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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As a seasoned manufacturing and operational professional, Nishad offers expertise in cleantech, e-commerce, transactional lean, and IoT. He is currently an executive at Xylem, a $5B worldwide water tech company helping to drive clean and efficient water across 120+ million end-user customers. He has launched and mentored multiple e-commerce businesses in the consumer electronics space. He is also an active early stage investor who founded Kellogg Angels, an investment community funding and mentoring startups from Northwestern. Nishad holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State and received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Select group of young Northwestern alums participating in our Venture Fellow Program
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
VP of Marketing
Josh has been a Senior Product Marketer at Google and Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble on brands like Gillette, Tide, and Pampers. He has led B2B and B2C marketing teams in tech, CPG, and consumer electronics. Josh previously served six years as an Officer in the US Army, and continues to advise veteran entrepreneurs through Veteran Brands, which he founded. He has a BSE from Princeton and MBA from HBS.
Director of Marketing Communications
Previously, Dom was a Media Program Manager at Dell EMC, where he worked in the advertising department implementing campaigns across digital, search, and social. He is the Founder and Director of the Hollihock Writers Conference and was a founding member of BandsinTown. He also held positions at Sony BMG in publicity, promotions, and A&R. Dom has a BS from Northeastern University and an MFA from Goddard College.
VP of Finance
Previously, Josh was a Senior Financial Analyst at Performance Sports Group and Auditor, Tax Accountant, Business Advisor for Rowley and Associates. Josh has also been an entrepreneur, serving as Co-founder & CFO of Right Office Cleaners and CFO of Granite State Artists. Earlier he was Finance Manager at Direct Capital Corp. and Market Specialist at Franklin Templeton Investments. Josh has a Bachelor’s in Finance-Economics from Bentley University.
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.
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.
Investor 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.
Director of the Venture Fellow Program
Wes runs the Venture Fellow Program. He has focused his career on launching and scaling companies and products in new markets. Prior to AVG, he took a digital marketing startup, Hooch, from zero to one in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before Hooch, he led the B2B marketing strategy and execution for EDC Consulting, a $50M management consulting firm in DC. Wes graduated Academic All-Ivy with a BS in Psychology from Yale.