Venture Capital & Business Start Ups: Trends & Tips for Investors & Entrepreneurs

Date and Time
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
6:00pm— 9:00pm
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McCarter & English, Newark, NJ 07102

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
6:00 PM - Registration
McCarter & English, Newark, NJ 07102

2015 could be one of the most important years ever for angel investing with angels doing bigger and better deals, according to Marianne Hudson, an angel investor and Executive Director of the Angel Capital Association (ACA), the world’s leading professional association for angel investors.  In 2013, 298,000 angel investors invested $24.8B in 71,000 deals, most of which were early-stage companies.

What makes angel investors tick?  What are they looking for in early stage companies?  Join us to learn about recent angel investing trends in our region. Hear from two groups that are active in the tech and life sciences space along with an entrepreneur to provide a perspective from the other side of the table.

Topics addressed will include:

-  How to assess opportunities (idea, team, valuation)
-  Should you require a full-blown business plan and what to look for
-  How to source great deals
-  How to build a portfolio of startup investments
-  How to add value to a portfolio company
-  What to do when your portfolio startup pivots
-  When should you think about exits
-  How to make the most out of angel group participation
-  How to collaborate effectively with other angel groups
- How to take advantage of NJ’s Angel Investor Tax Credit Program

Panelists for the evening include:

  • Brett Topche, Managing Director at MentorTech Ventures, a seed- and early-stage venture capital firm investing in the University of Pennsylvania ecosystem   
  • David Teten, Partner at ff Venture Capital
  • Tom Wisniewski, Rose Paul Investments 
  • Craig Kanarick, Chief Executive Officer of Mouth, the leading online indie food marketplace 

The evening will be moderated by Kathleen Coviello, Director of the Technology & Life Sciences Division (TLS) of the NJ Economic Development Agency.

Biographies of the panelists and moderator can be found below.

Please join us for a thought-provoking discussion about early stage investing start-ups and what it really takes to get funded.

The Wharton Club of New Jersey gratefully acknowledges support for this event from:


  • McCarter & English, Attorneys at Law - McCarter & English, LLP is a firm of over 400 lawyers. Clients come first at McCarter & English. Their goals and priorities are what count. Our job is to listen to our clients, stay on top of the frequent changes that can affect their goals, and implement the strategies that will lead to success. Applying this approach effectively and consistently requires dedication and constant attention to many details. This client-centered philosophy has served our clients well and is responsible for our success and stability.
  • New Jersey Economic Development Authority – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) is an independent State agency that finances small and mid-sized businesses, administers tax incentives to retain and grow jobs, revitalizes communities through redevelopment initiatives, and supports entrepreneurial development by providing access to training and mentoring programs. 


WCNJ Members: $25.00

Non-Members: $40.00



McCarter & English

Four Gateway Center

100 Mulberry St.

Newark, NJ 07102

For Directions to McCarter & English, click here. 


Panelist and Moderator Biographies:

Brett Topche - Managing Director, MentorTech Ventures

Brett joined MentorTech, a seed- and early-stage venture capital firm investing in the University of Pennsylvania ecosystem, in 2007 and has more than a decade of venture capital and private equity experience.  He has spent much of his career primarily focusing on investments in ecommerce, digital media, mobile applications, marketing technologies and B2B software.  He represents MentorTech on the Board of Directors of PayPerks and served on the Board of Wanderfly prior to its acquisition.  He also serves as a Board Observer at Curalate, Cloudmine, Quad Learning,, Soft Tissue Regeneration and TicketLeap and as a member of the Investor Advisory Board of SnipSnap.


 David Teten – Partner, ff Venture Capital

In the past, David has advised Goldman Sachs Special Situations Group, Icahn Enterprises, LLR Partners ($1.4B fund), and Birch Hill Equity Partners (C$2B fund). He is also Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York, the second largest angel network in New York. Previously, David was the Founder and Chairman of Navon Partners, a data and analytics company focused on analyzing private companies for investment; Acting CEO of Vertical Key (, a web-based software service for managing large-scale events; Managing Director with Evalueserve, a 2,500-person global research and analytics company; and Founder and CEO of Circle of Experts, an investment research firm acquired by Evalueserve. David was formerly Founder and CEO of GoldNames, an Israel-based investment bank focusing on the internet domain name asset class. He worked with Bear Stearns' Investment Banking division in their technology/defense mergers and acquisitions team, and was a strategy consultant with Mars & Co. David holds a Master of Business Administration honors degree from the Harvard Business School. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts honors degree from Yale. While still in college, he built a technology consulting firm with 35 clients.


Tom Wisniewski, RosePaul Ventures

Tom co-manages RosePaul Investments, a family office and RosePaul Ventures its proprietary venture fund.  Tom is leading efforts to launch Newark Venture Partners, a $50M venture fund located in downtown Newark, NJ. He is an active early stage investor and advisor to start-ups and funds. He is a member of the board of directors for New York Angels, an early stage investment group, and serves as a board member and advisor to a number of early stage ventures. Tom is a frequent speaker at tech start-up events, and teaches regularly at General Assembly in NYC. 


 Craig Kanarick, Chief Executive Officer of Mouth

Mouth is the leading online indie food marketplace.  For the past 20 years, Craig has cooked up things in roles including prep cook intern at Babbo but he is best known as Co-Founder and Chief Strategic Officer of Razorfish, which, when founded in 1995, was one of the first web development agencies of its kind, and pioneered Razorfish's media and entertainment division, where he helped create books, films, TV shows, albums and websites. He then co-founded Studio Red at Rockwell Group and served as digital strategy advisor to firms like Samsung, Blockbuster, Apple and He lives close to the Union Square Greenmarket in NYC with his wife, son and daughter. Craig's mother's water broke while watching Julia Child on television.


Kathleen Coviello – Director, Technology & Life Sciences Division (TLS) of the NJ Economic Development Agency (EDA)

Kathleen, along with her team, are responsible for working closely with early stage technology and life science companies and investors in the state and delivering various Edison Innovation Fund products to this community. Prior to joining the EDA, Kathleen spent over seventeen years in the banking industry, with the last eight focused exclusively on the NJ Technology Venture Lending Market. Her venture lending experience includes employment at Silicon Valley Bank, Comerica Bank and Progress’s Techbanc. Coviello is active in the NJ entrepreneurial technology community and sits on the advisory and/or valuation boards of Edison Venture Fund, The Garden State Life Sciences Fund, and NJTC Venture Fund.

Map & Directions

McCarter & English, Newark, NJ 07102

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