(San Diego Union Tribune, October 9, 2015) – When Mark Bowles tells you he’s working on something new, something that will have a profound impact on health care, you listen.
That’s because the 52-year-old serial entrepreneur and investor has the ear of the most important technologists in and outside of town — and for good reason. Bowles was the brains behind ecoATM, the local electronics recycling kiosk-maker acquired in 2013 by Coinstar’s parent company, Outerwall, for $350 million in cash. The acquisition represented a landmark moment for San Diego’s tech scene, which unlike Silicon Valley, isn’t famous for its behemoth buyouts.
“It was the biggest exit in San Diego’s startup community, outside of biotech or life science, in the last 10 years,” said James Heller, who runs Wrapify, an early stage San Diego ad-tech company, and touts Bowles as one of his backers.
Bowles has been an entrepreneur since the mid-90s, when he started his first microprocessor company. He’s since sold a company to Apple, one to Motorola and another to Broadcom. In total, he’s raised around $250 million across 17 financing rounds for the six companies he’s helped build.