Mike Blake is the founder of Arpeggio Advisors, a boutique business appraisal and corporate strategy advisory firm in Atlanta. Mike’s background has included work in venture capital, investment banking, and public accounting.
For the first eight years of his career, Mike worked in venture capital and investment banking in the U.S. and abroad. Mike started his career running an entrepreneurship program for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to assist privatizing companies in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. He also worked for 2 years for Global Partner Ventures, a venture fund that invested in technologies related to the design, production or delivery of weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union, and converted them to civilian applications and market-driven businesses.
Since arriving in Atlanta in 2003, Mike has been applying his venture capital and technology venture knowledge in the local ecosystem. Mike co-founded StartupLounge, a nonprofit that helped emerging technology companies in Georgia raise over $10 million through education and networking events. In addition, Mike serves as an educator for entrepreneurs and a competition coach, having helped 7 teams win over $300,000 in cash and $2 million in professional services, as well as helping one team secure funding through ABC’s Shark Tank.
In 2005, Mike entered the business appraisal profession full-time, working most recently for Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP (the largest independent public accounting firm headquartered in Atlanta). Mike led HA&W’s effort to become the first appraisal practice in Georgia to earn the International Society of Business Analysts’ Gold Seal of Trust, the only peer review recognition for observing best practices in the business appraisal profession in the United States.
Mike has particular expertise in the appraisal of firms in the fields of professional services, information technology, aerospace, and alternative energy. In addition, he has developed specific expertise in the appraisal of emerging technology firms, intellectual property, and intangible assets.
Mike is an active educator. He is a Special Instructor of Business Valuation in the Georgia Tech/Emory University TI:GER (Technology Innovation: Generating Economic Results) program. In addition, he is regularly invited to provide instruction on entrepreneurship, corporate finance, and business valuation to graduate level classes at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, Kennesaw State University, the University of South Carolina, Georgia State University, and the University of Georgia. Furthermore, he regularly provides continuing professional education for his peers in the business valuation profession.
Mike earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and French (Cum Laude) from Franklin & Marshall College, from which he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. In addition, he holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Georgetown University. Mike is also a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2014.
Mike’s additional professional and community-service passions include supporting entrepreneurship through education and nonprofit board involvement, raising awareness of and funding to combat Lou Gehrig’s Disease, promoting alternative energy development through market forces, advocating for de-stigmatizing mental illness and disorders, and expanding the inclusiveness of the Atlanta high technology community.
Mike was recognized in 2009 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle for being one of the top 40 Executives Under 40 in the Atlanta area.
Mike speaks Russian, French, and Ukrainian, lives near Atlanta with his wife and two sons, and plays keyboards and vocals for Kickin’ Off the Coverz, a working classic rock cover band.
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