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Venture Capital
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  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out Consumer Products Investing Conference, sponsored by Perkins Coie LLP, WeiserMazars. This event was in Chicago, IL on Thursday, August 25, 2011.

    Photo of Andrew S. Whitman, Managing Partner, 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners Andy Whitman
    Managing Partner
    2x Consumer Products Growth Partners
    Read the full profile for Andy here!
    2x Consumer Products Growth Partners
    Andy Whitman is a successful consumer products executive and investor who melds the experience of a Fortune 100 leader with the passion and resourcefulness of an entrepreneur. After a successful career with General Foods and Kraft Foods and recognizing that nurturing smaller businesses to achieve rapid growth was his passion, he focused on investing in and helping to operate small consumer products companies. For example, he successfully partnered with management and co- investor Catterton Partners to assist Wellness pet food and Old Mother Hubbard pet treats to be one of the largest CPG exits in the last decade.

    Andy began his career managing icons like Kool-Aid and Tang. After years of delivering results on big brands, he jumped at the opportunity to run small, autonomous businesses within Kraft in a shirtsleeves environment. Taking charge of brands as small as $10 million that Kraft had been unable to grow or run profitably, Andy's entrepreneurial leadership produced outstanding results. His ability to grow businesses comes from his proven general management experience built upon a diverse breadth of prior functional assignments, including marketing, sales, operations planning and corporate development.

    He currently or previously assisted pro bono by serving as a board member for the Jewish United Federation Foods & Hospitality Trade Sector, Marketing Executives Network Group (MENG), Venture Board of the Women's Self-Employment Project and White Plains Child Day Care Association, a Head Start agency.

    Andy received a B.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. He is an outdoor adventure traveler, an active skier, an avid college basketball fan, a Culinary Institute of America-trained cooking enthusiast and a devoted Parrothead – as a result of traveling early in his career with singer Jimmy Buffett.

    Photo of Mathew Ingle, Associate, Best Buy Capital Mathew Ingle
    Principal
    Best Buy Capital
    Read the full profile for Mathew here!
    Best Buy Capital
    Mathew Ingle is a founding member of Best Buy Capital, the company's corporate venture capital group. Mathew is focused on developing the group's investment strategy, deal sourcing, due diligence, and portfolio management. Prior to working for Best Buy Capital, he worked with Craig-Hallum Capital in the investment banking group focused on M&A and equity raising for small-cap public technology companies. He started his career doing institutional investment consulting with Jeffrey Slocum & Associates after graduating from the University of Wisconsin with degrees in Finance and Accounting.

    Photo of Jeff Weber, Angel Investor Jeffrey Weber
    Angel Investor
    Jeff Weber Ventures
    Read the full profile for Jeffrey here!
    Jeff Weber Ventures
    Jeffrey Weber earned his MBA from Loyola University of Chicago School of Business and entered the technology industry during the start of the dot com era. The company he founded grew rapidly earning a rank on the INC Magazine Top 500 Fastest Growing Private US Companies list in 2001 and 2002. He successfully positioned and sold that company to a Fortune 500 in 2006.

    Weber incorporates his entrepreneurial knowledge and proprietary methodologies into his first book on the topic, “I.D.E.A. to Exit: An Entrepreneurial Journey”. He is an adjunct faculty teaching entrepreneurism at the college level, speaker, and coach for startups, existing small/medium size businesses, and corporations wishing to innovate and establish an entrepreneurial spirit.

    Staying active in entrepreneurial circles and networks, Weber is always looking to start or get involved with something new and exciting.

    Photo of Tom Montgomery, Managing Director, Hydra Ventures Tom Montgomery
    Managing Director
    Hydra Ventures
    Read the full profile for Tom here!
    Hydra Ventures
    Tom Montgomery has been the Head of Corporate Strategy of adidas AG since joining in 2006. Previously he held various management positions in strategic planning, finance and marketing at The Walt Disney Company and Euro Disney. He completed a BA degree in economics at Claremont McKenna College and an MBA at the University of Oxford.

    Photo of Amol Dixit, General Mills Ventures Amol Dixit
    Manager
    General Mills Ventures
    Read the full profile for Amol here!
    General Mills Ventures
    Amol Dixit is a Manager in General Mills Ventures, the company’s corporate venture capital fund. Amol is focused on emerging food brands and is responsible for developing the fund’s investment strategy and identifying potential investment candidates. Prior to joining General Mills Ventures, Amol held a variety of brand management and new product innovation roles on many of General Mills’ iconic brands. He has a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.

    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 Jeffrey Carter, Angel Investor, Hyde Park Angels Jeffrey Carter
    Angel Investor
    Hyde Park Angels
    Read the full profile for Jeffrey here!
    Hyde Park Angels
    Jeffrey Carter is an Independent Speculator. He has been trading since 1988. He is a former member of the CME Board of Directors. He currently does commentary on markets for CNBC, Fox Business, Bloomberg Television, CNBC Asia, CNN International, Canadian News Network, Alhurra TV, Bloomberg Radio, WTTW, WBEZ-FM, WGN, CBS Chicago and CBS News. He has written several articles for americanthinker.com and pajamasmedia.com. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Business, and has an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth Graduate School of Business. Mr. Carter is a long suffering fan of Chicago pro sports teams. He will attend White Sox games at United States Cellular Field if you have good seats and the first beer is on you.

    Mr. Carter is one of the co-founders of Hyde Park Angels in Chicago. HPA is associated with the Polsky Center at the University of Chicago. He is on the Board of Directors at Hyde Park Angels, and is very active within its community.

    Mr. Carter is a Trustee at the National World War Two Museum in New Orleans, LA. The museum has been designated by Congress as the nation’s museum for all things World War Two. Go down a pay a visit. Please donate online.

    Photo of Elijah Duckworth-Schachter, Family Office Fund, Point One Percent Elijah Duckworth-Schachter
    Principal
    Point One Percent
    Read the full profile for Elijah here!
    Point One Percent
    Elijah Duckworth-Schachter has spent his career in the investment and strategy consulting industries. His primary focus has been in the private equity arena and his experience includes working for many years in the Private Equity and Mergers and Acquisitions Practice at Mercer Management Consulting, now Oliver Wyman, with a particular focus on investing in retail and consumer products companies. Additional past experience includes working at a mezzanine debt fund sourcing and structuring lower middle market buyouts and working as a financial analyst in the Investment Banking Division of Lehman Brothers.

    Today, Elijah divides his time between managing his family's office, with a focus on direct investments in the retail industry, and acting as a principal at Point One Percent, a strategy consulting and branding firm focused on the luxury goods industry. Elijah is a graduate of Columbia College, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Affairs and Columbia Business School.

    Photo of Adam Borden, Founder, Bradmer Foods Adam Borden
    Founder and Managing Director
    Bradmer Foods
    Read the full profile for Adam here!
    Bradmer Foods
    Adam Borden is the founder and Managing Director of Bradmer Foods, a private equity firm that invests in and develops food and beverage companies. Bradmer Foods currently has five portfolio companies: Adina Beverages, an organic & Fair Trade drink company; Blue Horizon Wild, one of the leading marketers of sustainably harvested seafood products; Charles Chocolates, a San Francisco boutique chocolatier; Organic To Go, a West Coast organic catering and retail operation; and Sambazon, the global pioneer in açai products. He has spoken professionally at the Fancy Food Shows, the New England Culinary Institute and the Ross School of Business on food entrepreneurship. Adam previously worked as the Marketing and E-Commerce Manager for Petrossian, the Paris-based caviar and luxury food importer and distributor, where he co-managed the direct-to-consumer business and overall marketing for the firm. At the same time, he served on the James Beard Foundation Programming Committee, organizing many fundraising dinners with chefs from across the country. Adam has an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and a BA in art history from Wesleyan University.

    Photo of Eliot Durban, Managing Director, Penny Black Eliot T. Durbin
    Managing Director
    Penny Black
    Read the full profile for Eliot T. here!
    Penny Black
    Eliot Durbin is Managing Director of Penny Black, a New York based private investment company financing innovative companies across a spectrum of industries and stages of development including healthcare, consumer goods, internet technology, media, and life sciences.

    He is an active partner & member of the investment committee of BOLDstart Ventures, an early stage technology fund. Eliot is involved with the boards of several companies, including Medpricer.com, Equipois Inc, Sundia Corporation, & Anchor Intelligence.

    Prior to Penny Black, Eliot founded Templates.com, an online software retailer that was acquired 2002. He subsequently worked at the Permal Group, a multi-billion dollar global fund of hedge funds that was acquired by Legg Mason in 2006. Eliot is a graduate of Georgetown University with post-graduate study at Columbia University.

    The Master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in everything he does, leaving others to determine whether he is at work or at play. To him, he is always doing both.

    Moderator: Ted Wern, Partner, Perkins Coie LLP

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