Meet Your Investment Team
These are your classmates who wake up every day on your behalf to assemble a great venture portfolio
Ludwig Pierre Schulze
Ludwig is an experienced entrepreneur, venture investor, and strategic business consultant. Most recently, he was Founder and CEO of Mistral Mobile, delivering mobile fintech solutions to 12M+ people in emerging markets. Earlier, he was General Manager, Digital Financial Services and Business Development & Strategy Lead at Nokia, where he drove global sales, product management and development, and business development. In addition, he oversaw Growth Projects for the Executive Board. At LVMH Venture Fund & LPS Group, Ludwig was a venture investor and product manager. He also served as a Strategy Consultant to The Boston Consulting Group. Ludwig began his career launching and developing a number of startups and small businesses. He has a BA in Political Economy from Brown and an MBA from Columbia. He holds several patents and is an active investor.
Dave has held operating roles in sales and business development at venture-backed companies focused on digital health (Zocdoc) and enterprise cloud software (Shibumi). He has also invested as a Venture Partner at NextGen and an LP at CRE Venture Capital. Dave began his career in investment banking and corporate strategy at Deutsche Bank. He has a BA in Economics from Brown.
Classmates and fellow investors who help create your venture portfolio
Kevin Luzak is a managing partner at LWJ & Co Capital Management, a multi-family investment platform presently focused on venture capital. Since its formation in 2013, LWJ has made investments in the forest products, packaging, logistics, social media, healthcare, and financial services industries.
Prior to forming LWJ, Kevin was the president and CEO of Coastal Forest Resources Company. He has also been a partner at the UK based private equity firm Doughtly Hanson & Co, and a senior advisor to the investment banking firm of Gleacher & Company and to the multistrategy hedge fund Ritchie Capital Management. He started his career in the investment banking department at Salomon Brothers Inc in New York.
Kevin is a director of several portfolio companies. He also serves on the board of the Medical University of South Carolina Foundation, where he chairs the investment committee, and on the governing council of The Wilderness Society, where he chairs the finance committee. An avid squash player, he also chairs the Squash Doubles Association Pro Tour.
He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1986.
General Counsel at SVB Financial Group
Michael Zuckert is SVB Financial Group’s General Counsel. He is responsible for leading the company’s legal department as well as providing strategic guidance to SVB’s management team and board. He joined SVB in 2014 from Citigroup, where he most recently was Deputy General Counsel.
During his 12 years at Citi, Michael covered a wide range of legal matters, most recently focusing on Citi Holdings and mergers and acquisitions. He also served as senior counsel to Citi’s chief financial officer and the company’s finance organization, advising on public company disclosures and capital markets transactions. During the financial crisis, Michael advised on investments by the U.S. Treasury in Citi and led teams which prepared senior executives for Congressional hearings.
Previously, Michael worked at Morgan Stanley as a Principal in the legal department covering investment banking and principal investing. He later served in a business role as a Chief Operating Officer for a private equity fund at Morgan Stanley. Michael also served as General Counsel of TheStreet, an Internet financial news provider. He advised the company on its initial public offering, corporate governance and international expansion. He started his legal career as a corporate associate at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York.
Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in history, and law and society, from Brown University and a law degree from New York University School of Law. He is on the boards of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, a member of the Tech:NYC Leadership Council, and an advisory member of the Board of the Silicon Valley Directors’ Exchange. Michael previously served on the Board of the American Red Cross of the Bay Area.
Adam Nelson is a venture investor focusing primarily on B2B Software and Marketplaces.
Most recently, Adam was a Partner as Social Capital where he led investments in WeeCare, Clearbanc, Workstep and OneLogin. Prior to that, Adam was at Dropbox where he led business development for monetization, executing on strategic partnerships with companies like Dell, Softbank, America Movil and Vodafone. Before moving into that role he built and had P&L responsibility for the Dropbox Channel Program which he grew to 2,000 value added resellers.
Prior to Dropbox Adam was an investor at Lindsay Goldberg, a $10bn AUM Private Equity firm in New York and an Investment Banking Analyst at Merrill Lynch in their Consumer Products industry coverage group.
Adam holds an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.A. in Political Science from Brown University
Barrett Hazeltine was Professor of Engineering at Brown University. He is now Professor Emeritus but continues to teach at Brown. From 1972 to 1992 he was also Associate Dean of the College. He is a graduate of Princeton University–BSE – 1953, MSE – 1956 and the University of Michigan–Ph.D. – 1962. His teaching and research interests are in engineering management, entrepreneurship, and appropriate technology. In 1991-92 he held the Robert Foster Cherry Chair for Distinguished Teaching at Baylor University. He was awarded teaching citations from thirteen senior classes at Brown University until the award was named in his honor. He has received various other awards. He has taught at the University of Zambia in 1970 and 1976, at the University of Malawi in 1980-81, 1983-84, and 1988-89, at the University of Botswana in 1993, and Africa University in Zimbabwe–1996-97, 2000, and 2006. Other foreign countries in which he has done teaching or consulting are Bangladesh, Indonesia, Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa. He was a Fulbright lecturer in 1988-89 and 1993. In 2015 he received the Susan Colver Rosenberger, the highest award the Brown Faculty can bestow. He was a Trustee of Stevens Institute of Technology and was on advisory committees at Baylor University, Roger Williams University, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He was also a Trustee of the Paul Cuffee School, a charter school in Providence. He was president of the Providence Engineering Society and on the Board of the Rhode Island Chapter of the Sierra Club, Hamilton House-a senior center, and the Capital Good Fund. He has consulted for TechnoServe.
Lauren is a partner at Aspect Ventures. Her investments include Chime, the Muse, Troops, Gusto, Mapper.ai and TalkIQ. Previously, Lauren worked in product marketing at Google. Lauren began her career in clean technology partnership development for the Clinton Foundation in India. She is a Brown University trustee emerita and was a Forbes 30 Under 30 for Venture Capital recipient in 2016.
Charlie Kroll is a serial entrepreneur, having spent his career in and around startups. Kroll is Co-Founder and President of Ellevest, a venture-backed digital investment platform based in NYC. Previously, he was founder and CEO of Andera, a venture-backed provider of customer acquisition solutions in the financial services industry, acquired by Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) in April 2014. He led all aspects of company growth over 10+ years from dorm room startup to profitable industry leader with over 100 employees, 3 offices, and 600 financial institution clients nationwide.
Kroll is actively involved in the entrepreneurial community, as former Chair of the Brown University Entrepreneurship Program, founding board member of Venture for America, Techstars mentor, and advisor to a number of startups. He is a past Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, and was named New England Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the United States Small Business Administration. Kroll has a BA from Brown University.
Sam is co-founder and Chairman of Funding Circle USA. Funding Circle Ltd. recently went public on the London stock exchange. Under his leadership, the U.S. business has grown exponentially since its foundation in 2012 and has emerged as the world’s largest online marketplace exclusively focused on small business loans. He co-founded the company after seeing how hard it was to get a loan for a small business, a successful gym franchise, he helped build.
Before co-founding Funding Circle, Sam served as Vice President of Business Development at SecondMarket, the leading marketplace for alternative investments. There, Sam was responsible for corporate and business development and the company’s geographic expansion efforts. Sam was also part of the investment team at Pequot Capital, an $8 billion global fund manager, where he covered investments in financial technology and information services. He started his career as a strategy consultant at Katzenbach Partners, where he advised financial services and technology companies.
Sam currently serves on the boards of two private companies. He received his MBA and MS from Stanford University and graduated, magna cum laude, from Brown University.
Venture Partners & Advisors
For the past 20 years, Ned Sherman has devoted his career to innovation and entrepreneurship in the creative and technology industries as a successful entrepreneur, media executive and business owner, and trusted advisor and legal counsel to entertainment, media and technology companies. He is currently Counsel, Entertainment, Media & Technology, Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP, Director of Manatt Digital, the firm’s management consulting group, and an investor and advisor to the Manatt Venture Fund. He is also Chairman and Founder (previously CEO & Publisher) of Digital Media Wire, Inc., a marketing and strategy consulting firm representing an A-List clientele of entertainment, media and technology brands, government groups and trade associations and owner and operator of media properties and events.
He was previously Global Artist Manager and General Counsel to multi-platinum, Korean- American hip-hop artist Jay Park (now signed to Roc Nation) and has held leadership positions in several media company ventures and with a boutique digital media-focused investment banking practice, which he co-founded.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “Ned Sherman is more than the average pundit: He is an attorney and has an inside grasp of what is happening.” Sherman holds an A.B. with honors from Brown University, a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, and is a cohort member of the Executive Master in Innovation & Entrepreneurship program at HEC Paris.
Wendy Nelson, Ph.D., has over 20 years of business development, project management, operational, and R&D experience in biotechnology, large pharma, international CRO, and Life Science conference organization. Dr. Nelson is currently CEO of LeadingBiotech, formerly known as the Boston Biotech Conferences, which produces a portfolio of executive level conferences around the US and in Europe. Before joining LeadingBiotech, she held business development positions of increasing responsibility at QPS, Worldwide Clinical Trials, inVentiv Health and most recently at Frontage Laboratories where she was VP of Business Development, Marketing and Strategic Alliance. Prior to her roles in business development, Dr. Nelson was with Alantos Pharmaceuticals where she was responsible for project management, preclinical and clinical operations of the entire Alantos pipeline, including the post-merger integration following the $300M acquisition of Alantos by Amgen in 2007. She began her career in R&D at Alkermes. Dr. Nelson is the Founder and President of the Boston Biotech Forum, LLC, which she initiated in 2011 to foster networking and address pertinent industry topics with technical and operational experts from over 120 biotechnology, pharmaceutical and venture capital companies. She has served on the organizational committees for the Progeria Research Foundation and the MIT Enterprise Forum, is a mentor for the MassConnect program, is an inventor of multiple patents and patent applications and is senior author on a number of scientific publications. Dr. Nelson received her ScB and MS in Engineering and PhD in Medical Sciences all from Brown University.
Mark Tracy has spent the majority of his career creating innovative financial tools to solve intractable problems. While at Cargill, Mark and his team changed the way farmers market their crops through unique pricing flexibility. He also led the effort to use distributed ledger technology to create digitally traceable food. He serves on the board or committees of Hope Hospice and Palliative Care of New England, Rhode Island Public Health Institute, Save The Bay, and Ocean State Innovate. Mark is a named inventor on two US patents. Mark has worked advising startups from Brown and the Social Enterprise Greenhouse for over 10 years. Mark earned his Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s JFK School of Government in 2011 and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 1995.
Daniel Rothman co-founded his first startup, a sleep technology company Zeo, as an undergraduate studying Cognitive Neuroscience at Brown University. He invented the core technology for Zeo while completing an independent study with Professor Hazeltine. He then co-founded NightPilot with Brown Professor Hendrik Gerritsen to commercialize an astronomy toy for children. Daniel launched PeraHealth, a life-saving EMR application that identifies patient health trends and reduces mortality in hospitals by 30%, and simultaneously completed his Healthcare Executive MBA at UC Irvine. In 2012 Daniel joined CityMD, a fledgling urgent care company, supported its growth it from 4 to 75 locations, then facilitated its sale to Warburg Pincus for $600M. Daniel is passionate about helping startups and has mentored them for many years in strategy, operations, and finance, and he also angel invests, mostly in healthcare.
Scott has nearly 20 years of experience in the U.S. capital markets, investment banking, investor relations and corporate communication. He directs a comprehensive capital markets program and investor relations strategy for VolitionRx Limited. His role includes strategic interactions with institutional investors, analysts, investment banks, and the financial media. Scott has served as Head of Investor Relations for four public companies, including Volition, and worked for several years as an investment banker in New York City. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bryant University in Smithfield, RI, and his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Brown University in Providence, RI. Scott is also the Founder of two investor relations agencies, Horizon Corporate Communications Group, and Asia Alpha Investor Relations. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Master of Science in Investor Relations program in the Gabelli Graduate School of Business at Fordham University in New York City and a Co-Founder of the Executive MBA Program for Athletes & Artists at Fordham University. Scott resides in New York City and Providence, RI.
Mike MacCombie is Director of Platform at ff Venture Capital, an early stage firm based in New York City, where he works with 60+ portfolio companies to scale through business development and partnership opportunities. Additionally, he created Evertrue Ventures, the first Brown University alumni investment group, where he sourced or invested in a range of early-stage Brown alumni-run startups. Prior to investing, Mike worked as a behavior science consultant to startups and corporate brands, helping them to design high engagement communities, programs, and customer experiences to drive increased brand loyalty. Mike started his career in education as a Teach For America corps member in Harlem and the South Bronx. He graduated from Brown with a BA in Economics, Public Policy, and Education History.
A serial entrepreneur with a global reach, Michael has lived in the US, UK, and China, and has been building ventures in Europe over the past few years. Michael is currently based in Barcelona and leading Fotolog, a social network with 34M+ users. Prior to that, he served as the Chief Operating Officer at Klikin (acquired by Repsol) in Madrid and headed two ventures in Barcelona: Oliva Card and MyLogim. Before relocating to Europe, Michael worked in Silicon Valley, where he was responsible for marketing at Bitzer Mobile (acquired by Oracle). Michael holds a B.A. with honors from Brown University, and he spent one year visiting at the University of Oxford.
Paul Gallagher currently leads strategic projects for Pinnacle Financial Partners, a $23 billion regional bank headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. Paul’s previous work includes a variety of operational, technology, payment product, and risk management leadership roles at PayPal, First Republic Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, Wells Fargo, and Yahoo! Early in his career, Paul was a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group in Germany as well as a credit analyst with IBM Credit Corporation. Paul earned his MBA at the Yale School of Management in 1990 and his AB degree from Brown University in 1986. In addition to serving as a Venture Partner for Waterman Ventures, Paul is an Advisor to LexAlign, a RegTech platform designed to help financial institutions manage third-party compliance risk. Paul served as President of the Brown Club of Northern California from 1998-2002, during which time he also served on the national Brown Alumni Association board.
Bill joined Conviva as Chief Executive Officer in 2018 with a demonstrated track record of building high-performance teams and successfully launching disruptive technologies. Prior to Conviva, he was CEO at Shopkick. Previous to Shopkick, Bill served as CEO at Turn, building the only global, natively integrated real-time digital advertising hub for audience planning, media execution, and real-time analytics. Under his leadership, Turn increased its net revenue forty-fold during his six-year tenure. Before Turn, Bill served in executive roles at Yahoo!, Overture, and Microsoft.
Bill is a mentor, angel investor, and advisor for multiple technology companies. He has been recognized by Goldman Sachs as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs (2014) and by Ernst & Young as an Entrepreneur of the Year finalist (2012 and 2013). He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and degrees in computer science and organizational behavior & management from Brown University. He is a proud dad of two boys, an aspiring tennis player, and a long-suffering KC Chiefs fan.
Ryan Saari has 13 years experience in private equity/venture capital, having served as Director at Allegheny Financial Group, a $5B investment company, and as Director of Landmark Group and Springhouse Capital. Additionally, Ryan has placed many investments directly in startups through his own family’s office.
Not just a finance guy, Ryan has started and sold four of his own companies in the logistics, distribution, financial services, and industrial services industries. He has closed deals with total enterprise value over $1B. For these accomplishments, he has been awarded M&A Advisor’s 40 Under 40 Leaders Awards and Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Award.
Ryan is very involved in the venture capital and M&A community. He serves as a Board Member of ACG, Member of the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association and its Venture Fair Selection Committee, and as a Selection Committee Member of Invent Penn State since its inauguration. A lifelong learner, Ryan has attended Brown University (Masters in Healthcare), George Washington University (Masters in Public Health), University of Pittsburgh (Masters Business Administration), and West Liberty College (BS Business Administration).
Select group of young Brown alums participating in our Venture Fellow Program
Alexandria’s professional career spans the financial services, education, and non-profit sectors on both sides of the globe. Currently, she works at an early stage venture capital / private equity firm with a focus on transactions in the energy, biotech, and technology industries between North America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. In her spare time, she works on a world music initiative affiliated with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Alexandria holds a B.A. in Economics and Music from Brown University.
Dockery (B.A. ’15, M.Sc. ’17) currently serves as a Research Analyst for PNG Venture, a New York-based startup advisory firm that hosts annual tech conferences in Harlem and Brooklyn. At PNG, he researches and reports on new venture capital deals involving New York-based startups and assists the PNG management team with the logistics of deploying its tech conferences. Previously, Dockery was an Innovation Analyst at Shawmut Design where he focused on driving innovation in the architecture design industry through mediums such as D&I, and investments in emerging technologies. Dockery holds a B.A. ’15 in Business, Entrepreneurship and Organizations, and a M.Sc. ’17 in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, both from Brown University.
Alumni Ventures Group Support Staff
The team behind the Waterman 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.