The Power of Angel Investing

July 11, 2013

Frank Ball
New Dominion Angels

Frank Ball is co-founder of New Dominion Angels (NDA), a 65 member angel group that invests in early-stage Mid-Atlantic companies. In addition to his investment activities through NDA, Frank has co-founded four businesses and was a member of the management team that took a local start-up business through an IPO in 2007. He holds degrees from Davidson College and George Washington University and is an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University's Institute for Transformational Leadership. He currently serves on the boards of the American Public University System, Mom Made Foods and Analytic Advantage Inc.

Lawrence R. Bard
Morrison & Foerster LLP

Lawrence Bard's practice is focused on corporate finance and securities law matters, including public and private offerings, venture capital transactions and other financing transactions. He advises companies on issues of corporate governance, business planning, securities law compliance, executive compensation, commercial contracts and joint ventures. Bard has completed many initial public offerings for companies in the mid-Atlantic region. He also has experience in private equity and public/public mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

Bard is a frequent speaker and writer on corporate and securities law, and is recommended as a leading M&A lawyer by Legal 500. He is a former clerk for the Delaware Court of the Chancery and the Delaware Supreme Court. Bard is also a certified public accountant.

Jim Chung
Director, Office of Entrepreneurship
George Washington University

Jim Chung is the director of the Office of Entrepreneurship, where he is responsible for entrepreneurship programs and technology transfer. As the director of the Mtech VentureAccelerator at the University of Maryland before joining the George Washington University, Chung worked with faculty and students to launch startup companies based on University of Maryland technology. Prior to that, he served as the director of new business development at the Corporate Executive Board and helped establish the company's mergers and acquisitions capabilities. He also served as vice president at Cherington Capital (now Intervale Capital), a middle-market private equity firm. He started his private sector career as an early-stage venture capital investor, most recently at incTANK Ventures, where he was the managing director. Before becoming an investor, Chung was an academic researcher studying how business, government, and academia work together to create new innovations in high technology industries. He was a research fellow at MIT (Security Studies Program), Harvard (Center for Science and International Affairs), the University of Tokyo (Fulbright Fellow), and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (NSF Fellow). He received his bachelor and masters degrees from Stanford University and was a Ph.D. candidate at MIT.

John Domenick
Ernst and Young LLP

John Domenick has more than 14 years of experience providing professional services to public, private and emerging growth global organizations. Domenick is a tax account leader in the business tax advisory group in the McLean office of Ernst and Young. He is the main point of contact for global and domestic clients and assists with a variety of tax planning opportunities to minimalize the overall effective tax rate and tax risk. Domenick has assisted clients on developing internal controls over the income tax provision process. In addition, Domenick provides quarterly income tax provision preparation services. Domenick is a graduate from Clarion University with a Bachelor of Science in accounting and Robert Morris University with a Master of Science in taxation. Domenick is a Certified Public Accountant.

Jim Gatto
Pillsbury LLC

Jim Gatto created and is the leader of the Pillsbury's social media and games team, leader of the virtual worlds and video games team and the open source team. He leverages his unique combination of more than 25 years of IP experience, business insights and attention to technology trends to help companies develop IP and other legal strategies that are aligned with their business objectives. His practice focuses on all aspects of intellectual property, internet and technology law, including patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and open source.

Gatto advises clients of all sizes (start-ups to Fortune 100 companies) on key legal and business issues relating to the use of social media, video games, social games and online gambling (gamblification), virtual currency, virtual goods, social networks, virtual worlds, mirror worlds, augmented reality, user-generated content, location-based services and gamification. His areas of technical focus include: computer software, Internet and e-commerce technology, media, financial services, business methods, bioinformatics, personalized medicine, optics, and wired and wireless telecommunications.

He has extensive experience advising internet and social media companies on business and legal strategies relating to virtual goods and virtual currency, handling terms of service and end-user license agreements, (e.g. for online games, video games, virtual worlds and mirror worlds), developing DMCA policies, handling DMCA enforcement, privacy and COPPA policies and much more.

Gatto has been in the intellectual property field since 1984, when he started as a patent examiner while attending Georgetown University Law School at night. Prior to joining the firm, Gatto headed the local IP practice for Mintz Levin's Reston and Washington, D.C. offices, and was co-chair of the firm-wide IP Section. Prior to that, he co-founded and co-headed the National Patent Practice and Northern Virginia Technology Practice for Hunton & Williams, the then largest Virginia-based law firm.

Paul Giordano
President, Pinellas Corporation
Member, New Dominion Angels

In 1992, Paul Giordano founded Pinellas Corporation, which operates computer training businesses in Washington, D.C. and McLean and Richmond, Virginia. Previously, he sold large scientific computers at the most successful high-performance computer startup of the 1980s. He has evaluated more than 150 angel investment opportunities as a member of New Dominion Angels, Active Angel Investors, and Dingman Center Angels, and has invested in a number of early-stage ventures. Giordano is a former adjunct professor at the University of Maryland. He earned a B.S. degree from the University of Florida and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Carter Griffin
General Partner
Updata Ventures

Carter Griffin joined Updata in 2005 and is a general partner. Prior to Updata, Griffin co-founded Brivo Systems in 1999 and served as Chairman and CEO until selling the company to a strategic acquirer. Brivo Systems pioneered the software as a service model in the physical security market by introducing the first-ever on-demand system for facility access control. Griffin also spent 4 years as a senior vice president at Kaiser Associates, where he advised Fortune 500 clients on competitive positioning and new-market entry strategies. Earlier in his career, Griffin worked in London for the Coca-Cola Company and held positions at American Management Systems and Arthur Andersen.

Griffin has twice served as co-chair of the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association Capital Connection. He holds a B.S. in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA in finance and marketing from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Sean Mallon
Senior Investment Director

Sean Mallon joined CIT in 2011 as senior investment director for the CIT GAP Funds. In this role, he leads deal sourcing and due diligence efforts for early-stage companies committed to rapid growth and the development of innovative products and services. He also serves as CIT's representative on the boards of several portfolio companies.

Mallon has more than 17 years of investment and startup experience, including senior marketing, business development and operational roles in public and venture-backed companies. From 1999 to 2003, Mallon was a principal at Mid-Atlantic Venture Funds (MAVF), an early-stage venture capital firm focused on the telecommunications and IT industries.

Mallon holds a B.A. degree from Princeton University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

John May
Managing Partner
New Vantage Group (Program Facilitator)

John May is the managing partner of the New Vantage Group (NVG), which has organized five angel investing organizations in the Washington, D.C. area since 1999, placing funds into more than 60 companies. May is a venture capitalist and angel investor who specializes in angel group formation - empowering high net worth individuals to become active early-stage private company investors.

He has co-authored Every Business Needs an Angel: Getting the Money You Need to Make Your Business Grow (Crown Business, 2001) with Cal Simmons and co-edited State of the Art: An Executive Briefing on Cutting-Edge Practices in American Angel Investing (Darden Business Publishing, 2003). He has given lectures or consulting assignments in more than 20 countries.

May's focus is on early-stage investments in the Mid-Atlantic markets of the U.S. He began his work in angel investing in 1992 when he co-founded the Investors Circle, a network of more than 150 investors who use private capital to fund businesses that address social and environmental issues. May co-founded The Dinner Club, eMedia Club and Washington Dinner Club, all structured angel investment groups who collectively invested regional early-stage ventures. In 2003, May started the Active Angel Investors network. In 2006, he became the chair and board member of the newly formed Angel Capital Association and co-chairman of the World Business Angel Association in 2007.

May is a lead instructor for the Power of Angel Investing seminar series supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, produced by the Angel Resource Institute, where he is the vice chair, international. He is a Batten Fellow at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia and a managing director of Seraphim Capital, a U.K. venture fund of U.K. and U.S. angel investors.

May enjoys finding new and innovative ways to mobilize capital for early, entrepreneurial ventures and is exploring further international connections as well. He believes "an angel, is an angel, is an angel".

Dan Mindus
NextGen Angels

Dan Mindus is investment director at CIT GAP Funds, where he manages initial company screening, due diligence and deal structuring. Mindus serves at the board level on 14 CIT GAP Funds portfolio companies. Mindus is also the founder of NextGen Angels, an angel club for DC area investors who are 40 and younger. Prior to joining CIT GAP Funds, Mindus was vice president at the New Vantage Group, which manages angel investing clubs. Mindus has done stints at two consumer Internet startups, and in public policy, where his work was featured in The New York Times, The Financial Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The BBC, Good Morning America, CNBC, and many other media outlets. He started his career at the Gerson Lehrman Group, an investment research firm in New York City. Mindus holds a B.A. degree from Yale and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Bryan Rakes

Bryan Rakes assists clients with structuring and closing complex mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity and venture capital investments, and financing transactions. Rakes represents private equity investors, senior and subordinated lenders, and emerging growth companies resulting in a well-developed sense of the business goals and expectations of all of the parties in these transactions. Rakes was recognized by Legal 500 as a leading middle market M&A attorney in its 2012 rankings and as a Rising Star by Maryland Super Lawyers in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He has also been recognized by SmartCEO as a member of its Legal Elite. Rakes has a faculty appointment in the entrepreneurship and management program at The Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Maryland Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth, and Civic Works, a Baltimore non-profit organization, and is the vice president of the Board of Directors of Everyman Theatre.

Liz Sara
Managing Director
Best Marketing; Member, New Dominion Angels

Liz Sara has more than 25 years of experience in the local high tech community as an entrepreneur, business leader, angel investor and arts supporter. In 2001, she founded Best Marketing LLC to provide early-stage software companies with strategic marketing, PR and business development services. Her company offers all the benefits of a full-scale, seasoned marketing department on a virtual basis - eliminating overhead and bringing a business executive's perspective to solving the challenges of growing a start-up.

Since inception, she has served as acting CMO for nearly 75 companies, assisting startups in re-positioning their message, re-focusing their business model and target audience, planning and introducing new software products, forging alliances with global tech firms, developing lead generation campaigns, gaining media visibility and industry analyst coverage, winning awards, acquiring companies, raising capital and increasing revenue and market adoption.

Previously, she played a principal role as co-founder of SpaceWorks, an eCommerce software company, where she facilitated its startup and growth to nearly $25 million in revenue; at America Online, where she designed the PR program and investor road show for the IPO; at United Press International, where she facilitated a turn-around strategy; and for LEXIS/NEXIS, where she was instrumental in the creation and successful launch of a new division.

She was a former adjunct professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. She serves on the board of advisors at the Dingman Center of Entrepreneurship and is an Entrepreneur-In-Residence there. She serves as a mentor at The Fort in DC and with the Founders Institute.

Liz holds an M.A. in journalism from the University of Maryland. She is a frequent speaker and author on topics related to e-business, marketing and angel investing. She holds advisory board positions in several technology companies. She invests in startups as a member of the New Dominion Angel Investor Group.

She supports numerous Washington, D.C. museums, charities and performing arts organizations. She has served on the boards of the Summer Opera, the Sewall Belmont House & Museum, the Business & Professional Women's Committee of the Corcoran, the Women's Committee of National Museum of Women In the Arts and is currently on the Executive Board of the Capital City Ball and VP of the Opera Camerata of Washington.