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    Team

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Co-Founder and General Partner

    • Ranked Top 100 Powerlist VC
    • 10+ years of VC/PE Investing, 80+ Portfolio Companies
    • Select Prior Portfolio Companies: Beyond Meat (IPO'd), Sensity (Acquired by Verizon), ShopKick (Acquired by SK Telecom), FabFitFun, MeUndies, Le Tote, Helix Sleep, ZeroCater, Deliv
    • Former Managing Director of Investments at Cleveland Avenue (VC/PE Fund co-founded by Former CEO & President of McDonalds), focusing on food and beverage brands, food related technologies, and new restaurant concepts
    • Founder, Head, & Former Managing Director of Simon Venture Group (investment arm of Simon Property Group, S&P 100, largest retail real estate company in the world), grew to top 5 corporate VC focused on commerce alongside Google Ventures, Intel Capital, and Comcast Ventures
    • Adjunct Professor at New York University teaching Venture Capital Intensive
    • Creator of Multiple Top Ranked Entrepreneur Resources: #1 Startup Investor Pitch Deck Template (viewed & downloaded 500,000+ times, used by leading business schools and accelerators)
    • Co-Founder of the #1 Startup Board Game: The Next Big Thing: The Game of Entrepreneurship, backed by over 25+ of the top accelerators and VC investors

     

    LinkedIn

    Andrew Zalasin

    General Partner

    • 25+ years of venture capital and private equity investment and operational experience with entrepreneurial growth companies
    • Early investor in Facebook, Uber, Twitter, Venmo, Wisdom Tree, MakerBot, Magnolia Cupcakes, Concur, Massive
    • Former General Partner for 17 years at RRE Ventures, a leading technology venture capital firm with $1.5B across seven funds
    • Involved in nearly 200 investments and has served on more than 30 boards in the US, Europe and Asia, and has been instrumental in generating industry-leading returns and providing experience and resources to help companies build teams, attack new market opportunities, identify and secure strategic initiatives / partnerships and achieve profitable growth in all phases of development

    LinkedIn

    Joel Palathinkal, Ph.d

    Associate Partner

    • 4+ years of venture capital experience, 30+ portfolio companies
    • Select prior portfolio companies:  Epinomics (acquired by 10x Genomix), Melo (acquired by Ucommune), Ample, Sense Photonics, Bioaesthetics, Cypre, Persephone Biome, Nebulas Genomics, Phenomic Ai, Mendo, Navan Technology, Skymind, Alcatraz ai, Apprentice, Paladin, Tensorflight, Prime Discoveries, Securrency, Fr8, SkyFChain, Blockseed, AiCoin
    • Former General Partner at Genesis Block Ventures:  A Blockchain Venture Capital Fund, Cryptocurrency Quant Hedge Fund, & Crypto Mining Company based in NYC & Wyoming
    • Venture Capital investor at Hemi Ventures
    • Family office investor/advisor to high net worth individuals & families in Asia, Singapore, & the middle east
    • Led technology platforms at a major financial institution which managed $300 Billion AUM
    • Cornell University, Finance
    • University of Central Florida, Ph.d in Modeling and Simulation
    • University of South Florida, Electrical Engineering
    • Adjunct Professor at Cornell University teaching Finance & Management
    • Author of 2 books published in all major bookstores globally

    Aakash Jain

    Principal

    • VU Cohort 2 Alum
    • Venture Fellow, Jump Capital
    • Co-Founder, Booth Bay Area Angel Network (Booth BAAN)
    • Technology Investment Banking (Growth Equity), Financial Technology Partners
    • Fixed Income Quant Trading, Morgan Stanley
    • University of Chicago Booth School of Business, MBA 
    • Cornell University, MEng (Computer Science)
    • Jacobs University, BA (Electrical Engineering & Computer Science)

    Michael Siegel

    Analyst

    • Member of the Marketplace and Consumer investment teams in Venture University's First Cohort
    • Venture Fellow, VentureSouth
    • Clemson University, MBA, Entrepreneurship
    • Wofford College, BA, Business Economics

     

    LinkedIn

    Jenna Fernandes

    Co-Founder, Operating Partner, & Head of Human Resources

    • Venture Backed Serial Entrepreneur
    • Co-Founder & CEO of The Next Big Thing: The Game of Entrepreneurship, backed by over 25+ of the top accelerators and VC investors
    • Ranked Top 10 Female Tech CEO by Women 2.0 
    • Former CEO of Largest Student Run Business in The Country (Tufts Student Resources)

    LinkedIn

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