BETA Board Member
Clarence is a seasoned entrepreneur who has worked with dozens of startups and Fortune 500 companies to drive business momentum and success. He’s been written about in fast company, MPR and the observer. He brings a wealth of business knowledge, networking acumen and passion to the service contract industry. Prior to starting Upsie, Clarence created 2nd Chance Staffing and secured contracts to staff distribution centers for local businesses. Before launching 2nd Chance Staffing, Clarence assisted in launching 43 Hoops, a premier basketball training academy. In its first two years, 43 Hoops reached $1.5 million in revenue, and Clarence’s sales skills were responsible for more than 70 percent of that success. In 2005, Clarence also assisted Gravelick, a local trucking startup that served clients such as Menards and Stock Builders. In less than one year, Clarence negotiated new contracts and increased revenue by 200 percent while managing a team of 10.
Today, Clarence is founder and CEO of St. Paul based, Upsie. Upsie is a venture-backed tech company disrupting the extended warranty industry by creating a win, win solution for consumers. He has raised over $10m from some of the top venture firms in the country including True Ventures, Techstars, Matchstick Ventures, Syndicate Fund (Bread & Butter Ventures) and has a team of 13. He lives in Prior Lake, Minnesota with his wife, Jenny, their daughter, Addison and son, Austin. Clarence is a committed mentor to young people who are seeking a career path in business and entrepreneurship.
BETA was founded in 2013 by Reed Robinson, Ryan Broshar, and Justin Cox with a simple vision—to celebrate the efforts of local tech founders. We hosted our first event—the BETA Showcase—in January, 2014. We found a venue, invited the active startups in our network, and convinced 200+ of our closest friends to see what our startup community is all about.
Though the organization has expanded into a variety of offerings, the mission has never changed—BETA brings people together to support and celebrate the efforts of Minnesota-based entrepreneurs. We do that to increase the likelihood of their success, and to inspire others to join in the action.