Executive in Residence 2019-2020

Joan Kimball portrait

Martin Heikel 

Successful CEO and Entrepreneur

Martin Heikel, NMU College of Business Alumnus, is the successful Founder and CEO of Flatiron Apps Company. The New York City-based firm created one of the first ever mobile transportation apps, ZabCab.

Martin began his career at PepsiCo in a fast track sales management program. He eventually moved into sales management in the technology sector at MCI Telecommunications and later Verizon, racking up several one-of-a-kind achievements. One included his negotiating of a $700 million outsourcing contract, the largest ever for MCI Corporation. In fulfilling the contract, Martin built a multi-functional organization (marketing, engineering, client support, sales, finance, and operations) of hundreds of people reporting to him in spearheading the building and operation of the world’s most advanced trading network for The NASDAQ Stock Market. At Verizon, Martin rose to Vice President where he envisioned and created the Verizon Financial NetworkTM, a self-contained business unit that sold an industry based solution to the financial sector, connecting capital markets around the globe. Martin’s sales strategy and operational execution of these breakthrough businesses generated $1.45 billion in new business.

Martin was 49 when he stepped away from the corporate world to pursue his own entrepreneurial ideas. In one venture, he established a start-up in New York City and launched the first ever mobile transportation app called ZabCab, capturing media attention across the U.S and solving a major problem for daily cab riders. ZabCab was unique technology that allowed passengers to hail yellow cabs electronically, a feat that had not yet been conquered in the city. Ultimately, ZabCab was undercapitalized compared to competitors such as Uber and Lyft. As a result, Martin now consults for other companies and is pursuing additional startup ideas.