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Alumni New Venture Challenge

Alumni New Venture Challenge

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.

Asia Co-Chairs

Anil Kumar, MBA ’09
Anil Kumar, MBA ’09

Anil Kumar, MBA ’09

Founder, Jodi365.com

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.

Carlos Fernandes, MBA ’05
Carlos Fernandes, MBA ’05

Carlos Fernandes, MBA ’05

CEO of RecordTV

Carlos Fernandes is an entrepreneur, innovator and public policy advisor. In 2006, Fernandes invented and patented the world’s first legal Internet-based Digital Video Recorder. RecordTV, the company founded by Fernandes, is widely regarded as one of the few companies on the forefront of disrupting the TV industry and was named as one of the Top 100 startups in the World by Red Herring Magazine.

At RecordTV, Fernandes led product development through to commercialization and led the company to victory in complex litigation against Singapore’s National broadcaster. With its InstantTV app, RecordTV rose to become the fastest growing Over-the-Top (OTT) service in Singapore, hitting #1 in the Apple App Store as well as the Google Play Store in Entertainment.

Fernandes has served the “Future of Media” Global Agenda Council at the World Economic Forum in Davos that covered the interplay of technology, media and copyright. In the area of public policy, Fernandes has served the Commonwealth Nations, ASEAN Nations and the Government of Singapore as an advisor on matters related to youth development, technology and entrepreneurship.

Most recently he served on the Entrepreneurship Review Committee for the Singapore Government and continues to sit on the Pro-Enterprise Panel (PEP), a board that was recognized by the United Nations, and tasked with reviewing the regulatory framework around new innovations. Fernandes has been a Board Member for TiE Singapore, an adjunct professor at NUS and guest lecturer at INSEAD and SMU where he has lectured on Disruptive Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Fernandes has been widely covered by the media and frequently writes op-eds in various publications. The Singapore Computer Society named him its youngest-ever “Young Professional of the Year” for his contributions to the IT industry. The World Economic Forum subsequently named him a Young Global Leader. BusinessWeek has also identified him as among Asia’s Top 25 Entrepreneurs.

Fernandes has an MBA (High Honors) from Chicago Booth, a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Engineering from Bombay University, a Masters in Information Technology. He is also an alumnus of Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Yale University Global Leadership programs.

Kevin Pereira, MBA ’08
Kevin Pereira, MBA ’08

Kevin Pereira, MBA ’08

Managing Director, Vickers Venture Partners

Kevin E. Pereira joined Vickers in March 2016 and is responsible for Investor Relations. He currently resides in Hong Kong. Prior to joining Vickers, Kevin was involved in public equity markets for the last 24 years in various capacities with Credit Lyonnais, Deutsche Bank, Nomura Macquarie and Mizuho. He has successfully built equity businesses in Singapore, Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong. His operational background has seen Kevin work as an Analyst, Salesperson, Trader and Head of Equities. He has been ranked in the top quartile with institutional clients as well as regional trade publications for his keen appreciation and understanding of global fund flows in identifying key industry trends.

Kevin brings a diverse background to Vickers. He was born in Singapore, raised in the Philippines, New Zealand and the United States. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a Masters in Business Administration. Along the way, Kevin has picked up Tagalog, Spanish, Malay and Mandarin. In his spare time, Kevin coaches division one Soccer for both boys and girls.

Ashutosh Sharma, MBA ’10
Ashutosh Sharma, MBA ’10

Ashutosh Sharma, MBA ’10

Head of Investments, Naspers

Ashutosh Sharma is the head of investments for Naspers in India investing in consumer internet companies. Prior to joining Naspers, Ashutosh was a venture investor with Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), focused on Indian companies across a wide range of sectors.  Before NVP, he was an investment manager with Qualcomm Ventures looking at Seed and Series A/B internet and mobile start-ups.  Ashutosh earned his MBA from Chicago Booth and his bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology – Varanasi.

Vikram Vuppala, MBA ’07
Vikram Vuppala, MBA ’07

Vikram Vuppala, MBA ’07

Founder and CEO, Nephroplus

Vikram Vuppala is a seasoned healthcare strategy consultant with over 12 years of global healthcare industry experience. His passion to redefine healthcare delivery in India prompted him to found NephroPlus, a chain of premium dialysis centers.

He has helped hospitals, dialysis centers, pharmacy benefit managers, healthcare distributors, consumer health, and pharmaceutical clients on various strategic issues such as business development, growth strategy, operational improvement, portfolio rationalization, redefining customer strategies, clinical trial strategy and M&A.

Prior to founding NephroPlus, Vikram was a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company in their New Jersey office. He also founded an internal management consulting group at Abbott Laboratories helping key management on various strategic and sales force management issues. Prior to that Vikram worked for two years as a business analyst at ZS Associates, a worldwide leader in sales force management consulting.

Vikram did his Bachelors in Chemical engineering from IIT-Kharagpur, Masters in Computer Science from University of Illinois, and a full time MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth school of business. He is based out of Hyderabad, India and enjoys international travel, bollywood movies, roller blading, and sky diving.

Bay Area Co-Chairs

Jason Brown, MBA ’09
Jason Brown, MBA ’09

Jason Brown, MBA ’09

Cofounder and CEO, Tally

Jason Brown is the cofounder and CEO of Tally, the first automated debt manager. Growing up in a family that struggled financially, Jason started Tally to help people overcome their debt and the anxiety that comes with it. As a repeat entrepreneur, Jason previously co-founded venture-backed consumer solar finance company Gen110 and subscription-based tech support company Bask.com. Jason holds a BS from Boston University and an MBA from Chicago Booth.

Michael Farb, MBA ’09
Michael Farb, MBA ’09

Michael Farb, MBA ’09

CEO, Neon One

Michael Farb is CEO of Neon One, the leading software platform empowering nonprofit organizations to increase fundraising capacity and further their global impact.

Prior to Neon One, Michael won the 2008 Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge for his business CaptainU. Michael Farb and Avi Stopper cofounded CaptainU, the top youth sports recruiting platform that supports millions of athletes to pursue their dreams of playing sports at the next level.  CaptainU was successfully acquired in 2016 by Stack Sports and Michael went on to serve as Chief Revenue Officer for the global business, helping lead the next stage of growth as a unified technology platform for sports organizations, athletes, and events.

Michael sits on the Board of Build, a national education nonprofit focused on leveraging entrepreneurship to help empower youth in underserved communities.

Michael holds a BSE from University of Pennsylvania and an MBA Chicago Booth.

Shruti Gandhi, MBA ’12
Shruti Gandhi, MBA ’12

Shruti Gandhi, MBA ’12

Managing Partner, Array Ventures

Shruti Gandhi is a big data engineer and founder of Array Ventures with 6 exits to companies such as Apple, Paypal, and Samsung with 10x returns. Shruti spun Array Ventures out of True Ventures. She is also an adjunct professor in the CS department at Columbia University, featured on Business InsiderBBCForbesVentureBeat, and USAToday, and host of the Array podcast.

When not investing, she is hacking on some app or thinking about ways she can be in many places at one time. Shruti has an MBA from Chicago Booth where she polished her finance skills and developed engineering knowledge in CS departments at Columbia University and Marist College.

Chicago Co-Chairs

Gale Bowman, MBA ’12
Gale Bowman, MBA ’12

Gale Bowman, MBA ’12

founding director, IrishAngels

Gale Bowman is the founding director of IrishAngels, an investment network affiliated with the University of Notre Dame. Since its formation in 2012, IrishAngels now has 225 active investors, making it one of the largest angel groups in the country. Bowman also recently founded IrishAngels Ventures and raised a $16 million venture capital fund. To date, she has led 50+ IrishAngels investments totaling over $25 million in seed and Series A capital.

Bowman’s previous work experience includes forecasting and consulting for new product launches (Nielsen) and corporate strategy (Orbitz.com). She attended the University of Notre Dame and received a BBA with honors, and she also has an MBA with honors from Chicago Booth. She was a founding Board member of the C200 Scholars Network, and she is currently a Board member of Chicago Blend, an organization focused on increasing diversity in Chicago VC and startups.

Anna Haghgooie, MBA ’08
Anna Haghgooie, MBA ’08

Anna Haghgooie, MBA ’08

Managing Director, Sandbox Industries

 

 

Anna Haghgooie is a managing director of Sandbox Industries, a Chicago-based venture capital firm focused on implementing innovation by connecting established corporations with innovative startups and entrepreneurs. Anna focuses on investing in healthcare innovation through the BlueCross BlueShield Venture Funds, a collaborative investment platform with $575 million in capital and 30 Blue Plans participating. She currently serves on the board of directors of ExactCare, Somatus, ZeOmega, Contessa, Axial Healthcare, Allay and SonarMD and is a Board Observer on Solera Health. Previously she served on the board of directors of naviHealth and Change Healthcare and was a board observer of Essence Group Healthcare. Before joining Sandbox in 2008, Anna held roles as the general manager at an integrative medicine start-up, covered the healthcare markets as an associate director of corporate finance at Fitch Ratings and started her career in the Financial Management Program at GE Capital. Anna earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a MBA with honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Anna is a Fellow in the Health Innovators Fellowship at the Aspen Institute and was named to the Crain’s Tech 50 list in 2017. She lives in Chicago, IL with her husband and two children.

Borislava Karageorgieva, MBA ’04
Borislava Karageorgieva, MBA ’04

Borislava Karageorgieva, MBA ’04

Co-president, Board of the Chicago Booth Alumni Board

 

 

 

 

Borislava Karageorgieva has a diverse professional experience in corporate finance. She has worked for companies and organizations in the public and private sectors, and in the healthcare and the financial services industries in the USA and Europe. Areas of expertise include financial regulatory analysis and financial compliance, mergers and acquisitions, board governance, and entrepreneurship. Borislava is the Co- President of the Board of the Chicago Booth Alumni Club, the largest alumni network of Chicago Booth. She has served on the board as a Director since 2011. She is also the liaison between the Chicago Booth Alumni Club and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Borislava is currently the  cofounder of a startup company in the beverage industry. Borislava received an MBA from Chicago Booth and is a CFA charterholder.

 

Lance Larsen, MBA ’17
Lance Larsen, MBA ’17

Lance Larsen, MBA ’17

President and Cofounder, Markit Medical

Lance Larsen is currently the president and cofounder of Markit Medical, a software platform that makes it easy for physicians to give patients a range of cost-saving options when making a referral. At Markit, Lance oversees Sales and Product and does much of the company’s public speaking. Prior to launching Markit Medical, Lance built CMP, a patient-centered medical billing platform for small and mid-size physician practices–from ground up. Lance started his career as a Regulatory Capital Analyst at Goldman Sachs. Lance has a Dual BS in Finance and Economics from Utah State University, and an MBA from Chicago Booth.

Coco Meers, MBA ’14
Coco Meers, MBA ’14

Coco Meers, MBA ’14

Founder and Principal, Rebelle Collective

Coco Meers is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and advisor.  As Founder and Principal of Rebelle Collective, a growth lab for digitally-enabled, female-led consumer companies, Coco partners with founders through investment and collaboration to achieve early stage growth hurdles. Prior to Rebelle, her company PrettyQuick (acquired by Groupon in 2015) introduced major efficiencies to the $70B beauty services industry by offering seamless reservations at salons and spas nationwide. Post acquisition, Coco served as GM of Beauty-Booking, a growth driver within the $900M Health, Beauty, and Wellness division at Groupon.  Prior to startup life, Coco was based in Paris where she helped market and manage global brands under the L’Oreal SA portfolio. Coco is a director of the Joffrey Ballet and the American Writers Museum. She has an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Chicago Booth, and graduated magna cum laude from Princeton with a BA in English and French.

London Co-Chairs

Hernando Bunuan, MBA ’07
Hernando Bunuan, MBA ’07

Hernando Bunuan, MBA ’07

Founder and Partner, Adykai Ventures

 

 

Hernando Bunuan is the Founder and Partner of Adykai Ventures.  Adykai focuses primarily on emerging software-enabled solutions (business intelligence/analytics, fintech, B2B ecommerce, machine learning) for business and enterprise customers, particularly in TMT, financial services and retail industries. Drawing on his extensive experience in investment banking, as a mentor and advisor to start-ups, as well as his active role in some of the leading not-for-profit business organisations, he founded Adykai Ventures to support and mentor entrepreneurs to build lasting and transformational businesses. Prior to forming Adykai Ventures, Hernando was a Director in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (“TMT”) practice at Barclays investment bank in Europe, advising leading public and private companies in a variety of technology and digital media sectors. In this role, he advised over 35 completed deals worth over $40 billion that included several landmark buy-side and sell-side transactions, capital raising (IPOs and debt) and other strategic advisory initiatives. Before Barclays, Hernando worked for Needham & Company in San Francisco and began his career with KPMG in New York and Chicago. Hernando has an MBA from Chicago Booth and a bachelor’s degree from Washington University.

Cornel Chiriac, MBA ’12
Cornel Chiriac, MBA ’12

Cornel Chiriac, MBA ’12

Fieldstone Capital

 

 

Cornel is a technology investor focusing on applications in traditional industries – energy, industrials, transport and logistics. Cornel has been a part of the Chicago Booth Angels management and investment committees since 2015 and heads the global growth of the organisation. In addition, Cornel manages an angel fund and serves as a board member to several portfolio companies. He is active in the London venture ecosystem as a mentor for Microsoft Ventures and CyLon Cybersecurity accelerators.

Professionally, Cornel heads the Energy Technology M&A practice at Fieldstone Capital and is raising a growth fund focused on energy technology. Prior he was a corporate VC with World Gold Council. In his earlier career Cornel built and scaled two ventures to exits of over $25m in the US. After his MBA, Cornel was a strategy and deal consultant with L.E.K. in London.

Cornel lives in London with his wife and two daughters. He enjoys pick-up football on the weekends, yearly ski trips with family in the Alps, and hand-made pasta in Tuscany.

Andrea Fuchs, MBA ’09
Andrea Fuchs, MBA ’09

Andrea Fuchs, MBA ’09

Director of Product Management, Symantec

Andrea Fuchs is the director of product management at Symantec.

Jeremy Perlman, MBA ’08
Jeremy Perlman, MBA ’08

Jeremy Perlman, MBA ’08

Chief Revenue Officer, Diffblue

Jeremy Perlman is Chief Revenue Officer of Diffblue, a startup whose AI software automates software development tasks. Additionally, he is on the board of advisors of Taina, a RegTech startup that won the Booth Global New Venture Challenge in 2017. Previously, he held roles leading EMEA businesses for US enterprise software companies including Trifacta, Apigee (IPO, acquired by Google) and Ribbit (acquired by BT). Prior to his MBA at Chicago Booth, he worked in consulting and startups.

Gregor Sokalski, MBA ’99
Gregor Sokalski, MBA ’99

Gregor Sokalski, MBA ’99

CEO and Founder, Doorlight

Gregor Sokalski has been based in London since graduating the full-time program. His career started in consulting and banking, followed by 15 years as CEO and founder of investor-backed, high-growth consumer, and b2b services companies.

Additionally, Sokalski was the founder of the award-winning Cleve Wally’s Raw Pizza (the UK’s first “take-and-bake” pizza retailer). Gregor raised seed investment from Domino’s, Caffe Nero, P&J Smoothies, and Oi! Bagel executives. He helped lead the brand strategy consultancy, SCB Partners (scbpartners.com), where he advised global brands including Spotify, Perrier-Jouet, Peroni, Carlsberg, and Burger King. As Interim CEO of David Phillips Furniture (£17m turnover, 120+ employees), Gregor delivered EBITDA 60% ahead of budget and enabled exit to institutional PE. He also co-founded a renewable energy development business.

Gregor currently advises high-growth companies under his consultancy brand, Doorlight, and considers acquisition opportunities for his self-sponsored search fund, Fish Creek Capital. He is also exploring investor roles in growth-oriented private equity as well as leadership opportunities with emerging, tech-enabled consumer brands or b2b service providers.

Rags Vadali, MBA ’07
Rags Vadali, MBA ’07

Rags Vadali, MBA ’07

Product Manager, Facebook

Rags Vadali is currently a product manager at Facebook focused on building advertising products to meet the unique needs of people and businesses in emerging markets. He started his product management career at Google after graduating from Chicago Booth and in the decade since has led product development at startups in Madrid, Amsterdam and London building products ranging from chat platforms to augmented reality.

He earned his MBA from the Chicago Booth and holds an MS in Computer Science from Pennsylvania State University.

New York City Co-Chairs

Andrew Holmes, MBA ’09
Andrew Holmes, MBA ’09

Andrew Holmes, MBA ’09

Head of Origination, Americas, DEMICA

Andrew Holmes helped set up the Chicago Booth Angel Network in London, and when he moved to the US in 2015, he became a founding member of the New York branch of CBA.  He runs the Americas business for Demica, a London-based fintech providing working capital solutions to corporates. Prior to that he was with Barclays for nine years. Before business school, he lived in Kazakhstan where he worked in international development for five years.  Andrew Holmes is a graduate of Chicago Booth’s Class of 2009 and currently resides in New Jersey with his wife Salta and their three kids.

Julia McInnis, MBA ’17
Julia McInnis, MBA ’17

Julia McInnis, MBA ’17

cofounder and CEO, Lancealot

Julia McInnis is the cofounder and CEO of Lancealot, a marketplace for content creators who specialize in sports storytelling. She is also a co-founder of the Xessentials startup incubator, the first incubator devoted exclusively to female founders. Prior to Lancealot, she was the senior associate for the Chicago Media Angels Investment Group, where she led the group’s due diligence process. Julia started her career as a film producer and spent four years working with the award-winning directors, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus. Her last film, Unlocking the Cage, premiered at the Sundance 2016 Film Festival and was picked up by HBO.

Julia received her MBA Chicago Booth, where she was a finalist in the New Venture Challenge. She also has a BA in English Literature from Trinity College.

Nora Peterson, MBA ’14
Nora Peterson, MBA ’14

Nora Peterson, MBA ’14

Cofounder of Xessentials

Nora is an operations and business development executive, and a startup advisor and mentor. She cofounded Xessentials, a New York City based incubator for pre-seed women founders. In addition to managing the program, she mentors at various accelerators in New York. Previously she was vice president of business and sales strategy at Dow Jones (Wall Street Journal), and head of business development at Aon’s Global Innovation Center in Singapore where she lead Aon’s internal corporate incubator and several product teams.

Nora graduated from Chicago Booth in 2014 and participated in the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge in 2013. She is also on the board of Chicago Booth Women’s Alumni Network.

Chaitenya Razdan, MBA ’11
Chaitenya Razdan, MBA ’11

Chaitenya Razdan, MBA ’11

Cofounder and CEO, Care+Wear

Chaitenya Razdan is the Cofounder and CEO of Care+Wear. He started the company in 2014 after having friends and family diagnosed with cancer told to wear tube socks on their arms. The company is focused on combining function and fashion together to help improve the patient experience. He is a proud University of Virginia alum with an MBA from Chicago Booth 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.

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