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Venture Capital
** Click Here to Register for our next Early-Stage VC & Angel Investor events:
  • SoCal Startup Day, Feb 26 2020

  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out NYC VCs, Angels and ICOs, sponsored by McCarter & English, LLP, BDO USA, LLP, LDJ Capital,, Iconiqlab, Opporty, Polymath, Decentralized.ID. This event was in New York on Thursday, January 25, 2018.

    Photo of Moderator: David Sorin, Partner, McCarter & English LLP David J Sorin
    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.

    Gyan Kapur, Activate Venture Partners Gyan Kapur, Activate Venture Partners

    MR. Kapur IS the Vice President OF ACTIVATE VENTURE PARTNERS.

    Prior to joining Activate, Gyan worked with Activate’s predecessor fund - Milestone Venture Partners and graduated from the MBA program at the Wharton School of Business.

    Before Wharton, Gyan worked for Gather Health, a chronic disease management startup that focused on emerging markets.

    Prior to working for Gather, Gyan worked for Citigroup where he built and scaled businesses in foreign exchange derivatives, focusing on complex and technical products. This included Citi’s multi-currency options business, automated foreign exchange derivative market making, FX structured products, and its commodity currency market making business.

    Gyan holds a B.A from Columbia University where he double majored in mathematics and economics.

    David Drake, LDJ Capital David Drake, LDJ Capital

    David Drake and his family office LDJ Capital and its partners, has acted as GPs and investors in fund-of-funds, realty funds, venture capital funds, seed funds, debt funds and hedge funds. Mr. Drake's investments and private equity advisory at LDJ Capital currently has 50+ global directors and family office partners maintaining relations with institutions and family offices with $1.5 trillion in assets.

    Mr. Drake and his family office manages and co-invests alternative assets with the top 30 out of his investments in The Soho Loft Media Group that has a 5000 family office and institutional investor reach. These top 30 have aggregate asset under management of $1.5 trillion with 40% from Asia, 30% from Europe and 30% from the Middle East.

    Mr. Drake’s access to 100,000 investors is maintained through his media holding investment The Soho Loft Media Group which has produced and sponsored over 1100+ global finance conferences since 2002, ie events by institutional media leader Thomson Reuters, with speakers from Nasdaq, NYSE, KKR and Carlyle Group. Global investor relations, capital allocation, syndication and buy side advisory are augmented at LDJ Capital advisory division via The Soho Loft Media Group.

    LDJ Capital Special Situations partners have invested $100 Million in Alibaba and Palantir and continues with its NYC partner at McCarter English to place $500M in pre-IPO companies such as Lyft, N3N, Klarna, Dianrong, Truecaller, Crowdfunder, MagicLeap, DropBox. LDJ Capital Real Estate’s multi-family strategy is to acquire series A core rental properties in global gateway cities at a 4+ cap rate and turn them into a 10 cap repositioning with a 15% IRR. The realty hotel division works with top 10 hotel operators and asset managers globally including pursuing its own hotel acquisitions and hotel conversions in NYC.

    LDJ Capital invests and handles buy side advisory for institutional fund placement, mutual fund seeding, fintech Investments, data and risk analysis investments, natural resources from gold to oil revenue generating properties to operating minority and controlling stakes in, but not limited to, broker dealers, wealth management, hedge funds, transportation, finmedia to insurance.

    Mr. Drake has been involved in technology, media, telecoms, realty, hospitality, cleantech, energy and social impact investments for more than 25 years. He is an advocate of digital automation investing in private equity, compliance, capital formation policies and the US JOBS Act which he lobbied for in the US Congress and the EU Commission. Because of his leading work in this space, he represented the US Commerce Department at the EU Commission in Brussels and Rome in 2012 and was invited to the White House Champions of Change ceremony in Washington, D.C. and as a speaker at the UK Parliament in 2013.

    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 for many years. As he resettled in NYC from years of traveling, he was honored March 2015 to become a board director for the New York City Opera and years as a board advisor for The Washington Ballet which allows him to work and advise US Ambassadors from, but not limited to Sweden, Dominica, Ukraine, Marshall Islands, Australia and Luxembourg.

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

    Photo of Joshua Siegel, Rubicon Capital 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.

    Ali Hassan, Crescent Crypto Ali Hassan, Crescent Crypto

    Ali is an investor and entrepreneur. He founded Crescent Crypto Asset Management to fill the demand for an institutional quality passive investment vehicle in the cryptocurrency market. Prior to Crescent Crypto Ali was a Research Associate at Granger Management, a NY based family office, and was responsible for research and due-diligence on VC opportunities. Prior to that, Ali was a venture analyst at Fairview Capital Partners, and a member of the investment team. He focused on deal sourcing, due diligence, valuations, and investment monitoring for Fairview’s venture capital, and co-investment portfolios. Mr. Hassan started his career as an investment analyst at Goldman Sachs where his responsibilities included executing syndicate sales for the investment bank’s IPO and follow on offerings, managing a portfolio of $4.5B in private assets, and trading highly illiquid publicly traded small cap securities. Prior to Goldman, Ali founded and sold Swim Academy, an online marketplace that connected former NCAA swimmers with potential students for private swimming instruction. Ali graduated Summa Cum Laude with an Honors B.S. in International Trade and Economics from Saint Peter's University, writing his senior thesis on the socio-economic and political impact of oil in Egypt. Ali was also captain of the university's NCAA Division I swim team.

    Sergey Grybniak, Opporty Sergey Grybniak, Opporty

    Sergey Grybniak, recently named Executive of the Year, is a recognized international expert with 12 years of digital marketing and applications development experience. He has successfully run advertising campaigns in the US, EU and CIS. He was involved in development and support of salable custom applications with millions of users for both US and European markets. He has built an international business, growing his company from one person to a team of over 50. Dr. Alex Bilichenko, Machine learning expert, trader and investor, with 10+ years experience at the world’s leading companies, including Microsoft, Bridgewater Associates, Goldman Sachs and Teza Technologies. During his tenure, Alex worked on building technology for analyzing massive amounts of data to predict prices of financial assets across the globe. He embraced the blockchain and cryptocurrency revolution in 2013. Alex holds a PhD in Physics and BA/MS in Physics and Computer Science.

    Patrick Lowry, Iconiq Lab Patrick Lowry, Iconiq Lab

    Pat Lowry is the CEO and founder of Iconiq Lab, a global ICO and Token Sale accelerator program based in Germany. He was a member of the Deutsche Börse Venture Capital team, where he developed a strong passion for blockchain technology and alternative financing methods. He has a decade of financial industry experience, including as an associate at Graham Partners, a Philadelphia private equity fund, and PwC as an auditor of private equity, hedge and mutual funds. Patrick was a co-founder and the CFO of Voltaic Coatings and holds an MBA and a CPA license.

    Bill Davis, LDJ Capital Bill Davis, LDJ Capital

    William Davis III is at the forefront of emerging technologies. He is an advisor to funds and individual investors in New York City. His capabilities span complicated technology stacks to targeted campaigns for sustainable lift and mobile customer acquisition and retention. Clients and partners range from the leading lending platforms, crowdfunding sites, virtual currency players and mobile payment gateways to legacy firms entering new markets. He has held positions of Senior Advisor, CIO, COO and President of emerging technology firms globally.

    Bill Davis draws some of his expertise from an extensive background with large firms and established technologies, practices, policies and procedures. He has provided leadership in varying capacities that resulted in Financial, Technical, Operational and most importantly Cultural Transformation (Work Ethic, Quality of Work, Timelines & Governance) at Companies from IBM to American Express with a number of Logistics (Boeing/Ryder), Banks (JPMorgan Chase, BofA (BKB,)) and Consulting Firms in between. He is a Management Leader that adheres to strict disciplines within the relevant Life Cycles for minimizing risks and guaranteeing success. He has earned the “GOTO” label by C- level executives and Board members that need to get it done and get it done correctly.

    Bill created a Strategic Plan for “Banking” at American Express which contributed modestly to a quick emergence from the credit crisis with $3b in earnings while competitors took loses during the period. Bill is a tenacious leader with extensive experience in Core Business Systems & Processes, Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence practices, Performance Management increases, Customer and Product Profitability growth. He maintains a clear view of technology, operations, products and the business of money, both virtual and tangible. He is a leader in legacy business practices as well as a pioneer in the emerging mobile practice. He created a sustainable practice for Mobile Payments in 50+ countries.

    Bill is at the forefront of leadership in the emerging industries of Mobile Micropayments and Virtual Currency/Loyalty. He led the 2x growth of Daopay in Vienna Austria by closing deals with Visa, Facebook and Zynga which realized 8 figure annual returns. He was previously on the Board of Daotec, LTD the leading Mobile Micropayment firm in the U.K. Bill is a frequent speaker at Crowdfunding and Mobile Investment Events Globally. Bill maintains strong ties in local communities by co-sponsoring Pro-Am sports tournaments, teams and mentoring with urban athletes, artists, celebrities and business persons NYC boroughs and the Greater Miami area. He writes and records content (music/video) that addresses urban challenges in North and South America in English and Spanish.

    Matt Oguz, Venture/Science Matt Oguz, Venture/Science

    His professional background spans ecommerce, analytics, behavioral economics and decision sciences. A Turkish-American businessman, Oguz graduated from Bosphorus University in Istanbul, the first American university outside the US and the country’s equivalent to our Harvard, with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. With full scholarship, he then earned an MBA degree in Decision Sciences from Georgia State University Robinson College of Business. Oguz started Venture/Science in 2012, a new generation venture capital fund that pioneered the data-driven "moneyball" approach to venture capital.

    Igor Denisov, Polymath Igor Denisov, Polymath

    Igor leads strategic partnerships for Polymath. He brings 7 years of investment banking experience, with specific expertise in M&A. Prior to Polymath, he worked with leading Canadian boutique bank GMP Securities and bulge bracket BMO. Igor holds a degree in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto.

    Photo of Moderator: Kevin Pianko, BDO USA 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.

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