Alumni New Venture Challenge (ANVC)

2021 Judges

Bob Altman, MBA ’88

Bob Altman, MBA ’88

Adjunct Professor Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth

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Bob Altman, MBA ’88

Adjunct Professor Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth

Altman serves on the board of directors of Toltec Pharmaceuticals, Preora Diagnostics and Output Medical. In addition to his leadership position of President at Pinnacle Biologics (the U.S.-based subsidiary of Concordia Healthcare), Altman also served as CEO and president of Marathon Pharmaceuticals, senior vice president of marketing and sales at Astellas Pharma, and held several senior positions during a 17-year career at Abbott Laboratories. Altman earned his PhD in chemistry from Harvard University, his MBA in finance and marketing from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from University of California, Riverside. 

Jon Butcher

Jon Butcher

CEO, Mintel Americas

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Jon Butcher

CEO, Mintel Americas

Jon moved to Chicago from the UK in 1998 to establish and lead the North American presence of Mintel, a global market intelligence agency. Today, with more than 350 employees across the Americas, Mintel provides consumer and market insights to hundreds of brands, agencies and academic institutions.

Jon also serves as president of the British American Business Council in Chicago (BABC). The BABC is a dynamic member-driven non-profit organization that fosters business relationships between the UK and the United States. Through its network, programs and events, the BABC helps entrepreneurs, companies, and organizations connect and succeed in the United States.

A keen biker and runner, Jon is also a passionate musician. He frequents the classes at the great Chicago music institution, Old Town School.  Two teenage sons keep Jon abreast of video game culture.

Christopher Deutsch

Christopher Deutsch

Founder, Lofty Ventures

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Christopher Deutsch

Founder, Lofty Ventures

Chris is the founder of Lofty Ventures, which builds long-term relationships with Chicago’s next generation of passionate and brilliant founders. Investments range from five to six-figures in pre-seed to seed stage startups. Lofty’s portfolio includes Turbo Appeal (acquired), teaBOT (Y Combinator), Popular Pays (Y Combinator), Tovala (Y Combinator), Cubii (acquired, #180 on Inc500), L Street Collaborative, Blitsy (acquired), 4Degrees (Techstars), Paladin (Techstars), Gather Voices and (LAUNCH). Over two-thirds of Lofty’s 50+ portfolio companies are led by at least one female and/or underrepresented founder. Chris spent four years as VP of business development with Loft Development Corporation, his family’s Chicago-based commercial real estate business, which brought the concept of lofts from New York to Chicago in the 1960s. Loft sold its portfolio of six office buildings and two self/wine storage facilities in 2016.

In addition, Chris is the founder of the nonprofit-focused home-sharing platform WeCasa, an LP in social venture fund Impact Engine (IV), and a member or board director of the following civic and/or nonprofit organizations: the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Emerge curatorial group, Chicago Ideas’ Radical Creators, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s MakeWork council, Social Venture Partners Chicago, and Outreach With Lacrosse & Schools. He has been a mentor, judge or speaker at Kellogg School of Management, Pritzker Law School, University of Chicago, Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University, Impact Engine, Techstars, Women Tech Founders, National Association of Realtors, U.S.-Japan Council, Cradles To Crayons, Embarc Chicago, Future Founders, DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago, and NASA iTech.

Chris earned his BA in economics from Vassar College, where he played varsity lacrosse, basketball, and rugby. He previously coached Chaparral High School’s lacrosse team (Scottsdale, AZ) for six years and helped lead them to five championship appearances and three state titles in 1999, 2002, and 2004.

Tiago Dias, MBA ’12

Tiago Dias, MBA ’12

Head of Specialty Therapeutic Area, Bayer

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Tiago Dias, MBA ’12

Head of Specialty Therapeutic Area, Bayer

Tiago Dias is the head of the specialty pharmaceuticals franchise at Bayer, a multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company. This therapeutic area includes Bayer’s ophthalmology, neurology, pneumology, and hematology businesses. During his career, Tiago has taken leadership positions in marketing, sales, management consulting, business development, and finance in a variety of industries and in various countries in Latin America, Europe, North America, and Africa. On one of his projects, he worked with USAID (United States Agency for International Development) on a socio-economic development project to attract private sector investment to Mozambique. Over the last ten years he has been mentoring and supporting many startups in Brazil, his home country, with business planning and customer strategy. Early in his career, he founded two startups there: CampusNET, the first job search website in Brazil dedicated to finding job opportunities to recently graduated college students; and Locus, a decision-making software company focused on using artificial intelligence tools to improve hospital care management. While at Chicago Booth he participated in the New Venture Challenge (NVC), the Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC), the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC), and an internship program in private equity at Madison Dearborn Partners, developing an investment thesis in Software as a Service (SaaS). Tiago earned a masters and a bachelors degree summa cum laude in engineering from one of the best universities in Latin America (Unicamp – Universidade Estadual de Campinas), and an MBA with honors from Chicago Booth.

Jackie Dimonte, MBA ’18

Jackie Dimonte, MBA ’18

Partner, Chicago Ventures

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Jackie Dimonte, MBA ’18

Partner, Chicago Ventures

Jackie is a partner with Chicago Ventures. Prior to joining Chicago Ventures, Jackie was a principal at Hyde Park Venture Partners, working with portfolio companies such as RoadSync, Podchaser, Fixer, FactoryFix, and PartySlate. Before that, she worked at Silver Spring Networks (now Itron), an IoT company for critical infrastructure, driving development and pilot projects for emerging smart city technology. She began her career as a consultant at Accenture in the Business & Technology practice, focused on ERP (enterprise resource planning) software and SaaS enablement projects. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Starting Block Madison and Chicago:Blend and a Venture Partner at Republic. Jackie earned a B.S. with honors in general engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA with honors from Chicago Booth.

Susan Hapak, MBA ’89

Susan Hapak, MBA ’89

President, Current Technologies

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Susan Hapak, MBA ’89

President, Current Technologies

Susan Hapak has been the president and owner of Current Technologies Inc., a manufacturing company based outside Indianapolis, since 1994. She searched for a business to buy and run from 1992-94, eventually buying a division of a manufacturer. Her company has achieved significant revenue and margin growth through acquisition and internal effort. Current Technologies Inc. manufactures disposable bio-hazard products and EPA registered disinfectants used in clinical, research, pharmaceutical, biotech and government laboratories. Distributors for the company include Cardinal Health, Thermo Fisher Scientific, VWR International, MarketLab, Henry Schein, McKesson, Owens and Minor. Customers include most large hospital systems including Mayo Clinic, IU Health, NYU Langone, USC, Cedars Sinai, Kaiser Permanente, Cleveland Clinic, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, University of Miami. Pharma customers include Bristol Myers Squibb, Pfizer, Merck, Eli Lilly; biotech customers include Sequenom, Illumina, Genentech, Cepheid; government customers include Centers for Disease Control (CDC), FBI, Department of Defense, Ft. Dietrick US Army Medical Research. Current Technologies has won the Supplier Operational Excellence Award from Cardinal Health for having the highest scores for inventory management, timeliness and accuracy of shipments and performing advanced EDI transactions. Thermo Fisher Scientific, another NYSE distributor, has recognized Current Technologies for several supplier awards. Fisher Healthcare has honored Susan as one of its annual recipients of its “4 I’s” award for Integrity, Intensity, Innovation and Involvement. Susan was an adjunct associate professor of entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth, where she taught the “New Venture Strategy” course from 1998 – 2008 (while running her business). She was a member of the GSB Entrepreneurship Advisory Board at its inception, and is currently a member of the Council for the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Prior to searching for and buying Current Technologies, Susan was a consultant for several years in the systems strategy practice at Booz Allen & Hamilton. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Duke University, and her MBA with honors from Chicago Booth.  

Jason Heltzer, MBA ’02

Jason Heltzer, MBA ’02

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth; Managing Partner, Origin Ventures

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Jason Heltzer, MBA ’02

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth; Managing Partner, Origin Ventures

Jason Heltzer began his career in venture capital in 2001 and is currently a managing partner at Origin Ventures. Heltzer is a board member or observer for Tock, Tovala, Idelic, X-Mode, and two unannounced investments.

Heltzer’s prior investments include Cartavi (acquired by Docusign), Base CRM (acquired by Zendesk), Brightnest (acquired by Angie’s List) and FeeFighters (acquired by Groupon). Heltzer also worked closely with TradeKing (acquired by Ally Bank). Before his venture capital career, Heltzer spent three and a half years as a software engineer and software architect for Deloitte Consulting. He also led engineering and business teams at 1stUp, a San Francisco-based startup.

Heltzer received a BS in computer science, with highest distinction, from the University of Michigan, where he also founded a fraternity. Heltzer also received an MBA in finance and entrepreneurship, with high honors, from Chicago Booth, where he was a Siebel Scholar and Wallman Scholar. In addition to his professional responsibilities at Origin, Heltzer is an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth, where he teaches the venture capital and private equity lab class.

Julia Monfrini Peev

Julia Monfrini Peev

Founder, PACE Healthcare Capital

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Julia Monfrini Peev

Founder, PACE Healthcare Capital

With over $1B invested in healthcare, Julia is the founder of PACE Healthcare Capital, an early-stage investment fund focused on healthcare tech and digital health businesses. Daughter of entrepreneurs, she is passionate about building successful businesses solving critical issues in healthcare. Before starting PACE, Julia was a Director at CDPQ, Canada’s second largest pension plan with over $275B of AUM, where she co-led direct private equity investments in the healthcare sector in North America and LATAM. Prior to joining CDPQ, Julia was a partner at Blue Hill Capital Ventures, providing consulting services to PE funds and their healthcare portfolio companies, and also worked at Monitor Clipper Partners (“MCP”), a $2B mid-market PE fund investing in founder-led businesses in North America and Europe. Julia started her career at Merrill Lynch, in Leveraged Finance and then Healthcare M&A.

Julia holds an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School where she was the recipient of the Marguerite Carriere fellowship and A.L. Littauer award. She also earned a Masters in Management from ESCP Europe.

Representative investments: Team Health (Board Director), Eurofins (PIPE), MyEyeDr. (Board Observer), CMC Biologics (Board Observer), Higher Education Partner (Board Director), AMOpportunities (Board Observer).

Amelia Morris, MBA ’86

Amelia Morris, MBA ’86

Director of Investments Group, Brandes Investment Partners

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Amelia Morris, MBA ’86

Director of Investments Group, Brandes Investment Partners

 

 

Amelia Morris serves as director of investments, analyst, and team leader on the consumer products research team. She is also a member of the international large-cap investment committee. Amelia joined Brandes Investment Partners in 1998, and is a limited partner of the firm’s parent company. She has served as a member of the Brandes Institute advisory board, the investment oversight committee, and the emerging markets investment committee with Brandes Investment Partners. She has vast investment experience. Amelia is a CFA charter holder. She received a bachelor’s in economics from the University of California, Davis, and her MBA from Chicago Booth.

Ellen Rudnick, MBA ’73

Ellen Rudnick, MBA ’73

Senior Advisor, Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

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Ellen Rudnick, MBA ’73

Senior Advisor, Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Ellen Rudnick is a senior advisor and adjunct professor for entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth and previously served as the initial executive director of the Polsky Center. She is a successful startup executive, having served as chairman of Pacific Biometrics and CEO of Health Care Knowledge Resources. She has held positions as corporate vice president at Baxter Healthcare and president of Baxter Management Services Division, which she founded. She also has an MBA from Chicago Booth.

Michael Sachaj

Michael Sachaj

Senior Principal, Hyde Park Angels

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Michael Sachaj

Senior Principal, Hyde Park Angels

 

Michael Sachaj is the senior principal of Hyde Park Angels (HPA). He leads HPA’s investment opportunities through sourcing deals, conducting due-diligence, supporting portfolio company follow-on rounds, and managing investment data. Michael joined HPA after spending a few years as a strategy consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, D.C. where he worked on a variety of process and customer service improvement efforts. He earned a BA in political science from Northwestern University.

Michael Small, MBA ’81

Michael Small, MBA ’81

CEO and Cofounder, K4 Mobility

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Michael Small, MBA ’81

CEO and Cofounder, K4 Mobility

Michael Small is the cofounder and CEO at K4 Mobility, a digital technology and internet services provider for the maritime industry. He previously served as the CEO and president at Gogo Inc. from 2010 to 2018. Michael also served as the CEO of Centennial Communications Corp from 1999-2009, and previously held many other leading roles at telecommunications companies, most of which were publicly traded. Michael also serves since 2010 as the director of First Midwest BanCorp Inc., a Chicago-based regional bank with $15+ billion in assets. Michael has a bachelor’s degree in history from Colgate University, and an MBA from Chicago Booth.

Samir Sood, MBA ’01

Samir Sood, MBA ’01

Founder, Venture Highway

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Samir Sood, MBA ’01

Founder, Venture Highway

Samir Sood is the founder of Venture Highway. In addition, Samir has helped grow and diversify India Forge, a family run auto parts manufacturing business. Prior to this, Samir was the head of South Asia, Australia – M&A and Investments for Google Inc., and in that capacity, he has led Google’s investments in several first time seed stage funds in India: Erasmic Venture Fund (Accel India), SONG (Soros, Omydiar, Google Fund), Seedfund, and Ventureast TeNet Fund II. Additionally, Samir was part of the team that coordinated the $750 million acquisition of AdMob. Earlier, Samir was part of the corporate business development team at Cisco Systems, Inc. where he led wireless acquisitions and investments, which included the $450 million acquisition of Airspace. Samir executed the first venture investment in India (India Games) for Cisco Systems, Inc. among many other acquisitions and investments. Samir earned a MBA from the Chicago Booth, a MS in mechanical engineering from Tufts University, and a BS in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Mark Tebbe

Mark Tebbe

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth and Chairman, ChicagoNEXT

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Mark Tebbe

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth and Chairman, ChicagoNEXT

After many years of judging and mentoring Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC), Mark Tebbe brings a wealth of successful entrepreneurial experience into the classroom by leveraging his founding of two NASDAQ-listed corporations as well as direct involvement in numerous startup and high-growth companies over the past thirty years. Over the past ten years, as both an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship and an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Polsky Center, Tebbe aids students in their entrepreneurial efforts and helps other professors enhance their classes. Outside of the classroom, Tebbe serves as chairman of ChicagoNEXT, a dedicated public-private effort to improve Chicago’s competitiveness in science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Quan Zhang, SM’ 08, PhD ’10

Quan Zhang, SM’ 08, PhD ’10

Managing Director, Pin Capital

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Quan Zhang, SM’ 08, PhD ’10

Managing Director, Pin Capital

Quan Zhang is managing director at Pin Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm. Prior to founding Pin Capital, Quan was an investor at Guild Capital. As the head of e-commerce investments at Guild, he led a series of early-stage deals, such as Home Chef (acquired by Kroger) and MessageControl (acquired by Mimecast). Prior to venture capital, Quan was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company, focusing on M&A and private equity projects in technology, retail, and healthcare sectors. Quan earned Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago and B.S. from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). 

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