Alumni New Venture Challenge (ANVC)

Alumni New Venture Challenge (ANVC)

2022 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

Amalesh Sanku, MBA ’99

Amalesh Sanku, MBA ’99

President, Sagertech Communications

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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

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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.

Mary Beth Arzac

Mary Beth Arzac

Principal Consultant and Owner, MKT Consulting LLC

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Mary Beth Arzac

Principal Consultant and Owner, MKT Consulting LLC

Mary Beth has over 25 years of experience within the medical industry with a focus on sales and marketing. Mary Beth started her career holding multiple roles at Baxter Healthcare and Medtronic. In 2004, she founded MKT Consulting LLC, an integrated agency that specializes in marketing, strategy, analytics and project management solutions serving diagnostic, biopharmaceutical, medical-device, GPO’s, and informatics companies. Mary Beth is an active and passionate member of the Chicago healthcare start-up community and has worked with over 30 startups over the past five years. She currently serves as an active Advisor to Inference Analytics and NeuroPath and acts as a lead to the C2MP Program through MATTER Health Mentor Network. Mary Beth also serves as a Co-President to the District 113 Education Foundation that supports innovation in the public high schools within her community.

Mary Beth earned an MBA in Marketing and Economics from the University of Chicago and also holds a BA in Behavior Sciences with general honors from the University of Chicago.

Ryota Sekine

Ryota Sekine

President, Radical Frontiers

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Ryota Sekine

President, Radical Frontiers

Ryota Sekine is a startup founder based in Chicago. When he was an undergraduate student at the University of Chicago, he cofounded Cubii, a fitness brand for baby boomers & beyond. After the business was acquired in late 2020, he has been mentoring early-stage founders, helping brainstorm their “different” that would give them a shot at being positioned in the 1% of their niches. He is currently experimenting with concepts such as space tech, web3/alt gov and bioengineering for his next venture. He graduated from the College in 2013 with a degree in Biology. Ryota enjoys sharing Japanese culture, and is a dedicated member of the U.S.-Japan Council and TOMODACHI Initiative.

West Coast Co-Chairs

Nancy Hayes, MBA ’80

Nancy Hayes, MBA ’80

Principal, NKH Group

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Nancy Hayes, MBA ’80

Principal, NKH Group

Nancy Hayes is a current active angel investor who serves as a mentor to women entrepreneurs and founders of color. She also advises corporate and nonprofit executives in management and leadership topics.

Nancy was a senior executive of the IBM Corporation for almost 20 years, CEO of two social services nonprofit organizations, Dean of the College of Business at San Francisco State University, CFO of that university, cofounder of a rewards-based crowdfunding site and Managing Director of Golden Seeds angel group Silicon Valley chapter.

Nancy has an MBA from the University of Chicago and lives in San Francisco.

 

Parag Beraka, MBA ’15

Parag Beraka, MBA ’15

Head of Computer Vision and Smart Camera Business at Arm

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Parag Beraka, MBA ’15

Head of Computer Vision and Smart Camera Business at Arm

Patrick Ip, AB ’13

Patrick Ip, AB ’13

VP of Product Marketing, Fuel Cycle

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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.  

Rama Veeraragoo, MBA ’12

Rama Veeraragoo, MBA ’12

Offering Manager, Data Redaction at OneTrust, Co-founder Redacted.ai

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Rama Veeraragoo, MBA ’12

Offering Manager, Data Redaction at OneTrust, Co-founder Redacted.ai

Rama Veeraragoo is an entrepreneur based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His most recent startup, DocuVision.ai, was acquired by OneTrust. 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. Before that, Rama 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

Cindy Machles, MBA ’82

Cindy Machles, MBA ’82

Cofounder and CEO, Glue

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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

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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 Managing Partner, Z2Sixty Ventures

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Hernando Bunuan, MBA ’07

Founder and Managing Partner, Z2Sixty Ventures

Hernando Bunuan, MBA ’07, is the Founder and Managing Partner of Z2Sixty Ventures, a US venture capital firm focused on pre-seed to Series A investments. He has over 20 years experience spanning investing (venture capital, angel and public equities) and investment banking (M&A and capital raising) in the US and Europe. Hernando has an MBA from Chicago Booth and Bachelor’s from Washington University.

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, Collective Academy

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Kristin Barrett, MBA ’12

COO and Director, Collective Academy

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.

Alex Liuzzi, AB ’07

Alex Liuzzi, AB ’07

Cofounder and CSO, Remessa Online

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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

Alex Boyce, MBA ’17

Alex Boyce, MBA ’17

Cofounder and COO, Fuzey

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Alex Boyce, MBA ’17

Cofounder and COO, Fuzey

Alex is the Cofounder of Fuzey, which builds customer engagement software that helps local businesses strengthen their connection with the communities they serve. Fuzey is backed by Flash Ventures. Alex holds a BA from Columbia University, and an MBA from Chicago Booth. Prior to Fuzey, Alex was the Head of Growth at Disperse. Prior to the startup world, Alex worked in investment banking.

Magdalena Gatzinska, AB ’96, MBA ’00

Magdalena Gatzinska, AB ’96, MBA ’00

Investor and Board Member, C2 Ventures

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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.

Whitney Morgan, MBA ’14 

Whitney Morgan, MBA ’14 

Head of Partnerships, CoinFirm

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Whitney Morgan, MBA ’14 

Head of Partnerships, CoinFirm

Whitney Morgan is the Head of Partnerships at Coinfirm, a blockchain analytics company for crypto players. Prior to working in crypto, she led growth and partnerships teams for various fintech and tech startups, spent time in VC investing in digital media and health technology companies, and was an engineer in 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 and daughter in Paris, France.

Asia Co-Chairs

Brian Tsui, MBA ’11 

Brian Tsui, MBA ’11 

Partner, Cataliize

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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.

Gaurav Gulati, MBA ’08

Gaurav Gulati, MBA ’08

CIO and Head, Aroa Ventures

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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.

Lawrence Chu, AB ’01

Lawrence Chu, AB ’01

Chairman, BlackPine Group

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Lawrence Chu, AB ’01

Chairman, BlackPine Group

Lawrence Chu is the Chairman of BlackPine Group; BlackPine is a private investment company focused on transformative industries that advance humanity. BlackPine’s portfolio includes blockchain, alternative protein, eSports and new economy sectors such as carbon neutrality, quantum computing and space exploration. For more information visit bppe.com.

With over 15 years of international investment experience, Lawrence, through his company, has provided capital and advice to companies such as VSFG, Kenetic, Lu.com, C2FO, WH Group, and Oriente.

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 of strategy executive in the Chairman’s office of EMI Music before moving back to Hong Kong as a portfolio manager at UBS O’Connor.

Lawrence is a member of Hong Kong Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, The Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and YPO. As a patron of the arts, he is a member of the Tate’s Asia-Pacific Acquisitions Committee in London, The Smart Museum Board of Governors, and served as a governor of the Alumni Board of Governors at the University of Chicago.

In 2010, he founded The Chu Foundation, an independent not-for-profit organization to help people thrive through education and cultivate artists on the frontiers of human expression. The Chu Foundation supports many charities and organizations that bring a positive impact to society.

Kirill Kozhevnikov

Kirill Kozhevnikov

Partner, RTP Global

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Kirill Kozhevnikov

Partner, RTP Global

Before RTP Global Kirill was an MD and Partner at the Indian VC fund of a Russian conglomerate. He has co-developed investment thesis of the fund, launched its operations in late 2015, led and completed 5 out of the fund’s 10 investments in 2016-2018, and served as Board Member in Indian and Singaporean companies. Prior to that for 5 years he was managing multiple VC deals in Russia as a Venture Partner at European fund, and as a Chief Investment Officer at sovereign nanotechnology fund. Kirill started his career with 2 years in the Big Four company and moved to investment banking where he was doing M&A deals and corporate finance advisory for 7 years. Kirill has a Master degree in Engineering and Economics from Moscow Aviation Institute, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

In June 2019 Kirill started Kauffman Fellowship, one of the world’s premier innovation, leadership, and venture capital focused programs, and is a member of Class 24.

Prachi Windlass

Prachi Windlass

Director, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation India, LLP

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Prachi Windlass

Director, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation India, LLP

As Director of Education, Prachi heads the foundation’s India education portfolio, which focuses on large scale school system transformation and high quality education service providers.

Prachi is on the board of several for-profit education companies and advisory committees to state governments and education departments. She is passionate about the area of data driven education and has spearheaded the foundation’s work in multiple ways, including: incubating service providers, creating role model states and embedding student learning based accountability in all portfolio companies.

Before joining the foundation, Prachi worked at Boston Consulting Group in Gurgaon, India and in the telecommunications sector at Qualcomm and Motorola. Prachi has over 15 years of diverse set of operational and leadership experience in India and US.

Prachi has a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, a master’s degree from University of Southern California, Los Angeles and MBA from the University of Chicago.

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