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About Keith

From Fortune 500 to venture-backed CEO, Keith has helped companies for over 25 years to reinvent categories and achieve extraordinary growth by doing three main things:

  1. Innovation: creating award-winning products that re-invent categories and delight, captivate, and change the behavior of consumers (see examples);
  2. Strategy: turning great products into great businesses by integrating various go-to-market, partnering, and capital strategies that outflank competition (see examples); and
  3. Leadership: building, leading, and inspiring high-performance, cross-functional teams to implement operational best-practices, scale rapidly and effectively, and achieve outsized results.

He has raised over $50 million in venture funding, led or advised 10 exit events, and has been involved in every stage and size of business. Prior to starting two of his own businesses, Keith received engineering and business degrees from Cornell and MIT, assisted in the sale of a family business to a Fortune 500 company, and was involved in the early rollout and explosive growth of Bloomberg.

His own businesses have reached #20 on the Deloitte Fast 500, landed on the Entrepreneur 500, and received widespread press coverage for disruptive innovation and rapid growth. Keith also advises the CEOs and investors of several companies.

See Detailed Bio/Experience >
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Bio/Experience


Education
Cornell Engineering

BS-Comp Sci

MIT

MS-EE/CS

MIT Sloan

MS-Management (MBA)

Keith finished near the top of his class at Cornell with a degree in Computer Science, while also holding numerous leadership positions on campus. He then received a full-tuition Leaders for Global Organizations fellowship from MIT where he earned two masters' degrees in two years -- in EE/CS and Management.


Corporate Experience
Digital Equipment Corp

Artificial Intelligence Lab

Polaroid

Medical imaging printer

Bloomberg

Terminal technology supplier

Keith was recruited to lead and rapidly scale operations at West Egg Systems (acquired by Bloomberg), supplier of the Bloomberg terminal during Bloomberg's explosive early growth. Before that, he was recruited to work on innovative new initiatives within two mature companies: first in the Artificial Intelligence Lab at DEC and then as a manager on a cross-functional team bringing an innovative digital medical imaging printer to market at Polaroid.


Family Business (acquired by Dover)
Vectron

Keith returned to this family electronics business after the passing of his father, Alfred Camhi, co-founder and president, and helped in the leadership and transitioning (sale to Dover). Vectron was the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of crystal oscillators.


First Startup - Founder & CEO
FitLinxx

Led FitLinxx to pioneer and become the industry standard in the emerging commercial fitness-tech category – raising over $50 million of venture capital, rolling out over 500 locations serving millions of exercisers worldwide, and going from basement startup to #20 nationally on Deloitte's Fast 500 list of rapidly growing tech companies – prior to merging with a supplier of consumer-wearable fitness tracking devices.

Details >

Key accomplishments and transferable skills:
  • Leadership: Built and led a high-performance, multilevel, cross-functional team, from startup to over 200 employees.
  • Operational Excellence: Implemented operational best-practice (including from the MIT LGO play book), KPI scorecards, and a dynamic organizational structure to support explosive growth.
  • Innovation / Product Vision: Combined exercise science, behavioral research, and novel technology to develop a patented computerized personal training system. It engages and interactively coaches exercisers in real time on strength equipment, collects workout data from strength and cv equipment, and gives trainers the ability to assist in a highly scalable way. The system provides users faster results, and in numerous studies cut their dropout rates by over 50%.
  • Product Development Strategy: Employed rapid-iteration usability testing techniques to create a flexible and highly engaging user experience that set FitLinxx apart from competitors (including industry giants) and allowed the product to appeal to users as diverse as the NY Knicks and seniors at the YMCA.
  • Go-to-Market Strategy (B2B): Packaged the superior consumer experience into targeted solutions for various segments to penetrate a wide range of markets including YMCA's (ready-to-be-fit programs), hospital wellness centers (post-rehab programs), US Air Force (troop readiness tracking), commercial fitness centers (member attraction and retention programs), high schools (youth obesity prevention and intervention programs), pro teams, etc.
  • Strategic Partnering: Created a partner program that led FitLinxx to industry standard status, signing technology integration and co-marketing deals with every major U.S. manufacturer of commercial fitness equipment (including Life Fitness, Cybex, Precor, StairMaster, Nautilus and over 20 others).
  • Capital Strategy: Positioned and repositioned the company (as a systems-and-software play, a click-and-mortar Internet play, and a preventive health play) to survive and thrive amid rapidly changing capital markets before, during and after the Internet bubble.
  • Board Management: Aligned and led VC and independent board members to be a significant strategic asset in FitLinxx's success.
  • Primary Technologies: software/Internet, design and manufacture of custom digital electronics and sensor systems (IoT devices), extensive data analytics (“big data”) to predict drop out risk and intervene.

Second Startup - Founder & CEO
Great Play

Developed and patented innovative technology to help children build motor and sports skills through directed play, and packaged the offering into an award-winning franchise system. Rolled out dozens of locations nationally serving over 50,000 children. Named to Entrepreneur's Franchise 500, Entrepreneur's Top 50 New Franchises, and Franchise Business Review's top franchises in children's enrichment.

Details >

Key accomplishments and transferable skills:
  • Leadership: Aligned franchisees, internal staff, and an indirect team of 100+ coaches on our vision, strategies, and four leading indicators of performance. Tied training, marketing initiatives, and other operations to these metrics to drive results
  • Innovation / Product Vision: Re-imagined single-purpose, static, apparatus-filled children’s gyms as flexible, tech-enabled environments (with eight computer projectors, sound system, sensors, and lighting all under software control). The interactive activities this enables make it much more fun and much easier for children to develop key skills. The variety also helps increase customer retention periods by 3x industry standards and facility utilization hours by nearly 2x, with a wider age range.
  • Product Development Strategy: Employed rapid-iteration usability testing techniques with children and coaches to a unique user experience that immerses children in highly engaging games to learn skills. Simplified the instructor interface to control a class down to a powerpoint remote.
  • Strategic Partnering: Created virtual teams for franchise development, real estate, construction, etc. to provide substantially more comprehensive support than franchises of comparable size, helping earn Great Play several “top franchise” awards
  • Go-to-Market Strategy (B2C): Developed a quantitative approach to demographic profiling and hyperlocal marketing across a wide range of channels to drive cost-effective lead generation. Campaigns averaged over 600 hour-long trials annually per site for under $30 per trial and yielded a 50%+ conversion rate and a 16x ROI.
  • Capital Strategy: Switching gears from venture-backed FitLinxx, utilized a capital efficient franchise license model to bootstrap and grow Great Play without any ownership dilution.
  • Funding and Exits: Assisted franchise owners in securing bank loans, ROBS investments, and partnerships. Sold (exited) two operating units directly and advised six franchisees selling units, in both capital appreciation and distress situations.
  • Primary Technologies: Machine vision (for patented interactive throwing walls), software, Internet (proprietary CRM and system integration), marketing automation, data analytics, video, audio, animation.

Advisory Services

Keith also provides advisory services to CEO's, investors and boards of a limited number of exciting high-potential concepts. Learn more >


Expertise


Inspiring Leader
inspiring leader

Consistently leads teams to achieve outsized results by creating and articulating a clear vision, defining strategies to achieve the vision, and aligning and motivating internal teams and external stakeholders behind it. More >


Innovator
product visionary

An award-winning innovator with a proven track record of creating new products and services with outrageously captivating user experiences that have defined new categories and re-defined existing ones. More >


Business Strategist
business strategist

A long history of creating new markets and outflanking larger competitors to win hotly contested existing markets, by employing a combination of superior product, go-to-market, and capital strategy. More >


Areas of Focus

Keith has broad expertise in starting and rapidly growing businesses generally, and specific interest and experience in the intersection of a number of technologies and markets. Details >


Innovator

Keith is an award-winning innovator with a proven track record of creating new products and services that have defined new categories and re-defined existing ones. He draws from a broad base of education and experience in technology, marketing, consumer behavior, product design, operations, marketing and management. With a deep background in all stages of defining, designing, developing and operationalizing new concepts, a broad view of leading edge technologies from various fields, and extensive experience leading multilevel cross-functional teams to excel, he has proven to be a versatile leader of innovative businesses.

Examples

Internet of Things / Fitness Tech

Long before the term IoT was coined, Keith co-founded and led FitLinxx to become the first company to attach sensors to and computerize weight stack equipment, connect it and cardio equipment to a network to collect workout data, and enable exercisers (and their trainers) to track results on the Internet
See vintage brochure >


Sensor Technology / Sports Training

Keith developed patented interactive technology for Great Play to turn practicing skills like throwing, kicking and hitting into play, and packaged into a franchise system ranked in the Entrepreneur Franchise 500.
See video >


Interactive Retail Experiences

Great Play redefined the children's physical development category when Keith and Jyl re-imagined static, apparatus-based facilities as interactive tech-enabled spaces - making the offering dramatically more fun and more developmentally valuable.
See Huffington Post article >


Behavioral Health / Quantified Self

Keith is a pioneer in using technology and behavioral science to help consumers make lifestyle changes. Hospital wellness centers, YMCA's, and even pro athletes adopted his tools.
See presentation on the behavioral science of fitness program adherence >


Big Data / Population Health Management

Before big data was called big data, Keith led his team at FitLinxx to work with the US Air Force on a population health program, using exercise data mined from the gym and from offsite workouts to assess, track and improve troop readiness. (Keith pictured with Gen. Bill Begert, PACAF commander, reviewing the system.)
See Stars and Stripes article >


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Business Strategist

Winning David vs. Goliath battles

Keith has a long history of creating new markets and outflanking larger competitors to win hotly contested existing markets, by employing a combination of superior product, go-to-market, and capital strategy.

Examples

Beating Goliath: Product and Partner Strategy

To compete with an entrenched Goliath, Keith and co-founder Andy Greenberg combined a nimble product strategy with a proven, "borrowed" partnering strategy and won the battle for the commercial fitness tech category.
See Vistage CEO Summit talk >


Rapid Prototyping and Usability

To defeat much larger, entrenched competition, Keith quickly develops a superior understanding of the end-user experience by rapidly iterating on prototypes. Doing so he’s reinvented the children’s physical development category with Great Play’s patented Interactive Gym, and he introduced computerized personal training.
See CNBC story >


Capital-Efficient Rollout: Franchising

To roll Great Play out in a capital efficient way, Keith employed a franchise model, avoiding the need for equity investment after the seed stage. The company reached Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 and Franchise Business Review's top 100.
See SBO article >


Crossing the Chasm

In a Geoffrey Moore-inspired strategy, Keith bet all of FitLinxx’s limited resources on YMCA’s – one of the smaller markets in the fitness industry. By developing a complete solution to the challenge of engaging and retaining the “ready to be fit” population, FitLinxx landed its first beachhead and scaled quickly.
See FitLinxx for the YMCA video >


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Inspiring Leader

Keith has consistently led teams to achieve outsized results by attracting great talent, creating and articulating a clear vision, defining strategies to achieve the vision, and aligning and motivating internal teams and external stakeholders behind it.

Keith enjoys applying his energy and skills in exciting, category-changing ways, including leading or advising innovative, rapid-growth businesses, or innovative divisions of more established companies. Details >

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