Venture Lab Advisory Board
Comprised of experienced alumni entrepreneurs and investors, the Venture Lab Advisory Board provides leadership and advice on programs and initiatives that support student innovators and enhance Penn and Wharton’s reputation for entrepreneurship worldwide.


Ravi Viswanathan, Chair, ENG’90, WG’98

Founder & Managing Partner, NewView Capital

Professional Bio:
Ravi is the Founder and Managing Partner of NewViewCapital. NewView Capital, spun out from New Enterprise Associates, was founded in 2018 as an answer to challenges presented by evolving market dynamics in the venture space. NewView Capital Fund I, is a $1.35 billion fund comprised of a diverse set of growth-stage technology companies.

In his previous role as General Partner at NEA, he focused on investments in the software, internet, and fintech sectors. He also co-headed the firm’s Technology Venture Growth Equity investment practice. Ravi has led investments in Acquia, BloomReach, Boku, Desire2Learn, Forter, Gladly, Heap, MindTickle, Plaid, Placester, Reltio, SiteTracker, and Topia.

Ravi received an MBA from Wharton and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from UCSB where he focused his research on materials science applications. Ravi also earned a BS in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Robert B. Goergen, Sr. Honorary Chair, WG’62

Founder and Chairman of the Board, The Ropart Group

Professional Bio:
Mr. Goergen is the Founder and Chairman of The Ropart Group, a private equity firm that has invested more than $100 million in more than 25 companies since 2001, ranging from startups to buyouts,
across an array of industries. Since 1997, Mr. Goergen has served on the Wharton School Board of Overseers of The University of Pennsylvania. He initiated the Goergen Entrepreneurial Management Program with a path-breaking gift of $10 million in 1998. This program is one of the largest and most diverse academic programs of its kind in the world. More than 2,000 students and entrepreneurs each year participate in courses that combine theory with practice, allowing students to gain access and insight from the entrepreneurial business community.

Mr. Goergen received his undergraduate degree in physics (cum laude) from the University of Rochester and received his MBA in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School


Board Members

Nisa Amolis
Partner, Grasshopper Capital

Professional Bio:
Nisa Amoils is a partner at Grasshopper Capital investing in fintech/Blockchain and has been an early-stage investor for the past decade. She was named one of Business Insider’s Women VC’s to watch and top 100 Women in Fintech, and top 50 global Blockchain thinkers. She is a former securities lawyer and on the Boards of several institutions and Girls Who Invest. She contributes for Forbes and is host of the Coinscrum show. Prior to investing, she was an entrepreneur and spent many years in business development at companies like Time Warner and NBC Universal

She holds a BBA (business) degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Eric Aroesty, C’92
CEO, Affinity Marketing Partners

Professional Bio:
Eric is an active entrepreneur and investor, engaged in numerous transactions in the fields of E-Commerce Consolidation, Performance-Based Digital Marketing, Telemedicine & Digital Health, Education Technology, Human Capital Staffing & Solutions, Energy Efficiency, and Financial Services. Eric creates aligned partnerships with entrepreneurs where his capital, network, know-how, and time are invested in an aligned structure to help bring companies to scale both via organic growth and via acquisition.

Eric was the co-founder and CEO of Affinity Direct (“AD.”) AD was a federal student loan consolidation company that helped borrowers refinance over $5.5 billion of federal student loans.

Eric is committed to a wide range of non-profit initiatives and organizations in health, education, and entrepreneurship.

Eric received his Bachelor of Arts (English Literature) from The University of Pennsylvania College of Arts & Sciences in 1992.
Jon Auerbach, C’89
General Partner, CRV

Professional Bio:
Jon joined CRV as a general partner in 2007 and focuses on making investments in fast-growing enterprise software companies. Prior to CRV, he was a general partner at Highland Capital Partners since 2000 and an early and active investor in numerous successful startups. He ledHighland’s investments in Optasite (sold to SBA Communications), CCTV (sold to TerreStar) and TriStar Investors (sold to Crown Castle), and co-led the investments in Quattro Wireless (sold to Apple) and Starent Networks (IPO in 2007, then acquired by Cisco Systems in 2009).

Jon holds a BA degree from the University of Pennsylvania (1989).
Bikram Bakshi, WG’05
Entrepreneur and Innovator

Professional Bio:

Bikram is a seasoned CEO, innovator, and entrepreneur based in the Washington, DC area. His most recent venture – QSSI – rose to prominence as an iconic health technology business that led the turnaround of and built critical components of health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. QSSI was acquired by United Health Group in 2012. Subsequently as a member of the Office of the CEO for Optum, United Health’s services arm, Bikram ran the government business and helped establish Optum as a premier partner to Medicare, Medicaid, Military and Veteran Health. Prior to that Bikram led Optum’s international business across Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.

He is an active investor in cyber and health tech companies and is a named inventor of 13 US patents. Bikram has an MBA from the Wharton School.
Carol Curley, WG’81
Professional Bio:
Carol is currently a Managing Director with Golden Seeds, an investment firm focused on funding high-growth companies with gender-diverse management teams. Carol has responsibility for the Golden Seeds Knowledge Institute, which provides investor training programs. She is also an active member of New York Angels, one of the oldest and most active angel investment groups in New York City, committed to funding and mentoring great young companies. In addition, Carol is Chief Investment Officer of The Charian Group, LLC, an investment vehicle for early-stage investments and consulting activities.

Carol holds a BA in Economics from Wellesley College, an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Robert B. Goergen, Jr., WG’00
Founder and Chairman, G5 Capital

Professional Bio:
Robert B. Goergen, Jr. (Rob) is the Founder and Chairman of G5 Capital LLC. G5 Capital was founded in 2014 as a growth equity firm focused on early-stage investing and providing advisory services to high growth, powerfully branded, fast-moving consumer products and services companies. Select investments in the G5 portfolio include BEAUTYCOUNTER, One Hope Wine, CURA Cannabis Solutions, CaaStle/Gwynnie Bee and Stringr. Prior to his leadership of G5 Capital, Rob served for 15 years as a member of the management team of Blyth, Inc., ultimately as the Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. From 1994 through 2015, Blyth was a leading, publicly-traded, multinational holding company, which at its peak achieved revenue of over $1.5 billion.

Rob graduated in 2000 with an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1993 with a B.A. from the University of Richmond. He and his wife, Stacey, a writer and contemporary art curator, reside in New York City with their three children.
Andrew Jacobson, WG’93
CEO & Chief Investment Officer, Axiom International Investors, LLC

Professional Bio:
Andrew Jacobson is the Chief Executive Officer & Chief Investment Officer of Axiom International Investors LLC, a global investment management firm that manages global, small cap and emerging market equities with a single guiding philosophy and consistent, disciplined investment process. Prior to Axiom Investors, Andrew was Executive Vice President at Columbus Circle Investors (acquired by Pimco).

Andrew and his wife, Marina Kunis Jacobson, G’93, WG’93 initiated the Jacobson Venture Awards which seeks to provide students from The Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies with the opportunity to focus their energies on their entrepreneurial venture during the summer.

Andrew holds a B.A. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
George Karibian, WG’93
Co-Founder, Paymentsense

Professional Bio:
George Karibian is a serial entrepreneur. Since 2000, he has co-founded five high growth, tech-enabled disruptive startups in spaces dominated by large incumbent players. He co-founded Euroffice during the early years of the dotcom boom. It is now the third largest online office products company in the UK serving small businesses in the UK and Italy. In 2008, George co-founded Paymentsense, which provides card processing to small businesses. The company has a customer base of 60,000 small businesses processing $9bn p.a.

George graduated in 1993 with an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and in 2006, was named a finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Catherine K.C. Leung, W’90
Co-Founder & General Partner: MizMaa Ventures

Professional Bio:

Catherine K.C. Leung is Co-Founder and General Partner of MizMaa Ventures, which is an early stage global venture capital fund focused on investing in the unfair, competitive advantages of Israel and select areas of the Nordics. The key investment pillars include cybersecurity, mobility, cloud computing, blockchain/fintech and artificial intelligence. She is currently a board member of Twiggle, Corephotonics (recently sold to Samsung), Aurora Labs, Orca,, Coronet, Vayavision and Resolution Games.

Prior to MizMaa Ventures, Catherine was an investment banker for twenty years and last served as Vice Chairman of JPMorgan Asia Investment Banking where she led with a focus in Greater China. Under her leadership, JPMorgan was named Best Foreign Investment Bank in Hong Kong for eight consecutive years. She has advised clients in marquee IPO’s, mergers and acquisitions, debt and derivative transactions. She was named among the Top 20 Women in Finance by Finance Asia in 2011.

She worked as a management consultant at Oliver Wyman & Co in United States and London from 1990 to 1994.

Catherine graduated from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania, summa cum laude, with majors in Finance and Accounting, in 1990.
James McElwee, WG’76
Director, James McElwee Venture Advisory

Professional Bio:
James McElwee currently operates as an independent venture capitalist in Northern California with more than 35 years of experience in venture capital and private equity. Mr. McElwee joined Weston Presidio as its third General Partner in 1992 serving until 2010. During his tenure as a General Partner and member of the Investment Committee, Weston Presidio led the start-up financing of JetBlue Airways and made investments in Fender Musical Instruments, The Coffee Connection (acquired by Starbucks), Guitar Center, Mapquest (acquired by AOL), Party City, Jimmy John’s, RE/MAX, and many other companies. Mr. McElwee opened the firm’s Menlo Park Office in 2000.

Mr. McElwee earned his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College where he serves on the Board of Trustees. He earned his M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Rich Riley, W’96
CEO, Shazam

Professional Bio:
Rich joined Shazam as CEO in 2013. Under his leadership, the company has more than doubled its user base, become one of the highest-rated apps in the world, surpassed one billion downloads, achieved profitability and announced that it is being acquired by Apple. Prior, he spent 13 years at Yahoo!, where his most recent roles were running the EMEA region and the Americas region and serving on the Executive Management team. Rich co-founded which invented the toolbar and was acquired by Yahoo!

Rich received his BS in Economics (Finance and Entrepreneurship) from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Kathryn Stewart, WG’88
Founder & Managing Director, Cranbrook Capital

Professional Bio:
Kathryn Stewart (WG’88) is founder and managing director of Cranbrook Capital, which provides seed and early-stage capital to emerging tech-focused companies. The firm also invests in public and private equity. Previously, Kathryn was a managing director at Baltimore-based Alex. Brown and, post-acquisition, at Deutsche Bank.

Kathryn is a board member of Baltimore-based Passive Capital Management and a board observer at DC-based HomeSnap. She serves on both the Robert H. Smith School of Business advisory board and the Dingman board of advisors at the University of Maryland. She is active with Wharton’s Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a trustee of the Maryland/DC Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. She is a past board member at the Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, where she currently sits on the Finance and Investment Committee.

Kathryn holds an M.B.A. in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in electrical engineering from Michigan State University.
Andrew Trader (A.T.), W’91, WG’99
Professional Bio:
A.T. worked for Maveron, a consumer-focused venture capital fund, however, A.T. is an entrepreneur at heart and recently co-founded Madison Reed, which is
revolutionizing the home hair care experience. In 2007, he co-founded Zynga and helped create the social gaming industry. At Zynga, he built and managed all business operations, including revenue management, marketing/user acquisition, business development, and strategic partners. A.T.’s work was instrumental in driving Zynga to over 60 million daily users and to profitability from the fourth month after launch.

He holds both a BSE and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.