Castor Ventures Team

Smart, Simple Venture Investing


Meet Your Investment Team

These are your classmates who wake up every day on your behalf to assemble a great venture portfolio

Chris Sklarin

Managing Partner

LinkedIn

Chris has over 20 years’ experience in tech investing, product development, and sales engineering. He has invested over $60M in companies from seed to venture stage. Most recently, he was Vice President at Edison Partners, where he focused on investments for Enterprise 2.0 and mobile. Previously, Chris was a Director of Business Development with biomedical venture accelerator BioEnterprise and Director of Business Development with Chrysalis Ventures. Earlier, at JumpStart, a nationally recognized venture development organization, he sourced and executed seed investments. Chris has an SB EE from MIT (’88) and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

Cainon Coates

Principal

LinkedIn

Cainon has a background in finance and entrepreneurship. At Boston Consulting Group, he conducted due diligence across the semiconductor, transportation, and medical device industries. At PBM, a $500M healthcare-focused VC firm, he led the due diligence process and worked as an operating partner within portfolio companies. He is also an active angel investor in several MIT startups. In addition, Cainon co-founded University Laundry, which was acquired by a national operator and would be sold to Proctor & Gamble’s marquee Tide brand. He has an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and a BS from the University of Virginia in Systems and Information Engineering.

Alain Hanover

Founding Managing Partner

LinkedIn

Alain has 30+ years of experience as a VC, angel investor, CEO, serial entrepreneur, Board Member, and advisor. He was Co-founder of Common Angels, New England’s leading investment group; Managing Director and CEO of Navigator Technology Ventures, a high-tech VC firm funded by Draper Lab; and CEO of Viewlogic, an innovative chip design software company. Alain has mentored over 100 MIT high-tech spinoffs and served on the MassTech Board through the terms of six governors. He was honored as Inc Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year. He has BSEE and SB Math degrees from MIT, SM Computer Science from Harvard, and OPM from Harvard Business School.


Investment Committee

Classmates and fellow investors who help create your venture portfolio

Ray Zoeller


LinkedIn

Ray Zoeller has over 30 years of leadership experience and demonstrated results. An entrepreneur, strategist, and adept P&L/turnaround manager, he has held key operating and consulting positions with premier consulting firms, international information-based conglomerates, and his own enterprises. During his 16 years with Thomson Healthcare, Ray helped grow its revenue from $114M to over $500M, directing strategic planning, acquisitions, and new business development across the company’s businesses. Thomson enjoyed a windfall exit of those properties, which in large part are now assimilated in IBM Watson as Truven Analytics. Ray’s earlier roles with Cincinnati Bell Informations Systems, Planning Research Corporation, and Strategic Planning Associates (now part of Mercer) helped shape his forthright style and team building skills. Ray earned a BS in management and an MS from Sloan in a self-designed, cross-registered program with Harvard Business School in just four years, while engaged in ROTC, volunteer work, and consulting.

Kerry James


LinkedIn

Kerry is Director of International Distribution of Boston Partners Global Investors, overseeing  all non-U.S. sales efforts.  Previously she oversaw U.S. institutional sales, consultant relations, relationship management, and marketing services. Prior to that, she was a Senior Product Specialist for Boston Partners based in Europe and working with non-U.S. clients and prospects. She has over nineteen years of experience including time in equity trading at Goldman Sachs, business development at Wellington Management, and sales and equity analysis at Morgan Stanley. She serves on the MIT Sloan Alumni Board and the board of uAspire Massachusetts. Kerry has a BS in Management from MIT and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Kathleen Huber


LinkedIn

Kathleen is a distinguished entrepreneur, startup founder and advisor, philanthropist, and computer network specialist. She is a mentor with MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service, as well as with the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund Program and Graduate Women at MIT. Kathleen was Co-founder and CEO of Pico Innovation, an energy utilities services startup using smart technologies, and Founder and CEO of Silver Beech Networks, sending content services over high-speed data networks. Prior to that, Kathleen was Co-founder and VP of Business Development for Iron Bridge Networks, a carrier-class terabit router company. Kathleen holds a BS EECS from MIT.

Daniel Grunberg


LinkedIn

Dan has been an active info tech and services executive, investor, entrepreneur, and consultant for many years. He has founded several companies from software to insurance, materials science, and accounting. Currently he is a Principal at Apollo Partners, specializing in health insurance services. Previously he was Co-founder and CSO of Immedia Semiconductor, and served as President of tech consultant Chainwave Systems. He was also Chairman of Uniform Metal Powders and VP Technology & Director at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service. He has been a long-time member and served as Director of CommonAngels. Dan received his BS, MS, and PhD EECS from MIT.

Karl Gemperli


LinkedIn

Karl has 20+ years’ experience as a CEO, Board Member, advisor, and venture investor, driving revenue and business growth. He is Managing Partner of Leawood Venture Capital, a professional investment firm that manages private venture funds. Previously, he was founder and CEO of Elecsys Corporation (NASDAQ: ESYS), a leader in industrial IoT technology and cloud-based data management solutions that was acquired by Lindsay (NYSE: LNN). He has also served as President of DCI, VP of Operations at Airport Systems International, and Director of Manufacturing at Goodrich Aerospace. Karl has a BS Aerospace from MIT and a Master’s of Engineering from Boston University.

William Chuang


LinkedIn

William is the Lead Programmer and Systems Architect at Tower Research Capital. He specializes in high-volume automated-trading systems, simulation design, risk management systems, hedge funds, and client-server architecture. Previously, he was an Athena Consultant at MIT, Staff Consultant and Programmer at Polytronics, and Consultant at Bose. William holds a BS EECS and Biology and MS EECS from MIT. 

Carlos Cashman


LinkedIn

Carlos is an experienced innovator, entrepreneur, and manager in advertising, marketing, and high tech, as well as a nine-time company founder and active angel investor. He is currently Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Thras.io, an e-commerce operating company. Carlos is also Managing Partner of Internet marketing company ConstellationCK. Over the past 20 years, Carlos has worked with many successful startups as an executive, founder, investor, and advisor. He also co-founded CourseAdvisor, a leading search engine marketing firm in post-secondary education (acq. Washington Post), and Opus360 (NASDAQ: OPUS, sold to Artemis International) where he and his team created the first free agent marketplace, FreeAgent.com, in 1998. Carlos has a custom BS degree in Information Systems from MIT.

Kirstan Barnett


LinkedIn

Kirstan is Managing Partner of KBB Capital, investor in biotech, medical devices, SaaS, consumer tech, and fintech companies. She has 20+ years’ experience in management, M&A, financing, regulatory, strategic, operating, and Board. She was a partner at leading investment advisory Bracebridge Capital, playing key roles in risk, operations, management, and legal and regulatory affairs. She also founded and is Chairman of SheGives, applying a collective angel investing model to philanthropy. Before that, Kirstan ran financing and M&A deals at Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault. She has a BA from the University of New Hampshire, a JD from Georgetown, and an MBA from MIT.

Zeid Barakat


LinkedIn

Zeid is an entrepreneur in high-tech companies, focused on novel approaches to biotech, healthcare, and financial services. He is Director at Scimitar, driving cutting-edge initiatives for life-science firms in healthcare, new product launches, portfolio optimization, and more. Previously, he was Co-founder and COO of hedge fund Flyberry Capital, leading fund formation, fundraising, and business development. He also served as a Senior Manager with PwC and as a Co-founder of Aura Biosciences, a drug delivery company focusing on orphan indications. Zeid received a BA in biochemistry from Bowdoin College, an MA in biotechnology from Harvard, and his MBA from MIT.

Alain Hanover

Founding Managing Partner

LinkedIn

Alain has 30+ years of experience as a VC, angel investor, CEO, serial entrepreneur, Board Member, and advisor. He was Co-founder of Common Angels, New England’s leading investment group; Managing Director and CEO of Navigator Technology Ventures, a high-tech VC firm funded by Draper Lab; and CEO of Viewlogic, an innovative chip design software company. Alain has mentored over 100 MIT high-tech spinoffs and served on the MassTech Board through the terms of six governors. He was honored as Inc Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year. He has BSEE and SB Math degrees from MIT, SM Computer Science from Harvard, and OPM from Harvard Business School.


Venture Fellows

Select group of young MIT alums participating in our Venture Fellow Program

Laide Olambiwonnu

Venture Fellow

LinkedIn

Laide is an engineer turned Product Manager. She is currently a Product Manager at Ring, where she combines her love for technology and IoT to create products that impact lives and keep neighborhoods safe. Prior to that, she was a Product Manager at Sonos, where she combines her love for technology and music to create products that impact lives. She also has experience working as an engineer for companies in the space and consumer electronics industries. Laide is also passionate about Entrepreneurship and has worked at a couple of early-stage tech startups where she was responsible for product and business development as well as overall business strategy. Laide earned an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management. She also holds a dual B.S. in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona and an M.S. from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Frederick Daso

Venture Fellow
MIT

LinkedIn

A native of Huntsville, AL, Frederick Daso is pursuing his Master’s in Aerospace Engineering on the heels of majoring in AE and minoring in Political Science at MIT as an undergrad. Daso complements his technical expertise with a passion for writing — he’s currently an Under 30 Contributor at Forbes, covering college students and recent graduates in the process of building startups, and was chosen as a 2016 LinkedIn Top Voice for Student Publishing. Daso looks forward to blending his “hard” and “soft” skills as a Community Engagement Fellow with Castor.

Andrew Geraghty

Venture Fellow
MIT Sloan School of Management

LinkedIn

Andrew Geraghty currently is pursuing his MBA at MIT Sloan. In the summer of 2017, he was a business development intern at Stash Invest, a FinTech investing startup. Prior to starting at Sloan, Andrew was an Assistant Vice President at Eaton Vance where he focused on risk analytics and reporting systems for investment teams. He holds his B.A. in Finance and Operations Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Akash Agarwal

Venture Fellow Emeritus
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

LinkedIn

Akash (MIT ’16) began working with Castor Ventures in April of 2017, and currently works in the energy and supply chain industry as a consultant with a Boston-based energy consultancy. Previously, he has performed non-invasive flow rate monitoring, data analytics and vehicular-pedestrian impact simulations. Akash holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Product Design from MIT.

Sharanya Srinivasan

Venture Fellow

LinkedIn

Sharanya works at Biogen, developing the translational capabilities of genome editing platforms to treat rare neuromuscular diseases. Previously, she was a researcher at Harvard Medical School & MIT CSAIL, working on technologies for applications in genomics and transcriptomics. She built drug delivery systems in the MIT Department of Chemical Engineering and interned at startups through MIT‘s VentureShips & Externship Programs. She holds a Master’s degree in Biotechnology through Harvard Extension School, and a BS in Biology from MIT.

Esha Sahai

Venture Fellow

LinkedIn

Esha has over 10 years of experience in the high-tech industry. She works in Corp. Development, Strategy, and Business Development at Microsoft. Her previous experience includes stints at Oracle Corp., edX, big data & IoT startups, and startup accelerators. Esha holds a graduate degree in Management from MIT and graduate and undergraduate degrees in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Austin Hays

Venture Fellow Emeritus

LinkedIn

Austin works for the Strategic Innovation Group at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he helps streamline internal operations and improve infrastructure security in commercial and government sectors. Previously, he worked for a mobile payment startup in an accelerator at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and was involved in research at MIT, helping build machine learning software in the Laboratory for Information and Decision Sciences. Austin holds a BS in Mathematics with Computer Science from MIT.

Rowland Graus

Venture Fellow Emeritus

LinkedIn

Rowland currently works as a lead product manager for Madaket Health, a healthcare tech startup. He was previously an Associate at Dean & Company Strategy Consultants, leading business due diligence teams for private equity clients, and a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton focused on DoD IT projects. Rowland holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management and a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia.


Alumni Ventures Group Support Staff

The team behind the Castor Investment team - freeing them to build you a great venture portfolio

Chris Sacharuk

Investor Relations Manager

LinkedIn

Prior to joining AVG, Chris was a Customer Advocate at Graphic Packaging and in Sales & Marketing at Putnam Investments, where he created materials for reps and investors. He’s a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Manning School of Business, where he studied Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Studies.

Anne Miller

Investor Relations Manager

LinkedIn

Previously, Anne was an Applied Behavioral Analysis Counselor for Melmark and a medical biller for Physicians Resources. She is also a certified Certifiied Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor, with her own clientele. Anne has a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire.

Hilary Ncala

Director of Investor Relations

LinkedIn

Prior to joining AVG, Hilary was a Staffing Executive and Program Manager at Robert Half. Previous positions include Retirement Planning & Guidance Consultant for Fidelity and an Investor Assistant for an independent investor. She has a Bachelor of Science, Business Management & Marketing from Fisher College.

Jamie Eitel

Community Relations Manager

LinkedIn

Jamie was the Clinical Secretary Sr for Pediatric Gastroenterology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Earlier, he served as a Claims Processor Associate and then a Senior Associate at Cigna Health. He has also served in multiple church youth ministries for over 15 years throughout Ontario, Canada, in many different cultural contexts. He was part of the adjunct faculty in the youth ministry department at Tyndale University College. He has a BA in Psychology from York University, a Masters of Divinity from Tyndale Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.