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Venture Capital
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  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out PA Early-Stage Venture Breakfast, sponsored by Wolf Block. This event was in Philadelphia on Thursday, October 4, 2007.

    Rahul Singh, Senior Associate, Cross Atlantic Capital Partners Rahul Singh, Senior Associate, Cross Atlantic Capital Partners

    Rahul Singh is a Senior Associate at Cross Atlantic. He is involved in deal sourcing and investment due diligence and works closely with several portfolio companies in the Enterprise Software and Communications sectors. Prior to joining Cross Atlantic, Rahul was the Chief Technology Officer at Intesys, the IT solutions subsidiary of the HSS Group, a leading Malaysian Construction Consulting firm. At Intesys, he helped launch the e-business solutions practice and led the professional services group in implementing e-business initiatives for leading South East Asian corporations. Prior to Intesys, he led the e-Procurement product group at Virinchi Technologies, one of the first India-based companies to offer a productized e-Procurement solution. Rahul was previously a consultant with the Telecom Business Unit at Trilogy Software where he architected and implemented Sales Configuration and Order Management solutions for Fortune 500 clients. He has also spent time at i2 Technologies as a member of their core R&D team responsible for developing industry leading Supply Chain Optimization solutions. Rahul received an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay

    Photo of Darren C. Wallis, Managing Partner, Osage Ventures Darren Wallis
    Venture Partner
    Guggenheim Venture Partners
    Read the full profile for Darren here!
    Guggenheim Venture Partners
    Darren brings 14 years of professional investing and advisory experience to GVP. Darren was formerly a Partner and Portfolio Manager of Permit Capital, LLC. He headed the direct private equity and opportunistic investments of the firm and co-headed the fund of funds investment activities of the firm. Permit Capital manages a $450 million investment program that spans many different asset classes, including public and private equity, distressed debt, venture capital, and hedge funds.

    Prior to joining Permit Capital, Darren was Managing Partner of Osage Partners, an early stage venture capital firm. Before Osage Partners, Darren was with SAP, where he held the positions of Director of Corporate Development and Senior Director of SAPís Mergers & Acquisitions group.

    Prior to his tenure at SAP, Darren was a Venture Partner of Cross Atlantic Capital Partners, an international private equity firm with over $600 million of committed capital that invests in mid- and expansion-stage technology companies. Before Cross Atlantic, Darren was associated with Sullivan & Cromwell, the Wall Street law firm, as a member of their Mergers and Acquisitions group. Earlier, Darren was a Senior Consultant with Accenture Technology Labs in Palo Alto, CA, where he analyzed and explored new and emerging technologies for global clients such as Bay Networks, Hewlett-Packard, and Netscape. Darren is a commissioned officer in the United States Navy.

    Photo of Michael Kopelman, VP & Principal, Edison Venture Fund Michael Kopelman
    Edison Venture Fund
    Read the full profile for Michael here!
    Edison Venture Fund
    Michael Kopelman is a Partner with Edison Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in leading, high-growth technology companies. Since its founding in 1986, Edison has invested in over 185 companies and completed over 125 exits, including 17 IPOs. Michael leads Edison's eCommerce and Interactive Marketing segment, Edisonís fastest growing investment area, and serves on the firmís investment committee.

    Michael began his career as an investment banker with Credit Suisse First Boston where he advised clients on numerous M&A and financing transactions. In 1999, Michael left CSFB to launch E*OFFERING, a venture-backed online investment bank affiliated with E*TRADE. He launched several new online products, including the first web-based roadshow for retail investors. E*OFFERING was acquired one year after its launch by SoundView Technology Group, where he remained to lead the firm's internet & e-commerce investment banking franchise.

    Michael serves as Director of CallCopy, a call performance management and analytics software company; The Neat Company, a digital organization tool for consumers and small businesses; and Sonicbids, an eCommerce platform for emerging musicians. He was previously Director of TrueCommerce (acquired by HighJump).

    Michael serves on the IT investment advisory committee for Ben Franklin Technology Partners and Director on Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association. Philadelphia Business Journal identified Michael as one of forty individuals under the age of forty who have made the biggest impact on the Philadelphia region.

    Michael was past President of Wharton Private Equity Partners, the private equity organization serving over 2,000 Wharton alumni. He regularly guest lectures seminars on entrepreneurship and venture capital at The Wharton School.

    He holds a BA in Economics, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA, with honors, from The Wharton School. He resides in Villanova, PA with his wife and two children.

    Photo of Mark deGrandpre, Dir. of Investments, Physical Sciences, Ben Franklin Technology Partners Mark deGrandpre, Ph.D.
    Dir. of Investments: Physical Sciences
    Ben Franklin Technology Partners
    Read the full profile for Mark here!
    Ben Franklin Technology Partners
    Mark deGrandpre, Ph.D. has over 20 years of experience with innovative business and technology development. Currently at BFTP/SEP, he is responsible for a portfolio of over 30 young physical science companies in the region, and for identifying new investment opportunities. Mark has significantly improved deal flow and enhanced portfolio quality since he joined the team in January of 2006. Previously, Mark was Director of Technology and New Business Development for Polysciences Inc., a privately held specialty materials company headquartered in Warrington, PA. Throughout his career, Mark has also worked for Rohm and Haas Company as Director of Corporate Development: Licensing, as well as numerous other positions within the company and in joint ventures.

    Photo of Hugh Cullman, Managing Partner, ITJ Ventures Hugh Cullman
    Managing Partner
    ITJ Ventures
    Read the full profile for Hugh here!
    ITJ Ventures
    For the last eight years, Hugh has focused exclusively on early stage investments in the greater TriState venture market as both a VC and an Angel. Recent investments have included Critical Mention, Email Data Source and Viddler. Before founding ITJ Ventures, Hugh was a Principal at Greenhill SAVP, a Managing Director of Spencer Trask, and a Vice President of Deutsche Bank. At Deutsche Bank, he was frequently responsible for purchase decisions regarding new technology, and the testing of custom software such as the Private Bank's first internet service. Hugh Is a graduate of Stanford University and the Harvard Business School.

    Bruce Luehrs, Partner, Stage2 Capital Bruce Luehrs, Partner, Stage2 Capital

    Bruce Luehrs was previously a General Partner of the Edison Venture Fund from 1998 through 2006 and has been a banker, entrepreneur, and VC for the past 25 years. Bruce has extensive experience with both equity and debt financings and is well known in the PA area, having served as a past Chairman of the Greater Philadelphia Venture Group (now the MAC Alliance) and as an active member of the Mid Atlantic Venture Conference Steering Committee & the Assoc. for Corporate Growth. Bruce brings a strong track record to Stage2 and has extensive investment experience in the region, having championed numerous Edison investments in the Mid-Atlantic region including Gain Capital, Virtual Edge (recently sold to ADP), Fiberlink, Innaphase (successfully sold to Thermo Electron in 2004), Octagon and Cadient. Bruceís investment activities have been concentrated on financial services IT, pharmaceutical IT & communications services companies. Over the past 8 years, Bruce has championed investments in 14 companies totaling over $60 million. Previously, Bruce was VP of Columbia Capital, and a principal at PNC Equity Management and Fidelcor Capital. Earlier in his career, Bruce was a commercial lender with Continental Illinois National Bank (Chicago) and Fidelity Bank (Philadelphia). In 1998, he secured a SBIC license for Fidelity Bank and served as the first President of the SBIC unit and Fidelcor Capital. Bruce was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force in 1975. He received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University following graduation from Duke University with a BA in Economics, summa cum laude.

    Thomas A. Olenzak, Angel Investor, Robin Hood Ventures Thomas A. Olenzak, Angel Investor, Robin Hood Ventures

    Thomas A. Olenzak has almost twenty years of investment banking, venture capital, financial, and senior management experience in the information technology and life sciences industries. He is a founding partner and Managing Director of Fountainhead Venture Group, a health technology venture capital fund, and a private investor and member of Robin Hood Ventures. Prior to Fountainhead, he was a Managing Director for Gates Transaction Partners, a technology-focused investment banking firm based in Wilmington, Delaware. Mr. Olenzak serves on the Bio/Med Investment Committee of Ben Franklin Technology Partners. Previously, Mr. Olenzak was a founding partner and Managing Director with Drexel Partners, LLC, a technology investment bank specializing in planning and executing mergers, acquisitions, corporate restructurings, buyouts, buildups, and consolidations in the information technology, healthcare, and life sciences industries. He was also a partner with the Clarity Group, a team of executives formed to look at industry consolidation transactions; and an advisor to early-stage venture capital fund BaseCamp Ventures as a member of its CXO team. Prior to Drexel Partners, Mr. Olenzak was a Vice President with First Consulting Group, Inc., a publicly-traded provider of strategy and information technology consulting to the healthcare, pharmaceutical, and life-sciences industries, and a Partner and the Managing Director of the First Ventures Healthcare and Life Sciences Investment Fund, the venture-capital subsidiary of FCG. Mr. Olenzak was also a Vice President in FCGís corporate development group and served as acting Chief Financial Officer for FCG Management Services, LLC, FCGís outsourcing subsidiary. Mr. Olenzak came to FCG through its 1998 merger with Integrated Systems Consulting Group, Inc., where he managed the corporate development, strategic planning, and shareholder relations functions as Director of Corporate Planning and Development.

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

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