Pete Cassara

Pete Cassara
President

Pete Cassara is a 2014 MBA candidate and serves as the firm’s chief executive officer. He serves on the board of GNS Healthcare, a company focused on healthcare analytics.

Prior to BRV, Pete worked for Harvest Ventures LLC, a seed round venture fund based in Rochester, NY. At Harvest, he invested in media, clean tech, advertising, and real estate projects. Pete began his career in wealth management services with Northwestern Mutual.

Pete holds a B.S. degree in Finance from Syracuse University


Chris Lesmes

Chris Lesmes
Fund Manager & Chief Operating Officer

Chris is a 2014 MBA candidate at Cornell, and serves as the chief operating officer for BR Ventures. He is responsible for planning and executing the firm’s investment thesis, supervising associate due diligence teams, and portfolio management. His main investment interests include technology, healthcare, and energy focused start-up companies.

Chris began his venture investing experience as a BRV associate, evaluating energy start-ups. Prior to BRV, Chris served as a Captain in the US Air Force. As part of the special operations aviation arm, he deployed for 6 tours to Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom and successfully led teams on numerous combat missions. Additionally, he is a vice-president in the Cornell-Johnson Association of Veterans and a member of the Private Equity Society. He holds a BA in political science from the University of Illinois and a MS in finance from Webster University.


Pete Cronin

Pete Cronin
Fund Manager

Pete Cronin is a 2014 MBA Candidate at Cornell University with seven years’ experience in product development, marketing, and operations. His interest lies mainly in helping entrepreneurs create and grow businesses that can truly disrupt and displace incumbents in the market. Studying strategic operations in class and focused on working in strategic consulting; Pete brings a proven track record of operational excellence and strategic vision to the team.

Prior to BRV, Pete had experience across six industries, focused on managing products in their early launch and growth stages including the projects such as developing a mobile health strategy for TELUS and revenue management of their IPTV service that grew topline revenues by 3x’s in a 2 year span. In addition to this, Pete setup an annual innovation challenge, now in its fifth year, for 30K employees focused on developing disruptive new ideas from the bottom-up that has led to innovations within the organization such as being the first company in the world to integrate Facebook into their TV service.

In BRV, Pete’s main focus will be on developing initiatives that will contribute to the success of our portfolio companies, sourcing new deals, as well as the recruitment, management, and development of associates at BRV.


Emily Walsh

Emily Walsh
Fund Manager

Emily is a 2014 MBA Candidate and Roy H. Park Leadership Fellow at The Johnson School of Management. Most recently, Emily served as Chief Operations Officer at My Dash, LLC, a holding company with interests in the entertainment and financial technology sectors. Prior to My Dash, Emily was the Director of Operations at Sing for Hope, a New York City-based start-up that increases access to the arts through education, performance, and community programming. At Cornell, Emily advises early-stage businesses though the on-campus incubator, eLab, and is the Vice-President of Education for the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club. Emily holds a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School.


Emily Forsythe

Emily Forsythe
Fund Manager

Emily Forsythe is a 2014 MBA Candidate at the Johnson School at Cornell University. She is currently focused on finance and entrepreneurship. Prior to Johnson, Emily worked as a project manager with a Boston based engineering house dedicated to nonmetallic-composite manufacturing. She has extensive experience in manufacturing operations including leading projects in the material handling space and building military submarine components. She has managed national upgrade projects for the government and has experience in lean manufacturing and production design. In addition to BRV, Emily is the president of Johnson’s Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club. Emily is focused on connecting BRV to the startup community at Cornell and to the greater Upstate community. She received her BA from Cornell University.


Aaron Walls

Aaron Walls
Fund Manager

Aaron Walls is a first year MBA student with a focus on entrepreneurship and high growth startups. At Cornell, Aaron is a fund manager with BR Venture Fund and an Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute Fellow. Before coming back to school, he was the Senior Economist at PKF Hospitality Research where he oversaw the firm’s economic and financial modeling efforts and was in charge of the development and launch of multiple firm products. Aaron is working to start his second company, BrewJacket, Inc, that has a tentative opening date of Summer 2013.


Carlos Escamilla

Carlos Escamilla
Fund Manager & Chief Financial Officer

Carlos Escamilla is a 2014 MBA candidate at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management and serves as the chief financial officer for BR Ventures. Prior to business school, Carlos spent four years working at Latin Idea Ventures, a private equity / growth capital fund manager focused on the technology, media, telecom and services sectors. At Latin Idea, he participated in the entire value chain of activities the fund performed and closed growth capital transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $30.0 million. Carlos also worked in Quálitas, the largest auto insurance company in Mexico, as an analyst in the investor relations and financial risk departments.

In addition to BRV, he advises early-stage businesses through Cornell’s start-up incubator, eLab, and is the VP of Corporate Relations for the Latino Business Student Association. Carlos holds a BA in Financial Management from Tec de Monterrey. He is fluent in Spanish and English.