VENTURE CAPITAL ADVISORY BOARD:
The Venture Capital Advisory Board for HBS Alumni Angels of New York is comprised of leading, senior-level, HBS-grad, NY-area venture capitalists who advise HBSAANY on its growth and development and look to HBSAANY companies as a source of candidates for subsequent venture investment.
Chip Austin, Co-Founder & General Partner, i-Hatch ventures
Deborah Farrington, Founder & General Partner, StarVest Partners
Matt Gorin, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Contour Venture Partners
Rick Heitzmann, Managing Director, FirstMark Capital
Jim Robinson, Managing Partner, RRE Ventures
Joshua Ruch, Managing Partner, Rho Ventures
David Teten, Managing Partner, HOF Capital
Ellie Wheeler, Partner, Greycroft Ventures
Meet the VCAB:
CO-FOUNDER & GENERAL PARTNER, i-HATCH VENTURES
Chip has advised and built companies in Technology and Media for his entire career. In addition to founding BOL.com, Bertelsmann’s E-commerce division, Chip was a member of the senior executive team leading the buyout and restructuring of Prodigy, and was a co-founder of McKinsey’s Interactive Practice, where he spent seven years advising Fortune 500 companies on their media strategies.
Most recently, Chip was President and CEO of Bertelsmann Online, where he was responsible for building Bertelsmann’s global e-commerce business. Chip was the first employee at BOL, and built parallel services in the UK, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, France (via joint venture with Vivendi/Havas), and the US (via Bertelsmann’s 50% investment in BarnesandNoble.com). Chip served as Chairman of the Board of BOL France, and was a Board Member and officer of Doubleday Direct, BCA, BOL, Inc., and Bertelsmann’s E-commerce Control Board. BOL has been the recipient of several industry accolades, including CeBIT Innovation of the Year Winner and the highest rated European e-commerce site by a Forrester Research.
Prior to Bertelsmann, Chip was a member of the management-led buyout of Prodigy, where he was SVP of Sales and Business Development and General Manager of Prodigy’s first Internet Service. While at Prodigy, Chip built an ISP from scratch, launched Prodigy Internet, which replaced Prodigy’s Classic proprietary service, and was responsible for all customer acquisition and subscription revenue. In addition, Chip was responsible for all major account relationships, including OEM channels such as Packard Bell/NEC, and technology/distribution providers, such as Microsoft, Netscape, and Excite. Prior to sale to SBC, Prodigy’s initial public offering had a market capitalization that had exceeded $3 billion dollars.
Chip is a frequent keynote speaker and panelist on Technology, Media, and Angel Investment-related topics as well as serving on the boards of several public and private companies. Chip has also worked at Morgan Stanley’s Investment Banking division and IBM’s Personal Computer division during the launch years of the IBM PC. Chip has a degree in Computer Science and Economics from Duke University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
FOUNDER & GENERAL PARTNER, STARVEST PARTNERS
Deborah Farrington is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of StarVest Partners, a New York City based venture capital firm investing in technology-enabled business services with a focus on software-as-a-service, data & analytics and internet marketing. It is one of the largest women majority-owned venture capital firms in the US.
Ms. Farrington was Lead Director of NetSuite, Inc. (NYSE: N), a leading software-as-a-service ERP company where StarVest was the first venture investor in 2000, from its IPO in 2007 to its acquisition by Oracle in November 2016 for $9.3 billion. She is a Director and Chairman of the Compensation Committee of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT). Representing StarVest, she is a board member of CrowdTwist, Host Analytics, SnagAJob, Take the Interview and Xignite. She was a Finalist in Finance for the World Technology Awards and has been on the Forbes Midas 100 List of top venture capitalists multiple times and the top woman on the list in 2008 and 2011.
Prior to founding StarVest, she was CEO of private equity firm Victory Ventures, LLC; Managing Director of Hong Kong and New York based Asian Oceanic Group; and an investment banker and Division Director of Merrill Lynch International in New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo. She began her career at The Chase Manhattan Bank.
She is a graduate and Trustee of Smith College, holds an MBA from and is a member of the Visiting Committee of Harvard Business School, where she has endowed a “Fellowship for Women Entrepreneurs”. She is a board member of the HBS Club of New York, a member of the New Ventures Advisory Council of McKinsey & Company, the International Women’s Forum, the Business Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the board of directors of the American Friends of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
CO-FOUNDER & MANAGING PARTNER,
CONTOUR VENTURE PARTNERS
Matt Gorin is a co-founder of Contour Venture Partners and has experience in technology operations, start-ups, venture capital and turnaround management. He is passionate about helping to build early stage companies, with a focus on the financial services, internet and applied technology sectors. Contour invests in seed and early stage technology companies in the northeast United States with a focus on the financial services, digital media and the internet sectors.
Matt was previously with Promontory Financial Group, a merchant banking firm focused on the financial services sector. He was part of the launch team at Promontory Interfinancial Network, a financial services technology platform company which has subsequently grown to over one hundred employees. Prior to this, Matt worked for Red Hat in its Strategic Planning & Corporate Development group where he was responsible for starting Red Hat’s Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Partnership Program, ultimately establishing extensive business and technology partnerships with many of the top global independent software vendors. Matt also worked at Morgan Stanley in its strategic venture capital fund, concentrating on making investments in early-stage financial services companies. Earlier in his career, Matt was a turnaround consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he helped devise and implement operating strategies for troubled companies in various industries.
Matt is the Founder of StreetWise Partners, a nonprofit focused on providing low-income individuals with a path to a successful career through mentoring, job skills and professional experience. He co-authored a Harvard Business School case study analyzing the origins of free trade and a paper in the World Economic Outlook on the economic and political risks in the Middle East.
Matt received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and B.A. in Economics and American Studies from Brandeis University, where he was co-captain of the tennis team.
MANAGING DIRECTOR, FIRSTMARK CAPITAL
Current ventures include: dashlane, Live Gamer, Meteor Entertainment, Pinterest, Playnomics,
SneakPeeq, Sulia, Tapad, Tubular, WePlay. Historical investments include: Clickable (acquired by Syncapse in 2012), Riot Games (acquired by Tencent Holdings in 2011), FirstAdvantage (acquired by First American in 2009), StubHub (acquired by eBay in 2007), and US Search (acquired by First Advantage in 2003).
Rick received a B.S. from Georgetown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Rick has traveled all seven continents and is a huge Philadelphia sports fan. Friends claim he has seen every movie on Netflix.
Rick Heitzmann, a founder and managing Director of FirstMark Capital, focuses on investments in the media, adtech, gaming, and mobile sectors. Prior to founding FirstMark Capital, Rick was a Partner with Pequot Ventures. Rick also serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Venture Capital Association.
MANAGING PARTNER, RRE VENTURES
Jim Robinson is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner at RRE Ventures. He has been active within the technology community for nearly 30 years as a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, banker, and futurist. Jim received his B.S. in Business Administration from Antioch College, and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He is an MBA program lecturer at Columbia Business School and Stanford Business School, and a PhD / Master’s program lecturer at CUNY Baruch and The New School.
MANAGING PARTNER, RHO VENTURES
Joshua Ruch is a managing partner of Rho Capital Partners and Rho Ventures, co-founder of Rho and serves on the Investment Committee of Rho Fund Investors. With more than 30 years in private equity, Joshua has experience investing in all of Rho’s active sectors. His investing philosophy is driven by a perspective that the human factor, common to all investment sectors, is the single most important determinant for successful investment outcomes. He most enjoys interacting with, supporting and mentoring his investment companies’ management teams.
His philanthropic activities include serving as a trustee of Second Stage Theatre and the American Friends of Beit Issie Shapiro. He received an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and a B.S.E. from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology.
MANAGING PARTNER, HOF CAPITAL
David Teten (teten.com) is a Managing Partner with HOF Capital, an international venture capital fund. He has particular interest in fintech, technology-enabled services, analytics, artificial intelligence, sales/recruiting technology, SaaS, and international startups.
He was previously a Partner for 6 years with ff Venture Capital, one of the best-performing seed- and early-stage venture capital firms in the U.S. David also has advised clients such as Goldman Sachs Special Situations Group, Icahn Enterprises, LLR Partners ($1.4b fund), Birch Hill Equity Partners (C$2B fund), and other institutional investors. He served or serves on the boards of Authorea, Ionic Security, Signup.com, Earnest Research, and Whisk (sold to Deem). He earlier was a serial fintech entrepreneur. David holds a Harvard MBA and Yale BA.
PARTNER, GREYCROFT VENTURES
Ellie focuses on investment opportunities across the digital ecosystem, with an emphasis over the last few years on next-generation commerce, consumer mobile, and associated SaaS solutions. Ellie manages several investments for Greycroft, including BaubleBar, Flashpoint Intel, Eloquii, and Plain Vanilla Games (QuizUp). Prior to joining Greycroft, Ellie worked in a similar role evaluating investment opportunities at Lowercase Capital. Before working with Lowercase, Ellie worked at Cisco in Corporate Development doing acquisitions, investments, and strategy within the unified communications, enterprise software, mobile, and video sectors. While at Cisco, she was involved in multiple acquisitions and investments, including PostPath, Jabber, Xobni, and Tandberg. Ellie’s past experience also includes working briefly at the London-based venture capital firm DN Capital, focused on early stage transactional businesses including Windeln.de and Mister Spex. She began her career in growth capital private equity at Summit Partners in Boston.
Ellie graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a BA in Psychology and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
FOUNDER/CEO ON GRID VENTURES
Jason E. 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 LLC , an advisory and investment firm in digital media, marketing, and information; a Managing Director at Empirical Media; and a mentor at several NYC-area incubators. Mr. Klein was previously CEO of Newspaper National Network LP, and CEO of Times Mirror Magazines/Time4 Media.