Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, UNC Minor in Entrepreneurship, UNC Department of Economics
Jed Simmons is an entrepreneur-in-residence and adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at UNC-Chapel Hill. He co-teaches Econ 125: Introduction to Entrepreneurship.
Simmons is also a principal in Frozen Pond Ventures, an advisory firm working mostly with young and growth media companies. As part of Frozen Pond, he is an advisory board member of Wochit (the NYC based video creation platform) and Starmaker (the SF based music platform). He is also on the boards of three leading multi-channel networks: Xtreme Media (Paris, London, Carlsbad), MediaKraft (Germany) and Frederator Networks (New York City, Animation). He also worked on a consulting project for ProSieben in Germany, where he evaluated the US online video market.
Simmons is formerly the global head of news content partnerships for YouTube, where his team managed partners including ABC News, SourceFed, Vice News, EuroNews, the Associated Press, The Verge, The Young Turks, Wall Street Journal, Storyful, BBC World News and BuzzFeed. Prior to the news role, he ran the funded-channels team for YouTube in Europe, where he was responsible for overseeing the original channels initiative across the region, including ITN’s Truthloader, Jaime Oliver’s Food Tube and MediaKraft’s TIN. Additionally, he launched YouTube Lab into Europe, including the audience development group and Space London, YouTube’s first European creator space.
Prior to joining Google, Simmons was executive vice president and co-founder of Next New Networks, overseeing business development, distribution and strategic partnerships. Next New Networks was one of the first companies to build original channels and programing on YouTube. Its channels became some of the most viewed on YouTube, including Barely Political (home of “Obama Girl” and “Auto-Tune the News”), Channel Frederator, Fast Lane Daily, filmmaking network Indy Mogul, fashion and lifestyle network ThreadBanger, Barely Digital (home of “The Key of Awesome”) and vSauce. Google acquired Next New Networks in March 2011.
He has more than 20 years of experience in media, entertainment and consumer product businesses. His broad experience includes launching and managing startups, international expansion of US based businesses, managing European-based businesses, acquisitions, and operating established businesses and turnarounds.
Previously, he was chief operating officer of both the Sundance Group and Hanna-Barbera (a Turner Broadcasting company). Simmons has also been involved in the launch of a number of startup internet and digital media companies over the years, including Excite, Sportal and eos Ventures (a London-based, early-stage fund).