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  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out Summer NYC VC & Angel Conference, sponsored by WeiserMazars, McCarter & English, LLP, Pura Vida Tequila, Nolcha, HGS. This event was in La Marina on Thursday, August 6, 2015.

    Photo of Moderator: Kevin Pianko, WeiserMazars Kevin Pianko
    Partner
    BDO
    Read the full profile for Kevin here!
    BDO
    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 Gil Beyda, Genacast Ventures Gil Beyda
    Managing Partner & Founder
    Genacast Ventures
    Read the full profile for Gil here!
    Genacast Ventures
    Gil Beyda is a seasoned entrepreneur turned venture capitalist. Gil launched his first company Mind Games in 1982 to develop games for the original Apple II. Gil then started a software consulting firm with Fortune 100 clients in the U.S., Asia and Europe.

    In 1995, Gil helped pioneer Internet advertising by founding Real Media, the first online ad network and ad server company. After Real Media was acquired in 2001, Gil pioneered the next wave of online advertising as CTO of TACODA, the first behavioral targeting, ad network. Following AOL’s acquisition of TACODA in 2007, Gil founded Genacast Ventures in partnership with Comcast Ventures.

    Photo of Shane Kelly, Managing Director, Wolverine Angels Shane Kelly
    Founder & Managing Director
    Wolverine Angels
    Read the full profile for Shane here!
    Wolverine Angels
    Shane Kelly is Founder and Managing Director of Wolverine Angels, a seed investment syndicate and mentor network. Prior to Wolverine Angels Shane ledteams at Wolverine Venture Fund and Detroit Venture Partnerswith investments including NeuMoDx and ArborMetrix.
    Previously, Shane built customer service and finance teams at GreeneStreet Filmsas the company raised several rounds of venture capital and grew revenue to over $10 million. Hismotion pictures credits include Movie 43 and Awake.
    Shane holds an MBA with distinction from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business where he was a Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Fellow. He earned a Bachelor of Science cum laude from Morehouse College where he studied Math and Physics.

    Photo of Brian Cohen, Chairman, New York 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 Jason Klein, HBS Alumni Angels Jason Klein
    Chairman
    HBS Angels
    Read the full profile for Jason here!
    HBS Angels
    I am happy to announce that Jason E. Klein, CEO of On Grid Ventures LLC, will serve as the new Chairman of Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater NY. Jason (bio here) is an experienced angel and company builder. I am shifting to Chairman Emeritus. I will still be very active in supporting our growth, while continuing to serve as a Partner at ff Venture Capital.

    In December 2010, Richard Kane, then-President, Harvard Business School Club of New York, asked me if I would like to found an HBS alumni-affiliated angel group in NY. Since then, we have grown to be the 2nd largest angel group in NY, with 130 members (vs. about 150 for Golden Seeds in New York, the largest group). We believe we are the second or third most active angel group in New York, depending on which metric you use. 33 of our members collectively have made 82 investments for $3.5m in 27 companies. Our average check size per member per company per round is $43K, which is probably the highest of any angel group in the country. We also have won over 800 investors and friends to our mailing list.

    Photo of Kathleen Murray, Executive Forum Angels Kathleen Murray
    Chair
    Executive Forum Angels
    Read the full profile for Kathleen here!
    Executive Forum Angels
    Kathy Murray is owner of McMorran Strategists, LLC. Earlier, Kathy held C-Suite level positions at publicly-traded firms and partnerships - Aetna, PwC and FARO - in sales, business development and operations. Other affiliations include: Emeriti Board & Immediate Past President of Harvard Business School Women's Association of NY, Trustee on the University of Rochester Board, Board Member at the Daily Gazette (a Schenectady family-owned publishing firm), Advisor to TempBuddy (a Dublin startup software for managing temp employees), Chair of Executive Forum, Founder of Executive Forum Angels and Fellow at the Foreign Policy Association. Kathy is also a frequent speaker/instructor on business development, angel investing, innovation, strategic thinking and building relationships. Kathy received a BA in Math/General Science from the University of Rochester and the Advanced Management Program Degree from Harvard Business School.

    Photo of Christina Bechhold, Empire Angels Christina Bechhold
    Managing Director
    Empire Angels
    Read the full profile for Christina here!
    Empire Angels
    Christina leads sourcing and due diligence efforts on potential investments with a strong interest in mobile and the Internet of Things, and is responsible for organizing training and education events for members. She is a particularly eager supporter of young, New York based entrepreneurs.

    Christina has a professional background in emerging markets and structured finance. She also serves as Vice Chairman of Hope on a String, a non-profit, grassroots organization that seeks to foster an environment of social transformation and economic development in Haiti through participation in music, a Vice President of the Board of Governors of the Hotchkiss School Alumni Association and Founder of InterprepNYC, a social and networking organization which connects U.S. and UK prep school alumni in New York. Christina graduated cum laude from the honors program of Boston College with a B.S. in Management.

    Photo of Moderator: David Sorin, McCarter & English David J Sorin
    Partner
    McCarter English
    Read the full profile for David J here!
    McCarter English
    Dave Sorin is an office managing partner and the head of the Venture Capital and Emerging Growth Companies practice at McCarter & English. He focuses his practice primarily on privately- and publicly-owned startup, early stage, emerging growth, and middle market technology, tech-enabled and life science enterprises, as well as the investors, executives, and boards of directors who support and lead them. Dave has a long track record of successful representation of growth companies, having been repeatedly recognized by well-known periodicals for a unique combination of legal acumen and sound business judgment. He also brings to bear his broad range of knowledge and experience in counseling enterprises and investors in diverse emerging growth markets, technology industries (including software, information technology, artificial intelligence, VR/AR, FinTech, e-commerce, and communications), and life sciences. Many of the companies he represents are well-known names throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Under his leadership, McCarter is recognized as one of the most active law firms regionally, nationally and globally according to PitchBook (3rd in the East, 8th nationally, 9th globally, 8th in enterprise software and 6th (tied) in global early stage company deals). In 2017, Chambers, the definitive publisher of law firm and lawyer rankings, named him one of the top lawyers in the country in its inaugural rankings of venture capital and emerging growth company lawyers.

    Photo of Jason Shuman, Corigin Ventures Jason Shuman
    Analyst
    Corigin Ventures
    Read the full profile for Jason here!
    Corigin Ventures
    Jason Shuman is an analyst at Corigin Ventures, a Manhattan based investor of early-stage capital and support. An entrepreneur himself, Corigin's team of former operators seek out tech-enabled startups in high-growth markets led by inspirational teams. Free of limited partners or sector constraints, Corigin Ventures focuses on Seed and Series A investments. As investors they leverage operational expertise and cross-industry relationships to assist in early stage growth.

    Photo of Katherine O'Neill, JumpStart NJ Angel Network Katherine O'Neill
    Executive Director
    JumpStart New Jersey Angel Network
    Read the full profile for Katherine here!
    JumpStart New Jersey Angel Network
    Katherine O’Neill is the Executive Director for JumpStart New Jersey Angel Network, a member led angel investor group that invests in early stage high growth companies in Mid-Atlantic region, and an investor in technology businesses. She currently serves on the Board of the Angel Capital Association ACA the national organization representing angel investor groups in North America. She recently was the Program Chair of the ACA National Leadership Conference held in 2010. Katherine represents the ACA at both national and international events. Katherine is a member of the NJ Economic Development Authority Edison Fund Advisory Board, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of SEPA Advisory Board, NJ Technology CFO Advisory Board, Princeton University MIRTHE Investment Focus Group and Rutgers Innovation Park Advisory Board. In recent years she has spoken at and judged business plan competitions both regionally and nationally at events such as IMPACT, Astia, Microsoft BizSpark NYC competition, Tri State Donald W. Reynolds Cup, Princeton University Jumpstart Innovation Forum and Start Up Weekend Princeton.

    Katherine is a seasoned financial executive and investor in early stage enterprises with extensive experience in start up and entrepreneurial operations as well as operational experiences in a diverse range of businesses. She has particular expertise developing technology-based business as well as strategic business plans. She has extensive multinational experience and financial operation management and knowledge of healthcare pharmaceuticals, information systems, e-commerce and social media. She is the president of O’Neill Associates and consults with technology companies and acts as interim CFO.

    Photo of Welcome Address: Ray Mercedes, HGS Ray Mercedes
    Business Development
    Hinduja Global Solutions
    Read the full profile for Ray here!
    Hinduja Global Solutions
    Ray Mercedes is the VP of Business Development for Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS) who is a global leader in the Business Processes Outsourcing space (BPO).

    Ray is responsible for the Tech Sector at HGS from Emerging to Legacy Tech companies. Ray oversees the relationships with VC and Angel investors in the effort to create incubators to better insure spending and drive efficiency within startups.

    Ray has spent the last 10 years working with startups in many different capacities, from launching a startup to helping startups in Silicon Valley create meaningful partnerships with global 100 companies.

    Photo of Ed McLaughlin, Angel Investor Ed McLaughlin
    Founder & CEO
    Blue Sunsets
    Read the full profile for Ed here!
    Blue Sunsets
    Ed McLaughlin, Ed is the founder of four businesses. Ed bootstrapped USI Companies and grew it into an Inc. 500 company and was honored as Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young. In 2005, he sold USI to Johnson Controls, a Fortune 100 company. Ed then became CEO of JCI's Global Workplace Business for the Americas. Ed is currently running his fourth company, Blue Sunsets LLC, investing in startups and real estate. He has a BA from the College of the Holy Cross. Active in philanthropy, Ed lives with his wife in Connecticut and has three adult children.

    Photo of Justin Humphries, Star Angel Network Justin Humphries
    Executive Director
    STAR Angel Network
    Read the full profile for Justin here!
    STAR Angel Network
    Angel Investing Network designed for professional athletes, entertainers, and high net worth individuals.

    STAR eMBA is a new invitation only program at The George Washington University School of Business (www.staremba.com.) It is the first MBA exclusively for athletes, entertainers and individuals with personal brands. This is a unique opportunity to prepare a group of extraordinary individuals for long term global and business leadership.

    Worked directly with Columbia University Professor Sudhir Venkatesh on Athletes In Transition project. Duties include collection, analysis, and interpretation of sociological data involving professional athletes and their transition to life after sports.

    Natalie Hwang, Simon Venture Group Natalie Hwang, Simon Venture Group

    Natalie Hwang is a Principal at Simon Venture Group (SVG), the venture capital arm of Simon Property Group (SPG), focusing on investing in the future innovation of retail in-store and online. SPG is an S&P 100 company and the largest real estate company in the world. SVG has been globally ranked as a top 10 corporate venture fund in e-commerce and retail by CB Insights. The venture group actively invests across stages from Seed to Series C+ ($250K-$5M+).

    Natalie invests in retail tech, compelling brand platforms, online marketplaces, data analytics, logistics, and internet of things.

    Natalie is also an active angel investor who supports ambitious founders in their efforts to leverage technology to evolve or reinvent their industries.

    Prior to SVG, she was a VP of The Blackstone Group where she was involved with the firm's seeding platform for investing in early stage alternative asset businesses. She received a B.A. from Duke University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

    Photo of Michael Kelley, ARC Angel Fund Michael Kelley
    Founding Member
    ARC Angel Fund
    Read the full profile for Michael here!
    ARC Angel Fund
    For more than 13 years, Michael Kelley has been executing and managing principal investments in venture capital and real estate. He is the founder and principal of Formation Capital, Inc. (“Formation”), which currently manages in excess of $50 million in equity invested in 30 investments. Formation’s venture portfolio includes Foxfire Printing and Packaging, iProcess Online and Performance Systems Development. Formation also manages investments in multi-family developments utilizing the Low-income Housing Tax Credit. At Formation he personally developed an online fund management system that allows all stakeholders to collaborate, upload or access information based on permissions. Prior to Formation, Mr. Kelley was a principal with HK Special Situations Group, where he provided advisory services to the US Small Business Administration regarding a troubled Small Business Investment Company. He was also a principal with GSA Management and with Intrust USA. At Intrust he was responsible for raising and investing 4 real estate tax credit funds and one venture capital fund. In addition to serving as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Delaware Innovation Fund, Mr. Kelley sits on the boards of Foxfire Printing, Early Stage East, and the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League. Mr. Kelley received his BA degree in History magna cum laude from the University of Delaware.

    Angel Investors