Today's Entrepreneur


Today's Entrepreneur: Cullen Gallagher

No. 1 mistake: Completely giving up on entrepreneurship after failures

Innovation series by Mitos Suson
October 28, 2016
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Today's  Entrepreneur is Cullen Gallagher. Cullen Gallagher is a Co-Founder and CEO at Reely.

Reely is an end-to-end content solution for sports leagues and content providers. They have created an automated highlight generation system that uses computer vision and deep learning artificial intelligence to instantly identify, generate, and distribute highlight plays from sporting events. Their tech represents $300M in savings compared to current processes and will enable leagues to better monetize their content.

Gallagher went to United States Air Force Academy last 2003 with a degree in BS, Biology and he received his MBA of Entrepreneurship, Marketing at UCLA Anderson School of Management this year. 

Here's a little about Gallagher:

I am a(n): Entrepreneur
Companies I've founded or co-founded: Reely
Companies I work or worked for: DJ2 Entertainment, United States Air Force

Achievements (products built, personal awards won):

Combat veteran (Air Medals/Aerial Achievement Medals, Iraq/Afghanistan Campaign Medals).
Commencement Speaker at UCLA EMBA 2016 Graduation (
Produced content for film, TV, digital series, graphic novels, and video games.
Creator of no less than four innovative high-fives and two secret handshakes. State sit-up champion and Tiger Beat's "Hottest Hunk" '87 & '88 (narrowly missed the elusive "Tiger Beat 3-Peat").

If you are an entrepreneur, why? I want to invent something cool.

My favorite startups: Tesla, SpaceX, DeepMind

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

Nowadays you need a good team to get anything significant off the ground. The marketplace is so advanced that you have to to cross-pollinate ideas to create value. No one is inventing the lightbulb anymore. With that level of market sophistication, no one person has the requisite skills in disparate areas to create an explosive product/company. While working with a tight knit team is one of the most rewarding things you can do in business, it also aggravates my impatience. I have all these ideas and I want them NOW. Convincing potential clients or encouraging contractors takes time. I'm working on it.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?

Starting a business. The first path to failure is to try. That said, a bigger mistake they make is completely giving up on entrepreneurship after those failures. There are a ton of applicable quotes but they basically all say the same thing: keep grinding until one day you realize you've made it.

"You tried and you failed. The lesson is: never try."
-Homer J. Simpson

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

1. Don't chase whatever it is you think other people want. If you're pre-traction/pre-revenue/pre-data, don't let friends, family, or would-be investors knock you off track. Stick to your guns and build your vision. Unfulfilled genius is a cliché. If their version of your idea is slightly different, good for them. They can go build it. But you build whatever the fuck you want. Understand your vision and stick to it. Once you start to get customers and data on where your revenue really comes from, then you can change the vision accordingly. But until then, no one's guess is better than yours.

2. If it can't scale then what's the point?

3. Breakfast is important. If you're in a hurry you can cook an egg in the microwave in 50 seconds. It's rubbery and gross, but it's food.

Full bio

I am an entertainment executive with expertise in production across all media. I excel working with creatives to tell stories that resonate with audiences and drive revenue for my company. Most recently I was part of the creative team that closed the deal to put Sonic the Hedgehog on the big screen.

I want to continue to use this experience and my leadership background from my past as a military officer in executive roles at premiere entertainment companies that share my value for quality content.

I have worked with award-winning directors, actors, and screenwriters at every stage of development to create engaging stories in television, feature films, digital series, graphic novels and video games. I have collaborated with a number of premiere production companies, film studios, television networks, and new media outlets to produce and distribute content of the highest quality.

Since embarking on a career in entertainment, I've been fortunate enough to work in both a creative and executive capacity. I'm just as comfortable in script development, creating, pitching and selling IP as I am in business development, negotiating contracts and managing employees and clients. I have a keen eye for current trends in content and media as well as emerging business models and practices.

I hope to leverage my leadership capabilities and expand my knowledge of the industry as a high-level executive at a major studio or television network, preferably in film or TV development or in marketing. I'm always happy to speak with filmmakers, entertainment executives, producers, and other MBA candidates about all things movies, TV, and business. I'm also super rad. Let's hang.

Editor's Note: Splash is Vator's startup conference, gathering top CEOs to share their lessons learned, and highlighting promising new ones. This year's winner and runner-up were Industry and Arbiclaims, respective. Reely competed in the Global Splash competition and was one of the top 8 finalist.

Our annual Post Seed conference is around the corner on Dec. 1 at The Village in San Francisco. Speakers include Chamath Palihapitiya (Founder & CEO, Social Capital LP) and Jeff Lawson (Founder, CEO & Chairman,Twilio) and many more. Join us! REGISTER HERE.  Be eligible to get a complimentary ticket to Post Seed. Join the Vator Investment Club before Thanksgiving.  Join VIC.


Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

Description: Our proprietary deep learning systems to create scalable solutions for leagues, teams and content distributors. From highlight packages f...
Bio: Tech startup CEO. MBA. Former entertainment exec. Air Force pilot before that. Brevity fan.

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