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  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out Consumer Products Investing Conference, sponsored by Morgan Lewis, WeiserMazars, SocialRadius, The Soho Loft. This event was in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 26, 2012.

    Photo of Patrick Raymond, Co-Host, The Food Network's Invention Hunters Patrick Raymond
    Co-Host
    The Food Network's Invention Hunters
    Read the full profile for Patrick here!
    The Food Network's Invention Hunters
    Patrick's leadership in the invention community has been recognized in national media and major industry events. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and appeared as an expert for the History Channel and numerous speaking engagements.

    It all started in 2005. Patrick had been reasonably content, working on Madison Avenue as a VP of strategic planning for global consumer brands. But his decade-long career as an "adman" ended ... when a particularly clingy shower curtain turned him into an accidental inventor. Thus began his amazing journey as an independent inventor that saw his product sold in national retail stores and DRTV.

    In 2007, he started the Inventors Association of Manhattan, a New York State non-profit with 800+ members today. By 2008, he was elected to be Executive Director of the national United Inventors Association (UIA). There, he produced a ground-breaking 10-part educational video entitled What Every Inventor Needs to Know with 15 of the country’s top experts. His newsletter reached 10,000 inventors and 70+ local group leaders. He then pioneered industry Certification standards for service providers, winning the praise in government and non-profit circles. A national guest speaker and product judge, he led 11-judge panel at the National Hardware Show’s Inventor’s Spotlight in Las Vegas in 2009 & 2010.

    Patrick then created the InventionScore®, a revolutionary diagnostic algorithm that tracks an inventor's progress, and shows how to improve for maximum negotiating power with investors and companies. A regular contributor to Inventors Digest magazine, Patrick was named Editor-at-Large in 2011.

    And in spring 2012, he will appear on the Food Network as co-host, along with Steve Greenberg, of a new inventor- friendly reality show called Invention Hunters. Patrick and Steve travel the country, meeting independent inventors and searching for the next great food gadget. If they find one, they improve it and prepare it to be pitched to a major manufacturer for national launch on store shelves.

    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 Jonathan Hakakian, Managing Partner, Soundboard Angel Fund Jonathan Hakakian
    Managing Director
    SoundBoard Angel Fund
    Read the full profile for Jonathan here!
    SoundBoard Angel Fund
    Jonathan Hakakian joined SoundBoard Consulting Group LLC, in early 2010 after working in the construction industry, rising to the level of project manager. His entrepreneurial passions started early, having grown up in a retail, family business and playing a role in the growth and success of the company. In 2006 Jonathan partnered in founding a consultancy that helped bridge the gap between baby boomer business owners and the burgeoning Gen-Y population entering the workforce. The firm also project managed outsourced global resources for the benefit of its domestic clients.

    During his tenure at SoundBoard Consulting, Jonathan supported a core group of clients in their process to uncover early-stage and start-up investment opportunities. As Co-Founder of SoundBoard Ventures, Jonathan coaches “new” entrepreneurs as they build out their business plans, prototype their products & services, and need a point of accountability to support building momentum in their ventures.

    Jonathan graduated from the George Washington University, with a degree in Business Administration concentrating in Finance. He is certified in Essential Facilitation and provides clients with in-depth analysis in order to establish clarity and prove alternative perspectives. He has also participated on the review committee for a number of business plan competitions at local universities.

    Photo of Michael Kopelman, Partner, Edison Venture Fund Michael Kopelman
    Partner
    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, Edison’s fastest growing investment area, and serves on the firm’s 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 Josh Goldin, Managing Partner, Alliance Consumer Growth Josh Goldin
    Managing Partner
    Alliance Consumer Growth
    Read the full profile for Josh here!
    Alliance Consumer Growth
    Josh co-founded ACG because he and his partners saw a unique opportunity to help innovative companies reach their full potential. An experienced investor and business builder, Josh has provided financing and advised entrepreneurs building game-changing consumer companies. He currently serves on the boards of KAS Direct LLC (BabyGanics & PawGanics), CleanBrands LLC, Lessing’s Inc., and as a board advisor to Summit Golf Brands. Prior to co-founding ACG, Josh built and ran The Lessing Companies, a consumer-focused private equity firm. Earlier in his career, Josh worked for Lehman Brothers in the firm’s Executive Management Group, Merchant Banking Fund, and Mergers & Acquisitions Group. Josh holds an M.B.A. with distinction from the Harvard Business School, and a B.A. with honors from Wesleyan University. He is also actively involved in the community as chairman and co-founder of Cardinal Mentors, a mentoring partnership with The New York City Department of Education, and as a member of the national Executive Committee of The Wesleyan Fund.

    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 Keynote: Harris Romanoff, VP Product Management, Neat Harris Romanoff
    VP Product Management
    Neat
    Read the full profile for Harris here!
    Neat
    Seeking to experience start-up life from ground zero, Harris joined The Neat Company (then called NeatReceipts) as employee #2 in October, 2003 before the company had sold a single product. Since then he has lived through every phase of the company's unforgettable roller coaster ride -- from hockey stick revenue, to near bankruptcy, back to rapid growth again. Over the years he has held positions of increasing responsibility throughout the business in such areas as product management, product marketing, software development, quality assurance, research & development, intellectual property, product design and manufacturing. Harris is currently Neat's Vice President of Product Management, with responsibility for strategy, definition, and execution of Neat's product and service offerings. Prior to joining Neat, Harris was a Lead Software Engineer and Business Simulation Modeler at Strategic Management Group (SMG) where he worked with clients such as IBM, GlaxoSmithKline and Wharton. Harris earned a B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently pursuing a M.S.E. in Integrated Product Design from the University of Pennsylvania (an interdisciplinary program of Wharton, the School of Engineering, and the School of Design). Harris is active in the start-up community, serving as a frequent guest speaker about his experiences at Neat; and he is active in the volunteer community serving as Past President of U. Penn's Engineering Alumni Society and as co-founder of MakePhilly.

    Photo of Josh Weisman, Partner, Precision Ventures Josh Wiesman
    CEO
    Precision Ventures
    Read the full profile for Josh here!
    Precision Ventures
    Josh Wiesman is the CEO of Precision Ventures, a Boston based operational fund that develops and licenses defined collections of "small ball" medical and consumer products. His current focus is on airway management in anesthesia, sleep disorders, and drug delivery as well as infant/child products for feeding and drinking.

    Josh founded his first company as a Sophomore in college - TW Innovations (TWI). This is a privately funded medical device and consumer products company that developed groundbreaking baby & child products. As the co-founder and CEO, Josh successfully led the company to four international license deals for portions of the TWI patent portfolio.

    In 2008 Josh was recruited to be the Director of Engineering at Portaero, Inc., a Bay Area startup focused on creating a treatment therapy for emphysema. At Portaero he was responsible for leading his team through all phases of product development for a two-device treatment therapy. These devices went on to be used in two multi-center international clinical trials.

    Josh has authored a number of medical publications, holds numerous US and international patents, and holds a MS and BS in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University, New Orleans, LA.

    Photo of Michael Stich, Chief Growth Officer, Rockfish Michael Stich
    SVP & Chief Growth Officer
    Rockfish
    Read the full profile for Michael here!
    Rockfish
    Michael Stich is Chief Growth Officer for Rockfish Interactive, with responsibility for its client service, business development, enterprise solutions, technology planning and brand ventures teams. Michael and his teams work with clients to capitalize on the latest digital innovations, and improve their business as a result. Michael serves as a frequent speaker and writer on a variety of digital marketing topics, including e-commerce, analytics, mobile, retail, social media, CRM, product development and organizational consulting. Prior to Rockfish, he served as group director of strategic planning at WPP agency Bridge Worldwide, where he grew clients such as P&G, Abbott Nutrition, Kroger, Luxottica, Walgreens, Hershey and Pharmavite. Previously, he served in senior marketing, strategy and venture capital roles for Texas Instruments, McKinsey & Company, and Dell. Michael is a happy husband and father of four little ones, holds a B.S. in computer engineering from Tufts University and an M.B.A. with a marketing focus from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

    Photo of Carter Weiss, Managing Partner, Silas Capital Carter Weiss
    Managing Partner
    Silas Capital
    Read the full profile for Carter here!
    Silas Capital
    Before forming Silas Capital, Mr. Weiss co-founded Built NY, Inc. in mid 2003, and for 6 ½ years as CEO grew the company into an internationally recognized and highly profitable consumer products brand, taking sales from zero to approximately $30 million. Mr. Weiss oversaw the creation of the BUILT brand, steadily building and enhancing the company’s position in the marketplace with a distinctive brand strategy and product identity. Under his leadership, Mr. Weiss grew the BUILT brand to what it is today, selling in over 50 countries around the world at retailers including Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, MoMA and Target. Prior to his role as CEO of Built NY, Mr. Weiss spent 7 years as a venture capitalist. He was previously a member of the corporate venture capital fund Hollinger Capital, where he made successful investments in consumer internet companies such as Shopping.com (IPO in 2004). Before Hollinger, he was an Associate at venture capital firm Cornerstone Resources and a M&A analyst at CIS Corporation. Mr. Weiss began his financial career at World Marketing Inc, a Trans World Airlines holding company, where he held various accounting positions. Mr. Weiss graduated with a B.A. in Accounting from the Pennsylvania State University.

    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 Marit Molin, Principal, Frontier Equities Venture Capital Marit Molin
    Principal
    Frontier Equities Venture Capital
    Read the full profile for Marit here!
    Frontier Equities Venture Capital
    Marit Molin is a principal at Frontier Equities VC, where she spends most of her time finding and researching early stage companies. Marit was an investor in glacéau/vitamin water and is currently an investor in Nurture Inc/Happy Baby Foods. Marit is also a contributor at Emergingmoney.com, where she analyzes and writes about emerging market companies and mutual funds. After owning her own fashion business for eight years she started analyzing and buying retail stocks, which awakened her interest in the financial and Venture Capital area. Marit holds a degree from NYU.

    Photo of Steve Sinek, Angel Investor, ARC Angel Fund Steve Sinek
    Angel Investor
    ARC Angel Fund
    Read the full profile for Steve here!
    ARC Angel Fund
    Steve's career spans 20 years and four continents. He has garnered a reputation as an entrepreneur with great insight, both nationally and abroad, and also as a global business strategist with executive leadership qualities. These abilities, combined with people development and organizational management skills, account for his great success in bringing unprecedented results in revenue, market and profit growth to companies both large and small. Among his areas of expertise are New Business Development Management, New Product Development, Brand Positioning, and "Out-of-the-Box" Thinking.

    His many noteworthy achievements include: President of Florascent Co., President of Starcase (HK) Ltd., Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Standard Brands, Inc., and Contract Consultant at California Pizza Kitchen, Inc.

    Steve has undergraduate degrees in Marketing Management and Management Accounting/Finance. His forwarding-thinking leadership style propels him to consistently deliver exceptional results.

    Photo of Ryan Feit, CEO and Founder, SeedInvest Ryan Feit
    CEO and Founder
    SeedInvest
    Read the full profile for Ryan here!
    SeedInvest
    Ryan is the CEO and co-founder of SeedInvest, a revolutionary funding platform for startups and small businesses. Prior to the passage of the JOBS Act, Ryan supported The Startup Exemption, the nonprofit responsible for bringing the concept of Equity Crowdfunding to Washington, DC. Ryan co-founded the Crowdfunding Professional Association and currently serves as an Executive Board Member and the Co-chair of the Education and Training Committee. Ryan also serves as a Leader of the Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates group, which is working with the SEC and FINRA to write the crowdfunding portion of the JOBS Act into law. Prior to founding SeedInvest, Ryan worked at Carlson Capital, a $7 billion multi-strategy hedge fund, where he evaluated and recommended public equity investments. Prior to Carlson, Ryan worked as a Senior Associate at Wellspring Capital Management, a private equity fund with $3 billion under management, where he led small deal teams in conducting detailed due diligence, structured deals, raised hundreds of millions in financing and managed an array of portfolio companies. Prior to that, Ryan was an Investment Banking Analyst at Lehman Brothers where he structured and executed financings to support leveraged buyouts, refinancings, recapitalizations and acquisitions. Ryan received an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    Photo of Zac Cherry, Managing Partner, Caerus Ventures Zachary Cherry
    Managing Partner
    Caerus Ventures
    Read the full profile for Zachary here!
    Caerus Ventures
    Zachary A. Cherry brings more than ten years of comprehensive finance, investment and strategic advisory experience to the Caerus team. Over the course of a decade on Wall Street, he has developed an acute proficiency in qualitative and quantitative analytics, negotiation as well as complex transaction structuring.

    In 1997, Mr. Cherry began a successful career on Wall Street as a Financial Analyst in Salomon Brother’s Investment Banking Division. He acquired both domestic and international, corporate finance and broad market experience, working in Salomon’s New York and London Offices. In 1999 Cherry joined Neuberger Berman as an Equities Analyst. In his 6 years at Neuberger, Zachary ascended to Senior Lodging & Leisure Analyst, formulating proprietary investment ideas for recommendation to Neuberger’s portfolio management team. He went on to found Cherry Capital LLC, a boutique strategic and finance advisory firm facilitating financing, development and investment across an expansive array of industries.

    Cherry graduated from Brown University in May 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics. Mr. Cherry currently serves as Chief Operating Office of Chadwick’s Products LLC and as a Special Advisor for Inmoo.

    Photo of William Davis, President, Gate Impact William Davis
    President
    GATE Impact
    Read the full profile for William here!
    GATE Impact
    Bill is the President of Gate Impact LLC. Bill Davis provides Leadership with extensive hands on managerial experience rooted in “Best Practices” and “Guaranteed Delivery”. He has earned the “Go-To” label by C Level Executives and Board Members in organizations that are facing tough decisions, tight budgets and deadlines. As part of Gate Impact, he provides CIO services to the leading Micropayment and Virtual Currency company in Europe. He specializes in Business & Logistical Intelligence with prior engagements with American Express, IBM and Boeing. He provides advisory services to some of the largest Social Investment Portfolios and passionate consultants in the U.S. He coauthored the Impact Intelligence for High Performing Organizations Roadmap with Sara Olsen, the founder of the Social Ventures Technology Group.

    Over his 20 year career, Bill has provided leadership that resulted in financial, technical, operational and most importantly cultural transformation (work ethic, quality of work, timelines & governance) for his clients. Bill has extensive experience providing merger and acquisition due diligence, performance management analysis, customer and product profitability analysis and other business intelligence services. He brings extensive project management & technology application experience to ensure projects adhere to strict disciplines within the relevant life cycles for minimizing risks and guaranteeing success. These accomplishments prepared Bill to lead the build out of the Impact Investing Infrastructure for the GATE Impact Community.

    Photo of Sam Klepfish, CEO, Innovative Food Holdings Sam Klepfish
    CEO
    Innovative Food Holdings
    Read the full profile for Sam here!
    Innovative Food Holdings
    Sam Klepfish is the CEO of Innovative Food Holdings- a company which operates innovative gourmet food related businesses. Innovative Food Holdings also leverages it's unique operating position in the gourmet food space to invest in food related companies. Investments are in seed to early stage food related companies which can leverage the food industry value add, that Innovative Food Holdings brings to the table. Sam is also a partner at Tri State Ventures- a NYC based angel investment group and is an angel investor in seed stage companies with clear monetization strategies.

    Photo of Alon Hillel-Tuch, Co-Founder, RocketHub Alon Hillel-Tuch
    Co-Founder
    RocketHub
    Read the full profile for Alon here!
    RocketHub
    Alon Hillel-Tuch is one of the co-founders of RocketHub, one of the world’s largest crowdfunding platforms. Alon grew up in The Netherlands, and speaks English, Dutch, German, and Mandarin Chinese. Prior to RocketHub, Alon worked at BCMS Corporate (an international mid-market investment bank) overseeing their special situations department. Alon has enjoyed working as a strategic digital consultant with a variety of startups to help get their feet off the ground before becoming part of RocketHub’s founding team. Alon holds a B.A. from Hamilton College in Economics and Chinese Culture & Language, and received his M.Sc from Columbia University where he was awarded the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4) Graduate Fellowship from the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

    Photo of D.J. Paul, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, crowdfunder DJ Paul
    Co-Founder
    crowdfunder
    Read the full profile for DJ here!
    crowdfunder
    D.J. Paul, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, crowdfunder. D.J. began his professional career as a sovereign and high-yield bond portfolio manager at Banque Paribas in London and CenTrust Bank in Miami. He then moved to New York City working for Cowan & Co. as a Mortgage-Backed Securities salesman. Prior to joining the crowdfunder team, D.J. was an award winning film and television producer, having produced over a dozen independent films and television shows. D.J. is an Executive Board Member of CfIRA (Crowdfunding Intermediary Regulatory Advocates) and a Founding Member of CfPA (Crowdfunding Professional Association).

    D.J. earned his BA in Philosophy from Brown University. He is a Certified Crisis Counselor and Wilderness First Responder. He currently resides in Los Angeles and New York City, where he was born and raised.

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