Alumni New Venture Challenge (ANVC)

2022 ANVC Finals 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.

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.

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).

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 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.

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), 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-five years. For over 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 World Business Chicago’s Innovation and Venture Strategy Council, a dedicated public-private effort to improve Chicago’s economic development as well as national and world competitiveness in science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Allison Weil, MBA ’17, MPP ’17

Allison Weil, MBA ’17, MPP ’17

Senior Associate, Hyde Park Venture Partners

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Allison Weil, MBA ’17, MPP ’17

Senior Associate, Hyde Park Venture Partners

Allison is a senior associate at Hyde Park Venture Partners and has been with the firm since 2019. Prior to HPVP Allison ran business operations for Civis Analytics, a Chicago-based data science software startup. She also cofounded Flag Analytics, a predictive analytics company focused on public safety, and spent her early career in healthcare consulting at Accenture. 

Kevin Willer, MBA ’10 (XP-79)

Kevin Willer, MBA ’10 (XP-79)

Partner, Chicago Ventures

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Kevin Willer, MBA ’10 (XP-79)

Partner, Chicago Ventures

Kevin Willer is partner at Chicago Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund where he is overseeing all aspects of Chicago Ventures including fund management, deal sourcing and investments, and working directly with portfolio companies. He joined the fund in June 2013. Previously, Kevin was the president and CEO of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC), which manages, operates, and programs 1871, one of the top ranked incubators in the world serving hundreds of startups building their early-stage businesses located at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. During this time, Kevin was also a venture partner at Pritzker Group Venture Capital. Previously, Kevin cofounded the Google Chicago office in late 2000. In his over ten years with Google, Kevin helped grow this office to more than 400 professionals and led relationships with some of Google’s largest marketing partners based in the Midwest. Before Google, Kevin held business development positions at CMGI and USRobotics. Kevin is actively involved in several civic and charitable organizations. He was named to Crain’s 2011 “40 Under 40” list as well as Crain’s 2012 Tech 50 list. He is on the board of trustees of the Illinois Institute of Technology and of Loyola University Chicago and is a member of The Commercial Club of Chicago. He currently serves on the boards of North Shore University Health System, the Big Shoulders Fund, Choose Chicago, mHub, World Sport Chicago, the Future Founders Foundation, the CEC, and the inaugural Development Council for USA Soccer. In 2011, he served on the steering committee for Mayor Emanuel’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs and currently is a member of the Mayor’s technology council, ChicagoNEXT. Previously, he was a director of The Economic Club of Chicago and was a trustee of his alma mater, Loyola Academy. Kevin earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and studied at the London School of Economics, and he earned an MBA from Chicago Booth.

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). 

Mandeep Julka, MBA ’13

Mandeep Julka, MBA ’13

VP, Chiratae Ventures

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Mandeep Julka, MBA ’13

VP, Chiratae Ventures

Mandeep Julka is Vice President at Chiratae Ventures India Advisors, and leads investing in Seed and Series A deals. 

Prior to Chiratae Ventures, Mandeep worked with Ola, where she headed Business Finance for Ola Financial Services, including Digital Lending and Digital Insurance verticals. Before that, she worked in the FinTech investing team at IFC, Washington DC, and at Brightriver Capital, a sector agnostic PE fund, in Singapore. Earlier in her career, she has worked at SBI Capital Markets, Mumbai, where she led fund raising for maritime projects.  

Mandeep holds a Bachelors degree in Metallurgical Engineering from PEC, Chandigarh, and has also studied in FMS, Delhi. Mandeep holds an MBA from Chicago Booth School of Business. She is an active CFA charterholder from the CFA institute, USA 

Mandeep enjoys reading, travelling, and staying up-to-date with her watchlists. 

Ellen Itskovitz, MBA ’81

Ellen Itskovitz, MBA ’81

Consultant, Healthcare Advisory Venture

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Ellen Itskovitz, MBA ’81

Consultant, Healthcare Advisory Venture

Ellen recently joined the Catalytic Impact Foundation, a mission driven healthcare venture capital company. She has followed the healthcare industry as an analyst and institutional investor, as well as working as a consultant within the industry. She initially worked as an analyst and investor with Lord Abbett where she was a partner (investing in retail and consumer-based companies), and UBS Asset Management. Most recently she served as an executive director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management.   

Prior to that Ellen had worked in banking, at ING Barings, Chase and the French Merchant Bank, Worms et Cie.  At Worms, she developed an understanding of the unique considerations of smaller organizations and companies, investing in, structuring and negotiating bespoke private transactions.  

Ellen earned her MBA from the Chicago Booth, with a specialization in finance. At the Booth, she was a recipient of the Rockwell International Fellowship. Her BA is in economics and public policy from Duke University. She is a CFA charterholder. 

She currently serves on the advisory board of the Hot Bread Kitchen incubator, a New York city not for profit. She also is advising Carehaus, a unique senior co-housing venture led by two MIT faculty members, on healthcare and financial issues. 

David Lefever, MBA ’84, JD ’84

David Lefever, MBA ’84, JD ’84

Partner, Silver Capital Advisors

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David Lefever, MBA ’84, JD ’84

Partner, Silver Capital Advisors

Mr. Lefever joined Silver Capital Advisors as a partner in 2017 to focus on the industrials, consumer, and retail industries. Previously, Mr. Lefever was the managing partner and cofounder in 2001 of Axiom Financial Advisors, LLC, an investment banking firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions, strategic reviews, and corporate finance advisory. From 1998 to 2001, Mr. Lefever was a managing director at CIBC World Markets (formerly Oppenheimer) in New York, where he headed the Transportation Equipment & Services Investment Banking Group. His principal responsibilities included M&A and corporate finance. Prior to joining CIBC, Mr. Lefever was a managing director in corporate finance at UBS Securities in New York, where he worked as an investment banker for ten years serving companies in a broad range of industries. 

Mr. Lefever has represented numerous domestic and international clients in a variety of advisory and financing transactions with deal values totaling over $10 billion. He has completed deals on four continents. These M&A and strategic review assignments were exclusive mandates on which Mr. Lefever was the senior banker. Clients include Fortune 200 companies, smaller corporations, private equity firms, hedge funds, and not-for-profit entities. 

Before joining UBS, Mr. Lefever was an attorney with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York, where he specialized in negotiated acquisitions. Prior to graduate school, he worked in the Banking Section of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC. Mr. Lefever has published in the Federal Reserve Bulletin, American Economist and University of Chicago Literary Review. Mr. Lefever earned an honors degree in economics from Bucknell University and a MBA and JD from the University of Chicago, where he was the student government representative for both the law and business schools, as well as the recipient of a merit fellowship awarded by accounting firm Peat, Marwick & Mitchell. Mr. Lefever is married with three children. He is an avid SCUBA diver and a KCBS certified BBQ judge. Mr. Lefever is a director of the Art Deco Society of Washington and a member of the New York Bar.

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