanta, GA    

Director, Product Management & Innovation.   

Re-defined, rebuilt and re-launched the flagship B2B eLearning/Performance Management product from a one off custom application to a standardized platform leveraging Agile, product life cycle processes and partnership with customers and third parties. Developed the go-to-market programs, marketing and sales enablement tools. 

PUBLICATIONS, PATENTS, CERTIFICATIONS, EDUCATION

PUBLICATIONS

  

Author: Digital Handshake; Finding Revenue in New Relationships. ASAE. 2002; focused on helping vendors and associations work together. 


Mentioned as an early adopter in: The Lean Brand (How brand innovation transforms organizations, discovers new value and creates passionate customers) by Jeremiah Gardner.   


Quoted in Collective Disruption (How corporations and startups can co-create transformative new businesses) by Michael Docherty 

PATENTS

  • “RECEIPT VISUALIZATION AND RECEIPT DATA APPLICATIONS”, US 8,095,439, 1/10/2012 
  • "METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR PRIORITIZING PERFORMANCE INTERVENTIONS" US 11,291,533, 12/1/2005 

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Pragmatic Marketing / Product Management
  • Rhythm Strategy

EDUCATION

  • B.S. Vassar College - Psychology & Education
  • Babson College MBA Program