The Yard 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

Michael Madden

Managing Partner, Co-founder

LinkedIn

Michael has spent most of his career in leadership roles at growing organizations. He has focused his time primarily as an investor, advisor, and/or board member working with companies across a range of industries and stages. Prior to co-founding The Yard, he served as Managing Director of Square 1, leading the expansion of the New England region while providing growth financing to dozens of venture-backed companies. Previously, Michael was an investor at Edison Ventures, Polaris Venture Partners, and Summit Partners. He earned an AB from Harvard University( ’00), where he was a four-year letter winner in both Varsity Football and Varsity Baseball. Michael later received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Erin Kutner McCafferty

Principal

LinkedIn

Throughout most of her career, Erin has managed a wide range of investments in venture, private equity, buyouts, and more at the senior level. Previously, she was a Senior Investment Officer at Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM), where she managed and invested a $9B portfolio of PE and private debt investments. In this capacity, she sat on numerous boards of top VC & PE firms. Prior to PRIM, Erin was a VP at Bank of America Capital Advisors, investing across the private equity and real estate landscape. In addition, she held positions at Silicon Valley Bank in commercial finance and Citi Group in sales and trading. Erin has an AB in Economics from Harvard with honors, where she was an All-American lacrosse player, and an MBA from Tuck.


Investment Committee

Classmates and fellow investors who help create your venture portfolio

Leann Zhang


LinkedIn

Le is the Co-founder and CEO of Instrument Capital, a tech company with customization and personalization tools for the investment management industry. She also serves as a Director with ICV, an investment community of family offices and industry-focused funds. Le previously served as an Associate at Perry Capital and an Analyst at Citadel Investment Group and has more than a decade of investing experience in a variety of asset classes and strategies including equities, special situations, distressed credit, and venture capital. Le holds a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard in Economics and dropped out of Wharton to start Instrument Capital.

Paul Weichselbaum


LinkedIn

Paul is a corporate strategy consultant and executive coach, with 25+ years’ experience as a C-level executive in companies from pre-revenue through Fortune 50. He has a deep background in B2B technology, networking, and services. He is now a Board Member for Business Growth Advisor and Board Member and Chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee for The Children’s Room. Previously, he was EVP of PlumChoice, EVP of LoJack, and President of Suma Corp. He was also CMO of One Communications and Senior VP Marketing & Operations of CTC Corp. Paul has an undergraduate degree from Stanford and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Matt Theall


LinkedIn

Matt is a former White House Presidential Innovation Fellow, a program pairing technologists and innovators with top federal civil servants to tackle the biggest tech challenges. Matt now serves on the Investment Committee of Riyad Taqnia, a $125M VC fund, and is on the BOD of Cyber Resilience Institute, a leading cybersecurity organization. He is also Founding Principal of Capitol Hill Innovation Group, a tech consulting firm. Prior to that, Matt was a Technology Strategist and Business Unit GM at Intel, focusing on IoT, Smart Grid, and advanced technologies. Matt is an alum of Northeastern (BSME), Rivier College (MBA), and Harvard Business School (AMP).

Mark Schwartz


LinkedIn

Mark Schwartz is an experienced public and private company, CEO, CFO, and board member, as well as an active growth equity investor. Mark assisted Starbucks Coffee in raising their first round of institutional financing and served on their board. He later co-founded the largest Hispanic supermarket chain in the Western US and engineered a successful exit. He later became CFO of a 3D software company, DDD Group, which he took public. Mark was also Chairman, CEO, and CFO of Hypertension Diagnostics, a medical device company focused on cardiovascular disease. He sold the company in 2011 and acquired a plastics recycling business. Mark served as the chair of HBS Alumni Angels of Southern California. He is a graduate of HBS and Claremont McKenna College.

Lily Lyman


LinkedIn

Lily is an experienced professional in mobile tech, growth, operations, and strategy; an angel investor and advisor to young companies; and a strategic advisor to Mountain Nazca, an early stage venture fund. She is now a Business Development and Partnerships Manager at Facebook, developing key products and internet connectivity. Earlier, she held various strategy, operational, and entrepreneurial roles, including as a management consultant at Dalberg. She founded an agtech & health food startup, which won the 2014 Stanford Entrepreneurship Challenge. Lily earned her AB from Harvard University and MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Scott Levy


LinkedIn

Scott serves as a Board Member and Interim CFO of Gold Group, an emerging tech company that focuses on digital healthcare coordination. Scott is Vice Chairman of Blythedale Children’s Hospital, where he leads the Investment Committee. Previously, he had 20+ years of experience as an Investment Banker at JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital, advising global media and information services companies on M&A and capital structure. He also served as Director of Private Investments at Klingenstein Fields. Scott received an AB from Harvard. He was also a Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Taubman Center for State and Local Government.

Jason E. Klein

Regional Partner, NYC

LinkedIn

Jason Klein is an experienced media CEO and builder of digital and traditional businesses who has led two successful turnarounds. He is founder and CEO of On Grid Ventures, an advisory and investment firm in digital media, marketing, and marketplaces; Chairman of HBS Alumni Angels of Greater New York; and Managing Director at Empirical Media. Jason was formerly President and CEO of Newspaper National Network, the leading national network for local media and a partnership of 25 top US newspaper companies, as well as the CEO of Times Mirror Magazines. Jason has an AB in Computer Science from Dartmouth and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Gerard A. DeBiasi


LinkedIn

Gerry is a Partner at Kidd & Co., a PE investment firm focused on the lower-middle market with an IRR of 47% on its initial cash investments. Gerry has been involved in multiple investments, including Chatham Technologies, MedSource Technologies, Empower Health, iPacesetters, and Reladyne. Previously, he served as SVP of Business Development at Chatham Technologies (helping drive revenue from $153M to $600M+ in three years) and as a strategy consultant with The Monitor Company. He also worked at Fidelity Investments and The Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Gerry has an AB in Economics from Dartmouth and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

David Buzby


LinkedIn

David has been starting, building, and investing in businesses for 25+ years, with a focus on energy generation and storage, wastewater treatment, and e-commerce—creating over $3.5B of shareholder value. He was a founding investor and director of SunRun, SunEdison, ValueClick, Brilliant Light Power, Bright Plain Renewable Energy (BPRE), Prevalent Power, Resource Holdings, and Best Internet. He has also been CEO of SunEdison, Resource Holdings, and BPRE, plus served as CFO of Best Internet. Previously, he worked as a banker at Chase Manhattan and Lloyds Bank International. David has a BA from Middlebury College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Fraser Black


LinkedIn

Fraser is Managing Partner at Pioneer Square Investments, an investment company focused on early stage startups and real estate projects. He has been an active angel investor for over 20 years and serves on the investment committee for the Puget Sound Venture Club. His more than 30 years of financial and general management experience in leadership positions at high-growth businesses includes serving as the Chief Financial Officer at ONYX Software, Group Manager at Ashton-Tate, and Financial Analyst at Salomon Brothers. He has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor’s from Harvard.

Rachel Barenbaum


LinkedIn

Rachel has worked at all stages of startup development—from fundraising and product launch to growth and strategic development—in sectors from tech to diamonds. She’s founded multiple companies, including PlanetHopper and Crema di Gelato. Rachel also worked at Cornell Capital Partners, co-launching investments on the London Stock Exchange; and was Fund Manager at Disruptive Capital Partners, a long/short equity fund using Clayton Christensen’s theories on innovation. She is now a consultant and advisor to several young companies. Shel has an AB in Literature and Philosophy from Harvard and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Rye Barcott


LinkedIn

Rye is a Co-founder and Managing Partner of Double Time Capital, a firm that makes direct investments in cleaner American energy and companies with sustainable products and services. Previously, he led a new energy investments team as a special advisor to the CEO of Duke Energy. Earlier, he served as a US Marine and co-founded the non-governmental organization Carolina For Kibera. Rye graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Harvard Kennedy School, and Harvard Business School. He is currently on the Center for Public Leadership Alumni Council, and is an elected director of the Harvard Alumni Association.

Avin Bansal


LinkedIn

Avin is currently Director of Strategic Operational Finance at Wayfair, building the finance infrastructure for supply chain and operations. Previously, he served as VP Finance for par8o, a healthcare tech startup. Peviously, he spent a decade at VC and PE firms, including Goldman Sachs, where he served on the boards of AFS Technologies and EZ Lube. Avin began his investing career at Summit Partners, with later stints at Google, Great Point Partners, and OpenView. He has also been an angel investor and advisor to seed stage tech companies. Avin earned a BS and MS in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Venture Fellows

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

Daniel Lobo

VENTURE FELLOW
HARVARD COLLEGE

LinkedIn

Daniel is a first-generation American and college graduate committed to promoting equality and excellence across organizations and sectors. With a background in business strategy and operations, he brings expertise in strategic planning, building teams, fundraising, managing growth, and evaluating impact.

Alex Spencer

Venture Fellow
Harvard University

LinkedIn

Alex has been a Senior Analyst at Wayfair working on the custom initiatives team and building out 3D models of products for Wayfair’s 10 million product catalogue. Alex has also worked as an Operations Manager at MiniLuxe, a nail salon start up and portfolio company of Cue Ball Capital. He has a B.A. from Harvard and is pursuing an MBA from the Darden School at UVA.

Radhika Malik

Venture Fellow
Harvard Business School

LinkedIn

Radhika is a second year MBA student at Harvard Business School, where she leads the entrepreneurship club. Most recently, she built analytics products at Panorama Education, an education technology startup. Radhika has a deeply technical background having completed a B.S. and M.Eng in Computer Science from MIT.

Jake McGuiggan

Venture Fellow
Harvard University

LinkedIn

Jake (H ’15) joined Yard Ventures in early 2017 and has primarily focused on helping to build the Yard Ventures community. He currently plays minor league baseball for the New Britain Bees in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and interns with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. A native of the Boston area, Jake holds a B.A. in Government from Harvard.

Jamaal Glenn

Venture Fellow
Harvard Kennedy School

LinkedIn

Jamaal Glenn is Vice President of Strategy, Business Development and Corporate Development at First Look Media. Jamaal is also the founder of Glenn Media Group, a boutique strategy and digital media consulting firm. Previously, he led business development for an Israeli tech startup. He also founded and sold a digital publishing company and worked at Google and J.P. Morgan. Jamaal received an MBA from Stanford, an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, and Bachelor’s degrees in finance and journalism from the University of Missouri.

Zayan Faiyad


LinkedIn

At Harvard, Zayan works on translating social enterprise models to education as a Social Enterprise Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership. She is also the Co-founder and CEO of ThinkersWeb Foundation, a Bangladesh-based incubator program serving young aspiring entrepreneurs from underserved communities. Zayan is concentrating in Economics at Harvard and headed for graduation in 2018.

Alonso Lucero


LinkedIn

Alonso is a first-year MBA student at Harvard Business School. Previously, he worked as an associate for Kapor Capital, a VC firm focusing on seed and early stage startups aiming to make a social impact. Alonso has over five years of strategy consulting experience working for Monitor Deloitte and Opera Solutions. Alonso holds a Master’s of Engineering in Operations Research & Information Engineering and a BA in Mathematics from Cornell.

Ashleigh Hinde

Venture Fellow Emeritus

LinkedIn

Ashleigh is currently completing a Master’s degree at Harvard. Prior to Harvard, Ashleigh was leading the integration of a multinational acquisition in the UK. She has more than six years of FMCG and retail strategy experience gained in South Africa, Switzerland, and the UK, as well as consulting experience for UK tech startups. Ashleigh also acts as a volunteer for Grow Movement, a nonprofit helping African entrepreneurs.

Haley Daiber

Venture Fellow Emeritus
Harvard University

LinkedIn

Haley co-founded an app startup, Forget-me-not, while working full-time at Ernst & Young. As a Senior Associate there, she led the financial statement audits of public tech companies. At HBS, Haley is Vice Chair of the Impact Investing Interest Group, a participant in the MBA Impact Investing Network and Training Program, and a member of the Entrepreneurship and VCPE Clubs. She holds an MPA and BBA in Accounting from The University of Texas at Austin.


Alumni Ventures Group Support Staff

The team behind The Yard 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.