Co-Founder & General Partner
The right actions for the right reasons generally result in the right outcomes over time.
Tobin’s mantra of “do well while doing good” led him to join his fellow co-founder, Tom Looney, in the formation of Seahawk Innovation Management. His vision and leadership have helped Seahawk Innovation Management quickly grow into a unique model to launch, fund, expand, and manage innovative businesses.
He has an extensive background in business start-ups, expansions, and technology applications. He was founder and Chairman of the Board of PharmaTech Solutions in 1999; he then became CEO and Chairman of the Board of Inclinix, Inc. He has been instrumental in the founding and development of several successful ventures, introducing innovative technologies to improve operating processes, including the Inclinix VMR™ technology.
Tobin’s venture capital experience includes his role as a Special General Partner at Aurora Funds II, a $75MM technology venture fund, and as a LP investor in two additional venture funds. Tobin has also founded, funded, operated, and successfully exited several companies including Applied Chemical Solutions, Supercritical Systems, and Discrete Wireless; a set of deals that returned high multiples to pleased investors!
As CEO of 5 private companies, board chairman at six firms, and a board member of a publicly traded company, Tobin has developed and maintains a business development and investment network in the technology and pharmaceutical industries spanning Asia and Europe, with a number of investment banking relationships. He holds nine (9) patents related to his degree in Chemistry from West Virginia University (C’81) where he was also a scholarship football athlete.
Tobin enjoys spending time with his wife and son and is always ready for a tennis match.
Win the Day!
Tom is a team-builder who enjoys winning. His keen interest in community and economic development, as well as entrepreneurship, helped to inspire the formation of Seahawk Innovation and its public-private partnership with UNCW. Tom is primarily focused on strategy development and external communications.
Tom’s career as a high-tech sales and business development executive mirrored the explosive growth of the industry he entered in 1982. Highlights include stints at Oracle Corp, NeXT (Apple), Active Software (Software AG) and NextChannel Partners (Microsoft). Tom earned undergraduate and graduate (MBA) degrees from Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland.He attended “The Mount” on a basketball scholarship and was inducted into the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame with teammates from his renowned 1981 team.
Tom and his wife Trish have two young adult sons. He enjoys reading, playing piano and his daily exercise regime. Diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) in 2008, Tom’s passion these days is in helping other patients and family caregivers cope with and optimally manage this rare, progressive neurological disease.
It always seems impossible until it's done.
Brendan brings a great deal of international business experience to Seahawk. Brendan co-founded WindRose Capital Ltd., a London-based advisory firm that specializes in sourcing and structuring early stage investments in African and South American energy and infrastructure projects for European institutional investors. Prior to founding WindRose, Brendan invested private equity and hedge fund capital across multiple industries with firms including DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, the flagship fund of Credit Suisse Private Equity. In addition, he independently advised Dutch Bank Insinger de Beaufort on the disposal of its UK businesses.
Brendan met his wife Marsha, a Wilmington native, while they were both studying for their MBA at INSEAD, the international business school in France and Singapore. Brendan attended The University of Western Ontario (Canada) where he played varsity tennis and earned honors degrees from the Faculty of Kinesiology (Sport Science) and the Richard Ivey School of Business.
On weekends, Brendan enjoys playing on the beach with his three sons James, Jasper and Andrew and following his beloved Fulham Football Club, where he has been a season ticket holder for longer than he cares to admit.
If you do not know how to ask the right questions, you discover nothing.
Entrepreneur in Residence
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Sales and Marketing
“Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own.”
Rob Baratta has spent his career identifying and maximizing business opportunities for several startups and media organizations in a variety of ways. He uses creativity to engage users, even when the subject matter is uncomfortable and the solution complex.
Rob began his entrepreneurial career in 6th grade, when he founded Swim for the Cure, an award-winning annual event that raised $40,000+ for Melanoma research at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania. In high school and early college, he brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars for print media clients as an advertising sales representative, cold calling prospects and closing sales in between class.
In Spring 2015 Rob’s business plan, pro-forma financials, and pitch won UNCW’s 9th Annual Business Plan competition. Shortly after, he received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a dual concentration in Finance, and Entrepreneurship & Business Development from the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Cameron School of Business.
Since graduation, Rob has worked with several clients to first develop their content marketing strategies, produce creative, yet data-driven content, then unleash that content to the appropriate digital channel. He has also worked in several small film productions as a producer, 2nd assistant camera, and editor. He now works full time across several Seahawk Innovation portfolio companies. He can be found creating business plans, pitch decks, mapping user stories, creating use cases, finding strategic acquisition opportunities, performing due diligence, building on a 100,00+ unique visitor per month webpage with over 50,000 “likes” on Facebook, and the list goes on!
On the weekends you can usually find him surfing, playing basketball, or exploring Wilmington.
When you start with what’s at stake for the buyer, you earn the right to their attention.