Edward L. Kaplan, '71, New Venture Challenge (NVC)

Edward L. Kaplan, '71, New Venture Challenge (NVC)

2021 Judges

Cindy Bayley, PhD ’90, MBA ’97

Cindy Bayley, PhD ’90, MBA ’97

Affiliate, ARCH Venture Partners

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Cindy Bayley, PhD ’90, MBA ’97

Affiliate, ARCH Venture Partners

Cindy is an affiliate at ARCH Venture Partners. She focuses on life science businesses and is a cofounder of several ARCH portfolio companies, including deCODE genetics, an Icelandic diagnostics company; Adolor, a pharmaceutical firm developing novel analgesics; and Elixir Pharmaceuticals, an anti-aging and metabolic disease company. Cindy has worked with ARCH since 1992 and has been instrumental in sourcing companies like Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Agios Pharmaceuticals. She has also participated in the planning and diligence for many other companies in the portfolio. Early in her career, she was a general field engineer with Schlumberger Offshore Services. She holds a BS in physics from the University of Rochester and an MBA and PhD in virology from the University of Chicago.

Dan Caruso, MBA ’90

Dan Caruso, MBA ’90

Chairman of the Board, Endeavor Colorado

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Dan Caruso, MBA ’90

Chairman of the Board, Endeavor Colorado

Dan Caruso was Chairman and CEO at Zayo Group, a company he co-founded in 2007. Zayo was Dan’s 3rd Fiber Bandwidth startup. Dan joined Metropolitan Fiber Systems (MFS) as it began to scale and was part of the exec team that launched Level 3. All three exited for > $10B. Dan also led the take private of ICG, which achieved a 25X return and led to the ideation of Zayo.

Beyond his role at Zayo, Dan is an avid supporter of Colorado’s and Chicago’s entrepreneurial community and is particularly interested in the intersection between for profit impact investing, inclusion, and entrepreneurship. He has received numerous industry and community awards. In 2015, Dan and his wife Cindy established The Caruso Foundation to inspire and support entrepreneurship, advance knowledge, and empower healthier lives. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for Endeavor Colorado and serves on the boards of Colorado Thrives, University of Chicago’s Polsky Center and CU Boulder’s Chancellor Strategic Advisory Council.

Dan holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Illinois.

Joanne Chen, MBA ’14

Joanne Chen, MBA ’14

Partner, Foundation Capital

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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.

Art Collins

Art Collins

Retired Chairman and CEO, Medtronic; Managing Partner, Acorn Advisors

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Art Collins

Retired Chairman and CEO, Medtronic; Managing Partner, Acorn Advisors

Art Collins is the founder and managing partner of Acorn Advisors, a consulting firm providing counsel on governance matters to nonprofit organizations. Previously, he served as CEO at Medtronic from 2001 and chairman of the board from 2002 until retirement in 2008. During his tenure as CEO and COO, Medtronic’s revenues and earnings per share both grew at an annual compound growth rate in excess of 15 percent. Art joined Medtronic in 1992 from Abbott Laboratories, where he had been corporate vice president, responsible for Abbott’s worldwide diagnostic business units since 1986. Art currently serves on the boards of directors at Arconic, Boeing, and US Bancorp, and he is a former director of Alcoa, Cargill, and Tennant. In addition, he was a senior advisor at Oak Hill Capital Partners. Art earned a bachelor’s degree and a Doctor of Law honorary degree from Miami University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Jake Crampton, MBA ’98

Jake Crampton, MBA ’98

Founder and CEO, MedSpeed

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Jake Crampton, MBA ’98

Founder and CEO, MedSpeed

Jake Crampton is the founder and CEO of MedSpeed, the market-leading provider of same-day transportation services to the healthcare industry. Under Jake’s leadership, MedSpeed has grown from a Chicago-based startup to a national enterprise with over 140 operations across 29 states and a client base that includes one-quarter of the top 100 health systems in the country. Jake and his classmates created the concept for MedSpeed at Chicago Booth as the final project for Professor James Schrager’s New Venture Strategy course which they further developed as a participant in the second annual Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge. After winning the competition, Jake changed his postgraduation plans to focus on launching MedSpeed.

An entrepreneur by nature, Jake founded and nurtured a successful language-training business in Mexico City prior to launching MedSpeed. Jake was named Entrepreneur of the Year Midwest by EY in 2017 and received the Chicago Booth Entrepreneurial Distinguished Alumni Award in 2021. Jake earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and an MBA in entrepreneurship from Chicago Booth.

Jai Das, MBA ’99

Jai Das, MBA ’99

President and Managing Director, Sapphire Ventures

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Jai Das, MBA ’99

President and Managing Director, Sapphire Ventures

Jai Das is a managing director, president, and cofounder at Sapphire Ventures. He invests in startups which he believes are developing ground-breaking products and services, and have embarked on their journey to become a company of consequence. Das has more than 15 years of experience helping companies innovate their product and marketing strategies in order to scale and become market leaders. Eleven of his investments have become publicly traded companies including Alteryx, Box, Five9, Square, and Nutanix as well as nine of his investments have been acquired including Apigee (Google), CloudHealth (VMware), ExactTarget (Salesforce), and MuleSoft (Salesforce). Das is currently a member of the board (director or observer) at AllyO, Catchpoint, Clari, DataRobot, JFrog, Narrative Science, OpsRamp, Portworx, PubNub, Punchh, Splashtop, Sumo Logic, and ThoughtSpot. Prior to joining Sapphire Ventures in 2006, Das worked at Oracle, Intel Capital, Agilent Ventures, and MVC Capital. He earned a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Brown University and an MBA from Chicago Booth, where he was awarded the George Hay Brown Prize for academic excellence.

Laura Desmond

Laura Desmond

Founder and CEO, Eagle Vista Partners

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Laura Desmond

Founder and CEO, Eagle Vista Partners

Eagle Vista Partners has focused on Senior Advisory work with CEO’s at Live Ramp, Uptake Technologies, Anaplan, Active Campaign along with media, financial service and emerging SaaS sectors. Eagle Vista Partners has also invested in several early to mid stage companies in the martech, adtech and ecommerce companies.

Desmond was Chief Revenue Officer of Publicis Groupe and Chief Executive Officer of Starcom Mediavest Group, the #1 media and marketing services agency globally for 5 straight years under her leadership. While CEO, the business at SMG more than doubled and successfully pivoted to a digitally centric organization focused on emerging channels, data, analytics and content. She led a diverse team of 6500 employees across more than one hundred offices who bring unconventional thinking and a passion for the art and science of marketing strategy, consumer behavior and media investment.

Laura has worked closely with some of the biggest and most successful marketers worldwide, including Samsung, Coca-Cola, Visa, Bank of America, P&G, and a host of emerging online consumer brand such as Airbnb, Spotify, EA Sports and Twitter. In her work, Laura forged a new breed of partnership with media companies such as Google, Facebook, and Tencent.

Laura is also an Operating Partner at Providence Equity Partners, working with the Technology & Media Group on two investments in the adtech and datatech sectors.

Laura serves on the board of directors for Adobe Systems (2012) and is Lead Director of Double Verify (2017) and smartly.io (2020) She is also past Chair of the Advertising Council.

Laura and Eagle Vista Partners are both based in Chicago.

Jim Dugan

Jim Dugan

CEO, Cofounder, and Managing Partner, OCA Ventures

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Jim Dugan

CEO, Cofounder, and Managing Partner, OCA Ventures

Jim has over 20 years of corporate finance, capital markets, and venture capital experience. He serves on the boards of EdMap, TradeKing, Cleversafe, TDJM, Javlin Capital, SumRidge Partners, Campus Explorer, Apparel Media Group (CustomInk), Automated Insights, Pangea, Falcon Insurance Group, Solovis, Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, 1871, IIT, and NU Wave. Prior to cofounding OCA Ventures, Jim oversaw the OCA Ventures pledge fund, which made direct investments for the O’Connor Partners Investment Office. He also traded derivatives at the Chicago Board of Trade and worked in corporate finance with Continental Bank. Jim is a founding member of the Illinois Venture Capital Association, where he has served as treasurer, director, member of the executive committee, and chairman of the legislative committee, helping to establish HB 3212 as Illinois law. Jim received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and an MBA from Northwestern University.

Mar Hershenson

Mar Hershenson

Cofounder and Managing Partner, Pear VC

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Mar Hershenson

Cofounder and Managing Partner, Pear VC

Mar Hershenson is a co-founder and Managing Partner at Pear VC, a seed-stage investment firm in Palo Alto backing companies like Dropbox(NASDAQ: DBX), Guardant Health(NASDAQ: GH), Doordash, Gusto, and Branch. At Pear, Mar works closely with founders to take companies from an idea to defining business. Mar has been recognized in the Midas Brink List of Top Tech Investors in 2015. Mar received her PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 2000 for her breakthrough work in circuit design automation, and taught the Analog Circuit Design course at Stanford for over a decade. She is currently a lecturer in the Engineering School at Stanford teaching entrepreneurship. Mar made her mark as an entrepreneur by co-founding three companies: Barcelona Design, Sabio Labs, and Revel Touch. After the acquisition of Sabio labs, Mar served as VP of Product Development for Magma Design Automation’s Mixed Signal division. Mar has received many awards throughout her career. Among them, the renowned T35 Young Innovator Award by MIT (for her technical work), and the prestigious  Marie R. Pistilli Women in EDA Achievement Award in 2010 (for her work in entrepreneurship). Mar currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Harvey Mudd College,  on the Advisory Council of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University and on the board of the Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Silicon Valley.  Mar is a founding member of All Raise and the Equity Summit.

Brent Hill, MBA ’98

Brent Hill, MBA ’98

Partner, Origin Ventures

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Brent Hill, MBA ’98

Partner, Origin Ventures

Brent Hill is a partner at Origin Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on software, marketplace, and consumer companies. He serves on the board of directors of portfolio companies Backlot Cars, 15Five, Fountain, Apptentive, Bound, Bonsai Analytics, Mighty, Pronto, and Kidizen. He is a board observer for the firm’s investments in Cameo, AppDetex, DirectScale and ViralGains. Other previous investments include Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB) , Tubemogul (acquired by NASD: ADBE), Ahalogy (acquired by NYSE: QUOT) and Teem (acquired by WeWork).  Prior to joining Origin, Brent led sales organizations for Twitter, Google, and Feedburner. Before joining FeedBurner, he was the president of a national consumer services business, an entrepreneur-in-residence, and an EVP with a unit of Interactive Corp. He also cofounded MVP.com, an early e-commerce business. Brent started his career with Accenture, where he spent 10 years developing CRM software for the telecom industry. He received a BS in finance from Bradley University and an MBA from Chicago Booth.

Van Jones, MBA ’14

Van Jones, MBA ’14

Deal Lead and Vice President, Wellington Management

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Van Jones, MBA ’14

Deal Lead and Vice President, Wellington Management

Van is a deal lead and vice president at Wellington Management. Previously, he was a partner at Drive Capital, a firm based in Ohio and the largest Midwest-based venture capital firm with over $1.2 billion in AUM. Van invests across verticals with a particular focus on enterprise SaaS and cloud-based data infrastructure. At Drive, Van most recently lead and now sits as a board observer in the Series A investment in Meroxa, a real-time in-stream change data capture platform.  Prior to Drive Capital, Van co-founded Hello Tractor an agricultural equipment SaaS platform based in Nigeria and which now operates across Africa and South Asia. While at Chicago Booth, Van launched Hello Tractor and won the 2014 Social New Venture Challenge.

Van began his career in China advising large multi-national corporations on leveraging predictive analytics to de-risk new product launches within emerging markets. Van was honored by the Chicago Booth community in 2018 as the recipient of the Chicago Booth Young Alumni Distinguished Alumni Award and currently sits on the Distinguished Alumni Awards Selection Committee. Van also serves on the Business Advisory Council for the University of Cincinnati’s Lindner College of Business. Van earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Chicago Booth.

Venetia Kontogouris, MBA ’77

Venetia Kontogouris, MBA ’77

Managing Director, Venkon Group LLC

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Venetia Kontogouris, MBA ’77

Managing Director, Venkon Group LLC

Venetia Kontogouris is the managing director of Venkon Group LLC, a company that invests in real estate and early stage ventures, with an emphasis on technology and cloud-based services. Current investments include Zumigo, Ruby Seven Studios, Flow Inc., Be Health, Energy Savvy, and Simple Mills. Prior to her employment with Venkon Group, Kontogouris was the senior managing director for Trident Capital, where she oversaw venture capital investing. She was one of the original members and co-managing partner for Funds IV, V, and VI with over $1.5 billion of venture investments under management. During her time at Trident Capital, she was responsible for many successful investments and exits including, Odyssey Logistics, Outsource Partners International, Microland, Advantec, Infotrieve, Sphere, Viant, Daou Systems, Vality, PBN/Taleo, IPro, Invention Machine, and CrossMedia.

Mark Koulogeorge

Mark Koulogeorge

Managing General Partner, MK Capital

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Mark Koulogeorge

Managing General Partner, MK Capital

Mark Koulogeorge is managing general partner of MK Capital where he leads the firm’s digital marketing and software investment practices and has over eighteen years of venture capital experience. Mark’s functional expertise is in developing sales, marketing and distribution strategies to achieve market leadership and in the building of high performance executive teams.

Mark has served on the boards of directors of over 20 technology companies which have generated over $400 million of realized gains for his investors. He has been the lead or first institutional investor in a number of significant technology companies including: Tradex Technologies (sold to Ariba for $1.8 billion), Aprimo (sold to Teradata for $540 million), Initiate Systems (sold to IBM for $424 million) and The Cobalt Group (sold to ADP for $400 million).

Prior to founding MK Capital, Mark was a managing director at First Analysis and served as a general partner of The Productivity Fund III & The Productivity Fund IV. Prior to his career in venture capital, Mr. Koulogeorge was an Executive Officer of Eagle Industries, a $1.5 billion diversified manufacturer, controlled by Chicago entrepreneur Sam Zell and earlier a consultant with Booz Allen. He earned a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Stanford University.

Mark Leahy, JD/MBA ’89

Mark Leahy, JD/MBA ’89

Partner, Fenwick & West LLP

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Mark Leahy, JD/MBA ’89

Partner, Fenwick & West LLP

Mark is co-head of the startup and venture capital group of Fenwick & West. He advises technology and life science companies, including those focused in the software, telecommunications, and semiconductor sectors. His practice includes startup counseling, venture capital financings, public offerings, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures. Mark represents companies in varying stages, ranging from privately-held startups to publicly-traded companies. Earlier in his career, Mark worked as an engineer. He received a BS in industrial engineering from Stanford University and a JD/MBA from the University of Chicago.

Mark Leavitt, MBA ’83

Mark Leavitt, MBA ’83

Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Enlightened Hospitality Investments

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Mark Leavitt, MBA ’83

Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Enlightened Hospitality Investments

Mark is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Enlightened Hospitality Investments. Mark is actively involved in all of EHI’s portfolio companies, and serves on the boards of Joe Coffee, Salt & Straw, Goldbelly, Dig and Banza, and is a board Observer at Madison Reed. Additionally, Mark sits on the board of Union Square Hospitality Group, is a member of the Council on Chicago Booth for the University of Chicago, and serves as Chairman Emeriti at Jacob’s Pillow, a dance school and performance space in the Berkshires. In 2020, Mark was included in Nation’s Restaurant News’ Top 50 Technology Power List which features the 50 most influential leaders of technology and innovation in the restaurant industry.

Prior to founding EHI, Mark was head of the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Investment Banking group at Piper Jaffray & Co. He previously served on the boards of Trinity College, the Harlem Globetrotters, Centennial Communications, Citadel Communications, T/SF Communications (TSF), US Radio, and Leap Wireless (LEAP) where he also served on the Finance Committee and Transaction Committee during its sale to AT&T.

Mark earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Trinity College.

Matt Maloney, SM ’00, MBA ’10

Matt Maloney, SM ’00, MBA ’10

Founder and CEO, Grubhub

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Matt Maloney, SM ’00, MBA ’10

Founder and CEO, Grubhub

Matt Maloney is founder and CEO of Grubhub. Under Matt’s leadership, Grubhub has grown its active diner network to 30 million users who can order from more than 300,000 takeout restaurants in over 4,000 cities. He led the company through five rounds of investment funding, a 2013 merger with Seamless and a 2014 initial public offering. Matt currently serves as an advisory board member for The University of Chicago Booth School of Business Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and a member of ChicagoNEXT, an organization dedicated to driving growth and opportunity in the Chicago business community. He also serves on the board of directors of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Matt was named one of America’s most powerful CEOs 40 and under in Forbes Magazine in 2016 and one of the top 50 business people of 2014 by Fortune Magazine. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and two master’s degrees, including an MBA, from the University of Chicago.

Matthew McCall

Matthew McCall

Partner, Pritzker Group Venture Capital

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Matthew McCall

Partner, Pritzker Group Venture Capital

Matt McCall is a partner at Pritzker Group Venture Capital and was formerly a founding partner with DFJ Portage. Over his 20+ years in the business, he has backed over 70 companies, completed more than 400 financings and evaluation over 20,000 business plans. He has had over $3 billion in exit value. He also has a strong interest studying the drivers and derailers to high performing cultures and sustainable entrepreneurial success. He has been honored on Crain’s annual “40 under 40”, Crain’s top Tech 25 list, the Re/code top 30 tech power list, a Top 100 VC, a Media 100, and a Hollywood 100 Power Player. He is the founder and trustee of the McCall Family Foundation. He has served on numerous regional high technology advisory boards. Prior to 1995, Matt worked in the Boston Consulting Group’s Chicago office, where he managed consulting and client teams on projects in the telecommunications, healthcare, and financial services industries. Matt earned a bachelor’s in economics and history from Williams College and an MBA with honors from Kellogg. He also earned a master’s in manufacturing management from Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering.

Lonnie Moulder

Lonnie Moulder

Founding General Partner, Tellus BioVentures and Venture Advisor, New Enterprise Associates

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Lonnie Moulder

Founding General Partner, Tellus BioVentures and Venture Advisor, New Enterprise Associates

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, Moulder served as vice chairman and executive vice president of Eisai Corporation of North America following Eisai’s acquisition of MGI PHARMA, where he was 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 Board and serves on the Fox Chase Cancer Center Board. He is a Council member for both the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Lonnie is a 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 the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2017, National Life Sciences and New England Life Sciences Award, and named Institutional Investor’s 2018 Best Biotechnology Mid-Cap CEO.

Koichiro Nakamura, MBA ’07

Koichiro Nakamura, MBA ’07

Founding Partner, Sozo Venture

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Koichiro Nakamura, MBA ’07

Founding Partner, Sozo Venture

Koichiro is a founding partner at Sozo Ventures, a cross-border venture fund focused on helping start-ups achieve global expansion. Specifically, Sozo Ventures helps US technology companies go to the Asian market, especially the Japanese market. He started his career as a serial entrepreneur, launching his first successful company during college and spending a decade working on a multitude of start-ups. At Mitsubishi Corporation, he created relationships with large Japanese conglomerates, providing the credibility needed for portfolio start-ups to find alpha and beta customers. Prior to that, he launched the Innovation Kitchen, a Mitsubishi Corporation subsidiary, which incubated seed-stage ventures in Japan and leveraged cross-border collaboration to yield sustainable advantage for portfolio companies, including Scigineer (IPO in 2014). Koichiro also founded Japan’s first application service provider, Datastations (acquired by ValueCommerce). Before Mitsubishi, he was a founding member of Yahoo! Japan. Koichiro is a member of the Kauffman Fellows Class 12 and a recipient of the Jeff Timmons Memorial Award. He received a bachelor’s of law from Waseda University and an MBA from Chicago Booth, where he was a two-time finalist in the New Venture Challenge.

Cristobal Perdomo

Cristobal Perdomo

Cofounder and General Partner, Jaguar Ventures

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Cristobal Perdomo

Cofounder and General Partner, Jaguar Ventures

Cristobal Perdomo is an experienced Internet investor, entrepreneur and executive focused on Latin America. He is a cofounder and general partner at Jaguar Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on early stage Internet ventures in Latin America.

Previously, Mr. Perdomo served as VP of Real Estate Latin America at Navent, Latin America’s largest online classifieds company (backed by Tiger Global and Riverwood Capital). At Navent, he was part of the founding team and was responsible for the company’s real estate sites in Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela, and software companies in Brazil and Mexico. During his tenure the operations he oversaw grew 14x in revenues and all turned EBITDA positive, going from representing less than 3% of the company to over 25% of the company’s revenues and over 60% of the company’s EBITDA.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Perdomo was part of the founding team of Groupalia, a daily deals site (backed by Caixa Capital Risc, Nauta Capital, Index Ventures, and Insight Venture Partners). At Groupalia, he was responsible for launching the company’s operations across 5 countries (Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Peru) in less than 8 months and positioning it as the no. 1 or no. 2 player in every market. In early 2012 the Latin American operations of Groupalia were acquired by Peixe Urbano.

Mr. Perdomo began his career as a lawyer focused on international financial transactions in the energy sector. He has also held senior management positions at Cemex, Grupo Modelo (now part of AB Inbev), and Booz & Co. (now known as Strategy&).

Mr. Perdomo holds an MBA with honors from Columbia University and earned his JD summa cum laude from Universidad Iberoamericana.

Deborah Quazzo

Deborah Quazzo

Managing Partner, GSV Ventures; Board Member at organizations including Degreed and The Khan Academy

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Deborah Quazzo

Managing Partner, GSV Ventures; Board Member at organizations including Degreed and The Khan Academy

Deborah Quazzo is the managing partner of GSV Ventures, a venture fund investing in education and workforce skills technologies that are disrupting the $7 trillion sector. In addition, she is the cofounder of the ASU+GSV Summit. Now in its twelfth year, the ASU+GSV Summit celebrates innovations and innovators across the global “preK to gray” learning and talent landscape and attracts over 5,500 attendees.

Quazzo currently serves on the boards of Aakash Educational Services Ltd (a leading tutoring and test preparation company in India), Ascend Learning (a portfolio company of Blackstone and CCCP), ClassEDU, Create and Learn, Degreed, The Educational Testing Service, Intellispark, Mighty, PhotoMath, QuillBot, Remind, Stride, Turnitin (an Advance Communications company), and Valenture Institute. She is a member of the boards of The Common Ground Foundation, The Falling Walls Digital Education Jury Board, The Khan Academy Thought Leadership Council, The New Profit Prophets Education Advisory Group, Oriental Education Institute, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and The Strada Institute for the Future of Work Advisory Committee. She previously served on the boards of a number of education organizations, including The Chicago Board of Education (CPS) and KIPP: Chicago.

Quazzo graduated cum laude with a BA in history from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard University.

Linnea Roberts, MBA ’90

Linnea Roberts, MBA ’90

Founder and CEO, GingerBread Capital; Former Partner, Goldman Sachs

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Linnea Roberts, MBA ’90

Founder and CEO, GingerBread Capital; Former Partner, Goldman Sachs

 

Linnea is a retired partner of Goldman Sachs. Linnea joined Goldman as a partner in 2004 and served as co-head of technology within the global technology, media, and telecom group through 2011. Most recently, Linnea served as diversity ambassador for the Investment Banking Division. Prior to joining Goldman, Linnea served as co-head of Lehman Brothers’ global technology group from 2001 to 2004. Before joining Lehman Brothers in 1990, she was assistant controller of OroAmerica from 1987 to 1988 and a senior auditor for Price Waterhouse from 1984 to 1987. Linnea created GingerBread Capital, a venture firm focused on investing in women founders and entrepreneurs. She also looks to connect great women owned and/or operated businesses with women investors. Linnea serves on the advisory council of Chicago Booth, the board of directors of Valparaiso University, and the board of trustees of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Through the Roberts Foundation, Linnea is deeply involved in creating opportunities for educational equality, job training and creation, and children’s mental and physical health. Linnea serves on the national board of directors and chairs the New York board of Teach for America. She also serves on the national board of New Leaders, the board of directors of the Child Mind Institute, and the Ambassadors Council of Grassroot Soccer.

Michael Sachaj

Michael Sachaj

Senior Principal, Hyde Park Angels

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Michael Sachaj

Senior Principal, Hyde Park Angels

 

Michael Sachaj is the senior principal of Hyde Park Angels (HPA). He leads HPA’s investment opportunities through sourcing deals, conducting due-diligence, supporting portfolio company follow-on rounds, and managing investment data. Michael joined HPA after spending a few years as a strategy consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, D.C. where he worked on a variety of process and customer service improvement efforts. He earned a BA in political science from Northwestern University.

Jonathan Shulkin

Jonathan Shulkin

Partner, Valor Equity Partners

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Jonathan Shulkin

Partner, Valor Equity Partners

Jonathan Shulkinis a partner at Valor Equity Partners and the designated fund manager for Valor Siren Ventures. He also serves as Valor’s chief financial officer. Shulkin’s responsibilities include investment prospect generation, investment structuring and execution, capital raising, due diligence of potential acquisitions, serving on the boards of directors at Valor companies, and management of the firm’s finance function. He serves as a member of Valor’s main fund and Valor Siren Ventures investment committee. Shulkin has over 15 years of experience in private equity investing. Prior to Valor, he was part of MG Capital’s investment and portfolio team, where he served in operational roles at MG Capital’s portfolio companies, including chief operating officer of Connector Service Corporation’s plating division. Shulkinalso served as president of Electronic Plating Service and chief operating officer for Amax Plating, Electronic Plating Service, and Associated Plating Company. Prior to joining MG Capital, Jon worked with Bain & Company as an associate consultant. Shulkin has served on the boards of directors of several charitable organizations, including the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the Chicago Children’s Museum. He is the former chair of the board of trustees for the Lycée Français de Chicago, and currently sits on the board. He earned a BBA in accounting with honors from the University of Texas at Austin.
Katlin Smith

Katlin Smith

Founder and CEO, Simple Mills

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Katlin Smith

Founder and CEO, Simple Mills

Katlin Smith is the founder and CEO of Simple Mills, a Chicago-based company at the forefront of a clean food movement that is shaping the next generation of natural foods and changing the way America eats. She created Simple Mills after she cleaned up her own diet and realized the tremendous power food has to transform how people felt. Eight years after launch, the company is the #1 baking mix and #1 cracker brand as well as the #2 cookie item in the natural channel; distributed in more than 20,000 stores ranging from Whole Foods to Kroger, Publix, Walmart, and Target; and a driving force in transforming the center aisle by providing innovative, clean snack alternatives in categories traditionally lacking better-for-you options.

Smith, a former management consultant, has been widely recognized for these achievements, including being honored with Forbes 30 Under 30, Inc. 30 Under 30, and Progressive Grocer’s Top Woman in Grocery awards.

Founded in 2013, Simple Mills now offers more than 35 baking mixes, frostings, crackers, cookies, and snack bars that are free of gluten, grain, dairy, soy, GMOs, excessive sugar, gums, emulsifiers, and anything artificial. All products are made exclusively with real, purposeful ingredients like nutrient-rich almond flour and unrefined coconut sugar that make healthy eating deliciously simple with a taste that is on par with familiar favorites.

Guy Turner MBA ’10

Guy Turner MBA ’10

Managing Director, Hyde Park Venture Partners; Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Polsky Center

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Guy Turner MBA ’10

Managing Director, Hyde Park Venture Partners; Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Polsky Center

Guy has been with HPVP since its beginning in 2011. Prior to HPVP, Guy worked for the Boston Consulting Group where he focused on corporate strategy across a variety of industries. Previously he served as an associate and investing member with Hyde Park Angels, and spent his early career as a mechanical engineer with Raytheon and General Electric. Guy has led investments in a number of software companies and manages HPVP’s investments in Fixer, MarketWagon, Upfront Healthcare, and Zipnosis, among others. He writes about venture capital and startups at vcwithme.co.

Kevin Willer, MBA ’10 (XP-79)

Kevin Willer, MBA ’10 (XP-79)

Partner, Chicago Ventures

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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 and 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’s 2011 “40 Under 40” list as well as Crain’s 2012 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 North Shore University Health System, the Big Shoulders Fund, Choose Chicago, 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 an MBA from Chicago Booth.

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