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  • Washington DC VC & Angel Event Jan 16
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  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out Miami Angel and VC Conference, sponsored by The Launch Pad at the University of Miami, Ameritech Media. This event was in Florida on Thursday, February 17, 2011.

    Photo of Daymond John, CEO and Co-Founder, FUBU Daymond  John
    Co-Founder and CEO
    ABC's Shark Tank & Shark Branding
    Read the full profile for Daymond here!
    ABC's Shark Tank & Shark Branding
    A success story, an industry leader, a young entrepreneur, a man who has reached and surpassed new heights of commercial and financial success - just a fraction of classifications used to describe Daymond John. Over the last 18 years, Daymond has evolved into one of the most successful fashion icons in business today. Known as the "Godfather of Urban Fashion," Daymond is also regarded one of the most sought after branding experts and motivational speakers in the country.

    Daymond John's creative vision helped revolutionize the sportswear industry in the 1990s. As founder, president and chief executive officer of FUBU -- "For Us, By Us" -- Daymond created distinctive and fashionable sportswear and a host of other related gear. FUBU’s phenomenal success made mainstream apparel companies realize the potential for fashionable sportswear that appeals not just to trendsetting urban youth but to mainstream teens as well.

    Daymond John was born in the New York City borough of Brooklyn but spent his childhood in the Hollis neighborhood of Queens during the 1970s. An only child, he grew up in a single-parent household headed by his mother who was a flight attendant for American Airlines but often held more than one job.

    His first foray into the apparel market came when he wanted a tie-top hat and was put off by the price. Daymond began making the distinctive tie-top hats in the morning and then selling them on the streets of Queens in the evening hours.

    One day in 1992, he and his friend sold $800 worth of hats and realized their ideas had definite potential. They created a distinctive logo and began sewing the FUBU logo on hockey jerseys, sweatshirts and t-shirts. Daymond lured some longtime friends into the business and asked his old neighborhood friend, L.L. Cool J., to wear a t-shirt in a photograph for a FUBU promotional campaign in 1993. Daymond and his mother mortgaged the home they collectively owned for $100,000 in start-up capital. Soon, the home was turned into a makeshift factory and office space.

    FUBU officially launched in 1994 when Daymond and his partners traveled to an industry trade show in Las Vegas. Buyers liked the distinctively cut, vibrantly-colored sportswear; Daymond and his partners returned to Queens with $300,000 worth of orders. FUBU soon had a contract with the New York City-based department store chain Macy's, and they began expanding their line to include jeans and outerwear. A distribution deal with Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung allowed their designs to be manufactured and delivered on a massive scale.

    Photo of David Freschman, Managing Principal, Innovation Ventures David J. Freschman
    Managing Principal
    Innovation Ventures
    Read the full profile for David J. here!
    Innovation Ventures
    Mr. Freschman is a Managing Principal of Innovation Capital Advisors, LLC (ICA). ICA serves as the management company of Innovation Ventures, L.P. (IV), and the Delaware Innovation Fund (DIF). He has served as the President and CEO of the DIF since its establishment in 1995. The DIF is a seed- and early-stage venture capital fund that focuses on entrepreneurial ventures in the Mid-Atlantic region. Mr. Freschman has been responsible for all aspects of IV’s and the DIF’s management since its inception, including the business strategy, fiscal and operational management, raising investment capital, and evaluating all investment opportunities and portfolio company management.

    Mr. Freschman is active in the venture and entrepreneurial communities. He is one of the organizers and initial investors in the Mid-Atlantic Angel Group, where he served on the angel fund's Executive and Investment Committees. He sits on a number of Boards, and has been a lecturer on venture capital, entrepreneurship and angel investing at The White House Conference on Small Business, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, the University of Delaware, Goldey-Beacom College, and Loyola College in Baltimore. He is the creator and founder of Early Stage East – the premier early-stage venture capital event on the East Coast. In 2001, Mr. Freschman was appointed by Gov. Ruth Ann Minner to chair the venture capital study of Delaware’s Strategic Economic Council. Mr. Freschman was appointed and served a three-year term representing New Castle County, Delaware, on the Small Business Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia through 2002.

    Prior to establishing the DIF, Mr. Freschman was responsible for the formation of the corporate finance advisory division of McBride Shopa & Company, one of the largest certified public accounting and consulting firms in Delaware. Mr. Freschman began his career with the Enterprise Group of the Philadelphia office of Arthur Andersen, LLP, from 1984 through 1989. He graduated with honors with an MBA from Loyola College of Maryland and cum laude from the University of Delaware with a B.S. in accounting, where he was a John B. Lynch Scholar. He is also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma – the National Honor Society.

    Photo of Chris Fralic, Partner, First Round Capital Chris Fralic
    First Round Capital
    Read the full profile for Chris here!
    First Round Capital
    Chris Fralic joined First Round Capital in 2006. Chris was most recently VP of Business Development at, which was acquired by Yahoo! in December 2005, focusing on distribution partnerships to integrate across a broad set of browsers, tools and publishing partners. Chris previously spent 6 years at eBay, and his last position there was a combination ad sales and business development role helping entertainment companies such as Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Music Group, Apple and Netflix reach and connect with eBay users. Chris had been the VP of Business Development at, which was acquired by eBay in June 2000. Chris has over 20 years of technology industry experience, including significant Internet sales and business development roles since 1996. He was Vice President of Business Development at Nextron Communications, a Safeguard Scientifics funded startup focusing on web site development technology and services. He was Director of Business Development for the Enterprise division of America Online, which provided secure remote access and virtual private network services to businesses. At Oracle Corporation, Chris was Internet Account Manager for the national industry group responsible for Cable, Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications companies.

    Photo of Matthew Cole, Managing Partner, North Bay Equity Partners Matthew E. Cole
    Managing Partner
    North Bay Equity Partners
    Read the full profile for Matthew E. here!
    North Bay Equity Partners
    Experience: More than fifteen years of private equity and investment banking experience in Latin America. Former Principal at Newbridge Latin America, a $300 million private equity fund sponsored by Texas Pacific Group and Richard C. Blum & Associates. Former investment banker with J.P. Morgan in New York, Chile, and Brazil with particular experience in private equity, mergers & acquisitions, and equity capital markets transactions.

    Susan Amat, Ph.D., Executive Director, The Launch Pad Susan Amat, Ph.D., Executive Director, The Launch Pad

    Susan (BLA '01, MBA '04, Ph.D. '08) is the Executive Director of The Launch Pad at Toppel. Susan ventured into the music business as a concert promoter at age 15. A serial entrepreneur, she started and ran a successful record label, developing a television show which aired on the E! Network and the first CD-Rom magazine, and was a consultant to media outlets, record labels, and retail stores on marketing and strategy issues. Susan then moved on to the health care sector, creating products focusing on health monitoring and preventing childhood obesity. Susan has consulted extensively on brand development and management, strategic planning, and marketing in industries including high-tech, retail, health care, and non-profits. She currently serves as a lecturer in the Department of Management at the School of Business Administration, teaching courses in strategy, entrepreneurship, and organizational behavior.

    Photo of Timothy J. Cartwright, Chairman, Tamiami Angel Fund Timothy Cartwright
    Tamiami Angel Fund
    Read the full profile for Timothy here!
    Tamiami Angel Fund
    Timothy J. Cartwright is Chairman of the Tamiami Angel Fund I, LLC., SW Florida's first Angel Fund. Mr. Cartwright also serves as President of the Gulf Coast Venture Forum, a non-profit Angel Investment Network serving Southwest Florida with two chapters located in Naples and Sarasota. Tim is the Managing Director of Compass Advisory Group, LLC, a firm he founded in 2003. Compass Advisory Group, a subsidiary of Fifth Avenue Advisors, is a merger and acquisition consultancy that completes business transactions and corporate restructurings for middle market companies. Prior, he co-founded By-Products Interactive, an electronic trading, market research and publishing company; and Benchmark Solutions, a supply chain consulting company. He began his career working with middle market companies at Arthur Andersen with a specialty in enterprise software solutions. Mr. Cartwright earned his MBA degree from J. L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and his undergraduate Economics degree from the University of Wisconsin. In SW Florida, his Board positions include the Economic Development Council of Collier County, Southwest Florida Regional Technology Parrtnership and the Northwestern Alumni Club of Naples. Additionally, he serves as a member of BioFlorida's SW Florida chapter organzing committee. At the state level, Mr. Cartwright serves as a Director for the Florida Economic Development Council, as a judge for ITFlorida’s annual statewide awards program and as a member of the Selection Committee for the Florida Venture Forum’s Early Stage Venture Capital Conference.

    Photo of Tami Fratis, Senior Advisor, Meidlinger Partners Tami Fratis
    Senior Advisor
    Meidlinger Partners
    Read the full profile for Tami here!
    Meidlinger Partners
    Ms. Fratis is an investment professional with 26 years of business experience in portfolio management and all other aspects of the investment process. As a venture capitalist, Ms. Fratis was involved with investments in 24 companies. Her business acumen developed as she worked with both private and public companies in areas that included mergers and acquisitions, strategy development and implementation, operational improvement, new business development and direct capital investment. Specifically, she has provided due diligence, investment advisory, fund formation, fundraising, operations and investment structuring and negotiation services as part of turnaround or buy-out teams, venture funds and investment syndicates. She has provided financial services to private investors, creditors and Mid-Atlantic-based venture capital funds, including TL Ventures, Safeguard Scientifics, IL Management, LLR Equity Partners, Phoenician Ventures, Murex Investments and Innovation Ventures. Ms. Fratis’ track record demonstrates an ability to successfully enter and exit businesses, increase revenue, reduce costs and increase shareholder value.

    Most recently, Ms. Fratis was responsible for new client acquisition and business development for Ballamor Capital Management in Radnor, Pennsylvania.

    Prior to Ballamor, Ms. Fratis was responsible for new business development at SEI, a global public company managing more than $130 billion in assets for institutions and affluent families. Ms. Fratis’ focus was on business owners and alternative asset money managers who desired an integrated approach to wealth management through SEI’s goals-based approach to investment, planning and wealth transfer strategies.

    Prior to SEI, Ms. Fratis was responsible for growing R Capital Advisors, a Minnesota-based start-up fund of funds. As the head of the firm’s Philadelphia office and a Senior Partner, Ms. Fratis sourced Alternative Asset Money Managers on a global basis. After conducting due diligence on these managers, Ms. Fratis negotiated with 33 managers with assets under management ranging from $50 million to more than $2.5 billion, averaging $226 million assets under management. Capital was invested in Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Russia, India, China, Canada and the U.S. in asset classes that included private equity (GED and Samara), venture capital (Zouk, New Atlantic), real estate (Roulac Global Places), hedge funds (Sciens, High Sierra, CAL Investments), PIPES (Mercury Partners, Aduro), CDOs/ABS (Avendis), basic materials (Passport Natural Resources) and energy (BlueTip).

    Ms. Fratis is a key figure in the Mid-Atlantic business and financial community. She is currently the host of “Money Matters,” a Comcast cable show, which analyzes investment trends at the macro and micro levels and targets consumers interested in managing their investments more successfully. Show guests have included money managers, entrepreneurs and institutional investors. She is a former Director and Chairman of the Greater Philadelphia Venture Group, an association of 66 venture funds and private equity investors that manage in excess of $15 billion, as well as a former Executive Committee Member and Director of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

    Ms. Fratis served for a decade on the investment advisory committee for a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania-sponsored seed technology fund, Ben Franklin Technology Partners Southeastern Pennsylvania, and was appointed in 2005 to the State of Delaware’s investment review board. For the companies in which Ms. Fratis or funds that she represented held ownership interests, she served as a Director and a Member of various board committees, including Audit, Compensation and Strategic Planning.

    Ms. Fratis is the former President of the Wharton School of Business Alumni Association of Philadelphia, where she earned her Master’s of Business Administration in Finance, Strategy and Entrepreneurial Management. Ms. Fratis earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, with a minor in Economics, from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Ms. Fratis’ community service includes serving as a trustee for a $270 million mental health services company and providing financial or other support to Lankenau Hospital, Philadelphia Free Public Library, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts and the Girl Scouts.

    Angel Investors