Date: Mar 07, 2023Time: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

HBS Alumni New Venture Competition Northeast U.S./New York Region Final Pitch Round – (Zoom Webinar)

Tue, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM Solomon Partners
Alumni OnlyAlumni Startups


Please Note – The NY Region Final will be held in person, for the first time in two years, on Tuesday, March 7th. Space is limited, and unfortunately we can not accommodate additional attendees beyond the finalists, judges and volunteers. Please join us live via Zoom

The New Venture Competition Alumni Track serves as a launch pad for innovative new ventures from HBS alumni, providing access and exposure to potential investors, mentors, and advisors. The annual event is sponsored by the Harvard Business School’s Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and HBS Alumni Clubs & Associations. The competition is open to alumni with early-stage ventures, and winners receive an invitation to the Global Finale.

Based on the key criteria of Team, Customer Value Proposition, Business Model and Go To Market, the NY Region Semi-Final Judges have selected the following finalists to present at the NY Region Final on March 7th in person in NYC:

– Banter – Taro Tomiya (MBA 2022)

– Harbor – Giuseppe Morgana (MBA 2015) & Jonathan Edward (MBA 2015)

– Harken – Katie Lefkowitz (MBA 2016)

– Langhe – Alim Manji (MBA 2012)

– M7 Health – Ilana Springer Borkenstein (MBA 2022) & Eric Gruskin (MBA 2022)

– Onsite Kids – Carmi Medoff (MBA 2020)

– Phenegra Corporation – Ronald Terrazas (MBA 1978) & Gordon Chiu

– Sky Therapeutics – Alex Youssef (MBA 2022) & Shad Faraz (MBA 2022)

*Websites may be under construction.

Out of the 8 NY Region Finalists, 1 Finalist will move to the Global aNVC to be hosted by HBS on March 23rd (virtually). 

Northeast U.S./N.Y Region Final Round Judges are listed below.



AJ Plotkin (MBA 2004)

Independent Investor & Venture Capitalist

Adam J. Plotkin is an independent investor and venture capitalist. From 2014 to 2023, Adam was a Partner at ff Venture Capital, a seed stage-firm with 90+ active portfolio companies based in New York City and Warsaw. Informed by his previous background, Adam is particularly interested in structured, complex capital solutions. At ff, Adam was a director of more than 15 companies including Rhino, Sure Insurance, Omaze, CardFlight, Burro, PlusOne, Civic Eagle, and StoryFit.

Prior to ffVC, Adam joined the founding team of a startup insurance company. Previously, Adam was a hedge fund investor at an opportunistic, broad-mandate hedge fund focused on macro trends, and at a distressed debt fund. Adam started his career at Goldman Sachs in Leveraged Finance. He is a Trustee of the Pingry School in Basking Ridge, NJ.

Adam holds a M.B.A. degree from the Harvard Business School. He also holds Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Applied Sciences, and Bachelor of Science in Economics degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.


Deborah Farrington (MBA 1976)

Co-Founder & Managing Partner, StarVest Ventures

Deborah is co-founder and managing partner of New York City-based StarVest Partners, founded in
1998 to invest in technology-enabled business services. StarVest is one of the largest women
majority owned venture capital firms. Its focus has been on software-as-a-service, digital marketing,
and data & analytics.

Notable investments include NetSuite (NYSE: N), which StarVest invested in
when it had minimal revenues, and which was sold to ORCL for $9.2 billion in 2016 when it had $1
billion in revenues; she was lead director and chair of the Compensation Committee from the time in
went public in 2007 until its sale. Other investments include the first internet insurance company, the
first digital ad agency, and HR and financial infrastructure, SaaS solutions and leading marketing
technology companies. On behalf of StarVest, she currently serves on the boards of Planful, Xignite,
and Snag Holdings, Inc.

In addition, she is a director of NCR (NYSE: NCR) where she chairs the Compensation & Human
Resources Committee; Ceridian HCM Holding (NYSE: CDAY) where she chairs the Nominating &
Governance Committee; and Cumulus Media where she is a member of the Audit Committee.
Earlier in her career she was president and CEO of Victory Ventures, a multi strategy investment
firm headquartered in New York City, a managing director of Asian Oceanic Group in New York and
Hong Kong, and an investment banker and division director of Merrill Lynch in New York, Hong
Kong and Tokyo. She began her career after college and prior to HBS as a credit analyst at the
Chase Manhattan Bank.

She has been named multiple times to the Forbes Midas List of Top 100 Venture Capitalists and in
2018 received the Foreign Policy Association Medal for Achievement in Financial Services. She
received an MBA from the Harvard Business School, where she has served on the Visiting
Committee, as a Vice-President of the Alumni Association, endowed a Fellowship for Women
Entrepreneurs and is a chair of the HBS Club of New York. She is a graduate of Smith College,
where she was a Trustee for eight years and chaired its Investment Committee, responsible for its
endowment. She currently serves as a member of the board of Trustees of the American Friends of
the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and a board member of the Asolo Repertory Theatre in
Sarasota, FL.


Jason E. Klein (MBA 1986)

OnGrid Ventures

Jason E. Klein is an experienced media CEO and builder of digital and traditional businesses who has led two successful turnarounds. He is founder and CEO of On Grid Ventures, an investment and advisory firm with a portfolio of 20+ early stage companies. Mr. Klein is co-President of the HBS Angels Alumni Association. Mr. Klein was previously CEO of Newspaper National Network LP; and CEO of Times Mirror Magazines/Time4 Media, publisher of Golf Magazine, Field & Stream, and Popular Science. Mr. Klein is one of Alleywatch’s “25 Angels Investors in NY You Need to Know,” a member of New York Angels, and mentor at several NYC-area incubators.

David Arcara (MBA 1990)

Laconia Capital Group

David Arcara is Co-Founder and General Partner of Laconia Capital Group, a NYC based seed-fund investing in B2B software solutions. A 5x founder, David has deep experience with all aspects of business operations, governance, and the path of taking a company from idea to exit. A lifelong New Yorker, David attended the University of Colorado Boulder and Harvard Business School.


Ana Kertesz (MBA 2002)

N.Y. / Northeast U.S. aNVC '23 Team Lead

Ana Kertesz has 25 years of combined experience as an investor, executive, entrepreneur and board member with a successful track record in business launch & growth, funding, mergers & acquisitions, private equity & venture capital, partnerships, cross border transactions, content & community and building high performance teams, in her tenure at Goldman Sachs, biotechnology company Amyris, family office Peninsula, and her startup HOWto.LIVEit. A strong diversity and ESG advocate, Ana has close experience in a multitude of industries, including beauty, wellness, food, biotechnology, education, ed tech, media, retail and clean energy. Ana is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. Ana lives in the greater NY area with her family.


Date Time

Date: Mar 07, 2023Time: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM


Solomon Partners1345 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10105
View Map



Ana Kertesz (MBA 2002)

Solomon Partners

1345 6th Avenue, New York, NY, 10105