John Frankel is the founding partner of ff Venture Capital. He founded the firm in 2008 and has been a seed and early stage investor since late 1999.
Prior to founding ffVC, John worked at Goldman Sachs for 21 years in a variety of roles that involved technology development, reengineering and capital markets. At Goldman Sachs, he worked closely with some of the world’s leading hedge fund managers and developed a keen understanding of emerging technologies and portfolio risk/return management.
John started his business career in London with Arthur Andersen having earned a Master of Arts from New College, Oxford, where he studied Mathematics, Philosophy and Logic. He is a Fellow Chartered Accountant of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. John also sits on The NYU Tandon School of Engineering’s Board of Overseers.
Alex Katz is general counsel at ff Venture Capital. He has been working with seed, early stage and growth companies for over 30 years.
As a CPA and an attorney, Alex manages the firm’s accounting and legal operations, investment processes, regulatory compliance, and the establishment and implementation of other policies and procedures.
Prior to ff Venture Capital, Alex practiced law with Mesirov Gelman and was a founding partner of Katz and Miele, LLP, a tax and corporate law specialty firm. He served as Chief Executive Officer of Fastener Distribution and Marketing Company, Inc. In addition, Alex was Chief Financial Officer of Lenape Dynamic, Inc. He has also worked as a Certified Public Accountant.
Alex earned a Batchelor of Science in Business Administration from Drexel University and a Juris Doctor degree from Temple University School of Law.
Prior to ffVC, Adam spent several years in business development, advisory and operational roles with several startups in New York and Los Angeles. Adam was the first hire at Lake Baldwin Management, a Princeton, New Jersey opportunistic hedge fund, where he was a generalist investor, managing an array of public and private market investments. Adam began his career at Goldman Sachs in the Leveraged Finance Group, and in the Risk Markets Group.
He grew up in New Jersey, where he operated a Commodore-64 based BBS before Middle School.
Adam holds a M.B.A. degree from the Harvard Business School. He also holds Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Applied Sciences, and Bachelor of Science in Economics degrees at the University of Pennsylvania.
As an active angel investor in Poland, Mariusz has invested in promising start-ups in the region and helped many entrepreneurs with fundraising and strategy. He has over 10 years of experience in global capital markets, private equity, and venture capital as an investment analyst and portfolio manager.
Most recently, he worked in Poland at mBank (Commerzbank AG), Altus TFI, and Bastion Investments. He spent 6 years in New York at Mitchell Madison Group and Pershing Square Capital Management as an investment analyst focusing on global equities and special situations.
Mariusz graduated from Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Science in Business, where he was an NCAA All-American athlete and the captain of the varsity men’s tennis team.
Mariusz joined ffVC in 2019.
Maciej has over 12 years of experience in investment banking and M&A last serving as a Director in the Investment Banking division at Santander Bank Polska in Warsaw where he was focused on the TMT and industrial sectors.
He has also been involved in selecting and pursuing investments in innovative fintechs for the bank in Poland.
Previously he worked in London at Bank of America ML and thereafter at a couple of specialist mergers and acquisitions boutiques in Warsaw. Maciej successfully advised on numerous transactions in Poland and in Europe valued in excess of $10bn. He is also an experienced business executive and entrepreneur.
Maciej graduated from the Warsaw School of Economics and Harvard Business School.
Karolina is focused on evaluation of new investment targets.
Prior to ffVC, Karolina gained her experience during internships in a mergers and acquisitions boutique company and a family investment office as well as a technology transfer center.
Karolina graduated from the Wroclaw University of Economics with a Master’s and Bachelor in Finance. She holds a CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting. Currently, Karolina is pursuing a Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing at AGH University of Technology. She also is a candidate for the Level II exam in the Chartered Financial Analyst program.
Mike is an Ohio-born investor who works at the intersection of behavior science, experience design, and storytelling to help startups grow from their first product to exit.
He focuses on accelerating the growth of portfolio companies, with a focus on business development, founder best practice advisement, hiring, and later stage fundraising. Mike helps startups with fundraising strategy, business development, go-to-market strategy, experience design, and marketing.
Before ffVC, Mike worked as a behavioral consultant for organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to professional sports teams and tech conferences, creating communities, experiences, referral programs, and brand narratives to inspire increased loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing among high value audience segments.
Previously, Mike founded Evertrue Ventures, the Brown University alumni investment group, sourcing and leading investments in Brown alumni-founded startups.
Outside of ffVC, Mike is a mentor for the Techstars NYC accelerator and Quake Capital, a pre-seed accelerator in New York, Austin, and Los Angeles.
Mike holds a Batchelor of Science degree from Brown University in Economics, Public Policy, and Education History.
Marcia focuses on forming strong networks with entrepreneurs and other investors to actively identify and invest in promising new technology companies.
Marcia also helps guide ffVC’s thinking on interesting sub-sectors including robotics and quantum computing.
Prior to joining ffVC, Marcia spent several years working across diverse industries including investment banking, the fashion and automotive industries and consulting. At Hello Q, she lead the research and vetting process of technology solutions for innovation teams at several Fortune 500 companies.
Marcia holds a Masters of Science in Technology Commercialization and Entrepreneurship from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a B.A. in Economics from Tufts University.
Eric is an Associate at ffVC. Previously, Eric led diligence teams at LunaCap Ventures and 37 Angels where he evaluated startups for equity and debt investments.
At Deloitte, he advised Fortune 500 companies on their digital transformation initiatives that enabled them to maintain their competitive edge. Within the federal practice, he also spearheaded the strategic communications efforts for the Department of Defense – Comptroller’s Office in preparation for the department’s first-ever full financial statement audit.
Eric has also worked as a public relations associate at Glen Echo Group supporting innovation policy work across a range of issues including fiber internet deployment, wireless spectrum auctions, and online free speech.
Eric served as an artillery officer in the US Marine Corps and is a graduate of Brown University and Columbia Business School.
Conor focuses on industry trends, performing due diligence on potential investments, maintaining records of portfolio company investments, and assuring compliance of portfolio company reporting.
Prior to ffVC, Conor spent six years as a Senior Associate with Park Street Capital, a multi-billion dollar private equity/venture capital-focused fund of funds firm, in research, finance and investor relations roles. His previous experience also includes working with Seven Peaks Ventures, Oregon’s premier early stage venture capital firm.
Conor holds a Master of Business Administration degree from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.S. in Management from Boston College.
Prior to joining ffVC, Łukasz worked at Boston Consulting Group for 4 years gathering international experience on projects executed in Europe and Middle East.
He advised on several transactions, working on both Post Merger Integration and Due Diligence projects. Łukasz also helped numerous organisations with their digital transformation efforts.
Łukasz graduated from Warsaw School of Economics and studied at ESSEC Business School in France.
Mateusz has over 9 years of experience in M&A, commercial, financial and banking law. He spent last 8 years at White&Case and previously worked for a “club of nine” British law firm and one of the biggest Polish law firms.
Mateusz successfully advised on numerous transactions in Europe of over $15bn value, in particular in regulated sectors: telecoms, energy and financial services.
Prior to joining ffVC, he has also been involved in numerous early stage tech projects, both related to incubating start-ups, creating JV’s and launching new business lines.
Andrew currently serves as the CEO of Dashbot, an ffVC portfolio company and analytics platform for conversational interfaces such as chatbots & voice skills.
Prior to Dashbot, Andrew worked on the investment team at ffVC, working on everything from sourcing & diligence, to attending board meetings, helping with strategic thinking, and providing critical operational support directly for portfolio companies.
Prior to ffVC, Andrew has worked in the technology sector, both within large enterprises and as a founder of his own startups. His previous experience includes working on the enterprise technology team at Oracle, helping to build the digital analytics software at Nielsen, and joining fin-tech startup DeltaOne Solutions as an early team member which was later acquired by IHS Markit for $100mm. He then went on to found several companies in the A.I., health-tech, and e-commerce sectors, and also currently holds 1 patent.
Andrew graduated from Boston College with a B.S. in Marketing & Management Leadership.
Prior to joining the team Łukasz led Alior Bank’s corporate venture fund where he carried out early stage investments and implemented strategic partnerships with a Focus on Fintech projects. Prior to Alior, he worked at one of the leading Central and Eastern European seed funds – Black Pearls VC, focusing on Deep Tech companies.
Łukasz graduated from Gdańsk University and is a VC Unlocked certificate holder. As a cooking enthusiast in his free time runs his own food truck.
Łukasz joined ffVC in 2020 as a Venture Partner.
Florin Mihoc joined ffVC as a Venture Partner in December 2018 focusing on fintech, enterprise, and data sectors.
He was a part of two startups since their inception through bootstrapping and global expansion and still serves on their respective boards with his expertise in strategy, partnerships, and corporate development.
Playing an instrumental role, Florin helped launch the Startupbootcamp FinTech New York and now serves as a mentor for the program. Since 2017, he has been a board member at the SxSw pitch competition, which is the largest technology festival of its kind. Florin is also an alum of the Techstars accelerator with TPS Engage.
Florin has over 15 years of Fortune 500 executive experience in B2B roles, serving clients such as LVMH, Honeywell, Amazon, Continental AG, General Motors, IBM, General Electric, and various government agencies. During his short stint in an M&A role, he worked in industries like energy and logistics, automotives, supply chain, media, and medical services.
Florin was a Fulbright Post-Doc Fellow in Residence at the US State Department and a Visiting/Associate Scholar at Columbia Business School. He holds a PhD in Strategic/Global Management.
Oliver joined ff Venture Capital in 2018 as a Venture Partner.
He is the founding partner at Autonomy Ventures, a venture firm focused on early stage investments in business and industrial automation technologies, including robotics, smart mobility, remote sensing and machine intelligence. Oliver’s portfolio has returned over six exits in the past five years with two IPOs.
Previous transactions have included selling Holmes Protection to ADT/Tyco, Americash to American Express, and launching RobotGalaxy, a national EdTech brand. He is an active member of New York Angels and holds 14 patents.
Oliver speaks often at international trade shows and writes syndicated articles that reaches thousands of weekly readers.
Philip is a charismatic C-level executive with years of extensive experience in all phases of company building scaling.
Philip is currently CEO at Whow Games Gmbh, the leading social casino gaming company in Germany headquartered in Hamburg. He has been instrumental in refocusing the company towards business scalability, international expansion, growth in mobile and portfolio diversification.
Prior to Whow, Philip was involved in Nexinto Gmbh as Chief Strategy Officer. He was responsible for the strategic positioning of the company and drove the business to a number one independent managed hosting provider in Germany and thereafter supported the sales process to Plusserver Gruppe.
He has also been involved in a number of other businesses from the tech and gaming industry including serving on the Board of Bigpoint Gmbh, a gaming company which has been subsequently sold to TA Associates and Summit Partners.
Dion has spent the last 20 years In tech growing and leading technical teams across the startup landscape.
Prior to joining the team he led engineering at Harry’s, a global multi-channel grooming brand where his organization was responsible for growing the direct to consumer business, optimizing the supply chain and international expansion.
Over the years as an operator he has helped grow several tech companies to acquisition by companies like Dell and Sybase. He also currently serves as an advisor to several early stage companies where he focuses on mentoring leadership and helping guide technical and product direction.
Dion volunteers at several nonprofits that focus on diversity, inclusion and economic empowerment through tech literacy. As an advocate on this subject he often speaks at tech conferences and events on creating a more inclusive tech community.
Gustav started building his first startups over 10 years ago. Since then he held multiple leadership positions in ventures/startups and where he has taken them from idea to execution.
Gustav currently works ini the venture leadership team in FoundersLane, a leading corporate venture building from Europe also active in larger parts of Asia including MENA where Gustav currently leads the venture development efforts.
Gustav combines expertise C-level sparring and execution of digital initiatives with hands on know-how of how to build digital businesses based on his experience in strategic consulting and entrepreneurial agility.
He has during his career been involved in building new business in the areas of EdTech, Social Media, NGOs, Mobility, Logistics Digital Health among other.
Investor Relations and Operations
Scott manages relationships and fundraising with ff Venture Capital’s global community of Limited Partners.
Prior to joining ffVC, Scott worked as an Investment Strategist at BlueStar Indexes and Director of Investor Relations for OurCrowd, a Jerusalem based Venture Capital firm.
Prior to OurCrowd, Scott spent 10 years in various leadership roles within philanthropy and advocacy.
Scott earned his B.A. from New York University and served in the IDF’s Artillery Corp.
Rich Duda served as both Director and Controller of Fund Accounting for ff Venture Capital between 2013 and 2016, and rejoined at CFO in 2018.
During his time away from the company, he worked for Early Growth Financial Services as a Consulting CFO. In that role he served as interim CFO for multiple Venture Funds and Startups throughout the country.
He previously served as an Analyst at Vicis Capital LLC, a multi-strategy hedge fund based in New York.
Rich holds an M.B.A. from Fordham University and a B.S. in Finance from St. John’s University.
Amanda is Head of Business Development and Investor Relations at ff Venture Capital.
Over the course of a 15 year career in the finance industry, Amanda has helped some of the world’s most sophisticated investors connect with other high quality investors and cutting-edge alternative investment strategies.
Amanda led the prestigious GAIM series of hedge fund events both before and after the financial crisis, and launched the premiere investment meeting for family offices while at Campden Wealth. Prior to joining ffVC, Amanda was a director of business development at Forester Capital, LLC.
Amanda began her career as an auditor at the National Audit Office in London after graduating with a Masters of Arts in History from the University of Edinburgh. She graduated from the Private Wealth Management Program at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Maureen Barry Somerville
Maureen Barry Somerville joined ffVC in 2013 as the Executive Assistant to John Frankel.
Prior to ffVC, Maureen worked at Goldman Sachs for 35 years in a variety of roles. She assumed the position of Vice President after being promoted from Sales Assistant in 1987. Managed operations and support staff, focused on mitigating risk and providing client service excellence.
In 2001, she moved to Global Securities Operations CRM and spearheaded offshore and near-shore location strategies. Responsible for the middle office and all client-facing operations for equities execution businesses. Primary liaison between clients, sales, trading, and operations. Reengineered processes and implemented operational functional models and technology achieving significant sociability, efficiency and control. Played a critical part in the successful implementation of the NASDAQ fee-based trading and the SLKC integration.
Designed client strategy for Operations including communication protocols, value-added services and relationship management program.
Recruit, hire, and train staff for all functional roles. Chair of the Securities Operations Peoples Initiatives’ Committee and Member of Operations Client Committee responsible for Operations client strategy.
Jake Beinecke is a member of the investment team at Antaeus Enterprises, a multi-generational wealth management firm, located at 99 Park Avenue, New York, New York.
Jake contributes to all aspects of the firm’s equity-oriented investment program, including strategy development, asset allocation, portfolio management, manager evaluation, security analysis, and performance assessment.
Jake is an attorney admitted to the bar in New York and Massachusetts and has experience in impact finance and investment at the Open Space Institute and Acumen Fund. Prior to law school, he had an entirely separate career as a professional cook, mostly in San Francisco.
In addition to serving as a Director or adviser to companies and investment funds, Jake is Director of the Prospect Hill Foundation, the Waterfront Alliance, and the Global Greengrants Fund. Born and raised in New York City, he is a graduate of Columbia University and New York University School of Law.
He lives in Brooklyn, New York and Orleans, Massachusetts with his wife Julia Felsenthal and their dog Snoop.
Frederick W. Beinecke is president and a director of Antaeus Enterprises, Inc., a private investment company with an orientation toward marketing and service businesses, located at 99 Park Avenue, New York, New York.
Mr. Beinecke was chairman and president of two New York Stock Exchange listed companies. He was Chairman of the Board of Catalina Marketing Corporation, and earlier a director and president of The Sperry and Hutchison Company headquartered in New York City. He has been a member of the Board of Advisers of Venture Investment Associates since it was formed, and has been a director of several private companies.
He is a trustee of the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, and the National Gallery of Art. From 1981 to 2000, he served as a trustee of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where he was treasurer and chairman of the Finance Committee of the Board. He also served as President of the New York City Ballet, where he was a director since 1978.
Mr. Beinecke serves of the board of several private foundations. He is currently a director and vice president of The Prospect Hill Foundation, a director and president of The Sperry Fund, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. He has also served on the boards of the City Center for Music and Drama, Close Encounters with Music, One Percent for Culture, Outward Bound USA, the Trudeau Institute, and the Yale University School of Music.
Mr. Beinecke attended Yale University, attaining a Batchelor of Arts in 1966 and, in 1972, a J .D. from the University of Virginia Law School. Mr. Beinecke served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps from 1966-1969 attaining the rank of Captain and in 1968 was decorated with the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam.
Mr. Robert L. Bugbee is President and Director of Scorpio Tankers Inc. He has more than 25 years of experience in the shipping industry.
He joined the Group in February 2009 and has continued to serve there in senior management.
Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Bugbee was a partner at Ospraie Management LLP between 2007 and 2008, a company which advises and invests in commodities and basic industry. From 1995 to 2007, Mr. Bugbee was employed at OMI Corporation, or OMI, a NYSE-listed tanker company sold in 2007. While at OMI, Mr. Bugbee most recently served as President from January 2002 until the sale of the company, and he previously served as Executive Vice President since January 2001, Chief Operating Officer since March 2000, and Senior Vice President of OMI from August 1995 to June 1998. Mr. Bugbee joined OMI in February 1993.
Prior to this, he was employed by Gotaas-Larsen Shipping Corporation since 1984. During this time he took a two year sabbatical from 1987 for the M.I.B. Programme at the Norwegian School for Economics and Business administration in Bergen.
He has a Fellowship from the International Shipbrokers Association and a Batchelor of Arts (Honors) from London University.
Matthew currently advises early-stage companies in areas where he has operational and strategic experience, including financial technology, “big data,” personal finance, media, and cyber-security.
Matthew recently finished six years at Bridgewater Associates, one of the largest and best-performing hedge funds, where he was Co-Head of Research. In that role, he was responsible for building and managing the teams that ensure Bridgewater’s understanding of the global economy, creating new systems for generating alpha, producing daily trading signals, and publishing Bridgewater’s market commentary. He was also responsible for the technology, data, and security required to fulfill these responsibilities. He oversaw ~225 professionals and reported directly to the firm’s Co-CEO/CIO. Previously, Matthew was an Engagement Manager and a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company.
He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, where he was President of The Harvard Crimson, the university’s daily newspaper. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and was named a George F. Baker Scholar.
Steve L. Nutt, CFA
For over twenty years Steve has held various roles including President and Chief Investment Officer for a Cleveland-based family office.
He is a graduate of the University of Chicago (MBA) and University of Illinois at Chicago (BS).
Most recently, Joe Proto served as the CEO of Transactis, a Mastercard company and leading provider of electronic billing and payment solutions serving large banks including 12 of the top 24.
During his 38 years in payments, Joe launched and sold two prior payments companies – the first to a bank that was acquired by Wells Fargo and the second to First Data.
He is active in the Fintech Payments industry and is an investor in many innovative technology businesses.
Philipp von dem Knesebeck
Philipp von dem Knesebeck is a managing partner and founder of K5, a German family office.
Based in Hong Kong Philipp runs the family’s alternative investment activities with a focus on private equity, venture capital and absolute return strategies. Prior to K5 Philipp spent 9 years in investment banking at UniCredit Bank based in London and Hong Kong. In this role Philipp structured and syndicated financing solutions across product groups for large scale private equity buyouts.
Philipp holds a Batchelor of Science (honors) in Economics from City University and a Master of Science (honors) in Finance from Cass Business School in London.
Timothy Rollender is a Senior Venture Officer in the EDA’s TLS division.
Rollender is responsible for marketing the Edison Innovation Fund and technology-led state incentives to potential applicants, consultants, technology transfer offices and partnering organizations. Rollender joined the NJEDA in 2015.
Prior to joining the NJEDA, Rollender was a Senior Analyst for asset management firm Hirtle, Callaghan & Co., where he led due diligence on private equity, debt, real estate, real asset and venture capital funds. Previously, he worked as an Investment Analyst for the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, Division of Investment, and has extensive experience in private and public equity investing.
Bob Savage runs Americas FX Sales for BNY Mellon. He joined the firm in April 2019 adding to his 30+ years of experience in the industry.
He is an foreign exchange thought leader writing about markets daily throughout his career and actively speaking at conferences and events. Bob has a broad set of experience from the variety of roles he’s held across in the industry, from the hedge fund space (FX Concepts and IKOS), to the sell-side (with more than 20 years at Goldman Sachs both as a FX trader and as an MD running institutional FX sales), as a consultant (McKinsey) and most recently at a quant-based FX advisory (CC Track Solutions).
Bob earned a Batchelor of Arts in Political Philosophy from Yale University.