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  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out VC and Startup Whiskey Cruise, sponsored by McCarter & English, LLP, BDO, Crowded.com, Angel Week NYC, ARC Angel Fund. This event was in Hudson River, NYC on Thursday, June 1, 2017.

    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 Moderator: Kevin Pianko, BDO 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 Sumeet Shah, Brand Foundry Ventures Sumeet Shah
    Senior Associate
    Brand Foundry Ventures
    Read the full profile for Sumeet here!
    Brand Foundry Ventures
    Sumeet is helpful in sourcing and managing new opportunities at Brand Foundry Ventures. Mr. Shah has 6 years of experience across the startup and private equity industries, formerly running new business strategies at Gist Digital and handling business development and project work at Gotham Consulting Partners. He graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Biomedical Engineering, specializing in Biomechanics.

    Photo of David Goldberg, Corigin Ventures David Goldberg
    Director
    Corigin Ventures
    Read the full profile for David here!
    Corigin Ventures
    David Goldberg is a Director at Corigin Ventures, a NYC-based provider of capital and support to early-stage tech-enabled companies. Corigin Ventures invests in inspirational teams tackling high-growth markets across all sectors including consumer, mobile, real estate tech, and the on-demand economy. Some prior investments include Lending Club, Urban Compass, Zeel, Transfix, and Poshly. Prior to joining Corigin, David founded and led FreshNeck.com , a mens accessories collaborative consumption platform, through its exit in 2014.

    Photo of Nihal Mehta, Eniac VC Nihal Mehta
    Founding General Partner
    Eniac Ventures
    Read the full profile for Nihal here!
    Eniac Ventures
    At Eniac we call Nihal the human rolodex, thanks to the thousands of connections he has made with some of world's top companies and brands. He developed many of these connections over the past 20 years while founding five different high tech startups. Most recently Nihal was the founding CEO of LocalResponse, where he grew revenues 2153% in three years and landed them at number 204 in the 2014 INC. 5000’s Fastest Growing Companies. Prior to LocalResponse, Nihal founded buzzd, the first real-time mobile cityguide, and ipsh!, one of the first full-service mobile marketing agencies in 2001, which was acquired by Omnicom (NYSE: OMC) in 2005.

    Even before founding Eniac, Nihal honed his ability to spot top entrepreneurial talent by investing in Admob (acquired by Google), Swiftkey (acquired by Microsoft), Tala, Tapad (acquired by Telenor), and Uber to name a few. Because of his experience both building and funding top technologies, he frequently guest lectures at business schools around the country on entrepreneurship and mobile marketing, and is published in over 15 books and white papers on the subject.

    Outside of the office Nihal loves to spend time with his wife Reshma and is a big supporter of her non-profit Girls Who Code. Around town you will usually see him with his son Shaan and beagle-bulldog Stanley. Nihal is the life of the party, which is why he always spearheads Eniac events.

    Nihal graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Philosophy and a BSE in Computer Science.

    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 Frances Schwiep, Comcast Ventures Frances Schwiep
    Principal
    Comcast Ventures
    Read the full profile for Frances here!
    Comcast Ventures
    Frances focuses on early to late-stage investments in enterprise tech, with a spotlight on artificial intelligence, structured digital assets, and smart cities. She's inspired by ideas that spark the imagination.

    Before Comcast Ventures
    Previously, Frances spent time as an investor at Highland Capital and at Redstar Ventures, where she focused on finance tech, healthcare IT, and B2B marketplaces. Before that, Frances worked at a wearable computing company, MC10 Inc., helping to build out MC10's sports and healthcare applications. She began her career in data science and consulting at Analysis Group.

    Education
    Frances holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and graduated magna cum laude from Boston College, with bachelor's degree in Economics, Applied Math focus.

    Fun Fact
    Frances is an avid consumer of hip hop music, and is one-fifth of the way through her goal of mastering the five pillars of hip hop, as defined by KRS-One (DJing, MCing, Breakdancing, Graffiti Writing, and Knowledge). She admires the entrepreneurial founding fathers of hip hop and others who dare to start new movements.

    Photo of Jesse Middleton, Flybridge Jesse Middleton
    General Partner
    Flybridge Capital Partners
    Read the full profile for Jesse here!
    Flybridge Capital Partners
    Husband, father, entrepreneur, technology evangelist, investor, mentor and lifelong hacker.

    Jesse's investment interests includes mobile, SaaS, big data, consumer and e-commerce. Prior to joining Flybridge in 2016, Jesse was an early executive at WeWork, one of the fastest growing and most valuable startups in history. He co-founded WeWork Labs in 2011, which became WeWork's global startup incubator, and ran WeWork X, M&A, startup investments, business and digital product development as well as inside sales during his five-year tenure at the company.

    Prior to WeWork, Jesse was the co-founder and CEO of Backstory, a venture backed startup. Jesse began his career traveling across the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Israel and China as a network security engineer based in Philadelphia. He moved to New York City where he became the head of information technology at LivePerson in 2010.

    Prior to Flybridge, Jesse was an active angel investor and serves as an advisor to many early stage technology startups including 3Claps, Authenticated Digital, Benny, Camelot Metrics, Eight, fitmob (acquired by ClassPass), inDinero, Jackpocket, Leo Health, Morsel, Rukkus, Squire, Symple, Thunderclap, Uptown House and YourTrove (acquired by LiveNation).

    Jesse attended Drexel University.

    Photo of Mary Anne Rooke, Angel Investor Forum Mary Anne Rooke
    Managing Director
    Angel Investor Forum (AIF)
    Read the full profile for Mary Anne here!
    Angel Investor Forum (AIF)
    Mary Anne Rooke is the Managing Director of the Angel Investor Forum (AIF) based in Connecticut. AIF's mission is to create a dynamic investment environment where private investors and entrepreneurs can find mutual success. AIF is an investor group comprised of 3 clusters of angel investors located in Hartford, New Haven & Stamford.

    She is also the founder of Rooke & Associates, a boutique management consulting firm that provides interim management, strategic planning, organizational development & executive coaching for businesses of all sizes. Mary Anne enjoys judging business plan competitions and assisting universities' incubator programs. Currently, Mary Anne is working with UConn's Technology Incubation Program (TIP) at the Avery Point Campus to bring in early stage companies into the incubator with a focus on marine science & technology and to mentor these entrepreneurs. Recently, she helped the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (YEI) link its Summer Fellowship student entrepreneur ventures to mentors from AIF and other business networks.

    Prior to founding Rooke & Associates, Mary Anne held positions as Chief Financial Officer and Controller in multiple industries ranging from start-up ventures to Fortune 500 companies in both publicly owned and privately held sectors. She has served on several boards and commissions in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Connecticut. Mary Anne holds a B.S. in Accounting from Annhurst College and a M.B.A. from Golden Gate University's Executive MBA Program.

    Photo of Mike Cardamone, SaaStr fund Michael Cardamone
    Venture Partner
    SaaStr Fund
    Read the full profile for Michael here!
    SaaStr Fund
    I was lucky enough to be one of the first 30 employees at Box in a BD role and then led partnerships at AcademixDirect. After 6 years in operating roles, I started and am now the Managing Director of Accelerise in San Francisco (www.acceleprise.vc), an enterprise software focused accelerator backed by leading operators. In addition to Acceleprise, I am a Venture Partner for the SaaStr fund, a $70M fund led by Jason Lemkin focused on investing in great SaaS companies with amazing founders. Lastly, I am also an angel investor in the seed rounds of Flexport, Naturebox and TalentIQ; among others. I graduated with an MBA in Finance and Marketing from Columbia Business School in May 2008. I also hold a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University. Specialties: Developing and managing partnerships, strategy, SaaS, business development, digital marketing, investing

    Photo of Jeffrey Finkle, ARC Angel Fund Jeffrey Finkle
    Angel Investor
    ARC Angel Fund
    Read the full profile for Jeffrey here!
    ARC Angel Fund
    Mr. Finkle is an angel investor and entrepreneur and former Managing and Founding Partner of Odeon Capital. He is the co-chair of the Evaluation Committee for ARC Angel Fund. Prior to raising $115 milllion for Odeon Capital Partners I, Mr. Finkle had a 20-year career in the fields of entrepreneurial management, general management, corporate development and marketing in the computer software industry. He served as Vice President of Corporate Business Development at Computer Associates International, and prior to Computer Associates' acquisition of Cheyenne Software, served as Cheyenne's Vice President of Corporate Development and Corporate Marketing where he had overall responsibility for corporate and product positioning. Prior to that, he served as Vice President and General Manager of Cheyenne's Unix Division. Prior to Cheyenne, Mr. Finkle was Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Applied Programming Technologies, which he represented for sale to Cheyenne in 1993. Early in his career, Mr. Finkle co-founded N/Hance Systems a peripheral manufacturing and software development company. Today Mr. Finkle serves as Chairman of Service Channel Inc, a web based transaction management platform providor to the service maintanance industry, and Managing Member of two TV direct response entities. Mr. Finkle also serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of PSCH a not-for-profit serving the mentally ill and developmentally disabled.

    Photo of Adi Levanon, Symmetric Ventures Adi Levanon
    Venture Partner
    Symmetric Ventures
    Read the full profile for Adi here!
    Symmetric Ventures
    I'm an American-born Israeli hybrid who has lived in the Silicon Valley, NYC and Israel. Before moving to NYC, I was involved in the Israeli high-tech and venture capital ecosystem for over 10 years, with a myriad of experience on both the investment side along with business and legal operations. Currently I am Venture Partner at Symmetrical Ventures, a privately-held investment fund that provides strong expertise in the financial services, B2C, digital media and eCommerce industries. We invest in early stage startups where we think we can be helpful, along with certain venture capital funds as a limited partner investor.

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