A career entrepreneur, Carey Smith founded Big Ass Fans in 1999 and served as its CEO, or Chief Big Ass as he preferred, for 18 years. While other companies made and lost their fortunes, Carey’s contrarian business practices and relentless pursuit of new markets and high-quality products led to sustained, rapid growth. By 2017, Carey had grown the fan and light manufacturer to nearly $300 million in annual revenue and more than a thousand employees. And he’d done it without any outside investors. Ready for a new challenge, he sold Big Ass Fans for $500 million. The company’s stock appreciation rights program paid out $50 million to more than 100 loyal employees who shared Carey’s work ethic with 15 becoming overnight millionaires. Following the sale, Carey founded Unorthodox Ventures, his Austin-based twist on the business incubator that seeks to provide everything investment firms lacked when they approached him near daily at Big Ass Fans. Carey’s team consists of experts who help founders become serial entrepreneurs by providing support for everything from engineering and marketing to customer service and logistics. Learn more at unorthodoxventures.com.