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Deal Team

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Alain Hanover

Founding Managing Partner

Alain has over 30 years of experience as a venture capitalist, angel investor, CEO, serial entrepreneur, Board Member, and mentor/advisor. Among the highlights of his extensive career, he was Co-founder of Common Angels, New England’s leading investment group; Managing Director and CEO of Navigator Technology Ventures (NTV), a high-tech VC firm funded by Draper Lab; and CEO of Viewlogic, a startup delivering innovative chip design software. In an advisory role, Alain has mentored over 100 MIT high-tech, early stage spinoff companies and served on the MassTech Board through the terms of six governors. He has been honored as Inc Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year and saw NTV named as one of Entrepreneur Magazine's top 100 VC firms during his tenure as CEO.

Alain has BSEE and BS Math degrees from MIT, an SM Computer Science from Harvard, and an OPM degree from the Harvard Business School.

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Cainon Coates

Vice President

Cainon has a background in finance and entrepreneurship, having worked at Boston Consulting Group, Goldman Sachs, and PBM Capital Group. At BCG, he conducted due diligence across the semiconductor, transportation, and medical device industries. He also worked with the World Economic Forum to publish a report on the Future of Work, Education, and Gender. At PBM (a $500M healthcare-focused venture capital firm), he led the due diligence process and worked as an operating partner within portfolio companies (including Human Design Medical, Revive Pharmaceuticals, and Triangle Research Labs). He is also an active angel investor in a number of MIT start-ups.

Cainon is the co-founder of UbicaBus and was previously the founder and CEO of University Laundry (acquired by Proctor & Gamble). He has an MBA from MIT's Sloan School of Management, and a BS from the University of Virginia in Systems and Information Engineering.

Investment Committee

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Henry Ancona

Henry is an experienced business leader, angel investor, consultant and Board Member to multiple private and public companies, with operational experience at industry-leading technology companies out of MIT. Henry is currently a venture partner at Converge Venture Partners. Prior to being a consultant/advisor and angel investor, he served as President and COO of Pegasystems. Before that, he was President, CEO, and Chairman of Evidian. Previously, he was Executive Vice President at Polaroid, and led its Digital Imaging and Commercial Imaging businesses. Before that, Henry held a variety of management positions at Digital Equipment (DEC) for many years, including leading the company's office applications software business, which he built from startup to number one in market share.

Henry serves as Chairman at Signiant and a Director at Verne Global, BlueConic, EZPrints, and QUMAS. He previously served on the Boards of multiple electronics and information technology companies.

Henry received BS and MS degrees in EECS from MIT and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Zeid Barakat

Zeid is an entrepreneur in high-tech companies, focused on novel approaches to biotech, healthcare, and financial services. He is currently Director at Scimitar, driving cutting-edge initiatives for life-science firms in healthcare, new product launches, big data adoption, M&A, portfolio optimization, and clinical operations enhancement.

Previously, Zeid was Co-founder and COO of Flyberry Capital, a rapidly expanding hedge fund that deployed advances in big data to trade on news and surprise events. Among other duties, he was in charge of fund formation, fundraising, corporate financing, and business development. He also served as a Senior Manager with PwC, acting as a director-level consultant with PRTM before and after PwC’s acquisition; and as an early Co-founder of Aura Biosciences, a successful drug delivery company focusing on orphan indications.

Zeid received a BA in biochemistry from Bowdoin College, an MA in biotechnology from Harvard, and his MBA from MIT.

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Kirstan Barnett

Kirstan Barnett is the Managing Partner of KBB Capital LLC, which invests in private companies across sectors and at various stages, including biotechnology, medical devices, saas, consumer tech and fintech. She is an active angel investor in Boston-area startups.

Kirstan has 20+ years of management, M&A, financing, regulatory, strategic, operating and Board experience. She was a partner at Bracebridge Capital, one of the world's leading investment advisory firms with over $10B in AUM, for over 10 years. As a member of the senior management team of a company in high-growth mode, she played key strategic roles with respect to risk, operations and management, and directed all legal and regulatory affairs.

Kirstan also founded and is Chairman of the Board of SheGives, which applies a collective angel investing model to philanthropy. Together with a cohort of 100 of Boston's most powerful women in healthcare, biotech, finance, venture capital, and tech, in its first three years SheGives made grants of over $720k to a diligenced, curated portfolio of high-impact nonprofits in Greater Boston.

Before that, Kirstan ran financing and M&A deals at Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, primarily for technology entrepreneurs, VCs, and leading investment banks. Earlier she was a corporate finance associate at Willkie, Farr & Gallagher in New York.

Kirstan has a BA from the University of New Hampshire, a JD from Georgetown University, and an MBA from MIT.

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Cyrus Beagley

Cyrus is an experienced executive in publishing, advertising, and digital media. In his current position at Google, he is Director of Strategy and Operations, for Global Partnerships, the business development division for publisher monetization solutions and product partnerships.

Before joining Google, Cyrus was Senior VP and General Manager of Time Inc.'s Advertising Sales & Marketing Services divisions. He joined Time Inc. from McKinsey & Company where he was an Associate Partner in the Media & Entertainment and Marketing & Sales practices.

Cyrus holds an MBA from MIT and received his Master’s degree in Economics and Finance(summa cum laude) from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po).

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Joe Caruso

Joe is a prolific investor, advocate for entrepreneurs, and Board Member. For over 20 years, through the Bantam Group (his consulting/investing entity), he has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs from MIT, other schools, and various startups realize their goals and grow their companies. Joe is currently a director of Boston Micromachines Corp, Cambrian Innovation, and Allyke, and is on the President’s Council at Olin College of Engineering. He is also the Founder of BREW, Boston Region Entrepreneur Week. In addition, he is a Catalyst for MIT’s Deshpande Center, and is well connected in the MIT ecosystem.

Early in his career, Joe worked at Teradyne and Autex, both legendary MIT spinoff companies. He then was CEO at Cyborg Corporation, a venture-funded company that was a pioneer in the use of PCs in laboratory and factory automation.

Joe holds a BSEE with honors from Northeastern University, an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and has also attended Suffolk Law School. We have dubbed him an unofficial MIT alum and admitted Joe to the fund as a Castor Ventures honoree.

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Carlos Cashman

Carlos Cashman is an experienced entrepreneur and manager in advertising, marketing, and high tech, as well as a nine-time company founder. He is currently CEO and Managing Partner of Internet marketing sister companies ConstellationCK (web traffic optimizers) and OrionCKB Marketing (focusing creative storytelling with hardcore data analytics).

Over the past twenty years, Carlos has worked with a number of successful startups as an executive, founder, investor, and adviser in the US and abroad. He is an active angel investor and serves on the Board of Directors of SecretBuilders.com, an immersive online educational world for children; as well as Asset Performance Technologies, an advanced data and analytics provider for heavy industrial equipment he co-founded. He also co-founded CourseAdvisor, a leading Search Engine Marketing firm in the post-secondary education industry, which was sold two years later to the Washington Post. The first company Carlos founded, Opus360, went public and was sold to Artemis International.

Carlos has a BS in Computer Science and Information Systems degree from MIT.

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William Chuang

William is the Lead Programmer and Systems Architect at Tower Research Capital. He specializes in high-volume automated-trading systems, simulation design, risk management systems, hedge funds, and client-server architecture. Previously, he was an Athena Consultant at MIT, Staff Consultant and Programmer at Polytronics, and Consultant at Bose.

William holds a BS EECS and Biology and MS EECS from MIT. 

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Michael Collins

Mike presently serves as CEO of Alumni Ventures Group and as the Fund Manager of Green D Ventures (Dartmouth alumni fund). Over the past 30 years, he has been involved in almost every facet of venturing, from angel investing to venture capital, new business and product launches, and innovation consulting. He is a serial entrepreneur who has started multiple companies, including Kid Galaxy, Big Idea Group (partially owned by WPP), and RDM. Mike started his career at TA Associates, a Boston venture capital firm, where he served from 1986-90.

He holds an undergraduate degree in Engineering Science from Dartmouth College and is a 1992 graduate of Harvard Business School.

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Arthur Fox

Arthur is a nationally recognized authority on royalty-based venture finance, with a strong tech background, as well as a mentor and adviser to many new and emerging companies. He co-founded Royalty Capital Fund and Royalty Capital Fund LP I, the first successful venture capital funds to employ his royalty-based investment methodology. His RBF methodology has been developed and refined over a number of years and licensed to enable the formation of other royalty funds. His first licensee is Cypress Growth Capital, where he serves as a Special Partner and Senior Adviser.

Arthur has been a principal and co-founder of three technology companies: Octek, Lexidata, and Medicel. Octek’s and Lexidata's investors received a substantial return on their investment when Octek was acquired by a Fortune 500 company and Lexidata conducted a successful IPO. Earlier in his career, he held design engineering positions with the Hewlett Packard and Westinghouse.

Arthur holds an MS EE degree from MIT and a BSEE degree from the University of Maryland.

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Karl Gemperli

Karl Gemperli is an experienced public company CEO, Board Member, strategic advisor, and venture investor, with over two decades of experience driving revenue growth and business development for tech-driven organizations. He is currently Managing Director of Leawood Capital, a private alternative investment firm focused on providing strategic growth advisory services and capital solutions to growth-stage and middle-market clients. 

Prior to that, he was founder and CEO of Elecsys, a leading provider of machine-to-machine communication technology and cloud-based data management solutions for industrial applications that was acquired by Lindsay in 2015.  Earlier, Karl served as President of DCI, a provider of custom electronic display systems, VP of Operations at Airport Systems International, and Director of Manufacturing at Goodrich Aerospace.

Karl has a BS Aerospace from MIT and a Masters of Engineering from Boston University.

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Daniel Grunberg

Dan has been an active info tech and services executive, investor, entrepreneur, and consultant for many years, helping solve hard problems and creating innovative companies and products. He has founded several companies from software to insurance, materials science, and accounting. Currently he is a Principal at Apollo Partners, specializing in health insurance services.

Previously Dan was Co-founder and CSO of Immedia Semiconductor, where he developed the Blink camera (runs a year on 2 AA batteries) and served as President of Chainwave Systems (tech consulting services). He was also Chairman of Uniform Metal Powders (MIT licensee), the Embedded Systems Manager at Pixel Magic (where he integrated custom ASICs into board level image processing products), and VP Technology & Director at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service (which he transformed into a major competitor in electronic tax prep). He has been a long-time Member and served as Director of CommonAngels.

Dan received his BS, MS, and PhD EECS from MIT.

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Jeffrey Hotchkiss

During his 40-year career in technology-based firms, Jeff held numerous executive positions at Teradyne and Teradyne spinoffs. Most recently, he served as the President of Systems Test Group, a $300M group of businesses supplying automated test systems to the semiconductor and electronic systems manufacturing business. Prior positions included President of the Automotive and Defense/Aerospace Divisions of Teradyne, as well as CFO of the parent company.

Jeff was also the founder and CEO of Empirix, a venture-backed firm providing software test and monitoring systems for Internet -based applications. He has been a director of numerous startups including Goldwire Technology, Hammer Technology, RSW Software, and Midnight Networks. He currently serves on the board of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota Florida, and the Florida Studio Theatre. In addition, he is on the Board of Overseers and the Research Oversight Committee at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Jeff has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University and an MS from MIT Sloan School of Management.

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Kathleen Huber

Kathleen is a distinguished entrepreneur, startup founder and advisor, philanthropist, and computer networking specialist. She is an active mentor and instructor with MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service (VMS), as well as a mentor with the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund Program and Graduate Women at MIT (GWAMIT). She is also co-Chair of the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) of Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, supporting Lahey through education programming, philanthropy, and outreach. Recently, she served as President of First Founders, a nonprofit helping to build young businesses emerging from academic and institutional research programs; and as Chair of the Hestia Fund, a women’s philanthropic group supporting strategic education and extended learning time efforts.

Professionally, Kathleen was co-founder and CEO of Pico Innovation (now Tiga Energy Services), an energy utilities network services startup that leveraged Smart Grid and Smart Home technologies by providing a secure information exchange to energy management. She was also founder and CEO of Silver Beech Networks, focused on efficient transport of content services over high-speed data networks. Prior to that, Kathleen was Co-founder and VP of Business Development for Iron Bridge Networks, a carrier-class terabit router company, where she helped raise over $130M in venture funding.

Kathleen holds a BS EECS from MIT.

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Kerry James

Kerry is the Head of Institutional Distribution of Boston Partners Global Investors, where she oversees institutional sales, consultant relations, relationship management, and marketing services. Prior to that, she was the Head of International Business Development and a Product Specialist for Boston Partners (Europe). She has over eighteen years of industry experience working in equity trading at Goldman Sachs, business development at Wellington Management, and sales and equity analysis at Morgan Stanley. She currently serves on the MIT Sloan Alumni Board and the board of uAspire Massachusetts.

Kerry has a BS in Managerment from MIT and an MBS from MIT Sloan School of Management.

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Tom "TK" Kuegler

TK is Chairman of Alumni Ventures Group and a longtime entrepreneur. Besides serving as Chairman of AVG, he is Chief Investment Officer, assisting in the launch of new funds, recruitment of deal teams, and oversight of portfolio managements. He is also the Co-founder and General Partner of Wasabi Ventures, a venture capital, incubator, and consulting firm that specializes in building and advising early stage technology companies. In the last ten years, Wasabi Ventures has built, financed, and advised over 200 startups, including Right Now Technologies, PBworks, Ustream, and Etherpad.

Previously, TK was the co-founder of two successful Internet startups, SNT and SpinBox. He is also the author of Web Advertising and Marketing and dozens of articles about the Internet, as well as a frequent lecturer. Since 2010, he has served on the Board of Sponsors of Sellinger School of Business at Loyola University Maryland. TK earned a BS in Economics from Loyola.  

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Shiou Lin Sam

Shiou Lin is a Managing Director at Golden Seeds, an early stage investment firm focusing on women entrepreneurs. Prior to that, she was the Director of Research at ClearStream Investments, where she designed systematic trading strategies for equities and futures contracts. Shiou Lin also worked at Moody’s Investors Service, where she focused on research for models used in analyzing collateral debt obligations, catastrophe bonds, and other structured finance products.

Shiou Lin holds a PHD EECS from MIT.

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Shawna Slack

Shawna is the founder and CEO at Genesis Advisers, a global leadership development consultancy specializing in leadership assessment, workshops, coaching, and custom leadership development solutions. Previously, Shawna was a principal at YankeeTek Ventures, where she focused on Internet hardware, software, and material science investments. Before that, she worked in sales and marketing in both the software and financial services industries. She is also the President of the Boston Chapter Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

Shawna received an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management and a BA from NYU.

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Mitch Tyson

Mitch Tyson is an experienced high-tech CEO, entrepreneur, and mentor. He is Principal at Tyson Associates; serves on a multiple corporate, industry, academic, government, and non-profit boards; and mentors startups through several accelerator programs.

Mitch currently serves on the Board of multiple public, private, and VC-backed companies, including Photronics and Big Belly Solar. He is also an angel investor and advisor to incubators and accelerators, including Chair of the Venture Café Foundation and Board member of Greentown Labs, the Acadia Center, and the New England Israel Business Council. Mitch also serves on the Board and Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and Innovation Institute and was the co-chair of the Mass. Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative. He is also a Partner in the Clean Energy Venture Group, as well as Co-founder and Chair of the Northeast Clean Energy Council. In addition, Mitch is an adjunct professor at the International Business School at Brandeis. 

Mitch was previously CEO of PRI Automation, a $300M publicly traded semiconductor automation company; and CEO of Advanced Electron Beams, a VC-backed industrial clean energy company. Earlier he was science advisor and legislative assistant for energy policy to US Senator Paul Tsongas.

Mitch is a graduate of MIT with a BS in Physics, MS in Nuclear Engineering, and an MS in Political Science.

Venture Fellow Program

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Akash Agarwal

Akash (MIT '16) began working with Castor Ventures in April of 2017, and currently works in the energy and supply chain industry as a consultant with a Boston-based energy consultancy. Previously, he has performed non-invasive flow rate monitoring, data analytics, and vehicular-pedestrian impact simulations. Akash holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Product Design from MIT.

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Austin Hays

Austin works for the Strategic Innovation Group at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he helps streamline internal operations and improve infrastructure security in commercial and government sectors. Previously, he worked for a mobile payment startup in an accelerator at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and was involved in research at MIT, helping build machine learning software in the Laboratory for Information and Decision Sciences. Austin holds a BS in Mathematics with Computer Science from MIT.

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Esha Sahai

Esha has over 10 years of experience in the high tech industry. She works in Corp. Development, Strategy, and Business Development at Microsoft focusing on inorganic growth spanning acquisitions, investments, and partnerships. Her previous experience includes stints at Oracle Corp., edX, big data & IoT startups, and startup accelerators. Esha holds a graduate degree in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduate and undergraduate degrees in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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Sharanya Srinivasan

Sharanya works at Biogen, developing the translational capabilities of genome editing platforms to treat rare neuromuscular diseases. Previously, she was a researcher at Harvard Medical School & MIT CSAIL, working on technologies for applications in genomics and transcriptomics, and co-authored 4 papers with her team. At MIT, she built drug delivery systems in the Department of Chemical Engineering and interned at multiple startups. She holds a Master’s degree in Biotechnology through Harvard Extension School, and a BS in Biology from MIT.

Fellows Emeritus

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Yiqun Bai

Yiqun has over 10 years of experience in research, technology evaluation and strategy development for the chemicals and life sciences industries.  Most recently, Yiqun managed growth strategy and due diligence projects at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. Prior to management consulting, Yiqun received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, where she was a NSF graduate research fellow. Yiqun earned her BS in Chemical-Biological Engineering from MIT with a minor in Biomedical Engineering.

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Shang Chou

Shang has a background in private equity, investment banking, fixed income, and hedge funds. Previously, Shang was on the Healthcare deal team at Pritzker Group Private Capital where he evaluated acquisitions of middle market healthcare companies. Prior, he was a member of the Investment Banking Department at Credit Suisse as well as the Institutional Corporate Practice at PIMCO. He began his career with Firefly Value Partners, a hedge fund in Midtown Manhattan. Shang earned a BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

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Rowland Graus

Rowland currently works as a lead product manager for Madaket Health, a healthcare technology startup based in Cambridge, MA. Rowland was previously an Associate at Dean & Company Strategy Consultants, leading business due diligence teams for private equity clients, and a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton focused on DoD IT projects. Rowland holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management where he specialized in technological entrepreneurship, and a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia.