BRV ManagersMeet our Ithaca and New York City team members
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BRV Associates in Ithaca and New York City play an integral role in the deal sourcing and due diligence process
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Fund Manager Profiles
2019 Fund Manager Team
Jeff is a 2019 MBA candidate at Cornell, focusing on management consulting and serves as a Fund Manager for the BR Venture Fund. Prior to his MBA, Jeff was a technology consultant at IBM. During his time at IBM, Jeff helped many organizations grow their businesses by leveraging emerging technology. He is interested in working with founders to ponder new industries and devise new business models. Jeff holds a BA in Economics from the University of British Columbia. He will be doing his summer internship at The Boston Consulting Group.
Vadim is a 2019 MBA candidate at Cornell, focusing on the venture and private investments. Prior to his MBA, Vadim was an investments manager at Russian Nuclear Corporation and had an investment advisory and consulting business. As part of his job, Vadim was involved in strategy formulation and implementation, led M&A and divestiture deals, and helped clients increase their operational efficiency. Vadim got his Ph.D. degree in Mathematical applications in Economics in Novosibirsk State University and is certified chartered accountant.
Brian Guo is a Fund Manager at BR Venture Fund. Prior to Johnson, he was a portfolio manager at Bank of America U.S. Trust. There he partnered with two senior portfolio managers to manage over $1.5 billion in client capital. Brian is originally from New Jersey where he earned a degree in Finance from The College of New Jersey. At Cornell Johnson, Brian is Co-President of the Old Ezra Finance Club, Treasurer of the Volleyball Club, and a Park Leadership Fellow. This summer he will be joining J.P. Morgan’s Technology Investment Banking group in New York City.
Rob is a 2019 MBA candidate at Cornell Johnson with a focus on management consulting. Prior to Cornell, Rob was an analyst at a growth equity firm named Element Partners where he focused on deal origination, deal analysis, portfolio company management, and fundraising. Before Element Partners, Rob was the founder and CEO of a startup called PolitiClout with the intent to streamline communication between constituents and representatives in politics. He received his BA in Economics and Public Policy from Kenyon College.
Rick is a PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering and a Fund Manager at BR Venture Fund. He is interested in leveraging his technical background and business knowledge from MBA coursework to solve problems that occur at the intersection of technology and business. Rick was the President of Technology Entrepreneurship at Cornell and is the cofounder of an early-stage startup that is developing software to shorten MRI scan-times. He graduated top of his class with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University.
2018 Fund Manager Team
Andrey is a 2018 MBA candidate at Cornell and serves as a Fund Manager for the BR Venture Fund. Prior to his MBA, Andrey worked for a decade in financial operation at buy- and sell-side institutions, and still holds his Series 3 and Series 7 licenses. He has completed extensive project work and brings holistic understanding of financial markets and instruments to the fund. Outside of his career, he has developed strategic business plans for startup founders and has advised a non-profit on its investment thesis. Andrey holds a BS in Business Administration from University of Southern California.
Alex Bramlet is currently a second year student pursuing his MBA degree at Cornell’s Johnson School of Business. Graduating from Georgetown in 2013 with a degree in Finance and International Business, Alex has experience working in the financial industry at both Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo. He is also the founder of a fully funded social media app startup. Alex is heavily involved within the Cornell community, serving as a board member for both the Entrepreneurship Club and the Black Graduate Business Association, as well as a Community Work Group leader, in addition to his work as a Fund Manager for Big Red Ventures. Alex spent his summer interning for Impact America Fund, a social impact venture capital firm that focuses on investing at the intersection of technology and underserved U.S. communities.
Zoelle is an MBA ’18 candidate at Cornell, and a BR Ventures Fund Manager. Prior to Cornell, Zoelle was an investment banking associate at a media & tech focused M&A firm in NYC, DeSilva+Phillips. Before that, she worked in media as a producer at Fox News and as an analyst for the WSJ. Aside from BRV, Zoelle’s favorite extracurricular as an MBA is participating in tech case competitions — her teams have won two national first-place titles, from Deloitte and Amazon. Zoelle holds a B.A. in Economics from Wellesley College and a minor in management from MIT. She interned at Bridgewater Associates during summer ’17.
Will is a 2018 MBA Candidate, focusing on tech entrepreneurship and serving as a Fund Manager with BR Venture Fund. Prior to Johnson, he worked in a variety of video-related roles at Forbes ranging from Production to Product Management. He started as an intern during his freshman year of college and continued working with Forbes throughout undergrad and after. He also worked at WFUV, a NYC NPR affiliate, and Plum TV, a hyper-local, broadcast TV network in affluent vacation locations. He currently co-runs a video production/marketing company, BTW.Media. In the summer of 2017, he interned with Wistia on their Business Intelligence team. Will holds a BA from Fordham University where he majored in Communications with a focus in New Media and a minor in English.
Axel is a 2018 J.D. candidate at Cornell Law School and is focused on corporate and real estate law with an emphasis on Latin America practice. He is a Fund Manager at BR Venture Fund, an associate at the Legal Information Institute and will be a teaching assistant for an undergraduate economics class in the Fall 2017 semester. Axel was a Summer Associate at the New York office of Paul Hastings. Prior to Cornell, he held positions at the World Bank and at the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Axel holds a B.S. In Economics from George Mason University.
Harvey is a second year MBA at the Johnson School of Business. Prior to Cornell, Harvey led user acquisition efforts and the subscription business at Runkeeper (acquired 2/16 by Asics). Beyond co-founding a student accelerator called Soaring Startup Circle, Harvey also held various marketing roles in the Boston Startup Community at Wellist, HubSpot and EverTrue, where he was noted as “25 Under 25” in Boston Tech by the Boston Globe. Harvey is a CNY native from Skaneateles, an avid runner and holds a BA in Philosophy from Boston College.
Pavel Sotskov is a 2018 MBA candidate at Cornell University, focusing on Private Equity and Venture Capital and is a Fund Manager for the Big Red Venture Fund. Prior to Johnson, Pavel spent 5 years at Putnam Investments, leading the design and implementation of portfolio management and analytics software platforms. Pavel started his career as a professional skier with the Maine Winter Sports Center, competing both on the national and international level. Pavel freelances as a sports commentator for skiing, biking, and running events across the US. He holds a BA in Biophysical Chemistry, and a BE in Computer Engineering from Dartmouth College, with minors in Russian Literature and Education. Pavel interned at The Boeing Company during summer 2017.
Tiffany is a Ph.D. Candidate in Biomedical Engineering and a BR Ventures Fund Manager (BRV). Her Ph.D. research focuses on developing novel ultrasonic approaches to non-invasively stimulate branches of the nervous system to treat neurological disorders. Prior to joining BRV, she was an analyst at Excell Partners, a high-tech venture capital firm in Rochester NY. Tiffany is also an entrepreneur herself and enjoys mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs through her role as a Senior Fellow at Blackstone LaunchPad, here at Cornell.
Ge is a 2018 MBA candidate at Cornell University and a Fund Manager at Big Red Venture Fund. Prior to Johnson, he worked in venture capital, investment banking and commercial banking industries, and was involved in early-stage investments, cross-border M&A, corporate debt financing, and take private transactions. He specializes in business and financial due diligence, and intrinsic valuation modeling. He is passionate about leveraging his due diligence efforts and financial skills to help innovative start-ups to grow. Ge holds a Master in Accounting from Washington University in St. Louis and Bachelor in Accounting from University of Denver. He is also a CPA.
Alec is a 2018 MBA candidate at the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University. He is a Fund Manager with BRV and a portfolio manager with the Cayuga Fund, covering the private and public biotech/healthcare sectors, respectively. Before starting at Johnson, Alec earned his Ph.D. from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, where he performed oncology research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, identifying and validating several novel drug targets for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. Previously, Alec worked with a life science-focused angel group (Mid Atlantic Bio Angels) managing deal flow and conducting due diligence on healthcare startups, as well as an early-stage nutraceutical company (Goodwin & Wells) managing product development. Alec obtained his B.Sc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Vermont.
Kenneth is a 2018 MBA candidate at Cornell Tech and serves as a Fund Manager for the BR Venture Fund. Prior to Cornell, Kenneth worked in product management within the media and entertainment industry. He is also a co-founder of a project portfolio management software startup. Aside from BRV, Kenneth has held various community service roles in Los Angeles and New York and runs a music nonprofit. Kenneth is a New Orleans native and holds a BA in Economics from Northwestern University.
Josefina is one-year MBA student at Johnson Cornell Tech. She co-founded the organization Women of Cornell Tech and is involved in various organizations promoting women leaders in technology. She graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Fiber Science. Prior to business school she worked as a product development manager for an autonomous robot and in various roles at Foursquare. Josefina grew up in San Francisco where she first discovered her love of technology. She is an avid horseback rider and passionate about wildlife conservation.
2017 Fund Manager Team
Ahmed is a 2017 MBA candidate at Cornell University and serves as a Fund Manager with BR Venture Fund. His career interests are management consulting, private equity and entrepreneurship. Prior to Cornell, Ahmed spent three years at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology(KAUST) serving as an information security analyst. He also co-founded Ocean X, a consulting firm in Saudi Arabia that helps small and medium enterprises reach their potential. During his time at Ocean X, Ahmed has served as a marketing director where he helped establish the company’s marketing strategy.
Mike is a 2017 JD/MBA accelerated dual degree candidate at Cornell and serves as a fund manager for the Big Red Venture Fund. Before coming to Cornell, Mike spent eight years working as an environmental scientist at Roux Associates, a mid-size environmental consulting firm in Boston. His work there involved solving the complex environmental compliance and remediation problems faced by the energy and manufacturing industries, and leading the environmental due diligence process for major real estate transactions. Mike has a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Harvard University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and International Relations from Tufts University. While an associate for BRV in 2016, Mike was the President of the Cornell Environmental Law Society and the Jewish Law Student’s Association. He will be working at the Boston offices of the law firm Goodwin Procter in summer 2017.
Kiel is a 2017 MBA Candidate and serves as a Fund Manager with BR Venture Fund. His specific interests are entrepreneurship, environmental finance, and impact investing. Prior to Johnson, Kiel spent over seven years working in the biotechnology sector for both Genzyme Genetics and Foundation Medicine. At Foundation Medicine, he successfully worked with senior management on laboratory operations scale-up, new technology implementation, and process improvement during a time of rapid company growth. In addition to BRV, he is an Environmental Finance and Impact Investing Fellow and the Vice President of Education for the Sustainable Global Enterprise Club. Kiel holds a BS in Biology from the University of Massachusetts—Amherst.
Siddharth is a 2017 MBA candidate at the Johnson School of Management, focusing on tech entrepreneurship and asset management. Prior to joining Johnson he worked at Micron Technology, one of the largest semiconductor producers in the world. Siddharth worked in roles of increasing responsibility with an aim of improving manufacturing operations using automated systems and the power of data analytics. He led several successful projects and initiatives, with one such project saving over a million dollars in costs per year. As a Fund Manager at BRV, his interests lie in early stage technology companies that offer solutions to operational challenges. Siddharth received his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Nanyang Technological University and has a minor in Economics.
Gerald is a 2017 MBA candidate at Cornell University. His focus is on impact investing through the lens of venture capital. Prior to Cornell, Gerald worked at a boutique, agribusiness advisory firm. Gerald’s work largely focused on the international development context. He led capital raising mandates for African agribusinesses, provided deal origination services to emerging markets impact investing funds and financial sponsors, and commercialized venture-financed, agtech across Africa. In addition to BRV, Gerald is an Environmental Finance and Impact Investing Fellow. Gerald is interested in agtech and fintech enterprises, which seek to commercially remedy structural inequality. He holds a B.S. from Hampton University in Economics.
Serdar Mizrakci is a 2017 Johnson MBA candidate, focusing on entrepreneurship and product management. Prior to Johnson, he worked in commodities trading and started a manufacturing business in industrial robotics. After coming to Johnson, Serdar started working on commercializing a Cornell technology for large-scale production of hydroponic spinach as a food crop, focusing on greenhouse automation and customer development. He holds a B.S. in Manufacturing Systems Engineering. Serdar is a fund manager at BRV fund and the president of Johnson Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital Club.
Sean O’Connell is a 2017 MBA candidate at Cornell University, focusing on Capital Markets and Asset Management and is a Fund Manager for the Big Red Venture Fund. Prior to Johnson, Sean spent 5 years at Cambridge Associates, a leading investment advisory firm, in their Arlington, VA office. While there, Sean held multiple positions in client investment consulting, private equity & venture capital data research, and internal business development and analytics. Sean started his career with the Keiretsu Forum Denver Chapter, an angel investment membership network, where he worked closely with Colorado based angel investors and entrepreneurs from a variety of industries. Sean graduated from the University of Denver where he majored in Political Science with a minor in Business Administration.
Srini is a one year MBA candidate at the SC Johnson Graduate School of Management. He is also a PhD candidate in Computer Science from the University of Arizona. Before joining Cornell, he was the managing partner of a boutique consultancy firm that helped angel investors with due diligence and investment opportunities. Srini is interested in venture capital and how capital markets function in emerging markets especially with respect to startups. He has over 10 years of experience in software engineering and research and as an engineer worked in the field of software algorithm development for astronomy and ground based optical telescopes. Most recently he worked for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) as a Cost Accounting Manager and a Senior Software Engineer.
Tim is a 2017 MBA Candidate in the Accelerated Program and serves as a Fund Manager with BR Venture Fund. Prior to Johnson, Tim spent over seven years in the health services industry, focused on predictive analytics and population health management. Tim has held roles in data analysis, product management, and strategy/business development at a multinational health services firm, a regional health system, and a medication analytics startup. Post-graduation, Tim plans to return to healthcare in support of the many innovations being deployed across the industry. Tim holds a BA in Managerial Economics from Colby College, where he continues to serve on the Alumni Council.
Natalia is a 2017 MBA candidate at Johnson with a focus on entrepreneurship and consulting. She serves as fund manager for Big Red Venture fund and is a board member of the Women’s Management Council. Prior to Johnson, she was the general manager at an industrial supplies distribution company in Bogotá, Colombia. Her previous work experience also includes work in investment Banking in a boutique firm, where she advised firms in the structuring and marketing of fund raising, valuation and M&A deals. Natalia holds and Industrial Engineer degree with a minor in operatons investigation and finance from Los Andes University in Colombia.
Maximillian Kaye is a Cornell Tech MBA Candidate 2017 and Big Red Ventures Fund Manager. Max is an Emerging Markets Fellow, and is advising Series C and bootstrapped startups in Israel. Previously, Max streamlined the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center curriculum for Columbia Business School, and went on to consult venture accelerators, including DreamIt Ventures NY and Founder.org, and their early-stage startups. During his time at Columbia, he co-founded BuzzStar, an all-inclusive mobile app for restaurants and consumers, from queues to payment. Prior to Columbia, Max received a B.A. from Swarthmore College with a double major in Behavioral Economics, working with Barry Schwartz on healthcare nudges, and Chinese Language, where he studied at Fudan and Shida University and worked at the Pudong Institute for US Economy. He also launched the Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub and a microfinance startup, SwatFinancial. Max received a full-stack web development certification from General Assembly, and holds a Florida Real Estate License.
2016 Fund Manager Team
Brian Beglin Fund Manager
Brian is a 2016 MBA Candidate, focusing on Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital and Private Equity. Prior to Johnson, Brian served as Senior Director of Acquisitions for The Chartres Lodging Group, a hospitality focused private equity investor, where he focused on investment underwriting, due diligence and capital relationships. Brian is also an MBA intern for The Red Bear Angel Group, a Cornell focused Angel investment group, and will be working for Scout Ventures in summer 2015, an early stage VC fund based in New York City. He has a BA in History from Cornell University.
Tyler Hogge Fund Manager
Tyler is a 2016 MBA candidate at Cornell University, focusing on tech entrepreneurship and venture capital. Prior to business school, Tyler spent four years with Clearwater Analytics, a leading 300-person software firm based in Boise, Idaho, overseeing the inside sales and business development teams in both Boise and the UK. He graduated from Southern Utah University with a BS in Finance is also a CFA Charterholder. He will be working for the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz in summer 2015.
Alexandra Jostrom Fund Manager
Alexandra is a 2016 MBA Candidate at Johnson at Cornell University and serves as a Fund Manager with BR Venture Fund. Her specific interests are entrepreneurship, social innovation, impact investing and shared value creation. Prior to Johnson, Alexandra spent over four years working in Boston, MA, for Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) in the firm’s asset servicing business, where her positions spanned a wide breadth of strategic planning and global marketing roles. At BBH, Alexandra successfully worked with senior management on business operating plans, original research publications, and product launches. Alexandra is passionate about business sustainability issues and is actively developing a start-up focused on aquaculture. She is also an Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute Fellows Program Associate, and the Impact Investing Board Officer for the Sustainable Global Enterprise Club. Alexandra received an MA (Honours) from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Adam Kirsch Fund Manager
Adam Kirsch is a 2016 Johnson MBA candidate, focusing on entrepreneurship and product management. Prior to Johnson, he worked in consulting for PricewaterhouseCoopers and at multiple startups in business development and marketing roles. He also co-founded two companies, Yorango, which simplifies rental for independent landlords and student renters with online tools, and Daily Beat Media, a multimedia powerhouse in the emerging electronic dance music space. During his first year, Adam was a BRV Associate, working on consulting and due diligence projects in multiple technology fields. In addition to BRV, he blogs for University admissions, consults for startups with Life Changing Labs, serves on the board of Cornell Human Resources Review and is in the University’s eLab incubator program for high-potential student-entrepreneurs. Adam holds a BS in Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell.
William Mills Fund Manager
Bill is a 2016 MBA candidate at the Johnson School at Cornell University and serves as a Fund Manager for Big Red Ventures and a Portfolio Manager for the Cayuga Fund. Prior to Johnson, Bill received his Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from Cornell’s medical campus (Weill Cornell). His thesis work established a novel therapy for diabetic retinopathy, with clinical trials currently ongoing. At Weill, Bill was a member of the Bench to Bedside Initiative, where he helped create a nascent molecular diagnostics company, as well as an InSITE fellow focused on emerging biomedical technologies. Previously Bill obtained a BA in Neurobiology from Cornell University.
Sriker Nadipuram Fund Manager
Sriker is a 2016 MBA candidate at Johnson at Cornell University and serves as a Fund Manager for Big Red Venture Fund. Prior to Johnson, Sriker received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from Rutgers University. After graduating, Sriker took up a position as a Clinical Pharmacist at the Bristol Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. His responsibilities included direct patient care, teaching and clinical research. His focus was on pediatric oncology. During his time at RWJ, Sriker also established a consulting company that advised generic and specialty pharmaceutical manufacturers on potential drug candidates. As a Fund Manager at BRV, his interests lie in early stage biotech and companies that improve the patient experience.
Rahul Shahani Fund Manager
Rahul is a 2016 MBA candidate at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University and is focused on entrepreneurship, strategy and the management of technology. He is a Fund Manager at the BR Venture Fund, an associate at the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute and an Admissions Ambassador. Prior to Cornell, he led several planning and operations initiatives at BlackBerry and Toyota. Rahul holds a BASc degree in Mechatronics Engineering from the University of Waterloo in Canada.
Nadine Thornton Fund Manager
Nadine is a 2016 JD/MBA accelerated dual degree candidate at Cornell and serves as a fund manager for the Big Red Venture Fund. Prior to Cornell, Nadine owned a small real estate investment company in Phoenix, Arizona. While still an associate for BRV, Nadine was the President of the Native American Law Students Association, where she organized a Summit about economic development and investment opportunities and challenges in American Indian communities: the first ever conference of its kind at Cornell. Nadine received a BA in Business with a Legal Studies concentration summa cum laude from Arizona State University.
Rachel Flynn Cornell Tech Partner
Rachel is a 2016 MBA candidate at Johnson Cornell Tech and serves a NYC-based Partner with Big Red Ventures. Her career interests include product strategy & development, entrepreneurship, and fintech. Most recently, Rachel spent the last five years at American Express, first focused in technology investment optimization across the Consumer Card portfolio. After a couple of years, she moved into product management, specializing in the integration of pricing and points fulfillment systems and simplifying marketing operations activities. Prior to Amex, she worked for Aon-Hewitt as an internal consultant on their global strategy team, relocating to both the European and Asia-Pacific regions for deeper focus. At Cornell Tech, Rachel is a student member of the Cornell Tech Alumni Council and Co-Chair of TEDxCornellTech 2016. She also holds a B.S. from Cornell University in Industrial and Labor Relations.
Jason Hershman Cornell Tech Partner
Jason is a 2016 Johnson MBA candidate at Cornell Tech and is serving as a NYC Tech Partner of the fund. Jason has a breadth of experience in the NYC tech community, working at two successful hyper-growth e-commerce companies in Manhattan’s Silicon Alley. In his roles at startup companies Jason gained experience in the fields of finance, supply chain management, and product management. His projects include an acquisition, an IPO, and the launch of new business verticals. Jason also helped found and launch another NYC based e-commerce company. As one of the original NYC Partners of Big Red Ventures, Jason is helping to create a Cornell presence in the NYC startup and Venture Capital community. Jason holds a BS in Finance & Supply Chain Management from the University of Maryland.
Benjamin Lieblich Cornell Tech Partner
Ben is in the Cornell Tech MBA program in Manhattan, graduating in 2016. Before joining the program, he worked in a number of different roles. He received his first master’s degree from Berkeley in Financial Engineering. He then went on to work at Credit Suisse in Quantitative Research. After that he switched gears and built the Business Intelligence department at Shapeways, a prominent, venture-backed 3D printing startup. Upon leaving Shapeways, he joined a startup hedge fund where he developed the quantitative side to the fund’s selection process. Ben also has undergraduate concentrations in Math and Physics.
2015 Fund Manager Team
Hemant Bhardwaj Fund Manager
Hemant Bhardwaj is a 2015 MBA candidate at Cornell University and serves as a Fund Manager for BR Ventures. He is responsible for directing the Fund’s strategy, leading deal-sourcing efforts, and managing external partnerships. Prior to Cornell, Hemant was a Director at UBS where he advised public corporations, privately held businesses, and entrepreneurs on M&A, equity and debt capital markets, and private placement mandates. Prior to his role with UBS, he worked at Citigroup where he advised asset managers, endowments, and ultra high net worth individuals on portfolio allocation strategies. In addition to BR Ventures, he serves as an Investment Associate at Red Bear Angel Group, a seed and early stage angel investment group, and is a member of the Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital Club and South Asian Business Club. Hemant holds a B.A. in Economics from Grinnell College where he graduated as a member of Mortar Board.
Pascal Christian Fund Manager
Pascal is a 2015 MBA candidate at the Johnson School at Cornell University, where he focuses on investment banking and emerging market finance. Before business school, Pascal spent two years working in SPOTMED Group, a healthcare IT start-up providing data intelligence for hospitals and medical providers in SE Asia. During that time, he was in charge of product development and market entry strategies, and took the lead in raising seed and series A financing. In addition to BRV, Pascal is the treasurer of Johnson’s Musician Club and a recruiting advisor for the International Student Recruiting Club. Pascal holds a B.S. in Medicine and a M.D. degree from Universitas Padjadjaran.
Kamal Hassin Fund Manager
Kamal Hassin is a 2015 MBA candidate at Cornell University where he is focused on corporate finance and general management. As Fund Manager at BR Venture Fund, Kamal is responsible for overseeing due diligence projects, portfolio management, and ultimately helping businesses accelerate second stage growth. His main investment interests lie in emerging technologies, specifically semiconductors, data analytics, and software services. Prior to Cornell, Kamal was Vice President of Product Management at Protecode, a VC-backed software startup. He was responsible for productization of the enterprise software tools suite during the company’s early stages, and later on established a marketing organization and developed an international sales network. Kamal holds a B.Eng. degree in Electrical Engineering and M.A.Sc. degree in Technology Innovation Management Engineering from Carleton University.
Richmond Holden Fund Manager
Richmond is a 2015 MBA candidate at Cornell and serves as a Fund Manager for Big Red Ventures. In this role, Richmond is responsible for planning and executing the firm’s investment thesis, souring new investments, supervising associate due diligence teams, and portfolio management. Prior to Cornell Richmond was an Associate at Seguin Partners, LLC a lower middle market private equity firm which focused on investing in growing companies in the business services market including business-to-business information, publishing, media, healthcare, security, and other outsourced business services. Prior to joining Seguin, Richmond was an Analyst and then an Associate with JSB-Partners in their New York office. During his time at JSB, Richmond worked on executing capital raising, M&A, and partnering transactions for the firm’s biotech and pharmaceutical clients. Richmond received his BA from Colorado College with a major in International Political Economy and a minor in History.
Alex Paranicas Fund Manager
Alexander Paranicas is a 2015 MBA candidate at Cornell University, focusing on corporate finance and serves as a Fund Manager. He is responsible for helping direct the Fund’s strategy, assisting with performance calculation and overseeing due diligence efforts. Prior to Cornell, he worked in Strategy and Business Development at the world’s largest defense contractor, Lockheed Martin Corporation, focusing on intelligence, international and federal customers. During his first year, Paranicas was a BRV Associate, focusing on technology, security and internet-focused investments. In addition to BRV, he is Treasurer of the Johnson’s Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club (EVCC) and an Admissions Ambassador. Alex has a B.S. degree in Finance from Georgetown University, speaks Spanish and enjoys studying foreign languages and skiing.
Joel Schrock Fund Manager
Joel is a 2015 MBA candidate at the Johnson School at Cornell University and serves as a Fund Manager for Big Red Ventures. Prior to Johnson, Joel received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Cornell’s medical campus (Weill Cornell). For his thesis research, he developed a technique to better understand the mechanism of a class of drugs, and applied this technique to a novel cancer therapeutic. Joel is also active in promoting biomedical entrepreneurs in New York City. He currently serves on the board for Weill Cornell’s Bench to Bedside Initiative and on NYC Tech Connect’s Entrepreneurial Scientist Advisory Panel (ESAP). Joel is particularly interested in developing ways to generate early revenues for biotech startups. He is an avid marathoner, and enjoys playing bass guitar in his spare time.
Sumved Sharma Fund Manager
Sumved Sharma is a 2015 MBA candidate at Cornell University where he is focused on Sustainable Enterprises and serves as a Fund Manager. As a Fund Manager, he is responsible for shaping the fund’s strategy, overseeing due diligence projects, and portfolio management. His strengths lie in disruptive technologies that cover both hardware and software. Sumved started his career at Microsoft as a Program Manager after graduating from Georgia Tech as an electrical engineer. At Microsoft, he focused on gearing various technologies towards the education space. In 2011, Sumved joined SapientNitro and helped various firms in the retail and specialty eateries industries achieve various business objectives, such as organic revenue growth, through digital implementations.
Margaret Wu Fund Manager
Margaret Wu is a 2015 MBA candidate and Forté Fellow at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management focused on entrepreneurship, product development and the management of technology. As an Accenture consultant turned COO of OneSpout, a consumer web startup, she had 7 years of experience working in software prior to business school. At OneSpout, Margaret took on business development, marketing and multiple other facets of the operations to grow the company from infancy. At the same time, she developed a passion for building new products. As a Fund Manager at BRV, Margaret’s interest lies in helping entrepreneurs with innovative offerings build and scale their businesses.
Ben Peterson Business Development Manager
Ben is a 2015 Johnson MBA candidate at Cornell Tech, Cornell University’s new tech-focused campus in New York City. Ben serves as the Business Development Manager of BR Venture Fund and is responsible for souring new investments and executing strategy and operations in New York City. Prior to Cornell, Ben worked for Deloitte Consulting after graduating from Texas A&M University.
2014 Fund Manager Team
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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
2013 Fund Manager Team
Vinay Badami Fund Manager & Chief Operating Officer
Vinay Badami is a 2013 MBA candidate and serves as the firm’s chief operating officer. His main investment interests include clean technology and life science startups. Vinay serves on the board of GNS Healthcare, a company focused on healthcare analytics. Prior to BRV, Vinay worked for GreatPoint Ventures, focusing on seed-stage commercialization of new technologies in the clean-tech, biotech, and material science sectors. Vinay began his career as a consultant for SGH where he focused on evaluating emerging technologies and developing engineering solutions for architects. Prior to joining SGH, Vinay provided clean-tech and strategy consulting for a sustainable development in Hawaii. Currently, Vinay is a Director of Main Street Partners, a non-profit consulting firm for struggling small businesses, and previously served on the Board of the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit dedicated to environmental and community sustainability. At Cornell, Vinay leads the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute’s mentorship program for undergraduate engineering start-ups, and has been a guest lecturer at the College of Engineering. Vinay holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in energy systems from Cornell University.
Brian R. Stuckey Fund Manager
Brian R. Stuckey is a serial entrepreneur, inventor, and full time student at the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. He spent the summer working at DFJ Gotham where his focus was on advertising technology, consumer internet, and solutions that power cloud computing. Prior to returning to school, he was the Chief Operating Officer of AOI Marketing Group. At AOI, Brian co-founded Social Bundle to provide businesses with the social marketing tools they need to build a successful presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. Brian co-founded Rovrr, Inc., a social media technology and analytics company. For the past five years, Brian has been a frequent speaker at industry events, including small business seminars at the James J. Hill Library and social media strategy presentations to local MBA classes. Brian regularly blogs at ineedcaffeine.com
Jennifer Delaney Fund Manager
Jennifer Delaney is a 2013 MBA Candidate at Cornell University. Jennifer graduated from Stanford University, double majoring in Economics and Public Policy. She started her career on the buy side of the investing industry, and had internships at Hamilton Lane Advisors, a private equity fund-of-funds, and at the Stanford Management Company. Most recently, she joined shopkick, a Kleiner Perkins and Greylock backed start-up, as their 9th employee for two years. Jennifer held roles in business development, account management and marketing and caught start-up fever. At BRV, she’s focused on consumer and enterprise web investments. At Cornell, she’s a manager of the eLab (Cornell’s incubator) and a manager of the POPSHOP (Cornell’s co-working space). Jennifer is also an Entrepreneurship @ Cornell Fellow, a Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) fellow, and a Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management (CGSM) Fellow. Follow her on twitter @jennyedelaney
Mandy Chu Fund Manager
Mandy is completing her MBA at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, concentrating in Entrepreneurship and Private Equity. Prior to her MBA, Mandy joined ACADIS and worked as an environmental technology consultant in New York City for 4 years. Her project management experience includes construction of the Catskill UV Treatment Facility, rehabilitation of the Delaware Aqueduct, and facility upgrade for the Wards Island Water Pollution Control Plant in NYC. While at ARCADIS, Mandy also participated in 2 Engineers Without Borders sustainable water resource projects. With a post-graduation plan to work in cleantech entrepreneurship, Mandy spent her past winter break at a cleantech incubator in San Francisco, researching emerging clean technology trends and helping define the organization’s newest investment thesis. Mandy is also an Environmental Finance & Impact Investing Fellow, a co-founder of the Greenstart/BRV-EII Internship Program, a venture associate for Excell Partners in Rochester NY, and a mentor for the Startup Mentors Program. This summer, Mandy will be working for a seed-stage venture capital fund in NYC. Mandy holds a BS degree in Chemistry from Carleton College and a MEng degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University.
Gene Hsu Fund Manager
Eugene Hsu is a 2013 MBA Candidate at Cornell University. He graduated from Trinity College, double majoring in Public Policy & Law and Political Science. He started his career in human capital strategy consulting with ICF Consulting, a Washington DC-based strategy consulting firm. Subsequent to ICF, Eugene joined Dealogic, a financial data firm in New York City, where he managed a team responsible for high yield debt and leveraged loan research. More recently, Eugene joined Towers Watson Investment Services where he served as a voting member of an investment committee responsible for evaluating and investing in private equity partnerships on behalf of institutional clients. At BRV, Eugene is focused on healthcare and manufacturing technology deals. In addition to BRV, he serves as the president of Johnson’s Private Equity Society, as a Johnson Leadership Fellow, and as a career workgroup leader for private equity.
CJ Halabi Fund Manager
CJ is a 2013 MBA candidate at Cornell University and a Lester B. Knight Scholar. CJ graduated from Cornell University, with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering. During his master’s, CJ worked on the joint Intel-Cisco-Verizon Video Aware Wireless Networks project to develop solutions for increased video traffic over mobile networks. Prior to his MBA, CJ worked in multiple international roles at large tech companies. At HP, he worked in the Enterprise Servers, Storage, and Networking group as a firmware engineer, as well as in the BT account team, developing cloud based solutions and demos for BT via the HP-ALU partnership. At Ericsson, he worked in the US headquarter project management office, as well as the IP & Broadband Strategy and Business Development team out of silicon valley, with assignments in Sweden and Lebanon, specifically developing strategies for the emergence of Over-The-Top (OTT) video. With Camgemini’s C4 team, CJ performed an IT audit of London-based record label, EMI. And at Accenture London, he worked with the private equity strategy group to develop a strong client base of PE firms. He also spent a year bartending during the weekends at a cocktail bar, and can craft a perfect Manhattan. Currently, CJ is providing systems engineering and IT consulting to Barclays, and working as a research analyst for Greenstart, a San Francisco clean-tech accelerator, to develop and shape Greenstart’s investment strategy. In addition, CJ is CEO of HIND Consulting, a technology consulting company focusing on solutions and project management for financial banking projects in the middle east, and he has a patent submitted on cloud network asset discovery. At BRV, CJ’s focused on infrastructure and communication investments as well as enterprise software and services investments.
Chris Seneta Fund Manager
Chris Seneta is a 2013 MBA Candidate at the Johnson School at Cornell University. Before coming to Johnson, he spent four years managing mezzanine debt and private equity investments with The Gladstone Companies , a $1 billion fund in Washington, DC. Prior to that he worked as a credit analyst with Fleet Bank and Bank of America, and served as a portfolio manager in the capital markets group at Sovereign Bank. Chris has served as a director of several companies in the manufacturing and business equipment spaces. At Cornell, he is an officer of the Private Equity Society in addition to his role as a BR Venture Fund manager. He holds a BA in Economics and Philosophy from Bates College and a Master of Public Policy from Brown University.
Siobhan King Fund Manager
Siobhan is a 2013 MBA Candidate at the Johnson School at Cornell University, while at Johnson she is focusing on impact investing and energy finance. Prior to Johnson, Siobhan spent five years as an energy consultant serving utility and public sector clients on residential and commercial energy efficiency programs. Siobhan is a LEED Accredited Professional with expertise in green building and is a two-time presenter at the USGBC’s GreenBuild International Conference. Currently, Siobhan is a Regional Social Impact Fellow for RSF Social Finance, a non-profit financial services organization that provides capital to social enterprises. Siobhan holds a BSc. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University, and a MSc. in Sustainable Energy Systems from the University of Edinburgh. Siobhan is also a Forté Fellow and a Volunteer Assistant Coach for the Cornell Woman’s Rowing Team