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Alumni New Venture Challenge

Alumni New Venture Challenge

2019 Judges

Stephen Beitler,X’78
Stephen Beitler,X’78

Stephen Beitler,X’78

Managing Director at Dunrath Capital, Ret. Army Lt. Col. (Special Forces)

Stephen Beitler is the cofounder and CEO of Dunrath Capital, a venture capital firm focused on protecting critical infrastructure. Portfolio companies include Critical Signal Technologies, which provides telemedicine and personal emergency response systems; and Keri Systems, the largest independent integrated access control provider. Dunrath’s exits include: Gichner Systems Group (acquired by Kratos); Initiate (acquired by IBM); and Arxan Technologies (acquired by Microsemi and TA Associates). Over his career, Stephen has been tasked with finding solutions to massive problems, such as merging a Fortune 10’s sprawling patchwork of information technology systems into one or reducing the weight and cost of the V-22 Tiltrotor by more than $1 billion. He took a leave of absence from Dunrath to accept an appointment as the founding CEO of the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, which identified over $6 billion of innovative financing solutions for massive infrastructure upgrades. Prior to founding Dunrath, Stephen was managing director of Trident Capital, where he founded the firm’s cybersecurity practice prior to 9/11 and served on the firm’s investment committee. He joined Trident after a decade at Sears and Helene Curtis, where he streamlined chaotic financial management and information systems, vaulting both companies into the digital era. Stephen also has served as military assistant (chief of staff) to the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Production and Logistics. As an intelligence officer and Green Beret, he commanded up to 1,000 soldiers in combat and managed budget and assets of more than $100 million. He also ran operational and research activities on weapon, radar, and satellite and airborne imaging systems, which were delivered on time and on budget. His counter-terrorism work principally focused on Iran. Stephen also has served on countless volunteer boards, ranging from the Lyric Opera of Chicago to the Illinois Venture Capital Association, where he was chairman. He currently is the scholarship chairman for the Vigilant Torch Foundation, which supports the needs of special operators in Tier 1 JSOC units.

Larry Berlin, AB ’89, MBA ’94
Larry Berlin, AB ’89, MBA ’94

Larry Berlin, AB ’89, MBA ’94

Senior Vice President, First Analysis

Larry Berlin, AB ’89, MBA ’94, is CFO at Freedom Fries, an IT company working on data privacy issues.  He was a senior vice president at First Analysis until April 2019, where he led investment efforts and provided research coverage of leading private and publicly-traded companies in the financial technology and digital marketing sectors.  He remains affiliated with First Analysis and its 12 and 13th funds.  He is an observer on the board of Freeosk for First Analysis and a member of the board of Solve, Inc. He is also an independent member of the board of Incapital and serves on its audit committee. His work has been cited for excellence in the StarMine analyst awards. Prior to joining First Analysis in 1999, he was acting CFO at Doculabs, a Chicago-based information technology consulting firm. Earlier, he was a consultant for Ganymede Corp., an associate in corporate finance at UBS, and a member of the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade. He earned a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Outside of work he curls, bikes, sails, and is a photographer.

Rob Chesney
Rob Chesney

Rob Chesney

 Partner, Chicago Ventures

 

 

 

Rob Chesney is an experienced Internet entrepreneur and operator with more than 17 years’ experience building and leading startup organizations. He recently joined Chicago Ventures as a partner where he supports the overall management of the fund and is responsible for deal sourcing, diligence and investment, and working directly with portfolio companies. He has deep consumer and e-commerce experience and expertise having led multiple businesses through periods of hyper-growth. Most recently, Rob served as COO of Trunk Club where he played a central role in the general management of the company; overseeing customer acquisition, leading innovation of the technology platform and managing the build-out of the company’s operations. The company was sold to Nordstrom Inc. in 2015. In previous roles, Rob was an executive in residence at Greylock Partners and spent 8 years at eBay where he served in various roles, including vice president of eBay Motors and vice president buyer experience and verticals for North America. Rob holds a BA from McGill University and an MBA from Kellogg.

Waverly Deutsch
Waverly Deutsch

Waverly Deutsch

Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship and Academic Director of University-wide Entrepreneurship Content, Chicago Booth

Waverly teaches the Global New Venture Challenge and Building the New Venture for Booth’s Executive MBA program and is a full-time coach for the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge. In 2005, she received the US Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s Innovative Teaching Pedagogy award. In her role as Academic Director for University-wide Entrepreneurship Content, she oversees how entrepreneurship content is delivered across the all entire University campus stakeholders. She also writes quarterly for the Chicago Booth Review magazine. Waverly currently serves on several advisory boards for startup companies as well as the advisory council of OCA Ventures, a leading Chicago venture capital firm. Prior to joining Chicago Booth, Waverly was managing director of NetFuel Ventures, an internet incubator. Before to moving to Chicago, Waverly spent seven years with Forrester Research in Cambridge Massachusetts. Waverly holds a BS in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD in theater history from Tufts University.

Susan Hapak, MBA ’89
Susan Hapak, MBA ’89

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

Jason Heltzer, MBA ’02

Partner, Origin Ventures

Jason Heltzer joined Origin Ventures as a partner in 2014 and began his career in venture capital in 2001. Jason is currently a board member or observer for Atavium, Tock, Tovala, and one unannounced investment. Before joining Origin, Jason was a general partner at OCA Ventures where he was involved in over 60 venture capital investment transactions and worked directly with founders to grow many of OCA’s portfolio companies. Jason led OCA’s investments in Cartavi (acquired by Docusign), Base CRM (acquired by Zendesk), Brightnest (acquired by Angie’s List) and FeeFighters (acquired by Groupon). Jason also worked closely with TradeKing (acquired by Ally Bank). Before OCA, Jason 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. Jason holds a bachelor’s in computer science from the University of Michigan, where he also founded a fraternity. Jason holds an MBA in finance and entrepreneurship from Chicago Booth, where he was a Siebel Scholar and Wallman Scholar. In addition to his professional responsibilities at Origin, Jason is an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth, where he teaches the venture capital and private equity lab class. Jason has an interest in movies, and has watched every Best Picture movie from 1927-present, plus about 175 documentaries. In addition, for most of his life, Jason has been addicted to video games, which is what prompted him to teach himself how to code when he was 13.

Amelia Maccoun Morris, MBA ’86
Amelia Maccoun Morris, MBA ’86

Amelia Maccoun 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.

Leon (Lonnie) Moulder Jr., MBA ’97
Leon (Lonnie) Moulder Jr., MBA ’97

Leon (Lonnie) Moulder Jr., MBA ’97

Founding General Partner, Tellus BioVentures

Lonnie Moulder is the founding general partner of Tellus BioVentures and a venture advisor to New Enterprise Associates. He most recently served as CEO and director of TESARO since cofounding the company in 2010. Acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in January 2019, TESARO is a Boston-based oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company. He previously served as president and CEO of Abraxis BioScience, Inc., acquired by Celgene Corporation in 2010. In 2008, Lonnie served as vice chairman and executive vice president of Eisai Corporation of North America following Eisai’s acquisition of MGI PHARMA, where he served as president and CEO beginning in 2003. Numerous cancer patients have benefitted from products developed and launched by Lonnie’s teams. He raised over $2 billion of public and private capital and led organizations that were acquired for a combined value of over $10 billion. Lonnie is a Temple University trustee, chair of the Temple University Japan (TESS) board, and serves on the Fox Chase Cancer Center board. He is a council member for Chicago Booth and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Lonnie is member of the board of the Moulder Family Charitable Foundation and chair of the board of directors of Trevena, Inc. He is also the owner-operator of the Commodore Farm & Vineyard. Lonnie was co-recipient of E&Y “Entrepreneur of the Year” 2017 National Overall, National Life Sciences and New England Life Sciences award and named Institutional Investor’s “2018 Best Biotechnology Mid-Cap CEO”. Lonnie received a pharmacy degree from Temple University, and an MBA from Chicago Booth.

RoseMary Safranek, AB ’80, MBA ’88
RoseMary Safranek, AB ’80, MBA ’88

RoseMary Safranek, AB ’80, MBA ’88

Chief Investment Officer, Ninepeaks Capital Management   

RoseMary Safranek founded Ninepeaks Capital Management in 2002. The firm is a specialized investment advisor with offices in New York and Hong Kong. RoseMary has lived in New York, Hong Kong, London, Tokyo and Chicago since setting out from Fort Smith, Arkansas. Her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal as well as Smashmagazine. A four-year varsity tennis player and Illinois Small College Doubles Champion, RoseMary earned an AB in economics and an MBA in finance from Chicago Booth.

Michael Small, MBA ’81
Michael Small, MBA ’81

Michael Small, MBA ’81

Cofounder and CEO at 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

Mark Tebbe

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth; Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Polsky Center

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 start-up and high-growth companies over the past thirty years. As both an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Chicago Polsky Center, Tebbe aids students in their entrepreneurial efforts and helps other professors enhance their classes. He has spent many years of judging and mentoring in Polsky’s New Venture Challenge (NVC). Outside of the classroom, Tebbe serves as Chairman of ChicagoNEXT, a dedicated public-private effort to improve Chicago’s competiveness in science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

In 1984, Mark founded Lante Corporation, (NASDAQ: LNTE) a Chicago-based technology-consulting firm in which he served as CEO and Chairman. Using $10,000 borrowed on his credit card, Tebbe launched the technology advisory firm that helped to create over 250 new businesses as well as building backend infrastructure and websites for established companies including Microsoft, Dell, American Airlines, American Express and Charles Schwab. Lante was taken private by SBI Group in September 2002 and sold (as Razorfish) to aQuantive in July 2004.

Immanuel Thangaraj, MBA ’93
Immanuel Thangaraj, MBA ’93

Immanuel Thangaraj, MBA ’93

Managing Director, Essex Woodlands Health Ventures

 

Immanuel serves as managing director of the firm’s legacy venture capital funds Essex Woodlands Funds. He joined EW as a partner in 1996 and was promoted to managing director in 1998. He has 20 years of experience as a seasoned investor in operations, venture capital, and growth equity opportunities. He began his career at ARCH Venture Partners, a leading venture capital firm with over $2B under management which makes early -stage technology and healthcare investments. He left in 1995 to run a startup telecommunications services company called Integrated Telemanagement, which was later sold to Cam-Net Communications. Immanuel serves on the board of directors for Acura Pharmaceuticals, Serene, Kona Medical, and Proteus Digital Health. In addition to the portfolio company boards on which he serves, Immanuel was also responsible for EW’s investment in Microport Scientific Corporation; China Cord Blood Services Corporation; VenturePharm; CBR Systems; iKnowMed Systems; and Novacept. He serves as the cochair of the council of Chicago Booth and the visiting committee of the College. He is also a trustee of Trinity School in Menlo Park, California; on the board of the India Community Center in Milpitas, California; and the former chairman of MAP International. Immanuel holds both a bachelor of arts from the University of Chicago and an MBA from Chicago Booth.

Kevin Willer, MBA ’10 (XP-79)
Kevin Willer, MBA ’10 (XP-79)

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 & 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’s2011 “40 Under 40” list as well as Crain’s2012 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 NorthShore University HealthSystem, the BigShoulders Fund, ChooseChicago, 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 his MBA from Chicago Booth.

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