We are growing rapidly and always looking for great people who want to get involved. Want to join the group? 
  

Learn About Joining Our Team

 

Deal Team


 

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David Beazley, Managing Partner

Over the course of his career, David has played a leading role in virtually every aspect of the venture capital investment cycle - structuring transactions as a fundless sponsor, improving operations as a consultant, leading management teams as a CEO, evaluating opportunities as a direct investor and family office advisor, and selling companies as a licensed business broker. David's rare combination of operational and investment experience allow him to drive real value creation in complex venture capital portfolios, especially growth-stage, tech-enabled businesses, e-commerce, data-driven companies, and IoT solutions.

Previously, David founded Synergy Financial, a private capital and consulting firm that provides entrepreneurs, private equity professionals, and family offices with financial and business solutions. He started his investment career as a professional advisor where he held series 7 and 66 licenses and managed millions in assets for his clients. He continues to hold series 82 and 63 registered representative licenses, and also serves on a number of growth-stage company boards.

David has an undergraduate and graduate degree from Northwestern University. He played for the two-time Big Ten Championship Northwestern Wildcats Football Team and continues to stay active with the university. David currently serves on the NUvention and Kellogg Entrepreneurial Center Advisory Boards, as well as career mentoring for graduating players.

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Wayne Moore, Vice President

Working at the intersection of technology and entrepreneurship is Wayne’s personal passion. He 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.

Previously, Wayne led analysis, negotiation, and deal execution for the global content acquisition team at Netflix. Before that, he spent a number of years growing Silver Chalice Ventures, a digital media startup owned by the Chicago White Sox. As VP of Business Development, he was instrumental in the creation and launch of a multi-platform digital network. He negotiated contracts; established vendor relationships; and facilitated streaming of live events on the web, mobile, and OTT platforms.

Wayne began his career in the United States Navy, serving as a Surface Warfare Officer. He holds a BS in industrial engineering from Stanford and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. 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. 

 

Venture Advisor


 

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Kurt Johnson

Kurt has over 25 years of experience in Fortune 500 and entrepreneurial leadership. His expertise is in biotech, hospital supply, IT outsourcing, management consulting, retail, supply chain, and has founded four companies in the tech space. He is currently the CEO at K8 Ventures, a business that invests in and accelerates early stage companies that address the human condition. He is also the Managing Director at K8 Solutions, a growth consulting firm that focuses on building growth plans based on company attributes, market, and types of transactions. Previously, Kurt managed businesses in Western Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific, as well as launched non-US multi-nationals in North America. Over his sales and management career he has sold over $300M in goods and services.

Kurt has an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

 

Advisors


 

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Mary Jo Potter

Mary Jo has been an active entrepreneur and investor for 30 years. Having sold a business to McGraw-Hill, she became active in Angel Investing in Chicago, and upon moving to the bay area, she joined Keiretsu Forum. She has invested in a variety of entities, but is now focused on the healthcare sector. She is currently the 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. She has held or is currently on many boards, including CHW/Dignity, CHI, Christus, UC School of Public Health, Hope unlimited in Brazil, Hanna Center, Compli, Les Concierges, Jean Paul in France, and Ocular Sciences.

Mary Jo has a Bachelors from Siena Heights University, and a Masters from Northwestern University where she is currently on the School of Education and Social Policy Board. She has also completed an Executive program at Stanford in India.

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Todd Warren

Todd divides his time between the technology industry and entrepreneurial educational ventures. He is a managing director at Divergent Ventures, which focuses on early-stage computing infrastructure companies. Todd is also an adjunct professor in computer science at Northwestern University. He also co-teaches an entrepreneurship course at Northwestern called NUvention Web where teams develop and launch startup businesses. NUvention was rated one of the top entrepreneurship courses by Inc. Magazine and VentureBeat. Prior to that, Todd worked at Microsoft for 21 years in a variety of key roles focused on product management, general management, and product development. He is a past member of the board of trustees at Northwestern, and currently serves on several school advisory boards. 

Todd holds a BA in Computer Science and Economics at Northwestern.

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Robert Cheung

Robert has over 14 years of extensive finance and business development experience in building global operations and financial platforms across multi-disciplinary arms of investment, risk, wealth & accountancy management. Robert is deeply passionate about the field of fintech and is currently the COO of FinEx Asia, a global fintech platform headquartered in Hong Kong. In addition to fintech, Robert has keen interest in healthcare, education, cleantech and real estate related businesses. Before joining FinEX Asia, Robert launched a new hedge fund platform, as a Partner at Redwood Peak. Prior to Redwood Peak, Robert spent 10 years with Barclays developing and managing risk and margin platforms, expanding the business across a number of global locations, Robert also worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers before joining Barclays.

Robert received a Master of Engineering degree from Imperial College London specializing in Aerospace Materials Engineering and an Executive M.B.A. from Kellogg-HKUST.

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Mellie Chow

Mellie is a Digital and Strategy Consultant (Formerly Accenture & RTX Technology Partners) with over 15+ years experience; passionate about working with technology entrepreneurs and helping their businesses reach their full potential. She manages complex business transformation projects/programs, builds digitally disruptive agile products, and provides growth advisory. Her clients range from Fortune 100 to early-stage technology startups. Her industry experience ranges from the Telecommunications, Media & High Tech, Utilities & Power Generation, Financial Services, Healthcare, and Public Sector. She also serves on the advisory board for Electro-Medical Instruments Co. (EMI) 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 the Kellogg and the Schulich School of Business at York University.

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Nishad Parmar

As a seasoned manufacturing and operational professional, Nishad offers an extensive expertise in various domains, including clean technology, e-commerce, transactional lean and Internet of Things (IoT). He is currently an executive at Xylem, a $5 billion worldwide water technology company helping to drive clean and efficient water across 120+ million end-user customers. He has successfully launched and mentored multiple e-commerce businesses in the consumer electronics space. He is also an active and passionate early-stage investor that founded Kellogg Angels, an angel investment community promoting early-stage investment and mentorship to startups born from Northwestern University. Kellogg Angels is also partnering with Purple Arch Ventures to broaden the investment reach. 

Nishad holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University and received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

 

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David Muson

David is a C-level executive with extensive finance, accounting, and operations experience. He has an extensive M&A advisory experience, with 15 years of professional and investment banking mainly in Branded Consumer Products and Food & Beverage (his advisory deals represent an aggregate transaction value in excess of $5B). 

In 2011, he launched Synergy HomeCare in New York and New Jersey. As CEO, he grew it into one of the largest and most successful private duty homecare agencies in the area. He sold the New Jersey operations for a 3.5x ROI in 2013. Later that year, he co-founded and became a Managing Partner of Kirenaga Partners, a private investment firm, and subsequently sold his New York-based Synergy business to the fund. He continued as CEO/COO, while also serving in numerous investment roles. During his tenure, the fund generated shareholder returns of 102%, with a 26% IRR. David remains an Operating Partner with Kirenaga and now independently advises Consumer and Food & Beverage brands seeking growth capital and/or strategic alternatives.

David has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern and an MBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Accounting from the University of Michigan (Ross School of Business).

 

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Kristin McDonnell

Kristin is a tech executive with over 20 years experience working in Silicon Valley, New York, and Chicago. She was recognized as one of HBS’s Top 100 Distinguished Alumnae of Northern California. Kristin works at the forefront of innovations including mobile, digital, social, SaaS, marketing tech, e-commerce, and the Internet of Things. Currently, she is the Managing Partner of Menlo Group, an advisory firm that works with companies to define and execute growth strategies. She also serves on Northwestern’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship Advisory Board and as a mentor to NUvention’s startup teams. 

As a venture-backed CEO, COO, and CMO, Kristin has worked with a wide range of companies from Fortune 100 corporations to Silicon Valley startups including AT&T, Electronic Arts, McKinsey, IBM, Xfire, LimeLife, Mplayer, Apple, and Verizon. She has been an executive leader of teams that have raised over $150MM in venture capital, which resulted in multiple IPO and acquisition exits. From 2004-2010, she was the CEO and Co-Founder of LimeLife, one of the first mobile software companies.

Kristin has a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Jennifer Fried

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-venture-stage and growth equity healthcare fund. She has experience working on healthcare investments ranging from seed-stage to buyouts. Prior to investing, Jennifer started her career as a consultant at Bain & Company.

Jennifer holds a BA with honors in Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences and Economics from Northwestern and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

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Matthew Kenning

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, U.K. & the U.S.  
 
Matt graduated from the University of Illinois with a BS in Chemical Engineering and received an MBA from Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management.

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Adam Boris

Adam has over 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 of the global business to Baxter. He is currently a partner at TechCXO, a national firm of over 80 partners that provide interim executive services for growing technology companies. He is a Trustee at Norwegian American Hospital, and also serves on boards and advisory boards for several growing technology companies.

Adam received his undergraduate and Master’s Degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also received his MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern University. 

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Andrea Jackson

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. She has 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 in St. Louis and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

 

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Grant Gochnauer

Grant is co-founder and CTO of Vodori, an enterprise marketing solutions company that provides a suite of SaaS software products that help life science companies create, review, approve, and distribute promotional marketing and sales collateral. His leadership has helped Vodori bootstrap into a successful enterprise software company over the last 11 years maintaining a balance between profitability, growth, and a self-funded investment into their enterprise product portfolio. 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.
 
 

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Vamsi Yadlapati

Vamsi is a seasoned executive in financial services with a track record of 15+ years investing into late-stage businesses. As a Partner and Co-Head of M&A at Focus Financial Partners, he has built and led an ambitious acquisition strategy that has encompassed nearly 200 transactions to create what is now the largest independent wealth management firm in the country with over $100 Billion in assets under management. The firm recently went through a buyout by Stone Point Capital and KKR at a valuation north of $2 Billion. Prior to Focus, he worked in private equity at Summit Partners where he sourced, evaluated and executed investments across several industries. Prior to that, he was an investment banker at Salomon Smith Barney. He serves on several boards and is a consultant to various companies spanning a variety of industries.

Vamsi holds a BS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.

Venture Fellow Program


 

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CJ Bacher

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. CJ has a Bachelor's and Master's degree from Northwestern University, where he was a captain on the Northwestern football team. 

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Sara Howland

Sara currently works for Northwestern Medicine where she is in an internal consulting role. Prior to that, she worked for Huron Consulting Group in their healthcare practice. She is currently pursuing an MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She has both an MA and BA in Political Science from the University of Illinois.

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Matt Weil

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 the Kellogg School of Management. In between, he completed an MS in Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.