RockWater provides financial and strategy advisory for execs in media, tech, commerce. Our clients are business decision-makers and capital deployers.
Our founder Chris Erwin started his career on Wall Street doing M&A for content distributors and digital media. He then joined one of the first YouTube MCNs and social agencies as COO back in 2012, and co-led the sale of the company in 2014. Chris quickly realized there was a lack of specialized advisory firms for agency and creator economy execs seeking financial and strategy advisory. A few years later, he started RockWater to fill the gap.
Chris and our RockWater team are known for an intimate understanding of digital business models, and the industry’s deepest rolodex of executive relationships. We bring decades of experience as operators, founders, and investors. We learned our trade from careers in TMT investment banking, strategy consulting, venture capital, and being on the founding teams of early YouTube MCNs, VR / location-based entertainment platforms, and digital DTC brands.
Chris is a 20-year veteran of the media, technology, and commerce industries. His executive experience spans investment banking, venture capital, and new Hollywood. Chris was named by Variety as one of Hollywood’s New Digital Leaders, and earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. He also likes to chase international surf, hike into backcountry powder, interview founders for his podcast, and go to estate sales.
Mike is a business strategist with experience in business operations, product launches, deal structuring, M&A, and capital raises. Mike spent his last three years at The VOID, a VR film studio / exhibitioner, where he led the company’s nine figure Series B capital raise and oversaw 10x revenue growth during his tenure. When away from his laptop, you can find Mike socializing at rooftop wine bars, setting new records at the gym, relaxing to downtempo music by the pool, skimming GQ, and exploring the path less traveled.
Enes brings an international perspective to RockWater, having lived and studied in five countries across Europe, the Middle East, and North America. His experience spans across sell-side (TMT M&A) and buy-side (Corporate Development) roles, allowing him to effectively work with companies at the intersection of technology, media, and commerce. In his free time, he likes to play racquet sports, go to the gym, play the guitar, or catch up on the latest HBO drama show.
Adam is a student at the University of Southern California studying economics and mathematics. Before joining Rockwater, he was a intern at Hubris Capital – a real estate investment firm in Dallas, Texas. In his free time, Adam enjoys following the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Wizards as well as traveling, hiking, and being outdoors.
Advisor – Omnichannel Retail & Growth
Nicole Staple is an entrepreneur and consultant for consumer and social impact businesses. In 2012 she co-founded Brideside, a direct-to-consumer retailer in the bridal industry, leading the company as CEO and growing from concept to national e-commerce brand with six retail stores. During her tenure, Brideside became one of the largest woman-owned venture businesses headquartered in Chicago. Previously, Nicole held positions as a venture capital investor and investment banker. She serves on the Board of Directors for the cancer support nonprofit Gilda’s Club NYC and holds several advisory board positions. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, where she is also a guest lecturer.
Advisor – Revenue Strategy
Max is a recognized leader across the media, entertainment, and consumer sectors. In the past 20 years, Max has served as President of RevUp Partners, a company he founded to support digital businesses with growth strategies and investment, Chief Revenue Officer of both AdQuick and Awesomeness, and Max has held various revenue focused roles with companies including Big Frame, Total Immersion, Buongiorno, and WhittmanHart Interactive.
Max holds a BA in Public Communication from American University and, in his free time, is an avid traveler, skier, and adventurous hiker. Most recently, Max completed a 100-mile expedition on New Zealand’s “TA” trail.
Advisor – Sports / Betting / eGaming
Jordan is a tech enthusiast with extensive experience working in Investment Banking at Deutsche Bank & MUFG Securities, in a financial strategy role at venture-backed startup, Inspire, and as the founder of sports betting startup, TRNDS Sports, which eventually sold to Fansure. He currently leads product at Fansure where his team provides betting intelligence APIs and content automation solutions to media platforms and sportsbooks. Jordan spends his free time writing about trending themes within early-stage tech, playing basketball, and surfing.
Advisor – Audio & Podcasting
With over 15 years of experience in the audio industry, Chris Peterson has a proven track record of building successful content and business strategies that drive growth and innovation. Currently, Peterson is the CEO & Founder of DWNLOAD Media, a podcast roll-up, and one of the leading voices in the podcast industry. Previously, he was the President of Kindred Media at LionTree, a global investment and merchant bank. While at LionTree, they oversaw over $1b in podcast M&A, including the sale of Wondery, Stitcher, and Serial, and led investments into multiple audio companies. Before that, he created and launched the iHeart Podcast Network, which became the largest commercial podcast network in the world under his leadership, and led the acquisition of the How Stuff Works podcast network.
Advisor – Product
Matt Monday is an analytical artist, with a degree in finance, and over a decade of product and strategy experience within technology, media, and startups. Born and raised in Michigan, he’s had the incredible fortune to live in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, surrounded by and working directly with some of the most creative, intelligent and driven people in the world, including at Apple and Disney. Currently residing in Santa Monica, Matt is the Co-founder and CEO of Vital, a Personalized Meditation Guide, built on AI to help customers work through challenges on their way toward daily wellbeing and beyond.
Our values guide our journey with each and every partner.
Because without clients, we’re not able to do anything else.
Help clients where they’ve told us they need us, and also where they don’t yet know they need us.
Even if feedback adversely impacts RockWater’s commercial relationship.
Innovative yet actionable and profitable ideas.
Data-based decision making and recommendations.
Solve common problems through uncommon solutions.
Pursue wins for team, community, and planet.
RockWater advises Fortune 50 companies, international conglomerates, upstart digital brands, and Hollywood producers across the world.