Welcome to the Harvard Business School Club of New York - HBS Alumni New Venture Contest: Regional Finalists Announced!


HBS Alumni New Venture Contest: Regional Finalists Announced!

Join us for the HBSCNY Alumni New Venture Competition where a distinguished panel of VCs will choose a finalist team to represent NYC! The winner will compete against Alumni teams on campus during the HBS Business Plan Competition.

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Please join us, a number of angel investors, high profile entrepreneurs, and leading venture capitalists over cocktails for the regional finals of the third HBS Alumni New Venture Competition. The winning team from New York will go on to compete in the finals of the HBS Annual Business Plan Competition.  

The HBS Club of New York is pleased to be one of the participating HBS alumni clubs in 12 regions around the world participating in The Harvard Business School's Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and Alumni Relations 2012 Alumni New Venture Contest (NVC).  The contest is designed to shine a spotlight on alumni ventures, support promising new ventures, and award a $50,000 cash prize to the winning team. Please join us for the regional final competition where our distinguished panel of judges will choose which of the finalist teams will represent New York in the Finals at HBS in April. HBS club of NY will be awarding $5,000 cash prize to the regional finalist.

CardCash, Adam Plotkin, MBA '02
Energy Grid IQ, Reena Russell, MBA '03
IvyDate, Beri Meric'10 & Philipp Triebel, MBA '10
PhysaLIFE, Nick Doering-Dorival, MBA '10, Eric Makhni, MBA '10, Melvin Makhni, MBA '12,
Carmine Petrone, MBA '10

Mark D. Lodish, Solon Mack Capital, HBS ‘03
Nitin Gupta, Natixis, HBS ‘01
Sundip Murthy, 3i Group plc, HBS ‘01
Charles Tollinche, MSD Capital, HBS ‘01
Jim Kolleger, Genesys Partners, Inc.
Mark Wachen, DreamIT Ventures, HBS ‘94

Jeanne Sullivan, Founder and General Partner, Starvest Partners
Chip Austin, Co-Founder and General Partner of i-Hatch Ventures, HBS ‘90
Nikhil Kalghatgi, SoftBank Capital, HBS ‘11
David L. Shrier, CEO KeyView Partners LLC


CardCash, Adam Plotkin, MBA '02
CardCash is a financial market maker in unwanted gift cards. We call this the “secondary gift card market.”  We buy cards issued by hundreds of national merchants at a discount from consumers who received the cards as gifts or for merchandise credits. We also source the cards through institutional channels, such as through check cashing and pawn shops, PR firms, and companies with leftover promotion inventory. We then sell the cards we acquired to other customers at a lesser discount, profiting from the spread between our acquisition cost and the sales price.

Energy Grid IQ
, Reena Russell, MBA '03
EnergyGridIQ(EIQ) is a global financing platform that helps people find and fund energy projects. It serves as a direct to customer energy projects marketplace that disrupts the traditional utility, agency and government hierarchy around energy projects. It allows these entities to interact quickly and more efficiently and in addition allows private providers to augment and participate in the marketplace with direct promotions and incentives. EIQ uniquely allows small service providers to target individual buildings and projects with promotions for energy projects while big utility players can use EIQ platform to engage with thousands of users with new ideas. EIQ’s big opportunity is emerging from structural shifts in energy industry (deregulation, climate related initiatives, carbon, cost of energy, RPS standards etc.) which are causing a vast number of funds and real market cash flows to become available for prospective energy projects globally and to almost every consumer of energy.  This information is not available easily (at best it is dispersed and difficult to stay on top off).  EIQ solves that problem with extensive geo-coding and cleansing and constant updating of data through technology and people.  EIQ delivers its services through consumer friendly mobile devices and social apps.

, Beri Meric, MBA '10 & Philipp Triebel, MBA '10
IvyDate is the premier online introduction network for people who value creativity, intellectual curiosity, and drive. Launched in July 2011, the company has quickly become the most talked about venture targeting the premium dating vertical, attracting more than 20,000 members in a few short months. IvyDate's business model and technology was developed at the Harvard Business School, and the company is led by HBS MBAs with venture and operational experience from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Having fully developed its product and proven its model, IvyDate is currently expanding at a fast pace in hub cities worldwide.

Nick Doering-Dorival, MBA '10, Eric Makhni, MBA '10, Melvin Makhni, MBA '12,
Carmine Petrone, MBA '10

PhysaLife empowers patients to achieve their at-home physical therapy goals through a personalized, dynamic, web-based platform.  With customized daily instruction and the ability to track and reward patient progress, PhysaLife is a critical tool for both physical therapists and orthopedic patients to achieve full recovery in the most cost effective way.


Jeanne M Sullivan, StarVest Partner
Jeanne has been investing in and growing tech companies for many years.  She is a founding General Partner of StarVest Partners.  StarVest is a New York-based venture capital firm with approximately $400 million under management and invests in technology-enabled business services companies. Jeanne has over 20 years of venture capital experience and has spent 28 years in the technology sector encompassing both extensive operating and investing experience with technology companies.  As a General Partner of StarVest Partners and previously with Olivetti Ventures, Ms. Sullivan has served on the boards of many technology companies.  Ms. Sullivan has extensive experience creating “go to market” plans for early and expansion stage companies. Her expertise also includes strategy, a keen understanding of the technology landscape and industry trends.  Prior to her venture experience, Jeanne gained her operating experience with AT&T and Bell Labs while serving in product and industry marketing roles.

Ms. Sullivan is a sought-after industry speaker on the subject of “how to get the wallets out of investors’ pocket” Her credentials also include: lousy golfer, baseball and sports addict, and oldest of eight kids where she learned the most about managing people and getting results.

Chip Aust
in, i-Hatch Ventures, HBS '90
Mr. Austin is co-founder and General Partner of i-Hatch Ventures, a New York-based venture capital fund investing in emerging technology markets such as mobile data services and broadband technologies.  Representative investments include Vindigo, WiderThan, M*Metrics (NASDAQ: SCOR), Thumbplay, Salsa Systems, LimeLife, Equator, OpenAir, AsiaNet, DealPilot, Dotcast, eAgents, IT-radar, ProFlowers.

Prior to starting i-Hatch, Mr. Austin advised and built companies across the technology and media industries throughout his career. In addition to founding CEO of BOL.com, Bertelsmann's E-commerce division, Mr. Austin was a member of the senior executive team leading the buyout, restructuring and subsequent IPO of Prodigy (NASDAQ:PRGY). He was also a co-founder of McKinsey's Interactive Practice where he spent seven years advising Fortune 500 companies on their media and technology strategies. Additionally, Mr. Austin's earlier career included Morgan Stanley’s Investment Banking Division in New York and IBM’s Personal Computer Division in Boca Raton, Florida. Mr. Austin has a degree in Computer Science and Economics from Duke University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School."

Nikhil Kalaghatgi, SoftBank Capital, HBS ‘11
Nikhil Kalghatgi is an early-stage Venture Capitalist at SoftBank Capital and is based in NYC. He focuses on evaluating and sourcing seed and series A opportunities and has special interests in mobile, e-commerce and social platforms. Nikhil was Founder and Fund-Manager of Partner 6 Investment Group, a micro hedge fund in Boston. He also raised venture funding and participated in TechStars with Localytics, a mobile application analytics provider.

Nikhil is a recovering engineer with several years of experience in front-end design and development focused on mobile and web UX before completing his MBA at Harvard Business School.

You can reach Nikhil at nikhil@softbank.com and @nikhilkal.

David L. Shrier, CEO KeyView Partners LLC
David L. Shrier has been an agent of change for over 15 years.  In addition to running KeyView Partners, a growth equity firm focused on health and on the enabling technologies of mobile, data, analytics and marketing, he is founder & Chairman of Lakumi Markets, a demand aggregation platform for VC-backed companies, and founder & Chairman of positively LLC, a data-driven behavioral psychology company delivering performance improvement for financial sponsors. 

Most recently, he was Ernst & Young's first and only Entrepreneur in Residence, where he generated $150 million of qualified sales leads and identified a transformative $1 billion new business line.   His prior experience includes leading two PE-backed middle market turnarounds (HCPlexus, sold to Sharecare; and Ronco, sold to private equity).  David has driven over $4 billion of innovation initiatives for NBC Universal, D&B (Dun & Bradstreet), The Walt Disney Company and WoltersKluwer.  David is also founder & Knight Commander of Camelot Health, a think tank creating private enterprise solutions to the global healthcare crisis. 

David holds Sc.B. dual concentration in Biology and Theatre Arts from Brown University.  He has studied finance and accounting at NYU and transaction structuring & execution in GE's in-house training program.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

• Location:
Cooley, LLP, Grace Building, 1114 Ave. of the Americas, 46th Floor, enter from 42nd St.

• Time:
5:30pm Registration, 6:00pm - 7:15pm Presentations by Finalists, 7:15 - 8:00 Networking Reception and Deliberation, 8:00pm Finalist Announcements

• Cost:
$20 Members; $40 Non-members & Guests; please register by 3pm on March 11th, 2012

• Organizers: 
Christian Hensley ‘01, Hemali Dassani ‘99, Hafeez Giwa ‘11, Mitesh Majithia OPM39

• Sponsor:

Cooley LLP has a long tradition of representing emerging and high-growth companies worldwide, and has extensive experience in all aspects of practice: corporate formation, venture financing, employee incentives, intellectual property protection, employment and severance matters, mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy and litigation. The Firm represents over 3,000 emerging companies in all industries, including software and information technology, telecommunications, semiconductors, life sciences, and clean technologies.

• Co-sponsored:  Harvard Business School Angels of New York

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