Russell Buyse

Russell Buyse

Chief Executive Officer and Director

Mr. Buyse has been Chief Operating Officer of GlobaliD, a company focused on building a future where people control every aspect of their digital identity. From December 2019 to December 2020, he served as Client Services and Chief Operating Officer of Praxent where he led the client services, project management, design and engineering teams. From 2012 to 2019, Mr. Buyse was vice president of engineering and chief operating officer of Mutual Mobile, in which he led the engineering, design and project management teams in Austin and India. Prior to that, Mr. Buyse, has served in multiple leadership roles in product and engineering across multiple verticals. Mr. Buyse holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin and a Certificate from the Institute for Managerial Leadership of the University of Texas at Austin.

Randall Crowder

Randall Crowder

Chief Operating Officer

Randall is passionate about new venture creation and the innovative spirit that fuels entrepreneurs and advances in technology. As an active investor and entrepreneur, he understands what it takes to successfully launch and grow a new business. He regularly publishes articles and speaks on entrepreneurship, venture capital, healthcare and the rise of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

Over the past decade, Randall has led over 40 angel investments and deployed over $60M across 14 companies as a venture capitalist. Randall is a co-founder and Managing Partner at TEXO Ventures where he focused on tech-enabled health services and he is the sole founder and Managing Partner at Novē Ventures where he focuses on investing in existing companies looking to leverage blockchain technology. Prior to TEXO, he led the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN) to becoming one of the most active angel networks in the country. Randall also founded and launched Texas Venture Labs (TVL) at UT in order to give the next generation of investors unique experiential learning opportunities outside of the classroom.

Before getting involved in venture and entrepreneurship, Randall was a Captain in the United States Army and is both Airborne and Ranger qualified. He served over six years active duty and deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where he was awarded two Bronze Stars for his actions during combat operations.

Randall holds a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from the McCombs School of Business. He is also a Kauffman Fellow and member of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC).

Matt Aune

Matt Aune

Chief Financial Officer

Matt has over 15 years of finance experience, primarily in planning and accounting, within the software and technology industries.  He brings a strong background in financial modeling, strategic analysis and software development budgeting to Phunware. Prior to joining Phunware, Matt worked for Sony Computer Entertainment leading their global technology finance group and served as head of worldwide financial planning and analysis at Midway Games.

During his time in the entertainment and video game software industries, Matt was involved in many different aspects of the business, including M&A, product planning, product development outsourcing, P&L management and studio operations.  Prior to joining the workforce, Matt played professional basketball in China.  Matt holds an MBA from San Diego State University, a BA in Economics from the University of California, San Diego and resides in San Diego with his wife Heather and their two children, Jackson and Ella.

Tushar Patel

Tushar Patel

Executive Vice President of Corporate Development

Tushar is formerly CEO of Simplikate, a Phunware acquisition. He has been a CEO over the past 25 years for various technology based companies. He is fascinated with identifying brilliance through simplicity. His career is focused toward merging efficient well tuned Intellectual Property and Companies together to create a “whole” that exceeds the sum of its parts.

In the 1990s, Tushar founded a web company out of his spare bedroom by teaching himself to code. He hand-built Nokia’s first ever global website that subsequently launched several other Fortune 5000 companies’ first web presences. Through clever and rapid M&A, he merged with other small web shops into USWeb to become the de facto standard for corporations to consume all their web needs through a single organization culminating in an IPO that valued the group at over $1billion within 2 years.

Tushar soon became an investor and Director of the Board for Photonics Systems which supplied high resolution displays to the US Air Force ( N.O.R.A.D. ) and the US Navy ( Aegis Class Destroyers ). He also served as a Consultant to the US Congress and formally testified before the House Judiciary Committee to help draft the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 ( DMCA ). His testimony is part of the Official Congressional Record and is referenced regularly in digital copyright cases to this day.

His next venture, Simplikate, created B-to-B mobile solutions in 2002, before “Apps” were Apps, on a Palm Zire 71. Eventually those solutions evolved with the advent of the iPhone into a mobile platform that launched the very first Smartphone Apps for the leading Malls, Airports and Luxury Hi Rises worldwide including Verizon FiOS.

Alan, Phunware’s CEO, met Tushar as they pursued the same customer and after just one meeting between the two, they realized they both shared the same philosophy of finding partners who know how to say “Yes” ( saying “No” is easy ), so Phunware acquired Simplikate and closed in a record 6 weeks end to end.

Tushar’s role at Phunware is to replicate this M&A success by evaluating and acquiring successful, entrepreneurial companies with proven multi year recurring revenue models that exponentially add fuel to Phunware’s comet trail toward touching every connected device worldwide in a meaningful way through its platforms and to establish strategic licensing of Phunware’s extensive home grown patent portfolio. Due to his extensive executive business experience, Tushar oversees all significant “deal” negotiations for Phunware and is the official Signatory Officer on all contracts.

On a lighter note, Tushar has also been a stand up comedian, national spokesperson and almost drafted by professional baseball as a south paw pitcher.

Matt Lull

Matt Lull

Executive Vice President & Chief Cryptocurrency Officer

Twitter: @mattlull

Matt has spent 30 years in technology and finance leadership roles, across a wide variety of Fortune 500 companies. He has a reputation as a person who can look around corners, envision a future that doesn’t yet exist, quantify the opportunity value and then steward complex workstreams to turn that vision into reality.

Matt spent his early years as a consultant, crisscrossing the country for clients of Andersen Consulting, now Accenture (NYSE: ACN). His early roles included dozens of enterprise-grade, full-service, application design, development and deployment projects on mainframes, client server and web platforms, culminating with the advent of ERP and the technical and business agility efficiencies it delivered. While progressing through those many programming languages, platforms and use cases, Matt developed a keen ability to spot patterns, design efficient business practices and implement cutting edge solutions to help clients change to be more successful.

Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS) recruited Matt to help launch their first global partnership with SAP (NYSE: SAP), which marked the beginning of his transition towards sales, business development and ecosystem strategy. During nearly 20 years with Citrix, Matt was responsible for joint solution strategy with many of the world’s leading technologies companies. At various times he has been responsible for developing and managing ecosystems which included all line-of-business application ISVs, as well as Citrix’s core desktop virtualization infrastructure partners across servers, storage, networking, monitoring and security.

In 2009, Matt bet his career on his belief that Cloud Computing would be the next big thing. That bet paid off, as Matt became Citrix’s Managing Director of Technology Strategy for Cloud Innovation Partners, and Citrix eventually placed its own big bet by shifting the entire company’s core focus on cloud services.

Matt’s conviction that the Decentralized Web is the next big wave in technology has brought him to Phunware, where he will focus on the intersection points between blockchain, decentralized finance (DeFi), mobile lifestyles and consumer data sovereignty. He has spent the last several years immersed in the communities of many leading protocols and derived countless insights, as he helped some thrive and watched others struggle to find their way through the complexities of tokenomics, product / market fit and governance. Matt is now fully focused on applying his combination of technology ecosystem, decentralized web and financial experience, for the benefit of Phunware customers, investors and digital asset holders.

Matt resides in South Florida, holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Miami, cum laude, and still spends the majority of his volunteer efforts in support of students at “The U”. In addition to guest lecturing at Miami’s School of Business, in 2021, the fraternal and sorority students of UM voted to recognize Matt as the Chapter Advisor of the Year. He also is on the Advisory Board of Bond Growth & Equity and is an avid skier, cyclist and swimmer, though his son Jack’s varsity success in the pool has now relegated Matt to runner-up on the family race circuit.

Chris Olive

Chris Olive

Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer

Prior to joining Phunware, Chris was a partner for 15 years at Bracewell LLP in Dallas, Texas, an associate at Jones Day and served in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

His diverse transactional and regulatory experience included representing clients in various capacities in, among other things, complex, bespoke and customized credit facilities, structured financings, swaps and derivatives, insurance finance, corporate acquisitions, financial instrument and commodity purchase and sale and repurchase transactions and related banking, financial and other regulatory matters.

Chris has a BBA in Finance with honors from the University of Miami, a JD from the Southern Methodist University School of Law and an LLM in Banking & Finance Law with distinction from the University of London.