College New Venture Challenge (CNVC)

2022 Judges

Jennifer​ ​Fried​, MBA ’15

Jennifer​ ​Fried​, MBA ’15

​CEO​ ​and​ ​Cofounder​, ​ExplORer​ ​Surgical

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Jennifer​ ​Fried​, MBA ’15

​CEO​ ​and​ ​Cofounder​, ​ExplORer​ ​Surgical

Jennifer Fried is the cofounder and CEO of ExplORer Surgical, a workflow management software company for operating rooms. Jennifer earned a BA in mathematical methods in the social sciences and economics, and financial economics from Northwestern University. She also earned an MBA from the Chicago Booth. While at Booth, she led ExplORer Surgical to a second place finish in the New Venture Challenge where the team earned $50,000. ExplORer Surgical was recently the recipient of a $500,000 investment from the University of Chicago Startup Investment Program as a part of its recent series A financing round.

Robert H. Gertner

Robert H. Gertner

Joel F. Gemunder Professor of Strategy and Finance; John Edwardson Faculty Director Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation

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Robert H. Gertner

Joel F. Gemunder Professor of Strategy and Finance; John Edwardson Faculty Director Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation

Robert H. Gertner has been on the Chicago Booth faculty since 1986. His research interests include strategic decision-making, corporate finance, organization structure, theory of the firm, and social enterprises. He has published papers in numerous scholarly journals including the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Review of Economic Studies, and the Yale Law Journal. He is co-author, with colleagues Douglas Baird and Randy Picker, of Game Theory and the Law. Gertner teaches courses in strategic decision-making, social entrepreneurship, and impact investing.

Gertner received a National Science Foundation Research Grant, an Olin Fellowship in Law and Economics and was a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He has held visiting positions at CEPREMAP in Paris, Cornell Law School, The University of Chicago Law School, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Gertner is a trustee of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, a national organization devoted to large-scale social research in public interest

Gertner received a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in economics from Princeton University in 1981 and a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1986. He worked as a consultant for AT&T prior to attending MIT.

Louis Goldman, JD ’74

Louis Goldman, JD ’74

General Counsel of Bloq, Inc.

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Louis Goldman, JD ’74

General Counsel of Bloq, Inc.

Louis Goldman is the General Counsel of Bloq, Inc., a leading blockchain technology company. He is also the managing partner of Navigator Law Group, a boutique law firm focused on corporate projects including M&A, securities, and significant work with startups, blockchain technology and venture capital/angel investing groups. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in economics and then earned a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School (Order of the Coif and cum laude). In New York City, Goldman worked for Cleary Gottlieb and also established a merchant bank, Abacus & Associates LP, where he was a managing director. In Chicago, he was the cochairman of Altheimer & Gray where he opened 10 offices outside of the US and managed a team of 450 people. He also was on the management and investment committees of 4 private investment funds of A&G Investors. He was a cofounder of JustWrite EMR, an electronic medical records startup.

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.

 

Ellen Rudnick, MBA ’73

Ellen Rudnick, MBA ’73

Senior Advisor, Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

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Ellen Rudnick, MBA ’73

Senior Advisor, Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Ellen Rudnick is a senior advisor and adjunct professor for entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth and previously served as the initial executive director of the Polsky Center. She is a successful startup executive, having served as chairman of Pacific Biometrics and CEO of Health Care Knowledge Resources. She has held positions as corporate vice president at Baxter Healthcare and president of Baxter Management Services Division, which she founded. She also has an MBA from Chicago Booth.

RoseMary Safranek, AB ’80, MBA ’88

RoseMary Safranek, AB ’80, MBA ’88

Chief Investment Officer, Ninepeaks Capital Management   

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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 Hong Kong and North Carolina.  She currently serves on the investment committees of several different family offices. She also is a senior advisor to INDF, a NYSE-listed ETF of Indian financial sector companies. RoseMary has lived and worked in New York, Hong Kong, London, Tokyo, and Chicago since setting out from Fort Smith, Arkansas to attend the University of Chicago in the 1970s.  A four-year varsity tennis player and Illinois Small College Doubles Champion, RoseMary earned an AB in economics and an MBA in finance from the Chicago Booth.

Mia Saini Duchnowski

Mia Saini Duchnowski

Cofounder & Board Member, Oars + Alps

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Mia Saini Duchnowski

Cofounder & Board Member, Oars + Alps

Mia Saini Duchnowski is a journalist, engineer, investor, and a successful entrepreneur who sold her first VC-backed company, Oars + Alps, to SC Johnson. Currently, she serves as the cofounder and Board Member of Oars + Alps, a digitally native skin care brand for people who lead an active, on-the-go lifestyle. The products are made with naturally-derived, premium ingredients and are sold on Target and Amazon to name a few. The company launched in 2015 after Mia quit her high-profile job as a TV reporter/anchor with Bloomberg TV, one of the largest financial TV networks in the world.

Mia spent over three years with Bloomberg TV in Hong Kong and in New York City where she was responsible for global economic, political and business coverage. She was the first person at the network to interview the chairman of Microsoft, John Thompson, after he became chairman. She’s interviewed hundreds of CEOs and heads of states including the former CEO of Burberry, Angela Ahrendts, and Virgin founder, Sir Richard Branson. She’s routinely covered breaking news stories, such as the disappearance of MH 370, Nelson Mandela’s death, and Steve Job’s passing.

Prior to joining Bloomberg in June 2011, Mia served as an anchor and reporter for Forbes TV. She reported from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland as well as interviewed prominent business leaders including Warren Buffett, former FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, Blackstone co-founder Pete Peterson, former Bear Stearns CEO Ace Greenberg, SAP CEO Bill McDermott and more. Earlier in her career, Mia was a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs, working in hedge fund sales and marketing. There, she helped establish strategic relationships with hedge funds representing over $1.2 billion in portfolio value.

Mia earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She earned a double major from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in neuroscience and media studies, and a double minor in civil engineering and management science. While at MIT, she interned at NASA Ames Research Center doing artificial intelligence research. She was featured in Glamour Magazine as one of their Top Ten College Women in 2004.

Mia was named as one of Crain’s Magazine 40 Under 40 in 2020 and was the emcee for the 2020 TedX Wrigleyville event. Currently, she sits on the Auxiliary Board of the Chicago Lincoln Park Zoo. Mia actively interviews high school seniors looking to study STEM subjects at MIT. She is also active in the Chicago startup ecosystem and enjoys mentoring students. She loves cycling and watching film noir movies and lives in Chicago with her husband and their five kids: Tabytha, Thiesson, Kempson, Aubrienna and Sienna.

David Segura, BA ’05

David Segura, BA ’05

Investor and Entrepreneur

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David Segura, BA ’05

Investor and Entrepreneur

David Segura is an accomplished entrepreneur and investor with experience in a wide variety of industry verticals including media, fintech, and consumer categories among others. David has developed a reputation for being a “founder friendly investor” who adds value to company operations. A cross selection of current investments include Eaze, Grove Collaborative, Hawthorne, UsageAI, and many more. David has also previously founded Giant Media, where he served as the CEO from launch through acquisition. The company was an early video advertising exchange that included Toyota, American Express, L’Oreal, and Dollar Shave Club among others. Launched in 2009, Giant Media was successfully acquired in 2014 by Adknowledge, an AdTech platform funded by TPG Growth, JMI, and Nokia. David is currently the CEO of Glassbox Media, a podcast company and is a proud graduate of the University of Chicago.

Neal Sales-Griffin

Neal Sales-Griffin

Managing Director, Techstars Chicago

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Neal Sales-Griffin

Managing Director, Techstars Chicago

Neal Sales-Griffin is currently the Managing Director for Techstars Chicago, Techstars is a Worldwide Network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars was founded in Boulder, Colorado in 2006 by David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis. Through the Techstars Worldwide Entrepreneur Network, founders and their teams are able to connect to other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporate partners that will help their companies grow. 

Previously, he served as the CEO of CodeNow, a Y Combinator-backed nonprofit that hosts coding workshops for students from low-income backgrounds in six cities across the US. Before heading CodeNow, Sales-Griffin was the CEO of The Starter League, an institution determined “to teach everyone to code,” with an innovative curriculum and strong alumni connections. He also serves as a coordinator to the non-profit International Game Developers Association (IGDA®). Sales-Griffin lends his mentorship to the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship.Sales-Griffin earned his B.S. in Education and Social Policy (with a concentration in Learning and Organizational Change), and his Minor in Business Institutions from Northwestern University in 2009. He currently also serves as a Faculty Coach at the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, while also teaching ENTREP 325: Engineering Entrepreneurship for the Farley Center.

Mark Tebbe

Mark Tebbe

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth and Chairman, ChicagoNEXT

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Mark Tebbe

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth and Chairman, ChicagoNEXT

After many years of judging and mentoring Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC), Tebbe brings a wealth of successful entrepreneurial experience into the classroom by leveraging his founding of two NASDAQ-listed corporations as well as direct involvement in numerous startup and high-growth companies over the past thirty-five years. For over ten years, as both an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship and an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Polsky Center, Tebbe aids students in their entrepreneurial efforts and helps other professors enhance their classes. Outside of the classroom, Tebbe serves as chairman of World Business Chicago’s Innovation and Venture Strategy Council, a dedicated public-private effort to improve Chicago’s economic development as well as national and world competitiveness in science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

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