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Investors funding News startups

Rich LeFurgy

Interactive Advertising Bureau

Rich LeFurgy is the former Investor of BookFresh. He has been a Board Member, Advisor or Investor in over 35 online advertising companies. Drawing from a 17 year ad agency career in New York (NW Ayer 1978-1995) . He was Head of Sales at, Starwave, The Walt Disney Internet Group, (,, and 1995-1998). He was founding Chairman of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (1996-2001) . He was a Venture Capitalist in San Francisco (WaldenVC 1999-2004) . Prior to starting advisory firm Archer in 2004. Archer is a multifaceted advisory services company, assisting early stage online media companies by serving on their Board of Directors, completing Advisory projects and proving early stage Investments. LeFurgy has served on company boards as a Director, Blue Lithium [sold to Yahoo], Web Clients [sold to ValueClick] x+1, Associated Content . He provided Advisory services to large and small online advertising companies, Google, AOL, Blue Lithium, Glam, Placecast . He personally invested in promising online advertising startups , Ad Relevance [sold to Nielsen NetRatings], Grouper / Crackle [sold to Sony] , Blue Lithium . He has long been a supporter and evangelist to help grow the industry. He was the founding Chairman of the IAB, the Future of Advertising Stakeholders (FAST) and the SF Bay Area Interactive Group (SFBIG) . He has served on the board of the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), the Advertising Education Foundation (AEF) and the advisory board of ad:tech. He received the IAB’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2004) . He was inducted into Advertising Age’s Interactive Hall of Fame (2000) . He was recognized by USAToday as “the Johnny Appleseed of Online Advertising” (1998) .

Pietro Dova

XG Ventures

Pietro Dova was Corporate Controller and Finance Director at Google from 2001 to 2007. He was partly responsible for the Google IPO and roadshow, and directed Google’s operational and transactional accounting responsibilities worldwide. Immediately prior to joining Google, Pietro was CFO of From 1996 to 1999, Pietro was VP Finance of, an early online pioneer providing financial news and stock information to active investors. Pietro began his career in technology in 1988 at Oracle Corporation and held various executive finance positions through 1992. From 1993 to 1996, Pietro headed Fulcrum Technologies’ European finance operations based in Paris, France. Pietro received his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Imperial College, London and his Masters in Management from M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management.

Peter Bordes


Serial Entrepreneur, Founder, Seed/Venture Investor, Co-founder, Chairman, mentor and advisor. Obsessed with the infinite realm of possibility in the digital transformation of the world. Focused on innovation and disruption in digital media/marketing, big data, machine learning, cybersecurity & blockchain. CEO of Kubient. Kubient's full stack audience advertising platform is a single point of entry for advertisers and publishers to know, reach and optimize audiences. Kubient's audience advertising platform optimizes the advertising supply-chain. Giving advertiser and media partners the data-driven power to connect their audiences, increasing return on ad-spend and inventory yield. In a transparent environment with artificial intelligence powered pre-bid ad fraud prevention. Prior to Kubient Mr. Bordes was a co-founder of oneQube, the leading digital Audience Management Platform [AMP] to build, manage and market to digital audiences. Prior to oneQube Mr. Bordes was a founder, CEO & Chairman of MediaTrust the leading real-time performance marketing exchange. During his tenure as CEO the company was the 9th fastest growing company in the United State in 2009, and he was a founding member and Chairman of the Performance Marketing Association. Mr. Bordes spent much of his career in banking and venture capital and was a founder of Mason Cabot investment bank, which specialized in early stage media and technology financing. Active angel investor and entrepreneur mentor. Ranked in the top 100 most influential angel investors in the United States and social media. Member of the Thiel Foundation 20 Under 20 Mentor Program. Founder Trajectory Capital and TruVest real estate. Serves on the Board of Directors and Advisor Boards of media and technology companies Member of the Board of Directors Beasley Media - Beasley Broadcast Group (BBGI: NASDAQ) is a public media and digital broadcast company offering music, news, sports information and entertainment to over 19 million listeners a weekly from 63 stations in 15 radio markets across the United States. Fraud.Net - The leading real-time collective intelligence fraud analytics. Eliminating e-commerce fraud with artificial intelligence big data analytics. Vice Chairman - Educate. Inspire. Enable. World leader in scientific data related to tracking and biological studies of keystone marine species such as great white sharks. Chairman HoobieApp - Sync all of your social and content in one place to enhance the human connection through technology. Advisor reinventing recruiting on the blockchain. New York City Father who loves adventure travel, skiing and fishing with his son Pablo.

Shashank Randev


Shashank brings entrepreneurial and investment understanding with 15+ years of cross functional expertise. He has acquired a depth and breadth of experience from having worked in large companies, a startup (acquired by a Fortune 500 Company) and an early stage fund investing in technology-enabled startups. He is Founder VC at 100X.VC - India's first venture fund to invest in early-stage startups using iSAFE - India SAFE Notes. Additionally, he is a Member of the Executive Committee at People of Indian Origin Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PIOCCI) - an organization that works with reputed Indian diaspora entrepreneurs, investors, PIOs and associations across the globe. He is also an Angel Investor and Advisor with a keen interest in B2B emerging technology startups. Previously, Shashank was the founding member and Vice President of VCCEdge, the data platform by VCCircle. He led revenue, product development and growth initiatives for close to seven years at VCCEdge. VCCircle was acquired by News Corporation in 2015 where he served as business head for the division until 2016. He has also worked with NIIT Ltd. and Zensar Technologies Ltd. Shashank holds an undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Engineering from Nagpur University and an MBA from International Management Institute (IMI), New Delhi. Specialities: Scaling up Startups, Accelerators, Angel & Seed Investment, Venture Capital, Global Open Innovation, M&A, Cross-Border Transactions & Entrepreneurship

Jared Carmel


Jared Carmel is a co-founder of Manhattan Venture Partners ( and a pioneer in the 'Secondary Market' for pre-IPO technology companies. His primary focus is providing liquidity and diversification for shareholders of illiquid, high profile, venture-backed private companies. Over the last fifteen years, Jared has worked on a variety of assignments, including early and late-stage venture capital, private investment in public equity (PIPE), M&A projects and secondary direct stock offerings. The aforementioned has led to extensive experience in investment banking, business operations, acquisition integration and board work. Jared's involvement has helped produce in excess of $1 billion of invested capital across more than 30 businesses with over 20 liquidity events including Facebook (NYSE: FB), Twitter (NYSE: TWTR), Spotify (NYSE: SPOT), Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) and DocuSign (NASDAQ: DOCU). Other pre-IPO investments include Palantir, Lyft, Pinterest, SoFi, Wish, Rent the Runway, MoneyLion, Bloom Energy and Flipkart. As a technology expert and thought leader Jared is often quoted by leading financial news organizations such as CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNN Money, CNN Tech, MarketWatch, The Telegraph, BuzzFeed News, and The Information. Jared Carmel graduated with a BA from the University at Buffalo School of Informatics. For all media inquiries, please reach out using the following email address:

Kevin Siskar


Kevin Siskar is Managing Director of the Founder Institute in New York where he help's aspiring entrepreneurs launch their startups. You can find find him on talking startups, products, technology and services — and the people who build them. He also hosts the Ambition Today Podcast interviewing ambitious startup founders and entrepreneurs. Previously, Kevin founded Brinkway Inc. as a graduate company of the Founder Institute. Before that he helped start up Jason Calacanis' Launch Ticker researching startups, founders, and technology news. He applies his background in Cognitive Neuroscience to enable the capacity for innovative problem solving and uncovering unique insights.

Sergio Monsalve

Norwest Venture Partners

Sergio brings to NVP extensive operational and venture capital experience from a wide range of business and consumer technology companies. Sergio is focused on early and growth investments in ecommerce, consumerized SaaS, consumer finance, and educational technologies. His current investments and board seats include Adaptive Planning, Bionic Panda Games, Branchout, Gemvara, Motif Investing, and Rafter. Sergio was previously on the board of The DealMap (acquired by Google), myYearbook (acquired by Quepasa), and StarCite (acquired by The Active Network). He is a board observer at InsightsOne and Lending Club. Sergio started his career at Morgan Stanley, where he advised several companies on mergers and acquisitions. Sergio was also a marketing and business development manager at Portal Software (now part of Oracle) which had a successful Initial Public Offering in 1999, during his tenure. Sergio was also the co-founder and first business development executive at Cymerc, which was a hosted SaaS solution for consumers and small-sized businesses. Sergio successfully raised two rounds of venture financing and grew Cymerc from inception to more than $15 million in sales. From 2001 to 2005, Sergio was Director of the Mobile Electronics Categories at eBay, which he grew from $150 million to more than $500 in gross merchandise sales. Prior to NVP, Sergio was Vice President of Marketing at Photobucket, which was successfully sold to News Corp. for $300 million in 2007. Sergio was born and raised in Latin America and has worked in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Sergio holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor of science degree in management sciences and engineering (industrial engineering) from Stanford University.

Jason Calacanis


Jason McCabe Calacanis hosts ''This Week In Startups'', part of LAUNCH Media and is the founder and CEO of Previously, he was an ''Entrepreneur in Action'' at Sequoia Capital, Silicon Valley’s leading venture capital firm, a position he held since December 2006. Calacanis co-founded and was the CEO of Weblogs, Inc., a network of popular weblogs that was sold to AOL in November 2005. Upon joining AOL, he was appointed senior vice president. In addition, he was named general manager of AOL's Netscape and was responsible for the July 2006 relaunch of the iconic browser as a social bookmarking news site. Prior to forming Weblogs Inc., Calacanis was the founder of Rising Tide Studios, a media company that published the magazines Silicon Alley Reporter and Digital Coast Reporter. The flagship publication later became Venture Reporter, a venture capital database, and was sold to Dow Jones. Calacanis is from Brooklyn, NY and currently resides in Los Angeles and New York with his wife and bulldog. He received a B.A. in psychology from Fordham University. Calacanis is known for his transparency and insights into the internet and media industries. (Source: [This Week In](

Federico Tessore

Federico Tessore is a Co-Founder and serves as Chief Executive Officer & Board Member at Totallia. He is also an Angel Investor. Federico Tessore is a Co-Founder and serves as Director at South Ventures. He is the founder and CEO of Inversor Global. He holds a degree in Business Administration from the Universidad Nacional de Quilmes . He also studied economics at Universidad Catolica Argentina and completed his degree in real estate investments at New York University and in Venture Capital Investments at the IAE Business School of Universidad Austral. He was financial advisor at " Capital Markets Argentina " and investment adviser at Citibank. Launched the Weekly Investor Global Investor Newsletter that today read more than 300,000 investors from all over the world and created the company Inversor Global, which became one of the most important in Latin America in the heading of training and publications addressed to the individual investor . He holds Degree from National University of Quilmes and Catholic University.

Nihal Mehta

Nihal Mehta serves as Founding General Partner at Eniac Ventures. He is also the Founding Partner at India Internet Fund. He also served as Member of Advisory Board at Blue Cloud Ventures. He serves as an Advisor at Inter Mobile Ventures. Nihal has several years experience in innovating marketing technologies through founding five startups to date. Nihal is currently the Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of LocalResponse, which helps marketers respond to real-time consumer intent. Prior to LocalResponse, (which pivoted from buzzd, a leading real-time city guide), Nihal founded ipsh!, one of the first full-service mobile marketing agencies in 2001, which he sold to Omnicom (NYSE: OMC) in 2005. Nihal is a noted expert in the emerging adoption of mobile technologies for media properties and consumer brands. Named one of the "25 People Every New Founder Should Meet in New York Tech" and a top "25 Up-And-Coming Startup CEO in New York" in 2012 by Business Insider, a 2012 AlwaysOn "Power Player NYC," a top 10 NYC 'Game Changer' in the 2010 New York Enterprise Report, one of twenty RCR Wireless News 'Mobile Movers and Shakers' in 2008, a BusinessWeek 'M-Commerce Baron' in 2006 and named one of AdAge's 'Top 20 Marketers in Their 20s' in 2005. Nihal graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Philosophy and a BSE in Computer Science. He is also an Angel Investor. He also serves as a Board Member at Alloy. He served as Board Member and Advisor at Lokast and as an Advisor at Findable. He is also an Angel Investor.

Matthew Greenfield

Matthew Greenfield serves as Managing Partner at Rethink Education. He chairs the board of Engrade, he is a founder of Stonework Capital, an ethically oriented hedge fund based in New York City, and he serves as an advisor to University Ventures, the NewSchool Ventures Seed Fund, and the College Board. He previously helped start three technology businesses, including Rethink Autism, DB Software (acquired by Cadre Software and now part of CA), and Synernetics (acquired by 3Com), and worked as an associate at ABS Ventures. In addition to Synernetics, his successful angel investments include Wireless Generation (acquired by News), Atricure, and Wellfleet (merged with Synoptics to form Bay Networks and then acquired by Nortel). Matt received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in English from Yale University, where he won five academic prizes and fellowships from the Mellon and Whiting Foundations and served on the editorial board of the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities. He taught at Bowdoin College, where he served on the committee overseeing admissions, and the City University of New York, where he served on a college curriculum committee, helped launch an interdisciplinary learning community program for first-year students, taught in the teacher preparation program, and taught graduate classes in literature to teachers from the New York City public schools. He helped design and launch Blackwell's Literature Compass online journal and the associated blog and co-edited the Shakespeare section, he co-edited Edmund Spenser: Essays on Culture and Allegory, and he has published in such journals as the Paris Review, Raritan, Tikkun, PMLA, Shakespeare Quarterly, and English Literary Renaissance. He served as Board Member at Mouse Interactive Media.

Mohamed Nanabhay

Mohamed Nanabhay serves as Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Media Development Investment Fund. He is also an angel investor. He s a digital media practitioner, entrepreneur and strategist. As the Head of Online at Al Jazeera English he led the team that produced the award winning coverage of the Arab revolutions in 2011. Previously, he started Al Jazeera's New Media department, and served as an advisor to the Director-General. In 2005 Mohamed founded (acquired in 2012), a listings and community website that quickly grew to be the largest site in Qatar. He also co-founded, a social analytics platform for newsrooms that won the Knight News Challenge, and he's been an active angel investor in a variety of digital start-ups. Mohamed is a member of the Board of Directors of Global Voices Online and the Mozilla Foundation. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Social Media. He received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science at the University of the Witwatersrand and a master's degree in International Relations from the University of Cambridge. Mohamed is based in Johannesburg.

Jerry Jao

Jao is a Co-Founder and serves as Chief Executive Officer at Retention Science. He is a also an Angel Investor. He serves as an advisor at KohFounders. Earlier, Jerry was an analyst with Morgan Stanley, an engagement manager with BearingPoint Management Consulting (KPMG Advisory), and most recently an advisor to the CFO of Clear Channel, working on digital initiatives such as iHeartRadio. Jerry has been named an Innovation Agent by Fast Company and a Hot Shot Entrepreneur by Biz Journals. He has appeared on Fox News, CNBC Big Data Download and Clear Channel Tech Talk. He has spoken at various conferences and is a regular writer for Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine and Practical Ecommerce. Jerry is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where he received a B.S. in Business Administration and a full-tuition scholarship as an Alumni Scholar and Yale School of Management.

Wayee Chu

Wayee Chu serves as General Partner at Reach Capital. Wayee sources and supports start-ups that bring access and opportunity to all students. Wayee co-founded the NewSchools Seed Fund in 2006. Prior to her work in education, Wayee worked in equity research at Merrill Lynch and started her career at Morgan Stanley. In addition to her role at Reach, she currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and supports several Bay Area education non-profit organizations including New Leaders, Bay Area and Beyond12. She earned a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan and enjoys exploring the world with her husband and children.

Diego Berdakin

Diego Berdakin is a Co-Founder and serves as President at Lucky Group. Previously, Berdakin also served as Chief Executive Officer at City Storage Syste Prior to that, he was the Executive Vice President of Strategy and Product at Slingshot Labs. Slingshot Labs, a division of News Corporation, is a web incubator dedicated to building new Internet companies. In this role, he was responsible for Product Strategy, Corporate Strategy, Business Development, Corporate Development and Marketing. He is a serial entrepreneur who specializes in building business from the ground up. He has taken an innovative approach to many established business ideas, adapting them to shifting technological paradig Most recently, he co-founded a pioneering online escrow service,, where he served as President. Concurrently, he served as a principal adviser to online marketing company, Bzzing, Inc. He also co-founded a Los Angeles based internet incubator, MD Capital, where he helped incubate successful start ups. Berdakin holds a Bachelors of Science from Northwestern University in Political Science with a specific interest in campaigning on the social web. He also serves as Advisor at Troy Capital Partners. He is also an Angel Investor.

Laurel Touby

Laurel Touby is a Co-Founder and serves as Managing Partner at Supernode Ventures. She is the Founder and Chief Executive Odfficer at Mediabistro. During her time as Chief Executive Officer, she pulled the company through two recessions, pivoted, managed growth with minimal resources and developed audience via guerrilla and social marketing (before that term existed). Users subscribe to mediabistro's many services, which include online education, employment classifieds, conferences (offline), events (offline), forums, and industry-specific blogs, such as the popular TVNewser. Following the sale of the company for $23 mm to Jupitermedia, Laurel remained with the company through June, 2011. Laurel began investing in seed-stage startups, including: AdYapper, Appboy, Apploi, Buddie, Clef, CreativeWorx, Fashion GPS, Learn Immersive and Pivit. She is an LP in Lowercase Ventures (with holdings in Twitter, Uber, etc.) and in Pershing Square, among others. Laurel is active as a public speaker and hosted "Secrets of Successful Startups" on CBS Interactive. An inveterate connector, Laurel touches the entrepreneurial community in various ways, including via her monthly co-hosted Cereal Entrepreneurs breakfast, Flatiron Investor meetings and Startup Digital Dinners. She lives in a loft in Silicon Alley and is married to Jon Fine, Author of "Your Band Sucks" and Executive Editor of Inc. Magazine. She has served as an Advisor at HoneyCo Homes.

Nurzhas Makishev

Nurzhas Makishev is the Founder and serves as Partner at NKM Capital. He also is an Angel Investor. He launched NKM Capital with the mission of backing extraordinary entrepreneurs with fundamentally aligned investment terms. Prior to NKM Capital, Nurzhas was an angel investor in over 50 leading consumer internet, media, and technology companies. He has led personal and fund investments in Lyft, Hyperloop One, Ripple, eShares, Cruise (acquired by GM), Robinhood and other iconic companies. Before founding NKM Capital, Nurzhas has spent over 12 years in the technology industry, as an investor, entrepreneur, product manager, engineer, and researcher. He was an early stage investor at Venrock and IP Group, partnering with industry-changing entrepreneurs in NYC tech and investing in science-driven startups. While in Silicon Valley, Nurzhas led programmatic video ads strategy at Google, managed enterprise financial apps development at Oracle and cofounded news summarization and coalition loyalty startups. He began his career developing peer-to-peer, AI systems in Andy Lippman's research group at MIT Media Lab, followed by investment banking stints at J.P. Morgan and Bank of America in NYC. Nurzhas received an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, an MBA from the Wharton School, where he was elected Managing Director of Wharton Venture Partners, and a pair of Bachelor's Degrees in Economics and Computer Science and Engineering from MIT, where he attended on full scholarship.

Alyssa Tsai

Alyssa Tsai is the Founder and CEO of PANONY, based out of China, Hong Kong and Korea. PANONY is one of the earliest blockchain think tanks who runs a Tencent-award-winning news outlet delivering critical and actionable insights to help entrepreneurs accelerate the adoption of blockchain. Alyssa has advised tens of blockchain startups for market know-how and strategies.

Ben Metcalfe

WP Engine

VC @RidgeVC • Co-Founder @WPEngine • @KauffmanFellows Class 23 • Ex- @Uber, @BBCNews & @MySpace • Husband • UK Bass 🎧 • Proud Brit 🇬🇧🇺🇸🇪🇺

Rob Trice

Connecting people who are feeding the world with people who are changing the world through tech innovation. Get our newsletter: #FoodTech

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