ELITE 2018 Entrepreneur Jim Weiss of W2O Group

Jim Weiss

Founder and CEO

W2O Group

Vision of Pharma’s Digital Future

In 2001, Jim Weiss was able to turn his vision for what’s next in digital marketing and healthcare communications into reality despite the fact that he had no backing or seed money. He founded W2O Group, an integrated marketing and communications agency that works primarily with healthcare and technology clients, and became one of the first in the industry to invest in analytics and data science at scale (110 out of 700 people). Now W2O spans 13 offices and generates well over $150 million in annual revenue.

Over the last 17 years the firm has been agile, pivoting its infrastructure, leadership, offerings, and footprint based on client needs and industry trends. During major economic downturns, the firm actually grew as it partnered with clients to navigate the future. In fact, W2O has experienced 16 consecutive years of double-digit percentage annual growth every year since inception.

In 2016, Jim partnered with a private equity firm to complete three highly complementary and synergistic add-on acquisitions: Sentient (a digital marketing and technology firm), Marketeching (a market research and social listening consultancy), and Pure Communications (a specialty firm serving novel startup life sciences and medtech clients). These acquisitions have expanded W2O’s portfolio and its ability to offer clients greatly enhanced capabilities and services which promise to drive continued future growth.

Jim encourages an entrepreneurial and collaborative culture, and the agency invests in expansive benefits programs and training and development that support these ideals. Among its many thought leadership initiatives and proprietary media platforms, the firm sponsors and curates a three-day track at SXSW.

Jim and his wife are the sponsors of the W2O Group Center for Social Commerce at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, their alma mater aimed at preparing students and professors to compete in the digital age. Further, Jim is committed to building diversity in the healthcare industry through a novel partnership with the LAGRANT Foundation to fund fellowships, in-office training, and mentorship efforts. He is a Newhouse advisory board member and a member of the board of trustees of the Cancer Research Institute which funds primary and translational scientific research for cancer.

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