• What We Do

    Helpful Networks is an entrepreneurial advisory firm that partners with companies to incubate new businesses and modernize existing ones.

  • Who We Are

    We're experienced entrepreneurs who understand and can bring together startups and corporates.

    Jacob Brody

    Founder & Partner

    Jacob is a Founder and Partner at Helpful Networks. He is also Founder and Managing Partner at Helpful Capital, an entrepreneurial finance firm. He is a Venture Partner at Expanding Capital, an Advisor at Vast Ventures, and an Innovation Fellow at Columbia Business School’s Eugene Lang Center for Entrepreneurship.


    Jacob previously co-founded Benny, a freelancer back-office and insurance startup backed by Google Ventures. Before that he was a Founding Partner at MESA Ventures, the strategic seed/early stage venture arm of the investment bank MESA. Across his career as a venture capitalist and angel investor he has backed 30+ companies technology companies in consumer services, healthcare, advertising, financial services, insurance, shipping & logistics, internet of things, agriculture and enterprise software. Portfolio investments include Clover Health, Easypost, MParticle, Vence, Triple Lift, Tala, Fitstar (acquired by Fitbit), Abra, Grand St (acquired by Etsy), Gem, Seedling and Nativo.


    In a previous life Jacob was a reporter at Venturebeat and founded a non-profit helping entrepreneurs. He is a born and bred New Yorker, just like his wife Lauren and his one year old Bowie.

    Sonny Byrd


    Sonny Byrd is a Partner at Helpful Networks. He works with corporate clients to help them adopt startup growth methodologies across numerous industries including consumer products, retail, ecommerce, insurance, financial services and software. His previous clients include Visa, L'Oreal, Danone, and USAA. Sonny is an accomplished entrepreneur and marketing executive who has managed companies from inception through acquisition.


    Sonny was previously an entrepreneur-in-residence at Prehype in New York City where he founded Betabox, a subscription commerce service which was acquired by Gary Vaynerchuk's VaynerMedia. Prior to Betabox, Sonny led marketing teams at Voxy.com and Shoeboxed.com, both of which are thriving venture-backed tech companies. He also founded ecommerce companies Vinyl Loop and TryBonsai.


    Sonny's first love is music. He started his career as a professional musician, winning an MTV-award in 2007. Sonny is a graduate of Duke University, where he mentors undergraduates in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship certificate program. He lives in Greenville, South Carolina with his wife Katie, a high school earth science teacher, and his daughter Marigold.

  • Ecosystem As A Service

    Most innovation is going on outside your company. We tap into and build innovative ecosystems for new growth.

    We help clients...


    - Map & evaluate new platforms, technologies, & business models

    - Define strategic objectives for product & business process innovation

    - Work with the right innovative companies towards those objectives

    - Develop criteria, processes and deal flow for strategic investments

  • Incubation As A Service

    Big companies CAN’T move at the speed of entrepreneurs so they should partner with them to build new businesses & understand their playbook. We can be your founding team.

  • Data Ingestion Engine Theory

  • Contact Us

    Don't be afraid to reach out if you think we can be helpful.