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  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out Food Investing Conference 2016, sponsored by McCarter & English, Crowded.com, Picnic In The Park. This event was in NYC on Thursday, August 25, 2016.

    Photo of Gabriele Corcos, The Cooking Channel & Restauranteur Gabriele Corcos
    Chef and Host
    Cooking Channels Extra Virgin
    Read the full profile for Gabriele here!
    Cooking Channels Extra Virgin
    Born in Florence, Italy, Gabriele Corcos was raised in the Olive Country of Fiesole. His grandmother and mother taught him everything he knows about Tuscan food and traditional farmers' cuisine. Gabriele has an insatiable fascination with food, a love for organic ingredients, and foremost a determination to feed his wife and children in the healthiest and most natural way he knows...the Tuscan Way. After a few years spent in L.A. catering high-end events and cooking for many celebrities and clients in the entertainment industry, Gabriele was hired as the consulting chef for the prestigious Montauk Yacht Club in Long Island in the summer of 1012. His menu featured traditional farmers cuisine from his home country and a few Super Tuscan takes on American staple recipes. He is currently living in Brooklyn and in the process of opening his first restaurant.

    The hit Cooking Channel show, Extra Virgin, invites viewers into his family's Brooklyn home, where Gabriele and his wife, actress Debi Mazar, share their passion for food and each other. She's a modern girl from Queens, and he's a food purist from the hills of Tuscany. With their two young daughters, they have a home life that is pleasantly chaotic and filled with only home cooked Tuscan meals. Gabriele and Deborah created, produce and host the show Extra Virgin which airs domestically on the Cooking Channel and globally on the Food Network International platforms.

    The couple is set to release their first cookbook with Clarkson/Potter during Spring 2014.

    Photo of Toan Huynh, Angel Investor, 37 Angels Toan Huynh
    Angel Investor
    37 Angels
    Read the full profile for Toan here!
    37 Angels
    Toan Huynh is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor focusing on food, technology, and start-up. As a successful three-time entrepreneur, Toan has started and successfully exited 2 out of 3 start-ups, including her most recent venture that is a cloud computing firm.

    While Toan enjoys technology, her true passion lies in the creation of a business and food- she has had that opportunity to combine both with her third start-up. The Saucey Sauce Co. is an producer of artisanal, ready-to-serve Vietnamese savory sauces or “nuoc cham”, based locally in Brooklyn, NY. Started on a shoe string and while traveling all over for her other businesses, Toan and her co-founder Ken has grown the business and the sauces can be found in over 25+ specialty stores and on-line e-commerce sites, and ships internationally to Canada and overseas.

    Toan also invested in food start-ups, including the New York Distilling Company, founded by the famed Tom Potter, founder of the Brooklyn Brewery. She is also a member of the 37Angels women-only Angel investor network, specializing in early-stage, seed-round start-ups.

    Photo of Janice Collins, The Refinery Janis Collins
    Co-Founder
    The Refinery
    Read the full profile for Janis here!
    The Refinery
    Janis, entrepreneur in residence for CTNext, and the Stamford Innovation Center, is a mentor and advisor to early stage ventures. She is also the co-founder of The Refinery, an accelerator that is transforming women led startups in Connecticut into scaleable businesses.

    She started and leads a womens entrepreneur forum, Founders Connect, to help provide women entrepreneurs of Fairfield County more access to capital, networks and knowledge.

    A committed and passionate advisor to startups, she recently created Juice, an event to connect food innovators, mentors and investors. Janis coaches dozens of regional startups, using her proven methodology to help them develop their pitch, refine their business models, and create their go-forward plans.

    She has been helping companies innovate, create and quickly launch new businesses for more than 25 years. First, through her own company, which focused on helping high tech startups and then later advising and funding new financial service companies. Janis has helped found and launch several companies including two non-profit organizations.

    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 Sam Rubenstein, Panacea Capital Advisors, Inc. Sam Rubenstein
    President
    Panacea Capital Advisors
    Read the full profile for Sam here!
    Panacea Capital Advisors
    Sam Rubenstein is the President of Panacea Capital Advisors, Inc., a venture capital and strategic advisory firm based in Bethesda, Maryland, that works with a broad range of US middle market companies. In addition to startup and early stage Food Tech, Music Tech and other technology-enabled B2B services with an innovative or disruptive focus, Panacea Capital also invests in and provides strategic advisory services to middle market companies in foodservice, content and information services, outdoor media, distribution and supply chain services, marketing services, financial services, crowd funding services and some consumer retail.

    Sam currently serves as an active director and trusted advisor to (1) a digital outdoor media company, (2) an advertising and sponsorship supported indie music video production and distribution company (BaebleMusic.com), (3) a B2B ecommerce platform that connects foodservice distributors and specialty manufacturers with wholesale food buyers (Foodem.com), (4) an interactive music technology platform focused on the hospitality and retail markets (myiJukebox.com), (5) a consumer retail business (Party City franchisee), and (6) a quick-service restaurant group (Wendy's franchisee).

    Prior to forming Panacea Capital in 2011, Sam worked as a lawyer in private practice and as a senior executive of a publicly-traded investment company and SBIC for nearly 25 years advising financial services companies, investors and U.S. middle-market businesses with identifying, structuring and/or negotiating in excess of 600 debt and equity financing transactions as well as M&A, joint venture, strategic alliance and other corporate development transactions that involved collectively an aggregate investment amount exceeding $6 billion.

    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 the managing partner of McCarter's East Brunswick office and the head of the Venture Capital and Emerging Growth Companies practice. 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, e-commerce, and communications), and life sciences. Many of the companies he represents are well-known names throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

    Photo of Kristin Calve, Angel Investor, Topstone Angels Kristin Calve
    Founder
    Topstone Angels
    Read the full profile for Kristin here!
    Topstone Angels
    Kristin is a serial entrepreneur with experience in startups, mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, new product development, nonprofits, as well as commercial and residential real estate. She has extensive experience in both traditional and new media, including executive positions at American Lawyer Media, The Deal, and A&E/The Histo ry Channel. Kristin currently serves on the Board of Green Guide Living and is a mentor to the NY Region of the Kairos Society. Her nonprofit experience includes multiple terms as President of the Board of Directors of the YWCA Darien/Norwalk. Kristin graduated from Fordham University with a BA in English Literature and an MBA in Finance and Marketing.

    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).

    Bryan Ciambella, B Capital Bryan Ciambella, B Capital



    Lauren Jupiter, Accel Foods Lauren Jupiter, Accel Foods



    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.

    Ray Payne, Angel Investor Ray Payne, Angel Investor



    Photo of Shen Tong, Food Future Shen Tong
    Founder & Partner
    Food Future
    Read the full profile for Shen here!
    Food Future
    Shen Tong is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, foodie, social activist, writer/poet, and film buff. One of Newsweeks People of the Year in 1989, Shen Tong was an organizer of the democracy movement in 1989 that occupied Tiananmen Square while he was at Beijing University. After his exile to the US, he finished his undergraduate degree at Brandeis University, and went on to study in PhD programs at Boston University and Harvard University. Mr. Shen became an entrepreneur in the 1990s, founding or co-founding B&B Media and VFinity among other ventures in the past two decades.

    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.

    Photo of Derek Denkla, Foodshed Investors NY Derek Denckla
    Chairman
    Foodshed Investors NY
    Read the full profile for Derek here!
    Foodshed Investors NY
    Derek Denckla is an impact investor, strategic advisor and serial social entrepreneur. For fifteen years his firm, Denckla Projects, has provided advisory services and sourced investment capital for sustainable and ethical companies. He has worked with beloved local brands and projects, such as Egg Restaurant, Mouth.com, Brandworkers, Brooklyn Grange, Liddabit Sweets, Cracked Candy, Majora Carter Group, MetaMenu, Provenance Meals, Brooklyn Food Works, Red Hook Community Farm, Local Farms Fund, Blue Marble Organic Ice Cream, Greenbelt Condos and many others. He founded non-profit Slow Money NYC since 2011 – a community of 4,000 linked through networking events that explore investing in local, sustainable food and farm business. Denckla produces the large regional gathering promoting sustainable food business investing at the annual Food + Enterprise Summit. For the last five years, he founded and managed Foodshed Investors NY, the first angel investor network dedicated to funding local and sustainable food business. Their work is guided by “Slow Money” Principles – deploying patient impact capital to alter the nature of the current food system. Denckla is an Adjunct Professor at NYU, teaching topics in sustainable food business practices and markets. He is invited to write and speak regularly on impact investing, sustainable food and farm enterprise development.

    Photo of Skyler Fernandes, Simon Ventures J. Skyler Fernandes
    Managing Director
    Simon Venture Group
    Read the full profile for J. Skyler here!
    Simon Venture Group
    J. Skyler Fernandes is the founding Managing Director of Simon Venture Group (SVG), the venture capital arm of Simon, an S&P 100 company and the largest retail real estate company in the world. SVG invests in the future innovation of retail, including in-store retail tech, ecommerce, data analytics, logistics, and internet of things. 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.

    Some of our portfolio companies include: Augmate (Enterprise SaaS For Digital Eyewear), Deliv (Same Day Delivery), Fuhu (Child Tablets & Accessories / #1 Fastest Growing Company in US), Jifiti (Gifting Made Easy), Le Tote (Clothing Rental Subscription), Shopkick (Acquired by SK Telecom).

    For more info on Simon Venture Group, go to: www.SimonVentureGroup.com

    Apply To Simon Launch - Retail Tech Startup Competition & Accelerator: Win $25K, Free Office Space For 1yr, Acceptance into Plug & Play Retail Accelerator: http://www.simonventuregroup.com/#accelerator

    Mr. Fernandes gave the first TED Talk on Venture Capital: Innovating the Financing of Innovation and has developed key entrepreneur resources, such as "The Best Startup Pitch Deck", which has become the #1 investor pitch deck online, viewed and downloaded over 200,000 times and is used by accelerators and business schools around the country, and has the #1 Googled image for IRR Analysis.

    Mr. Fernandes graduated a year early from New York University (NYU), summa cum laude, due to his studies at Harvard University in Quantum Physics.

    Photo of Trevor Nelson, Alliance Consumer Growth Trevor Nelson
    Managing Partner
    Alliance Consumer Growth
    Read the full profile for Trevor here!
    Alliance Consumer Growth
    As a co-founder and managing partner of ACG, Trevor enjoys providing a unique level of partnership and capital to entrepreneurs with consumer businesses poised for compelling growth. He has years of experience investing in the consumer industry and executing a variety of financial transactions. Trevor currently serves on the board of Phil's Fresh Foods, maker of EVOL-branded frozen food products.

    Prior to founding ACG, Trevor was a principal with The Lessing Companies, a consumer-focused private equity firm. Earlier in his career, Trevor worked for Texas Pacific Group (TPG Capital), one of the world’s largest private equity firms with over $48 billion of capital under management. As a generalist at TPG, Trevor was involved in transactions in the consumer, industrial and healthcare sectors.

    Before TPG, Trevor spent three years working for the New York-based private equity firm, Harvest Partners where he completed investments in the juvenile products company Evenflo, the natural personal care business Nature's Gate & Nature's Gate Organics, the personal care and beauty business Arbonne International, and the transit bus manufacturer New Flyer Industries.

    Trevor began his career in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Lehman Brothers. Trevor holds a B.A. from Northwestern University where he studied political science and was the captain of the men's varsity NCAA soccer team.

    Photo of Sam Klepfish, 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.

    Eric Sacco, CircleUp Eric Sacco, CircleUp



    Ken Huynh, Food Angels Ken Huynh, Food Angels

    Ken is a manager of Food Angels, an angel group focusing on early-stage food companies. He also specializes in Cloud Computing, Software-as-a-Service, and Enterprise technologies. He spent more than 10 years immersed in market research and execution of emerging technologies including several years at the private technology think tank, The Research Board, the Gartner Research subdivision. Ken has managed and led initiatives across the full-lifecycle of product development, market research, and business development. Currently Ken is the founder and CEO of the Saucey Sauce Company, a Brooklyn based food startup with an ever growing national distribution including retail chains such as Dean & Deluca, Morton Williams, HEB, and Natural Food Markets. Ken is also a Practice Lead for Virtustream, a Cloud Computing specialist to enterprise customers. Ken has invested in a number of startups including the NY Distilling Company, Kopi Trading Company, and servces as a member of the Local Food Lab, a food startup incubator, and Food Angels.

    Kevin Provost, CoPhilly Kevin Provost, CoPhilly

    Kevin Provost is Founder and CEO of CoFund360 - a growing network of alternative business accelerators serving seed-stage ventures in industries and markets underserved by traditional venture capital. CoFund360 is currently invested into twelve seed-stage ventures including a food-truck delivery service and an organic beverage manufacturer. CoFund360 currently operates two accelerator properties based in Philadelphia, PA and accepts applicants on a referral basis only (no open application): CoPhilly - The World's First Crowdfunding Accelerator - Currently servicing B2C ventures seeking to leverage JOBS Act regulations to raise capital from accredited and unaccredited investors. Visit www.cofund360.com to learn more. Greenhouse Ventures (GHV) - The Worlds First Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Accelerator - Currently servicing B2B and B2C ancillary cannabis ventures only. In 2017 GHV will accept plant-touching product ventures such as infused edibles. Visit www.greenhouse.ventures to learn more. Kevin is a program developer, startup advisor, and career coach focused on crowdsourced business and financial models that improve workforce, education, and capital opportunities for creatives, students, startups, and small-Medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

    Andrew Ive, Food-X Andrew Ive, Food-X

    Andrew is a Managing Director at SOSV responsible for building, innovating and supporting the emerging Food X ecosystem. P&G brand management trained, while in his dorm room, Andrew took a new product idea, raised angel funds, established a manufacturing facility in China and a sales force to sell his first solo product line into major US retailers. In his second Silicon Valley based company Open Shelf, Andrew raised $20M+ from VCs to focus on the data challenge between retailers and their vendors. That company was acquired. Andrew has focused on innovation, developing high-growth businesses opportunities and as a business advisor in multiple verticals. He served on the Board of the Small Business Council of the Department of Trade and Industry advising the UK Government on entrepreneurialism and high growth companies; the National Science Foundation on startup grant awards, the Investment Task Force and the Centre for Policy Studies, Small Business Council (UK Think Tank). Andrew is also an author and currently has a bestselling book, ‘Choose Your Startup: Funding Your Company’ in the startups and entrepreneurial categories on Amazon.com. He holds a BSc from the University of London and an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. His first product design, the X-IT Ladder, is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

    Moderator: Joe Ferino, McCarter & English Moderator: Joe Ferino, McCarter & English



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