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  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out Angels in Philadelphia, sponsored by Wolf Block, with the Support of the Pennsylvania Angel Network, and the Private Investors Forum. This event was in PA on Wednesday, September 21, 2005.

    Chris Starr, Managing Dir /VP Investments, Innovation Philadelphia & Mid-Atlantic Angel Group (MAG) Chris Starr, Managing Dir /VP Investments, Innovation Philadelphia & Mid-Atlantic Angel Group (MAG)

    Christopher Starr is a Managing Director and Vice President, investments at Innovation Philadelphia. Starr is responsible for organizing and implementing economic stimulus investments, attracting new companies to the region, evaluating potential investment opportunities, performing due diligence, negotiating and structuring investments, and working with management teams to execute their strategies following an investment by Innovation Philadelphia.

    Most recently, Starr was a principal of Lenfest Capital L.L.C., an affiliate of the Lenfest Group, and a venture capital fund based in Philadelphia that invests nationally in early-stage companies in the media, cable and communications industries as well as in other venture capital and buyout funds. Before joining Lenfest Capital, Starr was an Associate at the Eastern Technology Fund, a venture fund for promising seed-stage Internet and technology companies in the Mid-Atlantic region and a feeder fund to PA Early stage, an affiliated private equity fund of Safeguard Scientifics.

    Ellen Weber, Executive Director, Robin Hood Ventures Ellen Weber, Executive Director, Robin Hood Ventures

    Ellen Weber is Vice President of Leadership Development for Antiphony, a management consulting firm helping clients achieve top-line growth through innovation. She has extensive operational and human resource expertise. Prior to joining Antiphony, Ellen was a vice president at the Mayer Leadership Group, an executive coaching firm. She also was instrumental in the growth of Investor Force, a provider of technology-based solutions for institutional investment professionals, where she created the company's initial human resources department, facilitated strategic planning, and managed the organizational aspects of the company's mergers and acquisitions. Additionally, Ellen spent twelve years at Shared Medical Systems where she was responsible for initiatives encompassing organizational development, customer support and corporate communications. She also has served as a senior consultant for Andersen Consulting. Ellen has been the Executive Director for Robin Hood Ventures, since it's creation in 1999. Ellen graduated from The Wharton School with a B.S. in economics.

    Michael Shoemaker, Angel Investor, Lancaster Angel Network Michael Shoemaker, Angel Investor, Lancaster Angel Network

    Mr. Shoemaker is one of the founders of, and heads, the Lancaster Angel Network, and Board and Executive Committee member for the Pennsylvania Angel Network. He recently served as President of the Venture Investment Forum of Central PA and is a member of the Mentor's Committee, prescreening and counseling presenters for this organization. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Ben Franklin Technology Center of Central and Northern Pennsylvania, Inc. He has served as Secretary, member of the Executive Committee, and member of the Board of Directors of the Technology Council of Central PA. He previously served as president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Surface Mount Technology Association for two years. He is an active member in various other nonprofit organizations throughout the central Pennsylvania region and coached boys’ gymnastics for a local gym. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics Engineering Technology from the Ohio Institute of Technology.

    Mr. Shoemaker is the Managing Principal in Wellspring FV LLC, a business incubator specializing in building technology companies, particularly software, Internet, information technologies and communications companies. Wellspring works with its clients by rebuilding business models, drafting business plans, building financial models, capital formation, active day-to-day management roles and arranging exit strategies in exchange for monthly management fees and equity.

    Prior to that, Mr. Shoemaker specialized in manufacturing/technology management and investment capitalization for over fifteen years and served as Chief Executive Officer of Wellspring Partners, Limited. Wellspring Partners was a Lancaster, Pennsylvania based investment banking firm specializing in joint ventures, strategic partnerships, technology transfer, mergers, acquisitions and investment capitalization of technology based businesses. Prior to founding Wellspring Partners, Mr. Shoemaker served as founder and chief executive officer of Falcon Enterprises, Inc., an electronics manufacturing services company specializing in military and high reliability commercial surface mount technology manufacturing. He has served as Director of Manufacturing for Laser Communications, Inc., a venture capital backed free air data communications company, an electronics manufacturing consultant for Logics, Inc., and electronics engineer for Electronic Development and Assembly Corp.

    Stuart Shapiro, Angel Investor, LORE Stuart Shapiro, Angel Investor, LORE

    Stuart Shapiro, M.D. has enjoyed a successful and diversified career as both a businessman and a physician. During his more than three decades in executive positions, he has led turnarounds in public and privately held companies, created shareholder value in both large and small companies, and provided innovative leadership within large non-profit organizations and governmental agencies. He has also practiced clinical medicine and held academic appointments at medical schools and business schools.

    From mid 2004 to mid 2005, Stuart was President and CEO of VirtualScopics, LLC, an early stage healthcare technology company in Rochester, NY. VirtualScopics is a leading software developer of image-related biomarkers for pharmaceutical and device development. During his one year with this Company, Stuart developed and focused its business strategy, expanded its product offerings, recruited key operations and quality assurance staff, and expanded its pharmaceutical and medical device customers by 50%.

    Prior to VirtualScopics, as a Principal in HealthVentures, LLC, Stuart provided capital and consulting/management services to businesses primarily in the healthcare technology and services sectors and served as an active investor/board member in growing companies. He also was an Executive in Residence at the Science Center of Philadelphia, where he mentored emerging entrepreneurs.

    Mike Zisman, Angel Investor, NY Angels Mike Zisman, Angel Investor, NY Angels

    Dr. Michael D. Zisman is a managing director and a member of the Board of Directors of Internet Capital Group. Mike works with a number of ICG partner companies, including ICG Commerce, Commercequest and InvestorForce.

    Zisman retired from IBM in July, 2004. Mike was at IBM since 1995, and his most recent position was Vice President, Corporate Strategy. During 2001 and 2002, Mike worked in the IBM Storage Systems Group; in 2002 he was General Manager of Storage Software, a newly created IBM business. From 1997 through 2000 he led IBM’s entry into the knowledge management market and distributed learning market. In 1995 and 1996, Mike was CEO of Lotus Development Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of IBM. Prior to IBM’s acquisition of Lotus, he was Sr. VP of the Lotus Communications Products Group. Mike has served on the IBM Worldwide Management Council and the IBM Corporate Technology Council.

    Zisman joined Lotus in 1994 after the acquisition by Lotus of Soft-Switch, Inc., a software firm that Mike founded in 1979 and headed until its acquisition by Lotus. Soft-Switch was the leading supplier of software and systems products to interconnect the wide range of electronic mail systems that were popular in the 1980s. Prior to founding Soft-Switch, he was a member of the faculty at the Sloan School of Management at MIT.

    Mike is a frequent speaker at industry functions, and is considered an expert in collaboration technologies and the intersection of business strategy and IT. He has been honored as one of the key individuals responsible for the commercialization of electronic mail technology, having contributed to this field since 1975. Zisman has published numerous articles during his 30 year career in the IT industry.

    Dr. Zisman earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Lehigh University, a master's degree in systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in decision sciences from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a trustee of Lehigh University and a former trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, an overseer of the Penn School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, a member of the Engineering College Advisory Board at Lehigh University, a director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, a director of Main Line Health and a former trustee of The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA.

    Mike is married with four children, and an avid golfer, skier and runner.

    Alan R. Kraus, Senior Dir, Investment Group, Ben Franklin Technology Partners Alan R. Kraus, Senior Dir, Investment Group, Ben Franklin Technology Partners

    Alan Kraus is the Senior Director of Investments and Entrepreneurial Services at the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania. He manages a department with an active $18 million investment portfolio in more than 120 seed and early stage regional companies across a wide range of technologies. Within this portfolio, he has direct responsibility for nearly 40 companies comprising the $6 million currently invested in the Information Technology sector. In addition to being closely involved with applicants prior to formal funding decisions, once a company receives a Ben Franklin investment, Alan, supported by a highly skilled group of independent portfolio manager consultants as well as his colleagues at Ben Franklin, assists in coaching the company in numerous areas including fundraising, financial statement analysis, business plan and marketing materials development, and on-going strategic and implementation planning.

    Prior to joining Ben Franklin in 1998, Alan was the Manager of Resource Development and a Business Consultant at the Temple University Small Business Development Center. Additionally, he had worked several years as a manufacturer’s sales representative of women’s accessories and also as an entrepreneur, helping to found Optimum Executive Search, a Silicon Valley firm specializing in the placement of software professionals.

    Alan received his MBA at Temple University and his BBA from the University of Michigan.

    Since 1982, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP) has helped grow the region through science, technology and entrepreneurship. BFTP/SEP provides entrepreneurs and established businesses the capital, knowledge, and networks they need to compete in the global marketplace. Like its namesake, Ben Franklin invests in, builds upon and delivers solutions that grow communities and create wealth by supporting today's technological ideas and tomorrow's scientific discovery.

    Moderator: David Gitlin, Chair Corporate/Securities, Wolf Block

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