NYC Alumni Chapter: Learn How Expert Entrepreneurs Fund Their Ventures

Date: 9/25/2017
Time: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Darden Alumni,

The Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Darden New York Alumni Chapter invite you to join them for a panel discussion regarding different ways to source funding for startups.

When people talk about startup funding, the conversation often centers on venture capital (VC). The reality is that startups need to do a lot of work before a VC firm would consider investing, and most successful startups never receive venture capital. The expert panel will discuss what comes first — revenue, friends and family, angel investors, crowd funding campaigns and loans — and if, and when, it makes sense for a startup to seek venture capital.

Space is limited. Please register by 18 September.
$20 for Darden Alumni. $25 for Guests.
Registration fee includes wine, beer, soft drinks and hors d'oeuvres.


David Touve is the director of the i.Lab at the University of Virginia where he supports its people, programs and resources while working to develop new initiatives, connections and opportunities. He previously held founding, executive and advisory roles in a series of both bootstrapped and venture-backed startups. Touve's work has been published and presented in academic, professional and policy venues, as well as cited by a variety of media (e.g., Financial Times, BBC, Congressional Quarterly, Billboard, WIRED). He earned a Ph.D. in management from Vanderbilt University, an MBA from AGSM and a B.A. in economics from Northwestern University.


Asmau Ahmed (ENGR '00) is currently the CEO and engineer of Plum Perfect, a venture-funded technology startup embraced by top retailers, major brands and consumers in more than 150 countries. Plum Perfect is a technology that analyzes the color of skin, hair, eyes and lips from facial photos that consumers upload to find complementary makeup colors and products for their complexion. Prior to Plum Perfect, Ahmed led post-M&A integration projects and structured joint ventures, primarily in the financial services industry. In 2016, Ahmed was listed as one of five "Top Women in Digital" entrepreneurs by Cynopsis Media and one of seven "Business and Tech Professionals Who Are Changing the Game" by Huffington Post.

Teddy Jones (MBA '12) is a co-founder of 501 Auctions, which helps fund the growth of nonprofits nationwide with an easy-to-use mobile bidding suite and event management platform. 501 Auctions employs a staff of more than 80 full time employees and works with over 1,500 non-profits annually. In serving a wide range of different causes, 501's offering combines its cloud-based fundraising suite with outstanding customer service. Jones has a background in software product management and customer service. He received a B.A. from Harvard and has an MBA from Darden.

Harald Kruse (MBA '07) is an online and mobile travel entrepreneur, with expertise in building and growing digital businesses. He is currently the managing director and partner at Brand New Matter, a strategic advisory and venture capital firm based in New York City, and CEO of Buster. Buster is a booking platform where customers can discover, compare and book private group transportation. Kruse also has experience working in startups, established companies, agencies and management consulting.

Monica Gray Logothetis (Col '08, Batten '09) is the co-founder and CEO of DreamWakers, a national education technology nonprofit that harnesses free video chat technology to connect classroom learning to real-world careers. Under her leadership, DreamWakers has expanded to 30 states in two years, and now serves thousands of students in low-income communities. Her work has been recognized in
The New York Times, The Washington Post and Forbes. Logothetis received a B.A. and an MPP with a focus in education policy from UVA.

Philippe Sommer is the founder of CvilleTrep LLC, his family office focused on angel investing, teaching entrepreneurship and advising startups. Prior to this, Philippe was director of the i.Lab and i.Lab Incubator at UVA, directing the student-facing entrepreneurship programs of the Batten Institute. Prior to joining Darden in 2005, Sommer was a founding partner of WestMed Venture Funds, publicly registered life-sciences venture-capital funds affiliated with CIBC/Oppenheimer Inc. He has also served as director of business development (M&A) in the Medical Products Group of Pfizer Inc. Sommer is a tireless champion for UVA-wide entrepreneurial initiatives, including those which extend to the broader Charlottesville community.


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Jen Oliver