Meet Your Investment Team
These are your classmates who wake up every day on your behalf to assemble a great venture portfolio
David has played a leading role in many aspects of the VC investment cycle: structuring transactions as a fundless sponsor, improving operations as a consultant, leading management teams as a CEO, evaluating opportunities as an investor and advisor, and selling companies as a licensed business broker. Previously, he founded Synergy Financial, a private capital and consulting firm for entrepreneurs, PE professionals, and family offices. He started his investment career as a professional advisor managing millions in assets. David has an undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northwestern and played for the two-time Big Ten Championship Northwestern Wildcats Football Team. He serves on the NUvention and Kellogg Entrepreneurial Center Advisory Boards.
Wayne has held positions in both successful startups and thriving tech firms and brings a wealth of operational experience building teams, executing deals, and developing clients. He is committed to the growth of the venture and tech community in Chicago, serves as an advisor to a number of startups, and is a founding board member of Great Lakes Academy Charter School. Previously, he led analysis, negotiation, and deal execution for the global content acquisition team at Netflix. Before that, he was VP of Business Development at Silver Chalice Ventures, a digital media startup owned by the Chicago White Sox. Wayne began his career in the US Navy, serving as a Surface Warfare Officer. He holds a BS in industrial engineering from Stanford and an MBA from Kellogg.
Classmates and fellow investors who help create your venture portfolio
Payal is a hospitality industry executive and has spent the past decade focused on growing the footprint of big brands in the hospitality industry in a variety of investment, acquisitions and business development roles, most recently at Kimpton and Starwood. She offers deep expertise in feasibility and underwriting efforts focused on real estate and advises on hotel development decision-making, contract negotiation, corporate finance and long-term strategic planning. Previously Payal co-founded and built both an early stage property tech startup and a company in the hospitality space. She started her career in the financial services industry in Corporate Strategy & Development and Equity Research roles working at JPMorgan and Lehman Brothers, respectively. Payal invests in early stage companies and has actively sourced real estate development opportunities as well as managed private equity investment assets. Payal is a CFA Charterholder and holds a BA in Economics from Northwestern University and an MBA in Marketing from The Wharton School of Business.
As a seasoned investor and finance professional, Juan offers expertise in M&A, Growth Strategies, Capital Markets, Startups, and TMT. Currently, he leads Corporate Strategy & Development at NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. Prior to this role, Juan had spent over 10 years in Investment Banking where he sourced, evaluated, and executed on a wide array of public and private M&A deals and in institutional equities, providing investment advice for institutional investors and hedge funds. In addition, he previously launched his own digital media startup and advised multiple startups in diverse industries. He continues to invest in early stage companies and actively engages in their development. Juan received his Executive MBA from Kellogg and holds a B.A. in Economics & Management and a minor degree in Political Science from Albion College.
Raaja Nemani is a serial entrepreneur and investor. Currently, he is the Co-Founder of Rogue Trading Co., a holding company established to launch, incubate, and invest in a variety of capital-efficient, scalable new businesses (such as Rogue Advising, MarketerHire, and Rogue Brands). Previously, he was the Co-Founder and CEO of Bucketfeet, a D2C, artist-designed footwear brand that was acquired by Threadless in 2017. Raaja began his career working in investment banking at UBS Investment Bank and private equity at Prairie Capital and Mubadala Capital. He holds a BA in Economics from Northwestern University.
Ricardo is a Managing Director in the Fixed Income & Debt Capital Markets Group at FIG Partners, an investment banking boutique specializing in regional and community banks. He has over 25 years’ experience and a track record of successfully developing, positioning, managing a multitude of fixed-income products and evaluating investment platforms on behalf of both institutional and retail investors. He has extensive experience as both an investment banker and portfolio manager structuring and assessing investment opportunities within large institutional platforms including Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, AIG, and SunTrust Bank. Ricardo has a BA in Economics and Political Science from Northwestern University.
Rex has spent the entirety of his career in the institutional securities industry. For the last decade, he has served as an investment banker specializing in healthcare M&A. He has advised on ~$10 billion of completed hospital system transactions involving academic (Duke, Northwestern, U. of Chicago), nonprofit (Beaumont, UnityPoint), local-Government (Santa Clara, CA), and for-profit companies (sponsored by Apollo, Blackstone, TPG, Warburg Pincus). Rex spent the early part of his career at Morgan Stanley focused heavily on infrastructure privatization funds.
Rex is also an active private investor with a personal portfolio of 20+ angel investments. He is particularly interested in entrepreneurship aimed at bridging social, educational, and economic inequality. He holds an MBA from Kellogg and lives with his family in Winnetka.
Candice has spent her career at the intersection of technology, commerce, and social responsibility. She is an experienced sales and marketing consultant drawing on twelve years of consumer and B2B marketing expertise. She is currently leading Retail Marketing efforts at Facebook helping retailers navigate new consumer behaviors through industry thought leadership, industry event activations, and sales enablement programs. Candice has a deep passion for social enterprise; she founded a sustainable fashion company Mod + Ethico, and serves on the advisory board of emerging sustainable businesses. She holds a BA from The University of Virginia, and an MBA from Kellogg.
Craig is an innovator, leader, advisor, and educator. Technologist by training, human-centered designer by nature, and business professional by experience, Craig is founder of TBD Innovation and professor at the Segal Design Institute at Northwestern. He spent much of his career at IDEO, founding and leading the firm’s Chicago office and later their Global Health practice. Craig advises senior leaders and entrepreneurs, and his expertise ranges from the details of engineering and interactions to the big picture of strategy and brand purpose.
After years of working as a consultant in the Big Five, on Wall Street, and for a Fortune 500 Company, Eric founded Vergys in 2008 to have a positive impact on how the government operates. Over the years, he and his team have built a boutique multi-million-dollar consultancy focused on delivering strategic and project management services to federal civilian agencies. He has advised multiple early and seed stage ventures in HealthTech, ecommerce, SAAS, and manufacturing, and served as the Chairman of the Board for a major non-profit organization. Eric has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a BS from Northwestern University.
Mellie is a Senior IT/Technology and Management Consultant and Executive Director at CANADA Practice. Working with tech entrepreneurs ranging from Fortune 100 to early stage startups, she manages complex business transformation projects, builds digitally disruptive agile products, and provides growth advisory. She also serves on the advisory board for Electro-Medical Instruments Co. and The Vinetta Project investing in Women Tech Entrepreneurs. Mellie holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and an MBA from Kellogg and the Schulich School of Business at York University.
Grant is Co-founder and CTO of Vodori, an enterprise marketing solutions company providing SaaS software to help life science companies create, review, and distribute marketing and sales collateral. As an entrepreneur, a deep technologist, and chief product architect, he has led the commercialization of Vodori’s enterprise product portfolio, working across customer and product development while supporting sales and marketing efforts, partnerships, and pricing. Grant is the President of the Board for Equality Illinois, involved in NUVentionWeb, a mentor at Junto Institute, and an active Chicago angel investor. He also holds a BA from Northwestern University.
Mary Jo Potter
Mary Jo has been an active entrepreneur and investor for 30 years. She has invested in a variety of entities, but is now focused on healthcare. She is currently Managing Partner of Healthcare Angels and a GP in Keiretsu Capital. She has held executive positions with BDC Advisors, Highperlink, Sibson, and Omega. Her clients have included Kaiser, Partners, Trinity Health, WEBMD, Sutter, and Genentech. Mary Jo has a bachelor’s degree from Siena Heights University, a Master’s from Northwestern where she is on the School of Education and Social Policy Board, and completed an Executive program at Stanford in India.
Mahesh has deep interest and experience in helping clients build business models around digital advertising, UGC content, AI/ML, IoT and augmented, and AR/VR. Over the past 20 years, he has served as software engineer, product designer, startup COO, angel investor, head of operations, and P&L leader and board member. He has helped two startups achieve successful exits. He is now Global Head for Technology Industry Vertical in Cognizant’s Digital Operations Business Unit. Earlier, he worked at Accenture, Siemens and PricewaterhouseCoopers in strategy & M&A. Mahesh received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Walchand College and MBA from Kellogg.
Kristin is a tech executive with 20 years’ experience who has been named as one of HBS’s Top 100 Distinguished Alumnae of Northern California. She is Managing Partner of Menlo Group, an advisor working with companies on growth strategies. She also serves on Northwestern’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship Advisory Board and as mentor to NUvention’s startup teams. As a venture-backed CEO, COO, and CMO, she has worked with Fortune 100 corporations to startups and led teams who have raised $150M+ in VC. She was CEO and Co-founder of LimeLife, one of the first mobile software companies. Kristin has a BS in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Bruce is currently the Co-founder and Co-CEO Of Q30 Innovations, a company developing a revolutionary, patented device that seeks to reduce traumatic brain injuries and concussions in athletes and military personnel using the body’s own physiology. Bruce has 20 years of experience in entrepreneurial ventures having started (and subsequently sold) multiple companies in the sports product and services sector. Bruce has an MBA from Kellogg and a BA from Duke University.
Vamsi is a seasoned executive in financial services with 15+ years investing in late-stage businesses. As a Partner and Co-Head of M&A at Focus Financial Partners, he led an ambitious acquisition strategy with nearly 200 transactions to create the US’s largest independent wealth management firm, with $100B+ in AUM. The firm recently went through a buyout by Stone Point Capital and KKR at a valuation over $2B. Prior to Focus, he worked in PE at Summit Partners—sourcing, evaluating, and executing deals—and as an investment banker at Salomon Smith Barney. Vamsi holds a BS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from Kellogg.
Adam has 20+ years of experience commercializing technology in the wireless industry at Fortune 500 companies like Ameritech Cellular and Motorola and with several venture-backed companies. He was responsible for launching the first digital cellular system in the US while at Ameritech Cellular, and the rollout of a national prepaid wireless network for DBS Communications. As CEO of ICNet Systems, he grew the analytics software company to be a leading product in the US and engineered a successful exit. He is currently a partner at TechCXO, providing interim executive services for growing tech companies. Adam received his undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his MBA from Kellogg.
With a successful career spanning more than 20 years in biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device, electronics, chemicals and private equity, Matt is an experienced international strategy, operations, and supply chain executive. Living the last 8+ years in South East Asia, he has held a number of key leadership roles in the startup, turnaround, and integration of businesses in Singapore, China, UK, and the US. Matt graduated from the University of Illinois with a BS in Chemical Engineering and received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.
Jennifer is a healthcare entrepreneur and investor. Her passion is building innovative, tech-enabled platforms in medical practice that drive operational and clinical impact. She is the CEO and Co-founder of ExplORer Surgical, a workflow management software for the operating room. Previously, Jennifer was a Vice President at Park Lane Ventures, a late stage venture and growth equity healthcare fund. Jennifer began her career as a consultant at Bain & Company. She holds a BA in Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences and Economics from Northwestern and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
David is an executive with finance, accounting, and operations experience and 15 years of professional and investment banking (his advisory deals represent an aggregate value $5B+). He launched Synergy HomeCare and grew it into one of the most successful private duty homecare agencies in the NY/NJ area. Later he co-founded and became a Managing Partner of Kirenaga Partners, a private investment firm generating shareholder returns of 102%, with a 26% IRR. David also independently advises Consumer and Food & Beverage brands. He has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern and an MBA in Finance and Corporate Strategy from Michigan.
Robert has over 14 years of finance and business development experience in building global operations and financial platforms across investment, risk, wealth & accountancy management. He is currently COO of FinEx Asia, a global fintech platform. He also has a keen interest in healthcare, education, cleantech, and real estate-related businesses. Previously, Robert launched a new hedge fund platform as a Partner at Redwood Peak, and spent 10 years with Barclays developing and managing risk and margin platforms. He received a Master of Engineering degree from Imperial College London and an Executive MBA from Kellogg-HKUST.
Todd divides his time between the tech industry and entrepreneurial educational ventures. He is a Managing Director at Divergent Ventures, focusing on early stage computing infrastructure companies. He is also an Adjunct Professor in computer science at Northwestern and co-teaches NuVention Web, a top entrepreneurship course in the country. Previously, Todd worked at Microsoft for 21 years in product management, general management, and product development. He is a past member of the Northwestern board of trustees, and currently serves on several school advisory boards. He holds a BA in Computer Science and Economics at Northwestern.
Rahul is an award-winning technology executive with expertise in monetizing new technologies, creating new business models, establishing partner ecosystems, and developing innovative sales campaigns. He has generated over $500M in incremental sales during his 20-year career. He is currently the Founder and CEO of Coinscape Advisors, a blockchain-focused advisory. He previously held senior leadership positions at several Global 500 companies, where he drove exponential revenue growth of several business units. Rahul has an MS in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern and BS in Industrial Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering, India.
Kurt has over 25 years of experience in Fortune 500 and entrepreneurial leadership, has founded four tech companies, and has sold over $300M in goods and services. His expertise is in biotech, hospital supply, IT outsourcing, management consulting, retail, supply chain. He is currently the CEO at K8 Ventures, which invests in and accelerates early stage companies that address the human condition. He is also Managing Director at K8 Solutions, a consulting firm focused on building growth. Kurt has an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, MBA from Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and a BS from the University of Iowa.
Danny is a Senior Financial Analyst at Westcore Properties, where he has underwritten the acquisition and disposition of $1B+ worth of industrial real estate transactions. He has experience in the full property life cycle including prospecting, valuation, due diligence, business plan execution, and investor reporting. Danny is an active member of the NAIOP Developing Leaders program, and he is a passionate advocate for technological disruption in his industry. Danny holds a BA in Economics from Northwestern University, where he played four years of varsity baseball, and an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from the UC San Diego Rady School of Management.
Andrea is a passionate and commercial-minded executive in life sciences and technology. With over 11+ years of experience in operating and strategic leadership roles, she has launched a portfolio of scientific hardware and software products. Andrea‘s founded a software company and is a Director for the Boston Chapter of Founder Institute, an accelerator focused on enabling pre-seed founders. Prior to working in Boston’s technology community, she was part of JPMorgan’s Healthcare Investment banking team in New York, NY. Andrea holds a BA in Economics with a minor in Biology from Washington University and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.
Matthew is a Creative and Product Executive with 20+ years of experience building internet startup businesses. He currently leads product for Adobe’s Creative Cloud Enterprise Business Unit, having joined Adobe through the acquisition of Livefyre, where he was SVP of Product & Marketing. Prior to Livefyre, Matthew was the VP of High School Services for Chegg and the founding VP of Product for Crowdtap. He has twenty years of experience in managing development, design, and product teams for enterprise and consumer products with a focus on the intersection of content, creativity, and community. He holds an MFA in interactive art from JFK University and has taught UX design for CSU East Bay, San Francisco State University and General Assembly. He lives in the Bay Area where his passion for wine led to him also running a small urban winery in San Francisco for 5 years.
Dr. Yokoo is currently Founder and CEO of California Medical Arts, Inc. a mobile diagnostic company focused on orthopedics and neurology utilizing proprietary technology. Dr. Yokoo is a serial healthcare entrepreneur having started multiple companies over 20 years and is also an active advisor and angel investor. He has a BA from Northwestern University, MD from Rush Medical College, and MBA from Kellogg.
Chris is a technology executive with over twenty years of experience as an entrepreneur, operator, and consultant. He has participated in successful transactions as a member of the senior leadership team at two private equity-backed companies. During his career, Chris has led technology organizations at three healthcare companies, and he has experience across payor, provider, pharmaceutical, and laboratory segments. His expertise is in healthcare IT, cloud services, and process automation. Chris currently serves as the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Change Healthcare, one of the largest healthcare IT companies in the world. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Alabama with a major in management information systems and received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Larry has over 30 years of experience in information technology, strategy, and innovation. He is Executive Vice President at The Innovation Institute where he oversees ideation, prototyping, piloting, and commercialization of new products, technologies, and companies for the healthcare industry. Most recently, he served as Chief Information Officer for St. Joseph Health in Orange, CA where he held corporate-wide responsibility for the development of information technology strategy and the delivery of information services. Larry’s previous experience includes National Director of Healthcare Consulting for Perot Systems. He holds a BS in Business Information Systems from Georgia College and an MS in Medical Informatics from Northwestern University.
Select group of young Northwestern alums participating in our Venture Fellow Program
Community Engagement Fellow
Jacob is an Associate Recruiter with TRANSEARCH International, focusing on Vice President, C-level, and highly technical management roles in the construction, engineering, real estate, power, and manufacturing spaces. He received his B.A. from Northwestern University in Biological Sciences and Psychology, originally studying as pre-med. He has been involved with two NU-founder led startups in biotech and data-driven media and is thrilled to continue contributing to the Northwestern startup community.
Evan is a senior investment banker in New York, specializing in U.S. Transportation Project Finance including toll roads, mass transit and seaports projects. Evan is also a thought leader in autonomous vehicles, Smart Cities, drones, and integration of new technologies into existing transportation ecosystem from both a transportation investment and public policy perspective. Evan received his B.A. in History and Political Science from Northwestern University in 2003 and has served as the Co-President of the NU Club of Greater NYC since January 2017.
Dorian is the VP of Software Development for Rabbit Tractors, Inc., leading robotics, computer vision and artificial intelligence efforts in the development of swarm-enabled, autonomous tractors. He received his M.S. in Robotics from Northwestern University and a B.B.A. from Temple University. Dorian has also held leadership and technical positions at CareCloud, a venture-backed healthcare technology company.
Matt is a Business Development Manager for Vertiv (formerly Emerson Network Power), developing modular infrastructure solutions for rapid deployment and scalable growth. He received his BS in Engineering from Northwestern and an MBA from Kellogg. In between, he completed an MS in Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
CJ is the Founder/CEO of a digital sports media company and was previously a Business Development Manager for a Chicago-based IT consulting firm. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Northwestern, where he was a captain on the Northwestern football team.
Alumni Ventures Group Support Staff
The team behind the Purple Arch Investment team - freeing them to build you a great venture portfolio
Investor Relations Manager
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.
Investor Relations Manager
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.
Director of Investor Relations
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.
Community Relations Manager
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.