Rocky Mountain Innovations
What We Believe
We believe top executives and investment managers can be empowered to improve their decision-making and transform their organizations by taking advantage of RMI’s experience, data science expertise, and proprietary, cloud-based, data-driven information & visualization platform.
Rocky Mountain Innovations (RMI) is the leading information, visualization, and advisory services firm for Real Estate, Energy & Government executives. We add sustainable, long-term value to leading multinational corporations and investment vehicles by empowering their top executives and managers with our information, visualizations, insights, and recommendations backed by our team’s industry experience, data science expertise, and proprietary, cloud-based, data-driven information & visualization platform.
Varun P. Balan, Founder & CEO
Varun is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of RMI, where he is responsible for creating, planning, implementing, and integrating the strategic direction, vision, and mission of the overall organization. He also represents the organization for civic and professional association responsibilities and activities in the local community and at the state level.
Previously, Varun was the Head of Operations and Business Development at Phamily, a healthcare technology start-up developing a cloud-based software platform for pharmacists and primary care physicians. He specifically spearheaded customer acquisition, product management, business development, and marketing.
Prior to joining Phamily, Varun was a real estate private equity investment professional for the Related Companies, a premier global real estate company, where he focused on the evaluation, execution, and post-transaction value creation in assets and companies the firm invested in across the real estate sector. He started his career in J.P. Morgan's Real Estate & Lodging Investment Banking group.
Varun has a B.A. in Political Economy and B.A.S. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with honors.
Julia Rabkin, Chief Marketing Officer
Julia is the Chief Marketing Officer of RMI, where she is responsible for the creation and execution of the organization’s digital marketing strategy.
Previously, Julia has held cross-functional roles spanning marketing, product, operations, and business strategy within healthcare-focused companies in New York City and Berlin.
Julia has a M.Sc. in International Health Policy and Management from Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management, and a B.S. in Health: Science, Society, and Policy, Russian Studies, and Business from Brandeis University as well.
Rodney Sampson is a seasoned technology company builder (with two 8 figure exits), active venture and startup investor, selective advisor, four time published author and experienced authority of the evolution of the innovation, entrepreneurship and investment ecosystem for all.
He currently serves as Chairman & CEO at Opportunity Hub, an inclusive ecosystem building platform. From October 2015 - December 2017, Sampson served as a Partner at TechSquare Labs. TechSquare Labs is a technology hub, seed fund and professional services practice located in the heart of Midtown Atlanta near Georgia Tech co-founded with Dr. Paul Judge and Allen Nance. To date, TechSquare Labs’ portfolio companies have raised more than $250 million in venture funding, are valued at more than $1 billion, created more than 750 high demand jobs and generate over $75 million in revenue. Sampson remains an active investor.
Non profit appointments include AI4ALL, Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC), Black Ecosystem Network, Startup Champions Network and the Crowdfunding Professional Association (CFPA).
Sampson previously served as the 1st Head of Diversity and Inclusion at One Three Media, a joint venture between Hearst and Mark Burnett Productions, executive producers of the hit ABC show, ABC’s Shark Tank.
Rodney holds a BS in Psychology from Tulane University, an MD from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, and an MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management.
Suneet loves building businesses. He envisioned and co-founded two venture-backed companies that he took from inception to acquisition: Snapfish and Engage. Snapfish sold to HP for over $300mm in 2005.
Snapfish was a leading online photo service, with more than 13 million registered members and 350 million unique photos stored online at the time of acquisition in 2005. Snapfish, which was based in San Francisco and had operations in the United Kingdom, enabled film camera, digital camera and camera phone users to share, print and store their most important photo memories at the lowest prices - online or off. Snapfish was the most often used site for printing digital photographs online, according to InfoTrends, and received a Rising Star Award as the site demonstrating the fastest growth on the Internet, as measured by Nielsen//NetRatings.
Apart from Snapfish, Suneet participated in one startup-to-IPO during his time at Excite@Home and built global products at scale during his time at PayPal. Suneet has spent the bulk of his professional career as a repeat entrepreneur. His expertise covers the full life-cycle of building and scaling companies.
Suneet began his career at Arthur Andersen and holds an BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Harvard.