Alumni New Venture Challenge (ANVC)

Alumni New Venture Challenge (ANVC)

2021 Regional Co-Chairs

The Alumni NVC will operate globally with dedicated regional efforts and participation in the five key geographies with alumni co-chairs spearheading the local regional efforts. University of Chicago alumni have been selected by Polsky Center staff and faculty to lead the ANVC program in their respective region. These alumni are individuals who are passionate about entrepreneurship, have demonstrated success in leadership roles, and expressed interest in working alongside the Polsky Center in supporting alumni venture development.

Midwest Co-Chairs

Shashin Chokshi, AB ’12, MS ’20

Shashin Chokshi, AB ’12, MS ’20

Director of Data Sciences, Upfront Health Services

View Bio

Shashin Chokshi, AB ’12, MS ’20

Director of Data Sciences, Upfront Health Services

Shashin Chokshi is a founder and operator with 10+ years of experience building data-focused software products. He currently leads product strategy & data science at Upfront Healthcare, a patient engagement platform for health systems. Previously, Shashin built and led data and product management teams at Outcome Health and Nomis Solutions. Shashin started his career as the co-founder of Moneythink, a tech non-profit building financial tools for young adults. Shashin has a BA in Economics and Political Science and a Masters in Biomedical Informatics from the University of Chicago. 

Amalesh Sanku, MBA ’99

Amalesh Sanku, MBA ’99

President, Sagertech Communications

View Bio

Amalesh Sanku, MBA ’99

President, Sagertech Communications

Amalesh Sanku is currently President & CEO at Sagertech Communications – a strategic marketing consulting company. He leads strategy and marketing engagements for telecommunications and medical technology companies.  He has identified potential acquisition targets, negotiated strategic global alliances, evaluated M&A prospects, and led due diligence teams for organic and inorganic growth and for portfolio management process both within and across business units at several companies. 

Amalesh has worked at or partnered with some of the top technology companies in US such as Sprint, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Lucent technologies, Ciena, E.F. Johnson and Mpower communication. He has extensive experience in market intelligence, competitive positioning, channel management, creating value propositions, and pricing and brand strategy.   

Amalesh currently serves as a Director and an Officer on the Board of Gateway Foundation- a $110M non-profit drug and alcohol addiction counseling service.  He serves on the Board of the Chicago Booth Angels Network(CBAN)  of Chicago. He also serves as a mid-market Committee member of the Professional Directors Association (PDA) Chicago Chapter.  

Amalesh has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of business, an M.S. in Computer Science from Oklahoma State University, and a B. Engineering in Electronics and Communications from University of Madras, India. He holds a US Patent in multimedia performance of open systems. 

Greg Orlowski, AB ’01

Greg Orlowski, AB ’01

Investor, Atom Power

View Bio

Greg Orlowski, AB ’01

Investor, Atom Power

Greg received his BA in US History from the University of Chicago in 2001. After some early career switches, he rediscovered his childhood passion for tinkering with and programming computers. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, he spent a decade in various roles as a software developer and architect, technology consultant and software engineering manager. Greg Orlowski co-founded London-based Deliveroo in 2012 and Peanut in 2016, and he served as the CTO of both companies in their early stages. He is currently active as an investor and board advisor at a few technology startups. Greg lives with his wife and daughter in Chicago. 

Arnav Dalmia, AB ’13

Arnav Dalmia, AB ’13

Cofounder and CEO, Cubii

View Bio

Arnav Dalmia, AB ’13

Cofounder and CEO, Cubii

Arnav is the CEO and one of the founders of Cubii, a startup that is passionate about making wellness approaching for all ages, abilities, and lifestyles. Named as one of Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under Forty Class of 2020, and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020, he is a successful entrepreneur who has taken the time to listen to customers, using their direct feedback and personal stories to continue improving the products and experience for users of all fitness levels.  

Cubii was included in Inc. 500’s Fastest Growing Companies of 2020 for the second year in a row with a team that has now doubled in size and continues to grow. Even with expanding numbers, in sales and employees, Arnav and the leadership team have held close the importance of being a company that feels like a close-knit community. They strive to maintain a safe environment where people can be vulnerable, be heard and listened to, and can collaborate as a true member of a team.   

Arnav lives in Chicago with his wife, Shivani, who is also a co-founder of Cubii. 

Shivani Jain, AB ’13

Shivani Jain, AB ’13

Cofounder and CMO, Cubii

View Bio

Shivani Jain, AB ’13

Cofounder and CMO, Cubii

Shivani is passionate about building purposeful brands that drive impact. She believes in everyday wellness and envisions creating easier ways to be more mentally and physically balanced in our everyday lives. Combining these two passions, she, along with her two co-founders built Cubii while they were still studying at The University of Chicago. 

Cubii’s mission is to build beautiful, simple, and safe products that help people take the first step in their health and wellness journey. Their flagship product is a compact seated elliptical that helps you Get Fit While You SitTM – at your couch at home or desk at the office. The brand continues to grow and was included in Inc. 500’s Fastest Growing Companies in 2020 for the second time in a row.  

In her spare time, Shivani enjoys being plugged into the maker and women entrepreneurship communities, teaching yoga, and cooking. 

West Coast Co-Chairs

Aakash Jain, MBA ’15

Aakash Jain, MBA ’15

Investment Principal, VU Venture Partners

View Bio

Aakash Jain, MBA ’15

Investment Principal, VU Venture Partners

Aakash Jain is an Investment Principal at VU Venture Partners. Aakash co-founded the Chicago Booth Angel Network (Silicon Valley) and sits on the diligence committee of the local chapter. Passionate about the startup ecosystem, Aakash has also been deeply involved both operationally and as an advisor to several seed and growth-stage startups, predominantly focused on the fintech and consumer verticals. Earlier in his career, Aakash developed algorithms for automated trading at Morgan Stanley and served as an Investment Banker to fintech companies at FT Partners. He holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from the Booth School at the University of Chicago, and a Masters in Computer Science from Cornell University. Aakash was a member of the founding class at Jacobs University in Germany, where he earned a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. 

Parag Beraka, MBA ’15

Parag Beraka, MBA ’15

Director of Product Management, Western Digital

View Bio

Parag Beraka, MBA ’15

Director of Product Management, Western Digital

Parag Beeraka is a Director of Product Management at Western Digital. He is responsible for Product Management and Product Planning of all the future removable and embedded storage product portfolio at Western Digital. He is also responsible for assessing market opportunities with new emerging technologies, defining requirements for new products, and aligning customers and industry partners with Western Digital’s product and technology strategies. He has an MBA from University Of Chicago Booth School of Business and also a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from University Of Kansas. He is also an angel investor and has invested in few startup companies.

Annie Hu, MBA ’16

Annie Hu, MBA ’16

Cofounder and CEO, Omnee

View Bio

Annie Hu, MBA ’16

Cofounder and CEO, Omnee

As CEO and co-founder at Omnee, Annie brings her expertise for product and data analytics. At Google she managed strategic partnerships in web and mobile app advertising and worked with leading channel partners scaling Google’s products on the publisher side. Prior to Google, she worked at NASDAQ across market data and index products. Annie received her MBA from Chicago Booth, and her bachelors in finance and music from University of Maryland, College Park. 

Joanne Chen, MBA ’14

Joanne Chen, MBA ’14

Partner, Foundation Capital

View Bio

Joanne Chen, MBA ’14

Partner, Foundation Capital

Joanne is a partner at Foundation Capital where she works with gritty entrepreneurs who build and leverage proprietary data assets to disrupt business functions. She studies the impact of AI, and invests in AI-first B2B applications and data platforms that are the building blocks of the automated enterprise. Joanne’s passion for technology developed early, when her mathematician dad and computer scientist mom taught her how to program. By the time she was nine years old, she had turned her skills into a business and made her first webpage for a client. Joanne began her career as an engineer at Cisco Systems and later cofounded a mobile gaming company. She also spent many years working on Wall Street at Jefferies & Company, helping tech companies go through the IPO and M&A processes, and at Probitas Partners, advising venture firms on their own fundraising process. She was an angel investor for two years at Hyde Park Angels prior to joining Foundation in 2014. Joanne is on the board of TubiTV and Findera, and observes the boards of Mya Systems, Custora, and Localytics. She has also invested in Simppler, Quilt Data, Brightback, Oasis Labs, CaptivateIQ, and Zengaming. Joanne has a bachelor’s degree in science from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from Chicago Booth.

Patrick Ip, AB ’13

Patrick Ip, AB ’13

VP of Product Marketing, Fuel Cycle

View Bio

Patrick Ip, AB ’13

VP of Product Marketing, Fuel Cycle

Patrick is an ex-Googler and 2x CEO and Co-Founder of two venture-backed start-ups. He’s been featured on Forbes 30 Under 30 2020, and twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (2015, 2016). Prior, Patrick was the CEO of Catalog, which raised $3.1M to help brands use software to seamlessly design and order visual content.  

Kathy Le, MBA ’16

Kathy Le, MBA ’16

Product Manager, Yelp

View Bio

Kathy Le, MBA ’16

Product Manager, Yelp

Ms. Kathy Le is currently a Group Product Manager at Yelp, where she manages a product management team and multiple cross-functional initiatives to oversee the Ads Monetization for Small and Local Business, the main revenue at Yelp. Concurrently, Kathy Le is a Board Director and Angel Investor at Chicago Booth Angel Network of Silicon Valley (cbansv.com) where she leads the deal sourcing & strategic partnership with other VCs and Angel Groups, advises startups and co-leads the cadence and operations of the CBANSV Angel Group.  

Prior to Yelp and CBANSV, Kathy Le had various working experience and a strong track record in Engineering, Product Management, Consultant. She is an alumni of Marvell Semiconductor,  

Cisco, McKinsey. Kathy received an Engineering Bachelor Degree at the National University of Singapore, and an MBA degree at University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.  

Nilesh Trivedi, MBA ’12

Nilesh Trivedi, MBA ’12

Principal Investor, J-Ventures Fund

View Bio

Nilesh Trivedi, MBA ’12

Principal Investor, J-Ventures Fund

Rama Veeraragoo, MBA ’12

Rama Veeraragoo, MBA ’12

Cofounder and CEO, DocuVision

View Bio

Rama Veeraragoo, MBA ’12

Cofounder and CEO, DocuVision

Rama Veeraragoo is an entrepreneur based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His current startup, DocuVision.ai, uses the latest AI technology to help companies find and manage personal information in their systems for privacy law, like GDPR in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (live in January 2020) -DocuVision.ai has been invested in by UC Berkeley’s SkyDeck. Before that, he was an attorney who practiced law at Freshfields, a large law firm in London and then Credit Suisse, where he specialized in structured finance and derivatives. He has been active in the Booth community -he co-founded the Chicago Angels Network in London, and has been building a Booth founder community in the San Francisco Bay Area. He studied law at Balliol College, Oxford University and has an MBA with High Honors from Chicago Booth. 

East Coast Co-Chairs

Chat Razdan, MBA ’11

Chat Razdan, MBA ’11

Cofounder and CEO, Chat + Wear

View Bio

Chat Razdan, MBA ’11

Cofounder and CEO, Chat + Wear

Chat is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Care + Wear. He’s also a proud University of Virginia alum with an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business who spent time as a strategy consultant at A.T. Kearney and as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. Nicknamed “Smiley” in middle school basketball camp, he has tried to bring a smile wherever he goes. A die-hard Baltimore fan, he continues to cheer for the Orioles and Ravens and can often be found running up the West Side Highway in the mornings. In his spare time, he helps to plan his class reunions for UVA and Booth and serves on young alumni boards for UVA. 

Cindy Machles, MBA ’82

Cindy Machles, MBA ’82

Cofounder and CEO, Glue

View Bio

Cindy Machles, MBA ’82

Cofounder and CEO, Glue

Cindy Machles is the co-founder and CEO of Glue, which has been recognized as a top 20 NYC agency in both advertising and public relations since 2015. Before launching Glue, Cindy started and led healthcare-focused branding and advertising organizations for WPP and held product management roles at both Johnson & Johnson and Clorox. Cindy is also a founding steering committee member of the Chicago Booth Angels Network in NYC and an alumni board member locally as well. Cindy graduated from Chicago Booth in 1982. 

Dave Weiner, MBA ’01

Dave Weiner, MBA ’01

COO and CFO, VirtualAPT

View Bio

Dave Weiner, MBA ’01

COO and CFO, VirtualAPT

Dave Weiner is the COO and CFO of VirtualAPT, which uses proprietary, autonomous robots to create interactive, 360° tours which faithfully recreate in-person experiences. Dave is also an investor in and advisor to early-stage consumer/retail-technology companies, including as a committee member of the Chicago Booth Angels Network of New York. Previously, Dave was Deutsche Bank’s lead consumer discretionary global brand analyst within equity research. Dave holds an MBA from the University of Chicago (Booth) and a BA from the University of Illinois. 

Hernando Bunuan, MBA ’07

Hernando Bunuan, MBA ’07

Founder and Partner, Adykai Ventures

View Bio

Hernando Bunuan, MBA ’07

Founder and Partner, Adykai Ventures

Hernando Bunuan, MBA ’07, is an angel investor with a deep interest and curiosity of technology and industry trends.  He previously founded a VC firm focused on emerging technology trends in AI, fintech and B2B software with early-stage start-ups in Europe.  He is a former senior banker responsible for European tech and media client coverage and executed over 35 deals worth over $40 billion across M&A, IPOs and debt issuance.  He initially trained as a public accountant in transaction structuring, SEC reporting and audits.  Hernando has an MBA from Chicago Booth and Bachelors from Washington University.  In 2020, Hernando returned to the US and is based in New York.   

Hernando is an active alumni leader at Chicago Booth.  He previously led the UK Alumni Club as President for seven years and organized events with Fortune 500 executives and start-ups founders.  In 2018 he chaired the inaugural Chicago Booth Alumni Forum in London that featured over 40 global C-suite executives and thought leaders.

Latin America Co-Chairs

Kristin Barrett, MBA ’12

Kristin Barrett, MBA ’12

COO and Director, Enterprise Learning

View Bio

Kristin Barrett, MBA ’12

COO and Director, Enterprise Learning

Kristin Barrett is the COO and Director of Enterprise Learning for Collective Academy, a Mexico City-based education startup. Prior to Collective Academy, Kristin served as COO for the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. There, she operated the University’s incubator and prototyping lab, launched Polsky’s fintech program, and sustained the Polsky Center’s growth to a team of more than 50.  

Kristin has also served as vice president of 1871, one of the largest startup hubs, and the COO of Techstars Chicago. She worked on new ventures and corporate strategy for Redbox and started her career in management consulting at Kearney. 

Kristin earned her MBA with Honors at University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and her BS in journalism and economics from Northwestern University. In her free time, she’s working on her Spanish and wrangling twin toddlers.

Beni Perez Herrena, MBA ’16

Beni Perez Herrena, MBA ’16

Head of Operations, Sofia

View Bio

Beni Perez Herrena, MBA ’16

Head of Operations, Sofia

Beni leads the Operations team at Sofía, a healthtech startup that launched operations in November 2020; Sofía wants to change the way millions of people manage their health by offering a full health plan that challenges the private healthcare model in Mexico. Before Sofía, Beni co-founded Ben & Frank, Latam’s largest direct to consumer eyewear brand. Additionally, he spent 2.5 years at Uber Eats leading Customer Experience for Latam, and 5+ years in Kearney as a management consultant. Beni holds an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Universidad Iberoamericana and graduated from the full-time MBA program at University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2016. 

Alex Liuzzi, AB ’07

Alex Liuzzi, AB ’07

Cofounder and CSO, Remessa Online

View Bio

Alex Liuzzi, AB ’07

Cofounder and CSO, Remessa Online

Alexandre started his career in the Financial Markets, working with Fund of Funds and Credit Agencies in 2004. Later, he joined Santander Asset Management as an analyst for the Product Development team for two consecutive summer programs. After graduating from the University of Chicago with Dean´s List, Alexandre joined JP Morgan Chase in New York as an Investment Banking Analyst focused mainly on Project Finance and M&A for US based Utilities companies. In 2008, he joined M Square Brazil / VELT Partners as buy-side research analyst responsible for Technology, Payments and Exchanges in Brazil and after 2 years he became a partner of the fund given his contribution in stock picking, with a total AUM of over US$1.5bn. After 6 years at VELT and almost 10 years in the Financial markets, Alexandre decided to become a tech entrepreneur investing, building and operating new fintech ventures in Latam. Alexandre has co-founded and is now board member in Finpass, a credit market place focused on SMBs and co-founded BeeTech / Remessa Online where works full time in Strategy, Funding, Finance, M&A and Institucional Relations helping the company secure its funding from Seed to Series B/C and become one of the largest players in the cross-border payment market in Brazil.

Europe Co-Chairs

Whitney Morgan, MBA ’14 

Whitney Morgan, MBA ’14 

View Bio

Whitney Morgan, MBA ’14 

Whitney is a growth consultant and advisor for startups. Prior to consulting she led International Growth & Expansion at Prodigy Finance, a pioneer in the cross-border lending space, and previously worked for various startups in sales and marketing roles, in VC investing in digital media and health technology companies, and as an engineer in both the cyber security and systems engineering spaces.

She holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a B.S. in Systems & Information Engineering from the University of Virginia. Whitney lives with her husband in Paris, France and is active in the local yoga, art, and tech communities.

Alex Boyce, MBA ’17

Alex Boyce, MBA ’17

Head of Growth, Disperse

View Bio

Alex Boyce, MBA ’17

Head of Growth, Disperse

Magdalena Gatzinska, AB ’96, MBA ’00

Magdalena Gatzinska, AB ’96, MBA ’00

Investor and Board Member, C2 Ventures

View Bio

Magdalena Gatzinska, AB ’96, MBA ’00

Investor and Board Member, C2 Ventures

Magdalena is an investment executive with 22 years of experience in senior leadership and entrepreneurial roles within the principal investment space and capital markets. She has a successful record of advising on and managing global multi-asset class portfolios, building successful organizations from the ground up, growing and restructuring businesses to deliver rapid increases in valuation, leveraging emerging technologies to optimize processes and enter new markets, and raising mission-critical funding.

Magdalena’s experience spans across the investment spectrum – from private investments to capital markets. She is the Co-Founder & Chief Investment Officer of Catalyst Capital (C2A) – a principal investments and advisory company with clients across the US, Europe, and MENA. She holds several board & advisory positions with private equity & technology companies. Her focus is on growth strategy & new markets entry, facilitating access to multinationals and sovereigns (as clients and investors), financial engineering/deal structuring and negotiations. Previously, Magdalena headed an Equity & Hybrid Derivatives desk at JPMorgan & Deutsche Bank – building an institutional client base across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Magdalena holds a MBA (2000) in Analytical Finance & Econometrics, and BA (1996) in Economics from the University of Chicago. She lived and worked in various cities in the US, Europe and the Middle East. She is an avid reader, passionate about science, technology, and human development.

Anna Bondarenko, AB ’07

Anna Bondarenko, AB ’07

COO, Owkin

View Bio

Anna Bondarenko, AB ’07

COO, Owkin

Anna is the COO at Owkin, a GV-backed startup developing innovative machine learning software solutions applied to medicine. As one of the company’s first employees, Anna has helped scale Owkin to over 100 employees across four countries, contributing to raising multiple investment rounds from top-tier VCs. 

Prior to joining Owkin, Anna founded and led Asteria, a consumer logistics service in London. In 2016, she sold Asteria to her Rocket Internet-backed competitor Zipjet. Anna started her career as an investment banking analyst at Société Générale.

Anna holds a BA in Economics from the University of Chicago and an MA in International Economic Policy from Sciences Po Paris.

Asia Co-Chairs

Alfa Bumhira, MBA ’16

Alfa Bumhira, MBA ’16

Cofounder and CEO, ProSpark

View Bio

Alfa Bumhira, MBA ’16

Cofounder and CEO, ProSpark

Lawrence Chu, AB ’01

Lawrence Chu, AB ’01

Cofounder and Managing Partner, Oriente

View Bio

Lawrence Chu, AB ’01

Cofounder and Managing Partner, Oriente

Lawrence has over 15 years of international investment experience. He is also the founder of BlackPine Group, an investment company that has provided capital and advice to companies such as Venture Smart, Kenetic, Lufax, C2FO, WH Group, Evergrande and GCL Polysilicon. He began his career at UBS Warburg in the technology and M&A investment banking groups in London and Hong Kong. After which, he took on the role as strategy executive in the Chairman’s office of EMI music before going back to Hong Kong as a portfolio manager at UBS O’Connor. Lawrence graduated from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

Gaurav Gulati, MBA ’08

Gaurav Gulati, MBA ’08

CIO and Head, Aroa Ventures

View Bio

Gaurav Gulati, MBA ’08

CIO and Head, Aroa Ventures

Gaurav Gulati is the Head and Chief Investment Officer of Aroa Ventures, a fund which invests in growth-stage businesses in the consumer, technology, and leisure infrastructure sectors.  Gaurav is also the Founder and Managing Partner of ScaleX Partners, an early stage investment and startup advisory firm.  Gaurav’s entrepreneurial journey started in 2010 and over the past decade he has been involved in various startups in India.  He was part of the founding team and COO of Innov8 Coworking which in 2019 was sold to OYO Hotels & Homes.  Prior to Innov8 he Co-Founded Purist, a corporate food services company, which in 2018 was sold to Cure.Fit.

Gaurav has spent his formative years living in the United States, Argentina, Czech Republic, Malaysia, and India.  He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois in Chicago and an M.B.A. from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. 

Anil Kumar, MBA ’09

Anil Kumar, MBA ’09

Founder, Jodi365

View Bio

Anil Kumar, MBA ’09

Founder, Jodi365

Anil Kumar has over two decades of varied experience as a code developer, researcher, consulting engineer, activist, entrepreneur, and angel investor. He founded Jodi365.com, a matchmaking platform for Indian singles, during the home stretch of his Booth MBA (’09), and has since expanded the parent company, FreeElective’s business into wedding planning also, through Peepul365.com. Anil was previously the first lead associate of Hyde Park Angels—currently one of the largest angel investment networks in the midwestern US—and recognized for outstanding achievement in that role. Prior to HPA, he spent seven years at a boutique consulting firm in Seattle, providing specialized engineering and consulting services to clients in the marine industry. He is a graduate and Institute Blue of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and also holds a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Iowa and a PhD in computational hydrodynamics from the University of Michigan. While at Booth, he was a Beecken Fellow and the recipient of a KPMG Award for Leadership and Scholarship and a Dean’s Award of Distinction. A naturalized US citizen, he lives in Chennai –from where he also serves as president of the Chicago Booth Alumni Club of India –and tweets occasionally @aktxt. 

Brian Tsui, MBA ’11 

Brian Tsui, MBA ’11 

Partner, Cataliize

View Bio

Brian Tsui, MBA ’11 

Partner, Cataliize

Brian’s international career stands at the intersection of entrepreneurship and management consulting. He has spent over a decade leading at a global consultancy: launching and managing a corporate finance practice in Southeast Asia and a financial institution practice in the US, helping C-suite executives at the most complex companies embrace, invest in, and integrate emerging technologies. 

As an early-stage tech investor and a venture partner of AngelHub, Brian enjoys mentoring and judging at various startup competitions. He has shared his favorite topic “what’s missing in your perfect pitch?” with 1,000+ founders, intrapreneurs, and university students. The annual BóLè Forum, which Brian organizes, is attended by 200+ angel investors, VCs and family offices. 

Brian holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He serves on the leadership committees of the UChicago Alumni Club, Chicago Booth Alumni Club, and Chicago Economics Society, in Hong Kong. He is also a business advisor to Junior Achievement Hong Kong. 

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyze your use of products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts.

Accept