I’m Mark Aardsma. As an entrepreneur I launched three successful companies and led two of them to the multi-million-dollar level. Occasionally I write, speak, and coach others who launch and lead. Now my primary work is as an investor in other businesses.


At age 24 I started a software business in my basement. At 26 I started acoustic panel manufacturer ATS Acoustics.

At 28 I started nationwide lens, video, and projector rental business ATS Rentals. I sold ATS Rentals in 2017.

In 2015 I started a big data for transportation logistics company. It failed.

In 2017 I started First Leaf Capital, an investment company with a venture capital wing.


My investments in financial markets have outperformed the S&P 500 by a wide margin since I began eight years ago. I am also actively seeking business acquisition opportunities, and opportunities to invest in select startups. If you know of or are leading a great opportunity, please contact me. I’m a member of the Urbana-Champaign Angel Network, and I do deals directly through my investment company First Leaf Capital.


In my book Investing with Purpose I share my best advice on how you can effectively pursue the life and work you value most. It released March 2016 from Career Press and Brilliance Audio. My articles sometimes appear in business publications as well.


Ocassionally I speak at conferences or to local groups on leadership and entrepreneurship. I’m also a guest on radio shows and other media from time to time.

Coaching and Consulting

From 2013 through 2016 I provided business coaching and consulting services to entrepreneurs and other leaders. Since my availability and focus have continued to shift, I now only work in those ways with leaders of businesses I own, I am on the board of, or I have an investment in. If you have an interest in learning from my experiences, the best place to start is to read my book.

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