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  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out Angel Investor Education Day, sponsored by Pura Vida Tequila, Greenberg Traurig, Early Stage East, Defiant Whisky, Nolcha. This event was in NYC on Wednesday, Aug 6, 2014.

    Jeff Davidson, Leading Edge Ventures Jeff Davidson, Leading Edge Ventures



    Photo of David Teten, ff Venture Capital & HBS Angels David Teten
    Partner
    ff Venture Capital
    Read the full profile for David here!
    ff Venture Capital
    David is Founder and Chairman of Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York. He is a Mentor with Dreamit Ventures, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, Founder Institute (New York and Singapore), Lean Startup Machine, and the Startup Leadership Program.

    David is a frequent keynote speaker to audiences such as technology entrepreneurs (MIT CIO Symposium; NY Software Industry Association; Software Information Industry Association; institutional investors (Kauffman Fellows; Franklin Templeton; Association for Corporate Growth); and senior executives (Vistage; CEO Trust). He has received the highest ratings of any speaker at three different conferences.

    He was formerly Founder and Chairman of Navon Partners, a data and analytics company focused on analyzing private companies; Acting CEO of Vertical Key, a web-based software service for managing large-scale events; Managing Director with Evalueserve, a 2,500-person global research and analytics company; and Founder and CEO of Circle of Experts, an investment research firm acquired by Evalueserve.

    David was formerly Founder and CEO of GoldNames, an Israel-based investment bank focusing on the internet domain name asset class. He worked with Bear Stearns' Investment Banking division in their technology/defense mergers and acquisitions team, and was a strategy consultant with Mars & Co. David holds a Harvard MBA and a Yale BA, both with honors. While still in college, he built a technology consulting firm with 35 clients.

    He led the first-ever study of best practices of venture capital and private equity funds in originating new deals, published in Harvard Business Review, Institutional Investor, and the Journal of Private Equity, and many other media. David is the lead author of The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online, with Scott Allen. He wrote a column for Fast Company for several years and periodically contributes to Business Insider and other publications.

    Photo of Brian Cohen, NY Angels Brian Cohen
    Chairman
    New York Angels
    Read the full profile for Brian here!
    New York Angels
    Brian Cohen is the Chairman, Board of Directors of NY Angels. He created iFluence PR a strategic behavioral-based communications consultancy for the new earned influence/social media community. Its focus is on understanding determinant business success factors and using qualitative customer research matched with highly aggressive guerrilla communications techniques to achieve client marketing objectives while providing the greatest financial value possible.

    Developed Good Cause Communications, the first full-service not-for-profit PR firm designed to meet the needs of struggling non-profits. Its planned newswire, GoodCauseNews.org will be the first free newswire for struggling non-profits and PublicRelationsCares.com will be the first social responsibility volunteer program for public relations professionals. Founded GlobalComm/TSI (Technology Solutions, Inc.in 1983. TSI was the first science and technology strategic marketing and public relations agency in New York and one of the first such specialists in the United States. In 1996, TSI was recognized as the #1 fastest growing public relations agency in the United States. Nearing 200 employees with 5 offices, he sold the company to The McCann Erickson World Group, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies in 1997. As a hallmark of TSI's collaborative work with nearly 1,000 companies during its 17-year tenure, they began a 14-year partnership with Sony Corporation of America in 1986. During that time, TSI provided strategic communications counsel to all Sony's computer, business professional, and consumer products divisions and introduced more than 100 "bleeding-edge" products. In that same year, TSI began an alliance with the IBM Corporation that grew to represent more than 50 IBM divisions providing all levels strategic communications/media relations counsel. Brian specifically media trained hundreds of IBM management on how to talk to and work with the media and analyst communities. As a testament to the success of this relationship, TSI received the Gold CIPRA award (#1 Public Relations program) in 1998 for the IBM Deep Blue/Gary Kasparov Chess Match concept development and public relations program.

    Brian created and instituted the RPM (Rapid Publicity Marketing) model of strategic communications. This tightly integrated approach to publicity gave clients a quick market edge and was designed to discover and leverage a company's key strengths as well as mitigate their destructive weaknesses. TSI's client list read like an entrepreneurial who's who list of leading technology companies in computing, communication, software, education, and entertainment all supported by an integrated matrix of professionals in research, strategic planning, media placement, video production and event management.

    Additionally, Brian started Focus Technology, a Focus Group company that provided qualitative research and beta site utilization services. Brian provided all development and moderating support.

    Before launching TSI, Brian was a founding publisher of Computer Systems News and InformationWeek magazine at CMP Publications. While in graduate school, he was involved with pioneering computer trade publications including Personal Computing Magazine and Minicomputer News from Benwill Publishing. Brian received two Honor B.S. degrees from Syracuse University in Biology and Speech Communications. He also received a Masters Degree in Science Communications from Boston University's School of Public Communications in 1978 and currently serves on the Dean's Advisory Board of Directors.

    Photo of David Freschman, FP Angels & ARC Angel Fund 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 John May, New Vantage Group John May
    Managing Partner
    New Vantage Group
    Read the full profile for John here!
    New Vantage Group
    John May is the managing partner of New Vantage Group, a McLean, VA firm that innovatively mobilizes private equity into early-stage companies and provides advisory services to both funds, private investors and entrepreneurs. Mr. May’s experience in private equity capital over the last 25 years ranges from venture capital fund management to angel investing in the USA and angel ecosystem development abroad. Mr. May has been at the forefront of the angel investor movement. He is the founder of five investment groups, as well as the Investors' Circle, a national non-profit group of 125 family and institutional investors working to grow the social venture capital industry. He is chair-emeritus of the Angel Capital Association (formerly a program of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation), and is a lead instructor for the “Power of Angel Investing” seminars, a program of the Angel Resource Institute. He is the co-author of two books, Every Business Needs an Angel (Crown Business: 2001) and State of the Art: An Executive Briefing on Cutting-Edge Practices in American Angel Investing (Darden Publishing: 2003). Currently, Mr. May is actively involved with cross-border angel investing and developing angel investment ecosystems in emerging markets. In addition to speaking on angel investment topics in over 20 countries, he is managing partner of Seraphim, a UK-based global venture fund, and is working on USAID projects promoting the formation of angel groups in Indonesia and the Middle East. He also serves on the advisory board for Conservation International’s “Verde Investments.” Mr. May firmly believes that angel investing can trigger success in high-growth companies that spur job creation and economic development around the world. Mr. May holds a BA from Earlham College, an MPA from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and is a Batten Fellow at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

    Photo of David Drake, The Soho Loft David Drake
    Founder
    The Soho Loft
    Read the full profile for David here!
    The Soho Loft
    David Drake is a leading equity expert based in New York. He is the founder and chairman of LDJ Capital, a private equity advisory firm, and of The Soho Loft, an event-driven global financial media company.

    Born in Sweden and fluent in six languages, Mr. Drake is a strong advocate of innovative investing in early-stage equity and the US JOBS Act, for which he lobbied both Congress and the EU Commission. Because of his leading work in this space, he was a US Commerce Department delegate to the EU Commission in Brussels and Rome, and was invited in May 2013 to the White House Champions of Change ceremony in Washington, D.C.

    His investment, The Soho Loft, produces and sponsors 150+ global events a year. One such was produced in April 2013 for the institutional media leader Thomson Reuters, with speakers from Nasdaq, NYSE, KKR and Carlyle Group. He continues to advance innovative investing through his work as an international speaker and regular writer for major publications like Forbes and Thomson Reuters. He has co-authored the book Planet Entrepreneur: The World Entrepreneurship Forum’s Guide to Business Success Around the World and is the author of Crowd Fund Economics.

    His focus today is to take on board advisory positions at companies, angel networks and venture funds, and to guide them on such topics as international regulations, corporate strategy and fund structures, with emphasis on the growing trend of online investment automation for retail and angel investors.

    Privately, Mr. Drake has hosted the Harvard Business Club of NY at his home, produced Carnegie Hall concerts and raised funds for the charities Trail Blazers and Best Buddies Carnegie Hall for many years. Today he is a board director of the UBS Charity of the Year, London-based Archive International, and is co-chair of the Tree Kangaroo Foundation in New York.

    Mr. Drake has an MBA in Finance and an MA in International Law and Economics from George Washington University, where he was awarded the Wallenberg Scholarship for academic merit.

    Photo of Peggy Wallace, Golden Seeds Peggy Wallace
    Portfolio Manager
    Golden Seeds
    Read the full profile for Peggy here!
    Golden Seeds
    Peggy Wallace, General Partner of the Golden Seeds Fund, is the Portfolio Manager for Golden Seeds. Peggy's 20 + year career prior to becoming an investor was in financial services. The majority of her career was with J.P. Morgan/Chase where she specialized in structured finance, risk management, and financial services M&A. Peggy retains a board position with private company Chromis Fiberoptics. She holds a B. A. from The George Washington University.

    Moderator: Chinh H. Pham, Shareholder, GreenbergTraurig Moderator: Chinh H. Pham, Shareholder, GreenbergTraurig

    Chinh H. Pham is Chair of the firm's Nanotechnology Practice. He is a registered patent attorney with experience in the strategic creation, implementation and protection of intellectual property rights for high technology and life science clients.

    Chinh advises clients, ranging from start-ups to established companies, on the creation and development of patent portfolios through the preparation and filing of patent applications, the acquisition and exploitation of intellectual property rights through licensing and strategic collaboration agreements, and the preparation of invalidity, non-infringement, and freedom-to-operate opinions. Chinh also counsels clients on IP due diligence through the evaluation of client and competitor portfolios.

    Chinh assists startup clients with strategies for leveraging their IP portfolio for high-value commercial opportunities, introducing them to funding sources, either through the venture community or the government, as well as identifying and establishing strategic alliances.

    Photo of Moderator: David Gitlin, Shareholder, GreenbergTraurig David Gitlin
    Corporate & Securities
    GT GreenbergTraurig
    Read the full profile for David here!
    GT GreenbergTraurig
    David Gitlin focuses his practice on corporate and securities, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, technology development and corporate finance. For more than 30 years, David has counseled foreign clients doing business in the United States and U.S. clients doing business abroad. He has structured more than 200 M&A deals, over half of which have been cross-border transactions involving leading businesses in Finland, India, Israel and Sweden, among others. His representation of U.S. clients has included the purchase or sale of businesses in more than 15 countries. David represents both U.S. and foreign venture capital funds, and has handled numerous technology development transactions, particularly in the life sciences area. These include drug development, licensing and joint venture agreements involving biotech and pharmaceutical companies, as well as collaborations between industry and academia. David received his law degree from Tel Aviv University Law School and received his LL.M. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New York and Israel. David is recognized by Chambers USA as a leading M&A attorney and is nationally ranked as a leading Venture Capital attorney. In 2005, he was recognized by the mayors of Philadelphia and Tel Aviv for exceptional accomplishments in developing business opportunities for Israeli companies in the United States. Prior to joining the firm, David was partner in the corporate practice of a large, multidisciplinary law firm. He also practiced at a Philadelphia-based law firm, where he chaired the corporate/securities practice group and was a member of the firm’s executive committee.

    Photo of Kevin McGovern, McGovern Capital Kevin McGovern
    Angel Investor
    Angel Investor
    Read the full profile for Kevin here!
    Angel Investor
    Kevin M. McGovern is the Chairman and CEO of McGovern Capital,LLC, which provides investments and business strategy to emerging companies, particularly those engaged in consumer technologies and holders of Intellectual Property Rights. He has founded over a dozen companies, seven (7) of which have become world and/or category leaders, including SoBe Beverages, Tristrata (AHA skincare technology), and KX Industries (home-based water purification).

    Photo of Ellen Weber, Robin Hood Ventures Ellen Weber
    Executive Director
    Robin Hood Ventures
    Read the full profile for Ellen here!
    Robin Hood Ventures
    Ellen Weber is the Executive Director of Robin Hood Ventures, responsible for operations and administration.

    Ellen is also Managing Director of Antiphony, a strategic consulting firm that helps companies create sustainable value, responsible for the Leadership Development practice. Prior to that, 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 graduated from The Wharton School with a B.S. in economics.

    Photo of John Ason, Angel Investor John Ason

    Angel Investor
    Read the full profile for John here!
    Angel Investor
    John Ason has been an angel investor for over 18 years specializing in early stage pre-revenue companies. He has made over sixty eclectic investments in the areas of e-commerce, technology, advertising, digital social media and entertainment. For about half of his investments, John has been the lead angel devoting a significant amount of his time to mentoring the companies. A typical company consists of one or two people in a garage or kitchen with minimal or no revenues. Any capital efficient industry with high growth potential qualifies with the exception of medical and biotech qualifies. As a starting point, John will accept only one page executive level summaries via email (ason@comcast.net).

    Some of John's notable exits include Xlibris.com, LiveLOOK.com sold to Oracle and Diapers.com sold to Amazon for $545 million.

    Prior to being an angel investor John had a career at AT&T Bell Labs. He spent the first ten years doing bleeding edge technology development and then 15 years marketing large telecommunications systems to international telecommunications companies. John guest lectures at NJIT, Fairleigh Dickinson, Rutgers, NYU and Wharton. John is a mentor at the Entrepreneurial Roundtable, DreamIt, TechLaunch, and Worldwide Investor Network accelerators. John is an advisor to the Astia and Springboard womens organizations. John has a BS in Mathematics from the Illinois Institute of Technology. John’s hobbies include traveling, golf, Go (Asian game) and mentoring companies. Please visit his website at JohnAson.com and his pins at Pinterest.com/johnason.

    Photo of Tom Nicholson, ARC Angel Fund Tom Nicholson
    Angel Investor
    ARC Angel Fund
    Read the full profile for Tom here!
    ARC Angel Fund
    Tom Nicholson is an entrepreneur, early-stage investor and founder of Nicholson NY, a leading NYC digital agency sold for $75 million to the Interpublic Group (IPG) and IconMedialab of Sweden, today one of the largest Internet consultancies in the world (NYSE-Euronext: LBi). Subsequent to the sale, he served on the company's Board of Directors and was Chairman of the US region prior to his departure in 2009 to focus on the "post-PC" Internet.

    Tom has been an active part of the NYC digital scene since it's inception. Called the dean of multimedia by NY Magazine, his early work helped define the current digital agency model as he and his firm provided guidance and development services to many of the world’s leading global financial, technological, entertainment and cultural institutions such as IBM, McKinsey, MasterCard, Citibank N.A., NBC, Prada and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Under his leadership Nicholson NY/IconNicholson won every major national and international industry award and was consistently ranked by Forrester as one of the top firms in the U.S. and named by AdAge as one of the top three creative firms in the world.

    Since 2010 Tom has been an active early stage investor and advisor to startups such as Art.sy, the Pandora-style art discovery engine, for which he was the first outside investor, and as a founding member of the Angel Round Capital (ARC) Fund that has identified and supported notable startups including Medivo, UpNext, Uptown Networks, Altruik, iJukebox, CareerMinds and others.

    Tom holds an MFA in Design from Michigan's Cranbrook Academy and has been recognized by Crain's, New York Magazine, New York University and others as a technology leader in the New York area.

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