Emerald Stage2 Ventures has assembled an investment team that possesses in-depth operational experience, deep technical knowledge and extensive experience investing in early-stage ventures. The investment team works closely with portfolio companies to assist in their development and growth.

Emerald Stage2 has also created an Advisory Board with valuable operating, technical and investment experience. The Advisory Board assists the Emerald Stage2 team in generating investment opportunities, assessing prospective investments and implementing the Fund’s overall strategy. In addition, Advisory Board members actively assist in the Fund’s portfolio enhancement efforts, providing industry insight, strategic assistance and entrepreneurial guidance to the Fund’s portfolio companies.

EMERALD STAGE2 MANAGEMENT TEAM

 

Saul Richter, Managing Partner 

Mr. Richter is the Founder of Emerald Stage2 Ventures and has been active within the technology community for over twenty years as a venture capitalist, entrepreneur and technologist.  Mr. Richter brings the Fund broad experience in the venture capital industry, having worked at a number of leading venture firms over the past 15 years. Mr. Richter’s strong technical background in software development and systems administration, his ongoing avid interest in emerging technologies and deep early-stage venture experience make him a strong leader of the Emerald Stage2 Investment Team.

Since founding Stage2 in 2006, Mr. Richter has led investments in Maverick Network Solutions, acquired by Fiserv (FISV), ClickEquations, acquired by Channel Intelligence and Halfpenny Technologies.  Prior to Stage2, Mr. Richter was a Principal at Himalaya Capital, which he joined in early 2002. While at Himalaya, Mr. Richter was active on the boards of a number of companies including Concerro which was acquired by Francisco Partners in 2012. Prior to Himalaya, Mr. Richter worked at Lucent Technologies in the New Ventures Group, where he focused on the creation and launch of software startups. In addition to Lucent, Mr. Richter has prior venture capital experience working at Softbank Ventures (now Mobius Venture Capital), Jerusalem Global Ventures and Flatiron Partners.  Mr. Richter currently sits on the Boards of Miria Systems, Vcopious and Halfpenny Technologies(observer).

Mr. Richter also has operational experience as the founder of Zapper Technologies’ US operations. He formed and built out the company’s US office, developed the go-to-market strategy, hired a sales force and worked closely with the Israel-based development team to coordinate product development. Mr. Richter also worked as a financial analyst at Salomon Smith Barney and as head of new product development at Dubois, Brown & Co, a financial analysis software company sold to Thomson Financial (NYSE:TOC).

Mr. Richter earned his MBA from Columbia Business School, where he was awarded the Beta Gamma Sigma Alumni award for overall achievement. He received his BA in economics from Columbia University. Mr. Richter is also a frequent speaker on technology and venture capital trends.

 

Bruce Luehrs, Partner 

Bruce Luehrs was previously a General Partner of the Edison Venture Fund from 1998 through 2006 and has been a banker, entrepreneur, and venture capitalist for the past 25 years. Bruce has extensive experience with both equity and debt financings and is well known in the Philadelphia area, having served as a past Chairman of the Greater Philadelphia Venture Group (now the MAC Alliance) and as an active member of the Mid Atlantic Venture Conference Steering Committee and the Association for Corporate Growth.

Bruce brings a strong track record to Emerald Stage2 and has extensive investment experience in the region, having championed numerous Edison investments in the Mid-Atlantic region including Gain Capital (www.gaincapital.com), Virtual Edge (sold to ADP), Fiberlink (sold to IBM), Innaphase (successfully sold to Thermo Electron in 2004), Octagon (sold to Accenture) and Cadient (www.cadient.com). Bruce’s investment activities have been concentrated on financial services information technology (IT), pharmaceutical IT and communications services companies. Over the past 8 years, Bruce has championed investments in 14 companies totaling over $60 million.

Previously, Bruce was Vice President of Columbia Capital, an investment merchant bank in Alexandria, Virginia and a principal at PNC Equity Management and Fidelcor Capital. While at PNC Equity Management, he directed their specialization on wireless telephone service investments. Earlier in his career, Bruce was a commercial lender with Continental Illinois National Bank (Chicago) and Fidelity Bank (Philadelphia). While at Fidelity, he developed a lending and investment practice for Fidelity Bank to serve emerging growth companies in the Delaware Valley. In 1988, he secured a SBIC license for Fidelity Bank and served as the first President of the SBIC unit and Fidelcor Capital.

Bruce was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force in 1975. He received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University following graduation from Duke University with a BA in Economics, summa cum laude.

 

EMERALD STAGE2 INVESTMENT COMMITTEE

Joseph Besecker

Chairman, President and CEO of Emerald Asset Management, Inc., parent company to Emerald Advisers, Inc., and manager of the Forward Emerald Opportunities Fund. Mr. Besecker founded Emerald in 1991. He has over twenty years experience in the money management business, starting his career as an investment professional with Merrill Lynch and E. F. Hutton. Mr. Besecker has been a key investor and provided expertise to a number of early-stage venture capital projects. He was an initial investor and provided advisory support to BlackLight Power, Inc., The Investor Broadcast Network, and Auction Inn. He has been recognized for his achievements in the venture capital community with nominations as a finalist of both the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and Enterprise Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Mr. Besecker has received national recognition for his work as an investment analyst, and appears frequently in the national financial media. Mr. Besecker was named a Home Run Hitter by Institutional Investor magazine and has been quoted in various international media, including: The Wall Street Journal, Institutional Investor, Fortune, Bloomberg Business News, The New York Times, USA Today, Associated Press, Dow Jones News Service, Standard & Poor’s and MarketWatch.

John Ryan

John M. Ryan is President of Devon Hill Ventures, an angel-investing firm focused on early-stage information technology companies. Over the past 17 years John has been an investor and/or an active director in nearly twenty IT companies. Current boards include: eResearchTechnology, Inc. (Nasdaq:NRWE), Neoware Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:NWRE), IPR International, Inc., and Health Market Science, Inc. Previously, he was the founder of SunGard Data Systems, Inc. and served as its CEO and Chairman through its MBO and IPO until 1988. 

Matthew Safaii

Matthew is a Vice President at Internet Capital Group (ICG). His responsibilities include sourcing, analyzing and executing new acquisitions. He also works closely with ICG partner companies to drive organic growth and growth through acquisitions. Matthew has worked at several private equity firms in the US and Europe. His deal and board experience span growth equity investments, leverage buyouts and restructuring. Before ICG, Matthew worked in the technology group at TA Associates in the Boston and London offices. While at TA Associates, Matthew concentrated on financial technology, software and Internet sectors. During this time Matthew was an active investor in Creditex (Acquired by IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE: ICE)), Smartstream Technologies (Acquired by Dubai International Financial Centre) and OpenLink Financial (Acquired by the Carlyle Group).

Prior to TA Associates, Matthew worked at Platinum Equity in Los Angeles and was an active investor in Broadspire Services (Acquired by Crawford & Company; (NYSE: CRD.B)). Matthew has also worked at Francisco Partners in the London office.

Education: Boston College, BS, Finance and Marketing; Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, M.B.A


ADVISORY BOARD

R. Barry Borden

Mr. Borden is a veteran C-level Executive with over 35 years of experience in founding, managing and advising businesses in the computer hardware, software, services and data communications industry.  He has experience as CEO of companies from start-up stage all the way through publicly traded companies and brings an in-depth understanding of business management with particular strength in sales, marketing, finance and leadership.  He founded and managed the growth of several companies including the Franklin Computer Corporation and Broadbeam Corporation.  Most recently, Mr. Borden served as Chairman, President and CEO of Fastnet Corporation, a publicly traded company.  Mr. Borden received his B.S. from University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

Dr. Joseph Bordogna

Dr. Bordogna is the Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania where he also served as the Director of The Moore School of Electrical Engineering and the Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. From 1991 to 2005, Dr. Bordogna served at the National Science Foundation, first as head of the Directorate for Engineering and then as Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer where he oversaw the NSF’s $5.6B budget. Dr. Bordogna received the B.S.E.E. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, the S.M. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Donald Gleklen

Donald M. Gleklen is a strategic business advisor and private investor, and has extensive experience as a senior corporate executive, banker and lawyer. Mr. Gleklen is the retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of InteliHealth, Inc., a leading healthcare content Internet company that was a joint venture of Johns Hopkins Health System and Aetna USHealthcare. He has also served on the board of directors of several public and privately owned companies. He is on the Investment Committee of Murex Investments I and is active in the venture capital community, having invested in several early stage companies in various industries. He is a Director and member of the Executive Committee, as well as Chairman of the Audit Committee of Firstrust Bank, Philadelphia. Mr. Gleklen is the past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, and also served on the Board of Regents of the Washington, DC based Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. Mr. Gleklen is a Fellow and serves on the Board of Trustees of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, one of the few non physicians to be elected to the oldest honorary medical society in the country. He is a former Trustee and Finance Committee Chairman of Northwestern Human Services. Prior to creating his own investment and consulting business in 1994, Mr. Gleklen spent ten years at MEDIQ, Inc., as head of corporate development and group executive and spent 16 years at Industrial Valley Bank, serving as Executive Vice President and Senior Lending Officer. Mr. Gleklen has a law degree from Columbia University and a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University.

 

Robert E. Keith, Jr.

Mr. Keith has been active in the technology venture arena since 1989 and is currently the Managing Director of TL Ventures, a $1.4 billion group of venture capital funds focused on technology services and software, communications and life sciences. In addition to his work with individual companies, Mr. Keith is also a senior advisor to, and co-founder of, EnerTech Capital, a regional energy-focused venture fund. Prior to joining TL Ventures in 1989, Mr. Keith held executive positions with Fidelity Bank in Philadelphia for over 20 years, most recently as Vice Chairman. Mr. Keith has sat on the boards of many technology companies and is Chairman of Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE:SFE). Mr. Keith is a graduate of Amherst College and Temple University School of Law.

Ami Miron

Mr. Miron is the president of AM Partners where he consults to executives and companies on entrepreneurship, leadership, business and technology. Mr. Miron has more than 30 years of innovation, leadership and operational technology experience in the consumer electronics, multimedia, cable television, broadcast television and telecommunications industries. In 1981, Mr. Miron joined Philips Electronics in the Netherlands, and in 1982, Philips Research in the US. Among his technological achievements, Mr. Miron developed and patented the first Picture-In-Picture (PIP) technology for Philips under the Magnavox brand name, he developed and patented the FCC selected Ghost Canceling system for Television and led the development of the first High Definition TV (HDTV) system in the US which served as a blueprint for the US digital television standard. The latter two accomplishments won Mr. Miron Emmy awards.

Ami Miron graduated first in his class from the Israel Defense Forces Officers Academy and was recognized for distinguished service while a captain in the Israeli army. He holds four US patents and has received three Technology Emmy Awards. Mr. Miron earned a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology and an M.S.E.E. from the Polytechnic University, Brooklyn. He received his professional degree in electrical engineering from Columbia University and completed an executive MBA program at Babson College.

Kathleen Shay

Kathleen M. Shay, a partner at the law firm of Duane Morris LLP, is a corporate and securities lawyer who concentrates her practice in business finance, mergers and acquisitions, and securities law matters for both public and private corporations, general and limited partnerships and limited liability companies. She represents a number of life science companies regarding a wide range of legal issues, including structuring transactions, debt and equity financings, licenses and other strategic relationships, mergers and acquisitions, and employment and compensation matters. Ms. Shay served as the Chair of the Firm's 100-attorney Corporate Practice Group from 1996 to 2005.

Ms. Shay received her B.A. from Villanova University and her J.D. from Villanova University School of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of The Villanova Law Review. Ms. Shay serves on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth, the Board of Directors of the Mid-Atlantic Capital Association, the Board of Consultors of Villanova University School of Law (where she served as Board Chair from 2003 to 2009), the Board of Trustees of the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur (where she served as Board Chair from July 1998 through June 2001) and the Partners Board of her law firm. Ms. Shay is also the Chair of the Executive Committee of the Business Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association and the past-Chair of the Securities Regulation Committee. In recent years, she has served as a director of the Women’s Investment Network and the Greater Philadelphia Venture Group and a member of the Steering Committee of the Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference. She is also an active member of the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Association.

Ms. Shay represents a number of emerging businesses with respect to all aspects of their legal needs, including legal structure, shareholders agreements, private placements and venture capital documents, contracts, licenses and joint ventures, intellectual property, executive compensation and employment law, tax matters, real estate and exit strategies.

RoseAnn B. Rosenthal

RoseAnn B. Rosenthal, President & CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP) since 1996, has 40 years of experience in the economic and financial development of the region.  She has led and supported initiatives to stimulate venture capital and angel investment in early-stage companies throughout the region, including support for the formation of the Delaware Valley Venture Group, predecessor to the MAC Alliance.  She launched the Penn Venture Fund in the l980's, which became a model for the investment policies of BFTP/SEP.  Her work at BFTP/SEP led to the formation of the Minority Angel Investor Network, and recently the Emerald Stage2 Venture Fund, a private fund focused on investments in early-stage IT companies. Rosenthal has significantly enhanced Ben Franklin's investment and technology commercialization activities, creating initiatives that have brought it national and international recognition.  Rosenthal serves on numerous oversight and advisory boards, including the regional advisory board of the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), and on Boards of Directors including the Fox Chase Bank, where she Chairs their Strategic Initiatives Committee; the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia, where she Chairs the Audit Committee; and the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce. 

John M. Ryan

For the past 18 years John Ryan has been a director and investor in more than twenty early-stage information technology companies, often serving as lead director. His current boards include Neoware Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:NWRE), IPR International, Inc., Health Market Science, Inc., and CeeLite, LLC. Previously, he was the founder of SunGard Data Systems, Inc. and served as its CEO and Chairman through its MBO and IPO until 1988. Mr. Ryan has a BS degree from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

James Walker

Mr. Walker has been working in the pharmaceutical industry for 17 years. He is founder of Octagon Research Solutions, Inc. Prior to founding Octagon, he worked as the Senior Manager of Worldwide Regulatory Affairs for the Schering-Plough Corporation ("Schering"). While at Schering, he was responsible for clinical and pre-clinical in the antihistamine, central nervous system, and critical care therapeutic areas. Prior to joining Schering, Mr. Walker worked across multiple therapeutic areas in the Regulatory Affairs/Clinical and Clinical Quality Assurance department at the R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute (PRI). Mr. Walker has extensive experience in and knowledge of all phases of clinical research and both FDA and European regulations. He is skilled at process improvement and providing insight across multiple disciplines within drug development. Mr. Walker holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Villanova University, a Masters in Environmental Sciences from Rutgers University, and an M.B.A. from Duke University.

Carl Witonsky

Mr. Witonsky has over 35 years of operational and venture capital experience in the healthcare arena. He is currently a Managing Director at Falcon Capital Partners, a firm offering strategic advisory, merger & acquisition and venture financing services to middle market healthcare companies. Prior to joining Falcon, Mr. Witonsky was the Managing Director of The Flying W Fund, a satellite group of St. Paul Venture Capital, where he focused on investments in healthcare information technology. In the past Carl has served as Chairman of the Board of Integrated Medical Management prior to it’s sale to Advanced Health, CEO of MediCode prior to it’s sale to United Healthcare, Chairman of the Board of Pace Health Management prior to it’s acquisition by 3M, and CEO and Chairman of the Board of GMIS, the leading provider of fraud and abuse software for the health care payor industry (now McKesson/HBOC), during its initial public offering. Carl is currently the Chairman of the Board of Sentillion, Inc. and formerly served on the Board of Health Market Science, a BFTP/SEP funded company. Carl is a graduate of Albright College with a BS degree in Math and Physics as well as a graduate of IBM’s Systems Research Institute.

 

BFTP/SEP LIAISONS

Terrence H. Hicks

Terrence H. Hicks is the Vice-President of the Investment Group at BFTP/SEP and is responsible for all the organization's investment activities. He has served in that capacity for almost 10 years and managers BFTP/SEP's portfolio of over 120 early-stage and emerging technology companies, one of the largest such portfolios in the country. He is currently on the boards of the Pennsylvania Angel Network, the Penn Mezzanine Fund, the Entrepreneur's Forum of Greater Philadelphia, the Screening Committee of the Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures and is a founder of the Minority Angel Investor Network.

Mr. Hicks has twenty years of experience in small business lending and corporate treasury activities with Fidelity Bank (now Wachovia) and Sun Company, where he served as Vice President of Sun Company's SBIC Company, Alliance Enterprise Corporation. Mr. Hicks also served as the manager of internal treasury operations and manager of special projects. Mr. Hicks has a BA in economics from Swarthmore College and an MBA in finance from LaSalle University.

Alan Kraus

Alan Kraus is the Senior Director of the Investment Group at BFTP/SEP and has direct responsibility for all of BFTP/SEP’s Information Technology sector investments currently in the investment portfolio. Mr. Kraus assists in coaching portfolio companies in numerous areas including fundraising, financial statement analysis, business plan and marketing materials development, and ongoing strategic and implementation planning.

Prior to joining BFTP/SEP in 1998, Mr. Kraus was the Manager of Resource Development and a Business Consultant at the Temple University Small Business Development Center. In addition, he spent several years as a manufacturer’s sales representative of women’s accessories and also as an entrepreneur, helping to found Optimum Executive Search, a Silicon Valley firm specializing in the placement of software professionals. Mr. Kraus received his MBA at Temple University and his BBA from the University of Michigan.