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Venture Capital
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  • SoCal Startup Day, Feb 26 2020

  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out Series A Venture Conference, sponsored by WeiserMazars, Pura Vida Tequila, Nolcha, Defiant Whisky, Greenberg Traurig. This event was in NYC on Tuesday, October 21, 2014.

    James Falkoff, Partner, Longworth Venture Partners James Falkoff, Partner, Longworth Venture Partners

    James joined Longworth in 2011. His focus areas include infrastructure, SaaS, e-commerce, and mobility. He is involved in all stages of the investment process, including sourcing deals, performing due diligence on potential investments, and supporting Longworth portfolio companies. At Longworth, James has been involved in the investments in Olapic, JIBE, TrackVia and Swirl. He currently serves as an Observer on the board of Olapic. Prior to Longworth, James was an Equity Research Analyst at Robert W. Baird & Company, where he covered stocks in the telecom and data networking equipment sector. James earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, with Highest Honors, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

    James plays the guitar and in 2010 he self-produced a full-length album of original music.

    Brian Smiga, Partner, Alpha Venture Partners Brian Smiga, Partner, Alpha Venture Partners

    Photo of Michael Kopelman, Partner, 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, 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 Matt Fates, Partner, Ascent Venture Partners Matt Fates
    Ascent Venture Partners
    Read the full profile for Matt here!
    Ascent Venture Partners
    Experience: Matt has worked with emerging technology companies since 1996. Prior to joining Ascent in 2002, Matt worked in business development at Gold Wire Technology, a network configuration management software company. Before Gold Wire, Matt served as an Investment Analyst in the Boston office of Norwest Venture Partners where he worked on venture investments such as Broadband Access Systems (acquired by ADC Telecom), Gold Wire Technology (acquired by Intelliden), and COSpace (acquired by InterNAP). He also worked in technology investment banking at Alex. Brown & Sons, where he helped execute both equity and M&A transactions, working with companies such as BBN, CIENA, DSET, RSA Security and

    Current board seats include HubCast, Interactive Supercomputing, StrikeIron, Terascala and The Corporate Marketplace.

    Education: Double Major in Computer Science and Economics from Yale University. MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth (Tuck Scholar).

    David Famolari, Director, Verizon Ventures David Famolari,  Director, Verizon Ventures

    Photo of Nat Brinn, Principal, Vital Venture Capital, LLC Nat Brinn
    Vital Venture Capital
    Read the full profile for Nat here!
    Vital Venture Capital
    Nat Brinn has a 25-year successful track record of private investments, acquisitions and business management. The most recent example is HSA Bank, the largest specialty bank in the United States focused on health savings accounts. Nat has successful management experience in growth companies, including his role as CEO of HSA Bank, where accounts and revenues grew four-fold and the firm developed a significant profit margin from an initial loss position.

    Nat's private equity investments have achieved positive returns, with many returning 4-5x initial investment within several years. In aggregate, he has completed more than 80 transactions with positive results, including the avoidance of any defaults during his tenure as a private placement bond investor.

    Currently he is acting CEO of Vital Financial's portfolio company, CR Certification Corporation. Nat has significantly built revenues and revamped this company.

    While he was Executive Vice President of Corporate Development at Webster Bank, Nat was responsible for mergers and acquisitions as well as strategic initiatives. He also oversaw management of Budget Installment Company, a premium finance company that Webster acquired and grew three-fold in outstanding balances, revenues and profits over three years under his supervision.

    Upon acquiring HSA Bank for Webster, he was appointed to become CEO of HSA Bank. HSA Bank was purchased in early 2005 for a net premium of $12 million and was valued at nearly $100 million upon his departure at CEO in July 2007 to join Vital Financial. Both the Budget Installment and HSA Bank situations involved upgrading IT, financial, compliance and operating systems as well as building national sales organizations.

    Prior to his tenure at Webster Bank, Nat held positions in corporate development (M&A and strategic investing) and private placement investments at Hartford Steam Boiler Insurance and Inspection Company, Phoenix Home Life, Canadian Imperial Bank and Metropolitan Life.

    Nat has an MBA in finance and accounting from The Fuqua School of Business (Duke University), where he was a Fuqua Scholar and his class graduation speaker. He did his undergraduate work in economics, with additional focus in mathematics and statistics, at University of Delaware where he was in the honors program.

    Photo of R. Carter Caldwell, Principal, Cross Atlantic Capital Partners Carter Caldwell
    Penn Fund
    Read the full profile for Carter here!
    Penn Fund
    As the Penn Medicine Co-Investment Fund’s Program Director, Carter drives the fund’s investments in the cell therapy, gene therapy, and connected health sectors. Utilizing multiple decades of experience as both an entrepreneur and an investor, he sources investment opportunities, manages relationships with co-investors, completes due diligence, and supports the governance of the funded companies.
    Carter has spent much of his career in private equity and has been particularly focused on spearheading new investment efforts within the Healthcare IT, SaaS and Enterprise Software, AI, and Fintech industries, among others. He was previously a Managing Director with Cross Atlantic Capital Partners, a venture capital firm with 4 funds and over $500 million under management.

    Photo of Tim Haddock, Fundamental Financial & FP Angels Tim Haddock
    CEO, Fundamental Financial / Angel, FP Angels
    FP Angels and Fundamental Financial
    Read the full profile for Tim here!
    FP Angels and Fundamental Financial
    Tim Haddock is the Co-Founder and CEO of Fundamental Financial, one the nations leading commercial finance firms focused on providing financing solutions to emerging and high growth companies. Fundamental offers an array of financing vehicles ranging from as small as $100,000 to as large as $10 million, including Lines of Credit, AR & Inventory Finance, Asset Based Lending and Venture Debt.

    Prior to Co-Founding Fundamental Financial, Tim was a Partner & Managing Director with the global merchant banking firm Greenhill & Co. (NYSE:GHL) where he was the 5th professional promoted to Partner in the firm's history. During his career he has advised on over $75 billion of capital raising, financing and merger transactions.

    Tim earned his MBA in Finance & Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Texas Christian University where he was a Stark Foundation Scholarship recipient.

    Tim resides on the Upper West side of Manhattan with his wife and two of his three children – his oldest is now away at college.

    Jeff Finkle, Evaluation Chairman, ARC Angel Fund Jeff Finkle, Evaluation Chairman, ARC Angel Fund

    Photo of David Freschman, Innovation Ventures & 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 Raju Rishi, Sigma Prime Ventures Raju Rishi
    General Partner
    RRE Ventures
    Read the full profile for Raju here!
    RRE Ventures
    Raju leverages 20+ years of experience as a technology entrepreneur, executive, and investor helping early-stage companies become leading businesses. He brings expertise across a wide-range of disciplines including mobility, SaaS, consumer & enterprise.

    Over the course of his career, Raju has founded two companies, held executive leadership positions at both early-stage companies and Fortune 50 companies, and led investments and served on the boards of numerous technology startups. Prior to joining RRE, Raju served as a Venture Partner at Sigma Prime Ventures, where he led investments in several NY based startups, including Ceros & NSONE. Previously, Raju co-founded and held the positions of COO and CMO at Rave Mobile Safety, the leading provider of SaaS-based safety solutions. Rave is currently being used by hundreds of schools and state/local governments to help keep millions of individuals safe, secure, and connected. Prior to Rave, Raju helped to start SwiftReach Networks, a leading provider of enhanced telecommunications solutions for businesses & government. He was also the EVP of Product Management at Vettro, a SaaS-based provider of enterprise mobile applications for sales, fleet, and service organizations.

    Vadim Tarasov, Partner, Altpoint Ventures Vadim Tarasov, Partner, Altpoint Ventures

    Venetia Kontogouris, Managing Director, Venkon Group LLC Venetia Kontogouris, Managing Director, Venkon Group LLC

    Photo of Moderator: Kevin Pianko, Partner, WeiserMazars Kevin Pianko
    Read the full profile for Kevin here!
    Kevin is an audit partner and performs audits of public and private companies and assists them with the financial and operational aspects of their business.

    He helps clients obtain sources of capital and provides M&A and strategic alliance analysis. Kevin has industry experience in numerous sectors including technology, private equity and venture capital, life sciences, manufacturing and distribution, professional services, and financial services. He has extensive experience with 33 Act and 34 Exchange Act filings, including initial public offerings.

    Kevin has extensive experience in working with private equity and venture capital entities at the fund level and the portfolio company level. He brings practical experience in working with earlier stage companies to assist them in dealing with issues they face as they progress along their development timeline. He is actively involved in many technology focused organizations. He is an angel investor in the Angel Round Capital Fund located in New York City, where he serves on the Executive Committee and also chairs the Audit Committee.

    Kevin has been quoted in numerous business publications such as Crain's New York Business, Fortune Small Business, Commerce magazine and NJBIZ. He has also been a speaker at the New York State Bar Association and the New Jersey Bar Association. Kevin has appeared on Bloomberg Radio, CNBC and NBC.

    Kevin's career also includes 10 years of professional experience with two of the Big 4 and national accounting firms.

    Photo of Jay Goldberg, Sr. Managing Partner, Hudson Ventures Jay Goldberg
    Senior Managing Director
    Hudson Ventures
    Read the full profile for Jay here!
    Hudson Ventures
    Jay has been the Senior Managing Director of Hudson Ventures since 1996, and an Angel Investor in Early-stage Technology and Mobile companies.

    He was the founder of OPCENTER, LLC, a privately-held company that provides help desk and computer operations services, and the founder and Chairman of Lexstra PLC, a London based consulting company. From 1990 through 1994, Jay served as Chairman and CEO of Image Business Systems Corp., a company that provided document management and workflow software. In 1989, he founded Zeitech, Inc., a company which provided computer implementation professionals through its five national offices. Under Jay's direction, Zeitech appeared twice on Inc. Magazine's 500 List of America's fastest growing companies and was sold in January 1996 to Career Horizons, Inc. In 1986, Jay purchased Money Management Systems, Inc. (MMS) from Ziff-Davis. MMS sold software and services to banks and broker-dealers for securities trading activities. In 1989, MMS was sold to Sungard Inc. From 1968 to 1985, Jay was Chairman and CEO of Software Design Associates, a systems development firm that grew to 600 people, which was sold to AGS Computers Inc. Currently, Mr. Goldberg serves on the Boards of several of Hudson's portfolio companies, including: Bigfoot Interactive, GlobalServe, Didera, i-Hello, PowerSteering, and OpenService. He is the past Chairman of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, and Treasurer of the Governor's Committee for Scholastic Achievement. Mr. Goldberg is also a member of the Board of Overseers of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the faculty of Arts and Sciences of New York University, the Board of Trustees of Montefiore Medical Center and a Trustee of the Charles Babbage Foundation. Jay, an avid golfer, holds a B. A. degree from New York University and resides in New York City with his family.

    Matthew Gulliner, Managing Member, Black Owl Ventures Matthew Gulliner, Managing Member, Black Owl Ventures

    Photo of Jeanne Sullivan, Managing Partner, StarVest Partners Jeanne Sullivan
    StarVest Partners
    Read the full profile for Jeanne here!
    StarVest Partners
    Jeanne M. Sullivan has been investing in and growing tech companies for many years. She is a founding General Partner of StarVest Partners. StarVest is a New York-­based venture capital firm with approximately $400 million under management and invests in technology­enabled business services companies. Jeanne has more than 20 years of venture capital experience and has spent 28 years in the technology sector encompassing both extensive operating and investing experience with technology companies. As a General Partner of StarVest Partners and previously with Olivetti Ventures, Ms. Sullivan has served on the boards of many technology companies. Ms. Sullivan has extensive experience creating "go to market" plans for early- and expansion-stage companies. Her expertise also includes strategy, a keen understanding of the technology landscape and industry trends. Prior to her venture experience, Jeanne gained her experience in AT&T and Bell Labs while serving in product and industry marketing roles.

    Ms. Sullivan is a sought-after industry speaker on the subject of "How to get the wallets out of investors' pocket". Jeanne serves on the board of the New York Venture Capital Association and serves as a member of the Astia Global Board of Trustees, an organization that empowers women entrepreneurs. Forebes reently cited Sullivan as "One of the women VCs changing the world". Follow Jeanne: @Gianna212

    J. Skyler Fernandes, Managing Director, Simon Venture Group J. Skyler Fernandes, Managing Director, Simon Venture Group

    J. Skyler Fernandes is the founding Managing Director of Simon Venture Group (SVG), the venture capital arm of Simon, investing in the future innovation of retail, including in-store and online/mobile shopping technology, logistics, internet of things, and data analytics. SVG makes investments between $250K-$5M+ in early stage to high growth companies (Seed through Series C+ rounds) that are both directly and indirectly strategic to Simon. Simon is an S&P 100 company and the largest retail real estate company in the US.

    Mr. Fernandes gave the first TED Talk on Venture Capital: Innovating the Financing of Innovation (Watch TED Talk:, and has developed key entrepreneur resources, such as The “Best” Startup Pitch Deck (viewed and downloaded over 100,000 times) and The Top 10 Lies Entrepreneurs Tell Investors.

    Previously, Mr. Fernandes was a Partner at Centripetal Capital Partners, a multi-stage venture capital fund, focused on consumer internet, online services / marketplaces, enterprise SaaS, and commercializable high-tech. Mr. Fernandes is also an active angel investor and has a blog, One Match Ventures, where he shares key insights and entrepreneur resources.

    Mr. Fernandes graduated college a year early, summa cum laude, due to his studies at Harvard University in Quantum Physics.

    In addition, Mr. Fernandes has taught lectures and courses on venture capital at Harvard Business School, Bard's MBA, and NYU.

    Mr. Fernandes leads the Missing Middle Initiative, launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos, focused on creating funds that invest $100K-$3M.

    NIhal Mehta, Founding General Partner, Eniac Ventures NIhal Mehta, Founding General Partner, Eniac Ventures

    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 Marc Michel, Managing Director, Metamorphic Ventures Marc Michel
    Managing Director
    Metamorphic Ventures
    Read the full profile for Marc here!
    Metamorphic Ventures
    Marc has over 20 years of private equity and venture investment experience and was a founding Director of Metamorphic Ventures before joining as a Managing Partner. Marc was formerly Group Head at TD Capital (USA) in New York, TD Bank's $500 million private equity fund focused on the media and communications sectors. Prior to joining TD Capital, Marc was the Managing Partner of EOS Partners SBIC, a $60 million venture capital fund focused on business services and communications. Marc began his career at Merrill Lynch Interfunding, a $1.3 billion middle market buyout fund. Marc has spent his entire career helping entrepreneurs build their businesses across the entire lifecycle of over 45 businesses. He has helped management teams build their executive teams, develop their operational and corporate finance strategy and assisted them with executing financings of every type both public and private. Marc has served on numerous boards of directors in partnership with management and co-investors.

    Marc has been involved in many successful companies including Coinstar, Accrue Software, CADIS Software, Open Development Software, DTS Systems, Precyse Solutions, Telemundo, Robb Report, Reiman Publishing, Alaska Native Wireless, Tritel PCS, Triton PCS, Wireless One, Mountain Union Telecom, Brooks Fiber, Bresnan Cable, and FrontierVision Cablesystems.

    Marc graduated with a BA degree from Emory University in 1983 and a MBA from Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania in 1987.

    Photo of William Reinisch, Paladin Capital Group William Reinisch
    Venture Advisor
    Paladin Capital Group
    Read the full profile for William here!
    Paladin Capital Group
    William Reinisch is responsible for the investment activities in the New York office of Paladin Capital. He is also the CEO and Founder of XIV River. He specializes in strategy and investments for the high tech industry. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology. He was most previously the Vice President of Strategy and Technology with Motorola. In this role he was responsible for intellectual property standards and the corporate technology portfolio in addition to positioning Motorola for growth in emerging new market segments. Previously, he was Vice President of strategy and new initiatives and joined Motorola as a strategic advisor to the Chief Strategy Office. Prior to joining Motorola he was Senior Vice President of operations and engineering at Magnolia Broadband, where he led engineering and operations for the company. Before that, he led the global technology organization at Multilink Technology Corporation, a company focused on high-speed solutions for advanced optical networks. He has authored several publications, presentations, three US patents and several patent applications. He earned an MBA from Fordham University and a B.S. from Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.). As a native New Yorker, William is uniquely positioned to assist rapidly growing technology companies in the New York Market.

    Photo of Joshua Siegel, Managing Partner, Rubicon Ventures Joshua B. Siegel
    General Partner
    Rubicon Ventures
    Read the full profile for Joshua B. here!
    Rubicon Ventures
    As General Partner – New York, Joshua oversees the day to day activities and operations of Rubicon including evaluating early stage technology companies seeking funding, assisting current portfolio companies with development and interaction with our angels, attracting LP capital, and development of our network. Joshua has extensive experience and connections in technology, real estate, luxury lifestyle brands, digital media, and consumer products.

    Previously, Mr. Siegel was an early stage strategic advisor for startups and real estate concerns, and board member of The Founders Club, an equity exchange based liquidity platform for entrepreneurs. Formerly CEO Professional Connection Resources, an enterprise level marketing system for the legal community, Manager Eastern European Banking Systems at Citibank, Director of Market Intelligence at Citicorp Debt Capital Markets.

    Mr. Siegel received his BA degree from Boston University in Economics and Business Administration and received his MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in Finance and Entrepreneurship in 2000. He also holds a Degree in Gastronomy from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. Joshua was born and raised in New York City, attending Horace Mann, where he lives with his wife, son and daughter.

    Photo of Saul Richter, Managing Partner, Emerald Stage2 Ventures Saul Richter
    Managing Partner
    Rittenhouse Ventures
    Read the full profile for Saul here!
    Rittenhouse Ventures
    Mr. Richter is the Founder of Rittenhouse Ventures and has been active within the technology community for over twenty years as a venture capitalist, entrepreneur and technologist. Mr. Richter brings the Fund broad experience in the venture capital industry, having worked at a number of leading venture firms over the past 18 years. Mr. Richters strong technical background in software development and systems administration, his ongoing avid interest in emerging technologies and deep early-stage venture experience make him a strong leader of the Rittenhouse team.

    Since founding Emerald Stage2, now renamed Rittenhouse Ventures, in 2006, Mr. Richter has led investments in Maverick Network Solutions, acquired by Fiserv (FISV), ClickEquations, acquired by Channel Intelligence, Take The Interview and Halfpenny Technologies. Prior to Rittenhouse, Mr. Richter was a Principal at Himalaya Capital, which he joined in early 2002. While at Himalaya, Mr. Richter was active on the boards of a number of companies including Concerro which was acquired by Francisco Partners in 2012. Prior to Himalaya, Mr. Richter worked at Lucent Technologies in the New Ventures Group, where he focused on the creation and launch of software startups. In addition to Lucent, Mr. Richter has prior venture capital experience working at Softbank Ventures, Jerusalem Global Ventures and Flatiron Partners(now Union Square Ventures). Mr. Richter currently sits on the Boards of Take The Interview, Miria Systems, Vcopious and Halfpenny Technologies(observer).

    Mr. Richter also has operational experience as the founder of Zapper Technologies US operations. He formed and built out the company US office, developed the go-to-market strategy, hired a sales force and worked closely with the Israel-based development team to coordinate product development. Mr. Richter also worked as a financial analyst at Salomon Smith Barney and as head of new product development at Dubois, Brown & Co, a financial analysis software company sold to Thomson Financial (NYSE:TOC).

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