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Deal Team

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Gail Gilbert Ball

Managing Partner

Gail is a fintech executive who has had a long career leading tech teams at global financial services firms. Building and overseeing a broad swath of entrepreneurial groups, she has held decision-making posts at nearly every seat around the financial services table—banking executive, regulator, service provider, and board member—in both for-profit and social-impact markets. Among her many areas of expertise: financial services, portfolio development, financial analysis, and information tech.

Gail most recently served as a C-suite member of The Bancorp Bank, the innovative banking solution provider for the most recognizable names in digital banking. She also filled other executive roles at PNC Bank, Chase and Capital One, and NCO Financial Systems. In addition, Gail headed the Payments Studies Group at the Richmond Fed and served as Board Member and Risk Committee Chair at Kompanion, one of Central Asia’s largest microfinance institutions. She started out at Mellon Bank in corporate development, identifying and leading M&A transactions. 

Gail has a BS Economics, Finance and Statistics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (‘79). She is a member of multiple entrepreneurial, venture, and financial interest groups, including Venture Capital Group, On Startups, Innovation in Payments, and Global Financial Markets.

Ven Raju

Vice President

Ven joins Chestnut Street Ventures from a family office, where he served as Principal overseeing private equity investments. At Choate Capital, he was responsible for all aspects of the investment process including origination, due diligence, transaction structuring, financing, and portfolio management. He has more than ten years of experience investing in and advising companies and has executed transactions in a number of different industries. He began his career as a strategy consultant, where he worked on M&A advisory for Fortune 500 companies, private equity firms, and private equity portfolio companies.

Ven holds dual degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, with a Master of Science in Systems Engineering from SEAS and an MBA from The Wharton School. In addition to those Penn connections, he has served as Guest Lecturer at UPenn and is an active member of the alumni community.

 

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Arie Abecassis

New York

Arie is an active NYC-based investor, serving on the boards of SeatGeek and Adaptly, and also a founder of ICONYC labs, a tech accelerator program for Israeli startups. He has helped build tech companies throughout his career as an operator, advisor, and VC investor. Earlier, Arie was President of MindFire, an Inc 500 software company, and a member of the investment team at Updata Partners, a $750M growth-stage VC firm. Prior to that, he led investment activities as a Managing Director for Research Partners and a Director of Thomson Financial Ventures, the venture arm of Thomson Reuters. Arie is an alumnus of Wharton, where he studied entrepreneurial management and marketing.

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Bruce Cahan

San Francisco/Bay Area

Bruce has advised Fortune 1000 corporations and federal technology investors; negotiated billions in finance, merger, and reorganization transactions; innovated investment strategies for sharing smarter open data; and is redesigning banking, its impacts, and safety. He co-founded Urban Logic, a nonprofit that harnesses finance and technology to improve sustainability decisions in real-time, and is a frequent mentor for startups in Silicon Valley. Bruce graduated from Wharton (‘76) and Temple Law School (‘79).

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Meg Charles-Horn

Stockholm, Sweden

Meg is a seed investor and growth strategist focused on mobile and disruptive web and cloud‐based products and services. Leveraging her business acumen, empirical global management, and legal knowledge, she provides solutions, guidance, and funding to early and growth stage global startups. Meg has held key leadership roles as an equity partner in the global law firm Swidler, Berlin (now part of Morgan Lewis Bockius); Head of Strategy of a venture-backed global telecom startup; Deputy General Counsel of Orange Business Services; and as a member of the Executive Leadership Team and General Counsel of the GSM Association. Her expertise is in the telecoms/tech sector with substantial experience in managing acquisition, cross-cultural teams, Board and investor relations, strategic planning and execution, risk management, and corporate governance. She has a BA in Internal Relations from Penn and a JD from Georgetown.

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Carol Curley

New York

Carol has held senior investment banking positions with Berkshire Capital Corporation, Prudential-Bache Capital Funding, and Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. Inc. She is the Chief Investment Officer of The Charian Group, an early stage investment vehicle. Prior to forming The Charian Group, Carol was Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and a member of the Board of Westwood Management Corporation, a registered investment advisor. Carol holds a BA in Economics from Wellesley College, an MBA in Finance from Wharton and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

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Mike Dishowitz

Philadelphia

Mike manages a portfolio of PCI Ventures startups, focusing on the medical device, biotech, and therapeutic sectors. His primary responsibility is to build businesses that commercialize Penn intellectual property by recruiting management, developing business strategies, fundraising, supporting company operations, and executing deals. He is also director of Penn’s medical device startup accelerator, DevelUPmed, and manages several capital acquisition and business development programs. Previously, Mike was a member of boutique consulting agency PriceSpective, where he specialized in determining asset valuation and pricing & market access potential of emerging life science technologies. He also co-founded a startup based on his research that uses a combination drug-device to promote bone formation and regeneration. Mike graduated with a BS in Mathematics from the University of Florida and a PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Peter Graham

Canada

Peter has key experience within the investment banking industry and extensive knowledge of finance and capital markets. Most recently, he was the Chairman of the Board of Seventh Generation, Inc. (“SVG”), a position he held from 2000 to late 2016, when Unilever purchased SVG. Prior to that, Peter held various positions with investment banking organization Ladenburg Thalmann Group, including Principal, President, and Vice Chairman of its subsidiary, Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Under his direction, Ladenburg led numerous public offerings, corporate restructurings, and acted as advisor on many merger and acquisitions. He attended the Wharton School of Business, where he studied finance and accounting.

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Jeffrey Liebenthal

New York

Jeff is the President and CEO of Trilogy Leasing, one of the nation's top independent lessors focused on technology and capital assets. He has spent over 35 years as a serial entrepreneur, successfully selling two financial services companies, managing a family hedge fund, and owning and managing various real estate holdings. He has also actively invested in early stage companies. Previously, he was a marketing representative for IBM, a technology leasing salesperson for Princeton Computer Group, a sales manager for Atlantic Computer Systems, a co-founder and Executive Vice President of Sales for Princeton Credit Corporation. He holds a BS in Computer Science from Hofstra, and an MSE from the Moore School with a specialization in business at Wharton.

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Cleo Sham

Amsterdam

Cleo is Head of Regional Operations for Uber in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Previously, she was Director of Operations at Uber China. Before Uber, Cleo was a proprietary trader at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where she focused on APAC equities and managed cross-functional China business development projects. Prior to that, she was Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company, where she served corporations in technology, media, financial services, transportation and logistics, real estate, and gaming on strategic, marketing, and operational issues. She has been involved with startups as a founder, co-founder, and advisor within the Internet, clean tech, and food & beverages sectors in Asia. Cleo holds a BA from Rice University and an MBA from Wharton.

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Justin Shreve

San Francisco/Bay area

Justin Shreve has been a software developer and entrepreneur for over 20 years. He has worked extensively in the fields of commercial real estate, online payment solutions, and sports technology. He has been involved with 13 start-up companies helping them launch ideas, drive user engagement, and build innovative products. He is the founder of Rentmatic (acquired by LiveLovely in 2012), which provided rent payment software to landlords, and an enterprise media planning platform called Adgile Interactive (acquired by Doubleclick in 2001). Justin holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania ('96) and resides in San Francisco, CA with his wife and two kids.

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Chris Tarrach

Seattle

Chris has unique and varied experience blending capital markets and investment management skills with operational experience as a C-level executive. He serves as Division CFO for Envestnet | Tamarac, a leading provider of integrated, web-based portfolio rebalancing, performance reporting, and customer relationship management software for independent advisors and wealth managers. He joined the Tamarac executive team in 2009 when the business was independently-owned and VC-backed, and saw it through the acquisition made by Envestnet in 2012. The Envestnet |Tamarac business has grown successfully in this structure over the past five years. Doubling as a key member of the finance team, Chris has also played a key role in M&A for Envestnet. 

Previously, Chris ran a proprietary, long-only concentrated value hedge fund for six years, with returns exceeding those of the S&P 500. He began his career as an options floor trader in foreign currency and S&P 500. 

Chris holds a BS in Economics with a double concentration in Finance and Strategic Management from the Wharton Undergraduate Business School.

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Colleen Taylor

New York

Colleen joined Mastercard in March 2017 as Executive Vice President, New Payments, driving non-consumer payment volume growth from B2B, government, and new economy (P2P, C2B,  B2C, BlockChain, etc.) sources. She joined Mastercard from Capital One, where she most recently served as head of Treasury Management and Enterprise Payments. Colleen has had a successful career in finance with various positions at Wachovia Bank/Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase, where she managed their ACH business. She graduated from Spelman College and received her MBA from Wharton.

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Eric Wiklendt

Ann Arbor

Eric is a Director of Speyside Equity, an operationally focused, private equity firm, where he oversees sourcing, analysis, financial modeling, transaction structuring, and operational optimization. Previously, Eric was President & CEO of Kelix Heat Transfer Systems, a manufacturing firm focused on the geothermal HVAC space. Eric also held progressive roles at Eaton Corporation and Hilti Corporation where he completed mergers and acquisitions, opened an automotive plant in Mexico, ran the marketing department, and led the salesforce. He has degrees from the University of Notre Dame and Wharton.

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Antina Lee

Venture Fellow

Antina is a member of the Chestnut Street Ventures Fellow program. She is currently a business development professional at Procter and Gamble, loves being involved with startups, and is passionate about bringing innovations to market. Antina is currently pursuing MBA/MPA joint degrees at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and the Harvard Kennedy School.

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Peter MacEwan

Venture Fellow

Peter (WG ’17) is a social impact leader and entrepreneur. With deep experience in education and non-profit program management, he serves as Associate Director for the Making Waves Foundation. His work focuses both on executing long-term strategic growth and implementing day-to-day operational efficiencies. Peter is passionate about integrating technology solutions to drive productivity and improve business process controls. Peter holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Wharton, completing majors in both finance and management. 

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Emily Sun

Community Engagement Fellow

Emily (WG ’16) is a member of the Chestnut Street Ventures Fellow program. She is currently the Venture Engagement Manager for Enverest, an investment/M&A advisory firm based in Silicon Valley focusing on US, China and APAC business development. She has extensive global experience in the technology semiconductor sector with AMD, Spansion, and Cypress, specializing in corporate finance and operations, business process improvement, M&A integration, and systems implementation. Emily holds an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from The Wharton School and is a CFA Level II Candidate.

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John Braze

Fellow Program Manager

John has extensive experience in the strategic growth and new market entry of innovative medical technology, working with multiple early-stage companies in the U.S. and Europe. John's investment interests include technology that increases access to, and lowers the cost of healthcare and education. John is active in his community, a board member of two non-profits, and advisor to social entrepreneurs. John earned an MBA from The Wharton School, majoring in Finance and Entrepreneurship.

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Daniel Fetner

Community Engagement Fellow

Daniel (WG '18) is a member of the Chestnut Street Ventures Fellow program. He is currently an MBA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School pursuing majors in Finance & Entrepreneurial Management. Prior to pursuing an MBA, Daniel spent the summer at Third Kind Venture Capital, an early stage Venture Capital firm in NYC. He also spent 6 years at J.P. Morgan. On campus, Daniel is a member of the Selection Committee for the Penn Wharton Innovation Fund, and is a VP of Sourcing for the InSITE Fellow Philadelphia Chapter.