GRG Collective | Wealth. Health & Business
Matthew Wilson is an entrepreneur and investor. He has co-founded three companies with one successful liquidity event. Since launching his consulting practice in 2016, Matthew now works with startups and early-stage companies, specializing in growth marketing & customer acquisition. He is also the current Co-Founder at BeerGuys Promotions Inc., as well as Co-Creator of the Calgary Beer Week festival. --- ''In 2012, I chose to combine my passion for entrepreneurship with my love of investing. Since beginning my journey into private equity, it has been an incredible learning experience! I have spent hundreds of hours reading books, analyzing companies, reviewing deal terms, attending venture capital & angel conferences, demo days, coffee meetings, conference calls & more. Moreover, getting my MBA has been on my bucket list since I was a kid (in progress). Once complete, I would like to parlay my experience as a PE investor and work as a deal scout with a venture capital firm or syndicate. Current investment thesis: - Mid & late-stage - Post-revenue - Consumer-facing tech In the future, I plan to do more angel/seed-stage deals. But for now, my focus is on minimizing risk & wealth accumulation.''
CEO of environmentally-beneficial startups with a track record for building strong teams; rallying them around a shared mission; shaping positive company culture; shepherding products to market; achieving/maintaining dominant market share; establishing financial and operational rigor; reaching sustained profitability; and delivering great returns for investors, employees, communities and the planet. Over a three year period, led PV installation platform provider ZEP SOLAR through rapid growth (from 15 to 80 employees, from zero to $120MM in run-rate revenue), achieved US residential mounting system market leadership (~50% share in 2013), reached operating profitability, negotiated licensing deals for Zep technology with 16 of the global top 20 manufacturers of solar modules, struck distribution agreements with 4 of the top 5 US residential installation firms, and closed technical integration agreements with the top 2 global micro-inverter players. Negotiated/closed the landmark sale of the company for $160MM to SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY) in December 2013. Currently serving in an Entrepreneur-in-Residence role at Obvious Ventures, an early-stage fund backing renewable energy and other #worldpositive startups.
Ayaz ul Haque serves as Managing Director at Exalt Capital Partners. A boutique advisory and principal investment firm, Exalt Capital Partners is a subsidiary of Exalt Capital Management, a privately owned investment manager. Exalt Capital Management manages a series of hedge funds that employ fundamental analysis to make investments in the public markets primarily in the United States, and more recently, through Exalt Capital Partners, in the private equity markets. Exalt Capital Partners specializes in growth investments across the globe, with a particular emphasis on the emerging markets, in venture capital backed revenue-stage companies that have achieved market validation and are well-positioned to be leaders in their markets. On a highly selective basis, Exalt Capital Partners also looks at early-stage investment opportunities where we feel our strategic advisory angle can significantly enhance deal value. Our focus, in this context, is generally on deals that combine technology/innovation with various service sectors and on businesses that are looking to build the next global franchises. Ayaz specializes in investing in companies at various stages of development (early, expansion, growth, secondary market transactions as well as special situations/roll-ups ), particularly targeting investments in Internet and digital media, communications and wireless, enterprise IT, financial services, consumer/retail and education. Ayaz possesses broad investing, operating, and transaction experience in private and public companies. His current investments/board affiliations include: Acceptly, Assured Labor, buzzArab, CaliberVantage, Coho Solar, EdEqual, Envision Telecom Group, Hungrybuzz, inmobly, Ovagen, Secret Builders, Simularity, Teamly and Vufind. Previous investments/board affiliations include: Clickmarks, Cyanea, Ember, Friendi Mobile, HiSoft, IXI Mobile, Manthan Systems, Naseeb Networks, Pachube, Seventymm, Techpacific and Visto. Prior to joining Exalt Capital Partners, Ayaz was a Managing Director with ePlanet Ventures and a Director with Draper Fisher Jurvetson ePlanet Ventures focusing principally on expansion and later-stage investments in the United States, MENA as well as in India. Notable DFJ ePlanet investments include Baidu, Skype and Focus Media. Prior to joining DFJ ePlanet, Ayaz was the Director of Mergers & Acquisitions at Crosby Financial Holdings in London, where he managed the cross-border corporate finance advisory and investment initiatives of one of the leading Asia-focused specialist investment banks. While at Crosby, Ayaz focused on both mergers and acquisitions and private equity investments and worked in London, Bangkok, Singapore and Seoul covering various sectors including technology, media, telecom, financial services, transportation, aviation and manufacturing. Prior to his involvement with Crosby Financial Holdings, Ayaz served as an Associate Director of Corporate Finance at Peregrine Investments, a pan-Asian investment bank, where he was responsible for developing Peregrine's corporate finance and private equity businesses in the Middle East, and identifying and evaluating Middle East to Asia investment opportunities. Previously, Ayaz was an Associate in the Corporate Finance Group of Bear, Stearns & Co. in New York, where he was involved in the execution of North American and Asian transactions. Ayaz is a summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Middlebury College holding a B.A. in Economics.
Cornerstone Angels is a private membership-based investment organization who seek to provide financial capital and mentorship to early-stage companies. Cornerstone Angels attracts in excess of 250 deals annually for investment consideration. They target investment opportunities ranging from $250K to $2MM with their members often syndicating with other angel or venture capital investors.
Rain Rannu is a Co-Founder at Fortumo. He serves as Managing Partner at Superangel. Rain has been involved in the mobile payments industry for 15 years, being one of the early pioneers while co-founding Fortumo's parent company Mobi Solutions back in 2000. As a founder of Fortumo, Rain deals with strategy, new products and key partnerships. Rain holds an MBA in Technology Management. He is one of the founders of Garage48 Foundation, a non-profit focused on motivating young people to start their own companies.
Aydin Senkut is the Founder and Managing Director of Felicis Ventures. An original “super-angel” investor, he was named to Forbes’ Midas List in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and to NY Times' Top 20 VCs list in 2016. Aydin is well-known as an early backer of a number of iconic companies including Shopify (NYSE:SHOP), Fitbit (NYSE:FIT), Adyen, Clearslide, Credit Karma, and Rovio. More than 60 Felicis companies such as Brightroll, Climate Corp, Dropcam, Twitch, and Meraki, have been acquired by industry leaders such as Google, Amazon, Cisco, Apple, Microsoft, AT&T, Disney, Yahoo and Ebay. His recent focus areas include re-invention of core markets like intelligent SaaS and financial services as well as development of frontier technologies including AI/deep learning and robotics. Prior to starting Felicis Ventures, Aydin was a Senior Manager at Google, responsible for strategic partner development and account management in Asia Pacific (including Japan). Aydin joined Google in 1999 as its first Product Manager to launch Google’s first 10 international sites, its first online search licensing products and its first Safe Search. He then became the first International Sales Manager at Google, responsible for world-wide licensing deals. Before joining Google, Aydin was the Product Manager for Data Visualization and Data Mining software MineSet at SGI. Aydin received a BS in Business Administration with Honors from Boston University. He also earned an MBA in Marketing from the Wharton School and an MA in International Studies from the School of Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. He speaks five languages: English, German, French, Portuguese and Turkish. Aydin and his wife are Associate Founders of Singularity University, have backed bio-tech research at UCSF and sponsored a scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania.Aydin has also been featured on Businessweek, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and Financial Times Germany.
Dan Martell skydives and snowboards and believes running is among the secrets to a fruitful life. But the 29-year-old Moncton, N.B., native insists business is his sport. With a background in computer programming but no formal business training, Dan's passion for technology and business has meant he has had a hand in launching several companies to date. Dan has been described as not having a ''knowing-doing gap.'' At 25, and just 10 months into his 2004 start-up, Spheric Technologies Inc., the Canadian firm was landing so many deals south of the border that instead of seeking visa sponsorships for his traveling employees, he moved quickly to set up a U.S. office. Growing by an average of 152% per year, Spheric raked in three business awards before the economy forced the company to effectively close in early 2009. An award winning Entrepreneur, Dan recently co-founded Flowtown, a company focused on providing web-based tools that allow small businesses to measure their online marketing efforts. Now living in San Francisco, Martell spends the majority of his time looking at ways to build a bridge between Silicon Valley and New Brunswick. As an informal angel investor, he is active in advising entrepreneurs using metric-based marketing tactics to gain market adoption. An avid reader who dreams of remaining a lifelong student, Dan invests in startups whose opportunities and ideas he can get excited about. His philosophy is to build companies that solve the business problems he faces. He takes risks in work and life and focuses on the journey over the reward. Martell is relentless in his work ethic — if a job has to get done, he'll do it right away.Martell is a board member of Propel ICT and also volunteers his time working with youth battling addictions at Portage NB. He is passionately involved in facilitating micro-lending to entrepreneurs in developing countries through the non-profit, Kiva.org.
Cleveland Avenue deals with seed ventures, early stage and private equity deals focused on emerging restaurants, beverages, services, and technologies designed for foodservice and hospitality channels.
Mark Patricof is an American businessman and entrepreneur. Considered a digital media pioneer, tech investor, and seasoned investment banker, he has advised on and invested in a wide range of leading traditional and digital media and entertainment companies and transactions. Patricof is the founder of Patricof Co, a highly specialized private investment platform designed to meet the unique business needs and opportunities of professional athletes. The firm is backed by J.P. Morgan Private Equity Group (PEG), one of the longest-standing and most successful private equity firms in the industry with over $24 billion in assets under management. The Patricof Co investing platform, in conjunction with PEG, provides flexible capital to co-invest alongside clients in later stage growth equity and private equity transactions, while the firm’s advisory platform gives sports professionals a competitive edge in private investing by augmenting their ability to evaluate, structure, negotiate and ultimately exit individual principal investments. Previously, Patricof served as Co-Head of the TMT (Technology, Media, Telecom) practice at Houlihan Lokey, a publicly-traded global investment bank to whom he sold his previous firm, MESA Global. While at Houlihan Lokey, Patricof’s notable transactions include advising on the highly publicized sale of Gawker Media to Univision at a bankruptcy auction for a staggering $135 million and the sale of the iconic concert venue Webster Hall to AEG Presents and Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment. Prior to Houlihan, Patricof co-founded MESA, a boutique investment bank focused on providing M&A advisory, private placement, and structured finance services to high-growth companies across the media and entertainment landscape. Core areas of focus included film, television, music, sports, live entertainment and digital media, including key verticals such as games, interactive, advertising, and e-commerce. MESA advised on over 80 transactions including some of the most notable deals in the sector: Colony Capital’s acquisition of Miramax, the sale of Songza to Google, the sale of Indiagames to Disney, structured finance transactions for Relativity and IMAX, and equity financings for Blue Man Group and FanDuel. Additionally, MESA advised multiple global corporations, including Discovery Channel, Time Inc., and Viacom. In 2012, Patricof launched MESA Ventures, an early-stage venture fund focused on e-commerce, advertising technology, and digital content. The fund, which invested in Seed and Series A rounds alongside established and top-tier early-stage VC firms, combined a unique data-driven ranking system with a co-investment strategy, thus creating the first “indexing” approach to seed-stage investing. Patricof was a co-founder of <kpe>, an incubator/digital studio that financed, designed, and built businesses for media and entertainment industry clients such as the BBC, CBS, Disney, Hearst and Viacom. Patricof served as President and CEO of the company until it was sold to Omnicom. Patricof began his career with a six-year stint at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in Los Angeles, where he started in the agency’s famed mail room. Patricof graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He then attended the University of Southern California’s Master of Film Studies program. Patricof is a member of the board of directors of the Hornblower Cruises and NEP Broadcasting; he formerly served on the board of the New York Economic Development Corporation. He also currently serves as a Senior Advisor to Crestview Partners. Patricof currently serves as Chairman of the Board for New Heights, a non-profit organization based in New York City whose stated mission is to “inspire inner-city youth to be leaders, champions and student-athletes and empower them to be successful in high school, college and life.”
Compass Partners is a merchant banking and investment advisory firm founded in 1997. Compass focuses on investing in middle market companies and corporate restructuring. The firm has an interest in investing in global infrastructure, aerospace and defense, capital goods, industrial and consumer products, retail and business services. Compass has built a transatlantic franchise with transactions in excess of $2.7 billion, of which $1 billion represents secondary directs. Deals typically include at least three businesses and deal size ranges from $100 million to $800 million. The first Compass fund focused on European industrial assets and deployed $850 million in seven investments (comprising 15 transactions) and returned $1.6 billion to its investors.
Michael is the Principal of Hyde Park Angels. He leads HPA’s investment opportunities through sourcing deals, conducting due-diligence, and providing oversight of the University of Chicago Booth Associate team.
Founder @simplerelevance • Worked at @ibm, Founding Team @icontact • Studied at @kellogg-school-of-management, @university-of-north-carolina-chapel-hill. Patent in Data Optimization & experience closing 9-figure deals.
Flavio Rump is a Co-Founder and serves as Growth Expert at Nossa Labs. He is also an angel investor. He serves as the Growth Consultant at FarmLogs. He is also a Co-Founder of Bitcoin Pulse. Previously he co-founded SendTask. He also served as the Chief Marketing Officer at Ovo Cosmico. He co-founded and headed the marketing for Switzerland's largest daily deals site doing 35MM in sales in 2011, developed viral twitter apps reaching more than 1MM users and started bitcoinpulse.com to track bitcoin adoption.
Doug Hurd is a Co-Founder and serves as Board Member and Executive Vice President of Business Development at clypd. He leads by example with extensive experience striking deals with customers and partners that help fuel the company's growth. Previously Doug was Director of Business Development at PayPal Mobile where he was responsible for executing strategic partnerships to accelerate PayPal's off-line mobile payment initiative by expanding the penetration of PayPal's mobile products across devices, platforms and POS solutions. Prior to PayPal Doug was VP of Business Development at WHERE, Inc. which was acquired by PayPal in April 2011. Doug had the privilege of spearheading the early corporate development efforts that eventually lead to the sale of the company. At WHERE, he was responsible for forging partnerships across the mobile ecosystem to embed WHERE in mobile devices and managing the 3rd party content partnerships with a particular emphasis on monetization through subscription, search, advertising and mobile commerce. This effort included strategic partnerships with Tier 1 wireless carriers and OEM's. These partnerships grew WHERE's top line revenue from $2M to $28M in less than three years. Prior to joining WHERE, Doug worked for Tele Atlas-now a division of TomTom-where he played an instrumental role in the growth of the company's consumer wireless and Internet business. Doug holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Vermont's School of Business Administration.
Brick Mortar Ventures
Darren Bechtel is the founder and Managing Director of Brick & Mortar Ventures, the leading sector-specific venture capital fund focused on emerging technologies to improve the way we design, build, and maintain our built environment. Darren has been the single most active early stage investor in AEC and FM tech over the past five years, with his first four construction tech deals being Seed round investments into PlanGrid, BuildZoom, BuildingConnected, and Rhumbix. Since then, Darren and the Brick & Mortar team have invested in over 25 startups aiming to improve productivity, safety, and environmental impact of constructing and caring for the built environment. Darren Bechtel brings over 7 years of engineering, product and architectural design, and construction management professional experience to the Brick & Mortar team, as well as over 8 years of venture investing as the founder and managing director of South Park Ventures. Darren holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a Product Design focus from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Idinvest Partners is a pan-European private equity manager focused on the low and middle market segments. With over 6 billion euros under management, the company has developed several complementary areas of expertise, including equity investments in buyout deals focusing on both mid-size as well as young innovative European companies; primary investments in European private equity funds focusing primarily on the middle market segment; secondary investments; mezzanine investments in Europe; and private equity consulting. Idinvest Partners’ recent success stories include Criteo, Clear2Pay, Meetic, Prosensa, Converteam, Kwik Fit, Lastminute.com, Dailymotion, Deezer, Talend, Synthesio, Menlook, Vestiaire Collective, Pretty Simple, Curse.com, Withings, Kantox, Secret Escapes, Happn, Peakon, Dayuse, Botify, Financefox, Azalead and many more.
Sam Shank is a Co-Founder and serves as Chief Executive Officer and President at HotelTonight. Sam previously founded and was CEO of DealBase.com, a travel deals search engine, and was CEO of TravelPost.com, a hotel reviews site. SideStep acquired TravelPost.com and Sam stayed on as VP of business development until its fortunate acquisition by Kayak. Sam also worked in comparison shopping at Excite, CNET and NexTag.
Ellie Wheeler serves as Partner at Greycroft Partners. She served as a Board Observer at Savoteur and serves as an Advisor at Fisoc. Her responsibilities include evaluating investment opportunities, sourcing new deals, and working with existing portfolio companies. Prior to joining Greycroft, she worked in a similar role during business school evaluating investment opportunities at Lowercase Capital with investor Chris Sacca. Before working with Lowercase, Wheeler worked at Cisco in Corporate Development doing acquisitions, investments, and strategy within the communications, collaboration, and video verticals. Ellie's past experience also includes working briefly at the London-based venture capital firm DN Capital, focused on early stage ecommerce companies. She began her career in growth capital private equity at Summit Partners in Boston. Wheeler graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a BA in Psychology and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.