The Fifth Annual Pace Pitch Contest
Steve Brotman, Chief Managing Director & Co-Chairman of the Investment Committee,
Greenhill & Co.
Matthew Commons, Chief Financial Officer, FloDesign Wind Turbine Corp.
William Potter, Chairman, Meredith Financial Group
David S. Rose, Chairman, New York Angels
Lori S. Smith, Partner, Goodwin Procter LLP
Steve Brotman is a Managing Director of Greenhill & Co, and co-founder and co-head of Greenhill SAVP. Prior to founding SAVP in 1998, Steve was the founder, CEO and Chairman of AdOne Classified Network, one of the nation's leading classified ad web sites which merged with Powerdz to become PowerOne Media.
While at SAVP, Steve was a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2000 and was named in Crain's 2001 Tech 100. While at AdOne, Steve, in 1997, was selected for Crain's Top 25 Players Shaping Silicon Alley and the 1995 Top 40 under 40 among New York businessmen.
Steve currently serves on the boards of ReachForce, Managed Systems, Critical Mention, Cosential, Game Trust (Observer), and Knovel (Observer) and has previously served on the boards of Medidata (Observer), DataSynapse (Observer), 7thOnline and Bla-bla (acquired by UGO in 2001). In addition, Steve has served on the board of the MIT Enterprise Forum and as a mentor and judge for the Columbia Business School Lang and Greenhouse Funds.
Steve received his undergraduate degree in Economics from Duke University and a joint JD/MBA degree with honors from Washington University.
Matthew has worked with renewable technologies since 2001 in positions at Enron, American Electric Power, LS Power Equity Advisors and The NorthBridge Group. His experience includes development, financing, and power sales agreements for over 500 MW of wind resources. Matthew earned BS and BA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School), and an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School.
At FloDesign, he is responsible for financial management, business development and strategic planning. FloDesign designs, manufactures and sells high efficiency utility-scale shrouded wind turbines.
Matthew was on the winning team of the 2008 MIT Clean Energy Entrepreneurship Prize ($200K prize) and the 2008 MIT Ignite Clean Energy Competition ($100K prize).
Mr. Potter is an investment/merchant banker with more than 30 years of experience. He has managed closed-end funds in the United States and Canada and served on the boards of more than 20 United States domiciled public companies, as well as numerous foreign-based companies. Mr. Potter has been the Chairman of Meredith Financial Group since April 2004 and served as the President of Ridgewood Group International Ltd. from June 1996 to March 2004. His current directorships include the National Foreign Trade Council, the nation's oldest lobbying organization; Aberdeen Asset Management Limited; and Alexandria Bancorp, a banking subsidiary of Canadian money manager Guardian Capital Group. Mr. Potter is also a director of the following other U.S. reporting companies: Aberdeen Asia Pacific Income Fund Inc. (1986 to present); Aberdeen Australia Equity Fund Inc. (1985 to present); and Aberdeen Global Fund Inc. (1991 to present). Mr. Potter received an AB degree from Colgate University and a MBA degree from Harvard University.
David S. Rose is an entrepreneurial executive and investor with extensive experience in high technology and communications, angel investments, finance and government. He was named by Inc. magazine to the 1998 Inc 500 list as CEO of one of the fastest growing private companies in America. Red Herring magazine has described him as "a patriarch of New York's Silicon Alley" and Crain's New York Business named him one of the City's 25 most influential technology executives.
During the course of his career, Mr. Rose has supervised the creation of an intellectual property portfolio of issued patents appraised at over $100 million and negotiated both domestic and international corporate acquisitions. He was a prime author of the new data messaging protocols for the personal communications industry, and lectures frequently on issues relating to the development of the international information infrastructure.
In 1997 he was honored as a finalist for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the New York New Media category; in 1984, Time magazine profiled him in its "Computer as Man of the Year" issue; and he has been the subject of numerous interviews and articles in print and electronic media. He is a member of the Technical Committee of the Personal Communications Industry Association as well as the Council of Communications Advisors.
Mr. Rose is Chairman of the Board of the New York Angels, Inc., the leading angel investment consortium in the New York region. Through his investment fund, Rose Tech Ventures, he provides capital and management expertise to promising early stage companies. On behalf of his own technology firms he has personally raised tens of millions of dollars in venture, strategic and institutional capital.
With over two decades of hands-on experience in founding, managing and funding diverse companies, Mr. Rose is actively involved in mentoring and advising other entrepreneurs and corporate executives. Dubbed by BusinessWeek "The Pitch Coach" for his ability to help entrepreneurs perfect their fundraising skills, he was a Founding Member of the New York New Media Association and is a frequent guest speaker at graduate business schools including Harvard, Yale, Columbia and NYU. He is also a mentor and judge of Yale University's annual business plan competitions and has judged the annual Students in Free Enterprise national finals. As a regular lecturer for New York's Industrial Technology Assistance Corporation he has taught the Venture Financing and Deal Negotiation section of the FasTrak Tech courses since 1997.
Mr. Rose is Chairman and CEO of Angelsoft, which operates a collaboration platform for early stage equity investing; and Chairman of KoolSpan, Inc., a developer of leading-edge network security technology. He also serves as an active early stage investor in companies including SignStorey, Koolspan, BioScale, DigitWireless, Metaphor Solutions, Goodmail, Content Directions, Zero-G, Critical Mention, Spotlight Data and others. Prior to founding AirMedia Corporation in 1988, for which he served as CEO for over ten years, his career included over fifteen years in real estate development, government, teaching and urban planning.
Mr. Rose was co-founder and Chairman of The Computer Classroom, one of the world's first computer training firms, and spent over ten years developing technology-enhanced commercial and residential real estate in New York, Washington, DC and Boston with the firm of Rose Associates, Inc. Earlier, he served as Deputy Director of the New York office of US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. In that position, Mr. Rose represented the Senator on multiple civic and public boards and was the Senator's Special Assistant for high technology and urban planning.
A native New Yorker, Mr. Rose has a BA from Yale University and an MBA in Finance from Columbia University Business School. He is a graduate of the New York City public school system and Horace Mann High School. He is profiled in Marquis Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World and Who's Who in Business and Industry.
Lori Smith, a partner in the firm's Business Law Department and a member of its Technology Companies Group, specializes in representing foreign and domestic companies in various industries with regard to mergers and acquisitions, financings and general corporate matters, with an emphasis on emerging technologies. Ms. Smith has extensive experience acting as outside counsel for companies at all stages of development, from start-ups to public companies. Work for Clients
Ms. Smith has over 20 years experience representing entrepreneurs, venture capital and private equity investors and public and private companies in the structuring, negotiation and implementation of equity and debt financings and private equity transactions, private placements, acquisitions, mergers, strategic alliances, joint ventures, and licensing, manufacturing and distribution arrangements (including distribution via the Internet and wireless means). In addition to advising clients on transactional and contract matters, she regularly provides advice and assistance to companies and their investors with respect to general corporate governance and ongoing compliance matters as well as the various issues that need to be addressed in anticipation of and planning for a public offering, sale or merger.
Ms. Smith is outside general counsel to New York Angels, one of the leading angel investment groups in the Northeast and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Chapter of the MIT Enterprise Forum.
Ms. Smith was a Senior Editor of Law and Contemporary Problems at Duke University School of Law. Before joining Goodwin Procter, Ms. Smith served as a partner in the corporate and technology practice groups in the New York office of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP. Previously, she was senior counsel at Proskauer Rose LLP, also in New York. Ms. Smith is a member of the New York and New Jersey Bars.
Ms. Smith received a J.D. from the Duke University School of Law (with high honors) and a BA from the University of Rochester (magna cum laude).