Private Equity & Venture Capital Alumni
Panel and Networking Reception

The Stern Finance Alumni Committee invites you to join your
fellow Stern alumni in the private equity and venture capital industries
for a panel conversation, "Changing Dynamics between VCs, Corporate VCs, and
other Investors", and networking reception including cocktails and appetizers.

Click Here to RegisterDate
Thursday, May 10, 2018

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

New York Athletic Club
Olympic Suites 1 & 2
180 Central Park S
New York, NY 10019, USA


Deborah Zajac MBA'07, Director | Touchdown Ventures

For The Web.jpg

Deborah Zajac is a Director at Touchdown Ventureswhere she has built and led three bespoke corporate venture capital funds investing in healthcare, food, and consumer solutions. Touchdown Ventures has started and run the most corporate venture capital funds, including those of Kellogg’s, 20th Century Fox film studios, Aramark, Allegion, and Tegna. Touchdown currently invests in media, food, consumer, healthcare, industrial IoT, and enterprise SaaS.

Prior to joining Touchdown, Deborah spent a decade at GE Ventures and GE Corporate investing in and building businesses from seed to growth stage, and in corporate innovation and realignment of more mature businesses in GE’s portfolio through M&A and licensing.

Deborah has also helped launch startups from GE and Columbia University’s research labs, having joined her first startup, Celarix, during the days. Prior to Celarix, she was a management consultant at Andersen. Deborah earned her MBA concentrating in Finance and Entrepreneurship from NYU Stern, and her BS and BA from Lehigh University, where she has served as Trustee.

Alden Mahabir MBA'12, Manager | Verizon Ventures     

Headshot - Alden Mahabir (1).jpg

Alden Mahabir joined Verizon Ventures in 2013 and supports its strategic marketing and venture development efforts, while also evaluating investment opportunities across industries. Alden brings over 12 years of experience in corporate venture capital, investment banking, and investment research, all focused on technology, media, and telecom. Prior to Verizon Ventures, he worked at Goodrich Capital, where he advised startups and private companies on their business strategies and helped them to raise growth equity capital. He has also held leadership positions at Utendahl Capital Partners, CIBC World Markets, Lehman Brothers, and C.E. Unterberg, Towbin. At a young age, Alden co-founded Vintage Research (age 25), an investment research & consulting firm, and Good Buy Realty (age 19).
Alden received his B.A. in Economics at Rutgers University and his MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Alon Bonder BS'09, Vice President | Venrock

Alon Bonder Headshot copy (1).jpg

Alon Bonder is a Vice President at Venrock, where he focuses on early stage investments in artificial intelligence, mobility and consumer products. 

Prior to joining Venrock, Alon worked on investment research and strategy at First Round Capital, while simultaneously attending the MBA program at the Wharton School of Business. Before starting at Wharton, Alon co-founded Finch15, a strategy consulting firm which provided digital product innovation and investment strategy for established brands such as BMW, General Mills, Showtime, AOL, and Visa. As of 2013, Finch15 became a fully-owned subsidiary of Publicis Groupe, where Alon concurrently held the role of Vice President of Product Innovation. Prior to Finch15, Alon spent several years as an Analyst and Associate at a boutique investment bank in New York, specializing in valuation and financial advisory services for notable emerging growth companies and venture funds. Alon also earned his B.S. in Finance and Economic Policy, summa cum laude in 2009 and proudly grew up in the non-hipster parts of Brooklyn.

John Elto.jpg

John Elton MBA '00, Partner | Greycroft           

John is a Partner at Greycroft Partners and is based in the firm’s NYC office.

Prior to Greycroft, John was a Partner at iNovia Capital for six years.  While there, he worked with Greycroft on eight co-investments including: Babble (acquired by Disney), Collective, OggiFinogi (acquired by Collective), Vizu (acquired by Neilsen.) and WorkFusion.  John also led the firm’s investments in TripleLift, Chango, BeyondtheRack, and Lenddo.

John was part of the early NYC startup community starting at 24/7 Media where he worked in Strategic Planning and later ran marketing for two of its products. Afterwards, at Turnstone Capital, John advised dMarc Broadcasting on its first round of institutional financing as well as an acquisition prior to its sale to Google.  John started his career at Veronis Suhler Stevenson an investment firm focused on the media and communications industries.

John holds a MBA from New York University with a dual specialization in Finance and Marketing and a BA Degree in Economics from Lehigh University.  John is married with three kids and lives in the wilds of Westchester.

Anthony Pirraglia MBA'12, Vice President | Innovation Endeavors

Anthony Piriglia.png

Anthony Pirraglia is a member of the Firm’s Investment Team focused on expansion investments and held the same position at Marker LLC. Before that he was an Associate at Deutsche Bank in the Investment Banking Division where he focused on M&A and corporate finance.  Before that he was a Restructuring and Valuation Consultant at Huron Consulting.  Before that he was a Senior Associate at KPMG focusing on the financial services sector. He holds an MBA from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York and a BS in Accounting from Villanova University. He is a Certified Public Accountant.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of New York City Venture Connection.



We wanted to take the time to say thank you - it isn't every day that we have over 350 professionals focused on Venture Capital and Private Equity all in one place having meaningful discussions on substantive issues.

With our 13th year now firmly under our belt, we feel gratitude towards each member of the community who joined us as strongly as we ever have. Whether you joined the conversation for the first or thirteenth time, thank you.

As we begin preparations for the 2019 VC & PE Conference, please help us to improve by filling out this quick 4 minute survey.

It was a pleasure seeing you, please stay in touch..

The NYU Stern VC & PE Club




Eric Headshot New.jpg


Eric Hippeau

Managing Partner, Lerer Hippeau Ventures

Eric Hippeau is a Managing Partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures. He is the chairman of RebelMouse and co-founder of NowThis Media. Previously, Eric was the Chief Executive Officer of The Huffington Post and a Special Partner at Softbank Capital, where he served as Managing Partner. Prior to Softbank Capital, Eric was Chairman and CEO of Ziff-Davis, which was the largest media company serving the technology sector. He serves on the Board of various private and public companies, including Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Eric graduated from the Lycee Francais de Londres and attended the Sorbonne University in Paris.


Michael Ronen

Managing Partner, SoftBank Investment Advisers

Michael is Managing Partner of Softbank Investment Advisers where he focuses on investing in next-generation Automotive and Transportation companies, as well as Artificial Intelligence and Communications companies. Michael joined Softbank in 2017 after 19 years at Goldman Sachs where most recently he was a Partner Managing Director and served as co-chief operating officer of the Global Technology, Media and Telecom Group and a member of the Investment Banking Operating Committee. Michael was a member of Goldman Sachs’ M&A Group and founder of the firm's Automotive Technology effort. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Michael served as a non-commissioned officer in the Israeli Air Force Intelligence Corps and later worked as an attorney, specializing in bankruptcies and financial restructurings. Michael earned an LLB (JD) from Tel-Aviv University in 1994 and an MBA, with distinction, from the Stern School of Business at NYU in 1998.





Global Head of Private Equity, Blackstone

Joseph Baratta is Global Head of Private Equity and a member of the firm's Management Committee. Since joining Blackstone in 1998, Mr. Baratta has been involved in the execution of Blackstone’s investments in Universal Orlando, Nycomed Pharmaceuticals, Houghton Mifflin, Spirit Group and was responsible for Blackstone's investments in First Eagle Investment Management, Seaworld Parks and Entertainment, Merlin Entertainments Group, Center Parcs, Tragus Group, Southern Cross and ICS Group. In 2001, Mr. Baratta moved to London to help establish Blackstone’s corporate private equity business in Europe. Before joining Blackstone, Mr. Baratta was with Tinicum Incorporated and McCown De Leeuw & Company. Mr. Baratta also worked at Morgan Stanley in its mergers and acquisitions department. Mr. Baratta graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University where he currently serves on the University's Board of Directors. He serves as a director of Blackstone portfolio companies First Eagle Investment Management and Penn Engineering. He is also a trustee of the Tate Foundation in Britain and serves on the board of Year Up, an organization focused on youth employment.



Friday, March 2nd, 2018

Navigate below for further details on each panel


Welcome & Breakfast

8:00 - 8:50 AM
General Arrivals, Registration, & Breakfast

9:00 - 9:50 AM | KEYNOTE
Welcome Remarks - Dean Rangarajan Sundaram
Opening Keynote - Eric Hippeau, Lerer Hippeau Ventures
 Moderated by Professor Kathleen DeRose, NYU Stern

Morning Panels

10:00 - 10:50 AM | FIRST SESSION
Panel I: Investments in Cryptocurrency & FinTech
Panel II: The Rise of the Secondary Market in Private Equity

11:00 - 11:50 AM | SECOND SESSION
 Panel III: In Search of Longer Term Horizons
 Panel IV: The Rise of Corporate Venture Capital


12:00 - 12:50 PM
Lunch & Networking

1:00 - 1:50 PM | KEYNOTE
Midday Keynote - Michael Ronen, SoftBank Vision Fund
Moderated by Professor Charles Murphy, NYU Stern

afternoon Session

2:00 - 2:50 PM | THIRD SESSION
Panel V: PE Value Creation Strategies & Opportunities in the Current Environment
Panel VI: Venture Investments in Data-Driven Tech - AI & Big Data

3:00 - 3:50 PM | FOURTH SESSION
Panel VII: Distressed Investing
Panel VIII: Investments in Lifestyle - EMS, Hospitality & Luxury


4:10 - 5:00PM | KEYNOTE
Closing - Joseph Baratta, Global Head of Private Equity, Blackstone
Moderated by Professor Gustavo Schwed, NYU Stern         

5:10PM - 6:30PM
Evening Cocktails & Networking



a full day exploring new horizons across the private investments landscape



Investments in Cryptocurrency and Fintech

The Investments in Cryptocurrency & FinTech panel will explore key trends in the field, whether cryptocurrencies have the potential to disrupt the current paradigms of fundraising in Private Equity/Venture Capital/Initial Public Offerings, and the legal ramifications and securities regulation that is likely to impact the industry in the near future.

  • Kendrick Nguyen Founder, Republic
  • Aaron Wright Law Professor, Cardozo Law
  • Jason Jones Entrepreneur-In-Residence, Consensys Capital
  • Travis Scher Vice President, Investments, Digital Currency Group

Moderated by David Yermack, Albert Fingerhut Professor of Finance and Business Transformation and Chair of the Finance Department

Secondary Market PE Investing

The Secondary Market for PE Investing panel will explore Private Equity funds focused on investing in secondaries, the factors that have led to increases in demand for secondary investments, the industries that investors are focused on, and the resulting paradigm shift in the investment landscape.

  • Jameson L Mones Director, Blackstone Strategic Partners
  • Ethan Falkove Managing Director, Neuberger Berman
  • Daryl Li Director, Ardian
  • Brian Zaratzian Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Omaha Beach Capital

Moderated by Dexter Blake, Managing Director, Duff & Phelps

In Search of Longer Term Horizons

The In Search of Longer Term Horizons panel will explore the trend of GPs, LPs, and Co-Investors shifting their focus to investment strategies with longer investment horizons and how the shift is expected to impact the relationship between GPs and LPs.

  • Adam Sokoloff Managing Director, The Carlyle Group
  • John Laxmi Co-Founder, Former CFO, Alinda Capital
  • Scott Werry Founding Partner, Altas Partners
  • Dina Said Dwyer Managing Director, Eden Capital

Moderated by Michael Weisser, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The Rise of Corporate VCs

The Rise of Corporate VCs panel will explore the corporate search for diversified returns and the expansion of corporate activity into the VC space in their search for sector disruptors that will change the future of their industry.

  • Kim Armor Managing Director and CFO, Comcast Ventures
  • Gus Warren Managing Director, Samsung Next Ventures
  • Darcy Frisch Managing Director and Vice President, Hearst Ventures
  • Urs Cete Managing Partner, BDMI

Moderated by Alden Mahabir, Verizon Ventures

PE Value Creation Strategies
and Opportunities in the Current Environment

The Private Equity Value Creation Strategies and Opportunities in the Current Environment panel will explore the shifts in investments across industries and regions, the increasing importance of operational restructuring/efficiency, as well as discussing the rise of alternative methods for investors to access the Private Equity market.

  • Jasvinder Khaira Senior Managing Director, Blackstone, Tactical Opportunities Group
  • Vivianne Akriche Managing Director, Eurazeo Capital
  • Trevor Winstead Managing Director, Apollo Global Management, Illiquid Opportunistic Credit

Moderated by Kenneth Young, Partner,  Dechert LLP

Venture Investments in Data Driven Technology

The Venture Investments in Data-Driven Technology panel will address the current state of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and Data Mining and explore how VC investors expect to leverage these trends in their day to day work and discuss the end-user adoption of this technology.

  • Erik Nordlander Engineering Partner, Google Ventures
  • Davide Venturelli Quantum Computing Team Lead, USRA at NASA Ames Quantum AI Lab
  • John Frankel Founding Partner, ff Venture Capital
  • Vijay Reddy Head of AI Investments, Intel Capital

Moderated by Steven Kuyan, NYU Tandon Future Labs

Distressed Investing

The Distressed Investing panel will explore the expectations for the next stage of the distressed investing sector. Given the current state of the energy, shipping, and retail industry and the increasing price of LBO and M&A deals, should we expect an inbound wave of defaults and bankruptcies in the future? When will the benign credit cycle finally end? Where in the capital structure do we expect to see the most opportunity?

  • Holly Neiweem Managing Director, Eight Bar Partners
  • David Markus Founding Partner, Turning Rock Partners
  • Jason Dillow CIO, Head of Credit and Vice Chairman, Halcyon Capital Management
  • Max Holmes Adjunct Professor, NYU and Chief Investment Officer, Haven Asset Management

Moderated by Josh Sussberg, Partner, Kirkland and Ellis LLP

Investments in Lifestyle: Entertainment, Media, Sports,
LuxurY & Hospitality

The Investments in Lifestyle: Entertainment, Media, Sports, Luxury and Hospitality panel will explore how investors are capitalizing on the infusion of new technology and changes in consumer preferences in the lifestyle segments: Entertainment, Media, Sports, Luxury, and Hospitality.

  • Mark Leavitt CIO, Union Square Hospitality Group
  • Joshua Empson Managing Director, Providence Equity
  • Eugene Remm Founder, EMM Group and Rumble Boxing
  • Tehmina Haider Principal, L Catterton

Moderated by Philip Grovit, Managing Director and COO, Corporate Private Equity, Goldman, Sachs & Co


Thank you to our sponsors, without whom this conference would not be possible






Media Sponsors




NYU Kimmel Center
60 Washington Square S
New York, NY 10012

(Corner of LaGuardia Place & Washington Square South)


NYU provides detailed instructions on reaching the Washington Square Park neighborhood. The Kimmel Center is immediately south of the park.


NYU provides a list of hotels it recommends staying with



Contact Us


Please use the form to the right for all conference-related inquiries.

Name *