The Harvard Business School Alumni Angels Association (HBSAA) is an educational and networking forum for Harvard Alumni and other participants who are interested in researching and investing in early stage companies on an individual basis.
Harvard is the number one school attended by startups that raised $100 million or more, according to TechCrunch.
HBS is the number one business school for entrepreneurship with more than 1,300 entrepreneurs and nearly 1,200 companies that combined have raised in excess of $39 billion, according to Poets & Quants.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
JASON E. KLEIN, MBA ’86
Jason E. Klein is an experienced media CEO and builder of digital and traditional businesses who has led two successful turnarounds. He is founder and CEO of On Grid Ventures LLC, an investment and advisory firm in media, marketing, commerce and information, with a focus on early stage ventures with leading-edge location technologies. Mr Klein is also Chairman, HBS Alumni Angels of Greater NY; and a member of New York Angels. Mr. Klein was previously CEO of Newspaper National Network LP, and CEO of Times Mirror Magazines/Time4 Media. Mr. Klein is one of “25 Angels Investors in NY You Need to Know,” according to Alley Watch.
JEAN KOVACS, MBA ’85
Jean Kovacs has over 25 years of experience directing technology companies and a track record of using her strategic business skills and background to deliver exceptional results with growing enterprises. Although focused on the investment side these days, Ms. Kovacs has spent most of her career in managing and growing businesses. Most recently, she was CEO and co-founder of Comergent Technologies, a fast-growing leader in e-business. Comergent became a world-class organization, committed to providing real-world business solutions to global enterprises. In late 2006, Comergent was purchased by Sterling Commerce (a division of AT&T).
DEAN NEESE, MBA ’98
Dean Neese brings 30 years of executive experience and management consulting delivering hypergrowth. He currently serves as CFO of Kinetica, a SaaS startup focused on accelerated high-performance data analytics. Dean also serves as a Managing Partner at TMD Ventures, which focuses on seed investments in disruptive tech companies. Previously, he held several c-suite roles, including Head of Strategy and Corporate Development at DocuSign, where he led the company's international growth strategy through several acquisitions and growth initiatives. Dean holds a BA in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
ETIENNE DEFFARGES, MBA ’85
Etienne Deffarges is a co-founder and operating partner at Chicago Pacific Founders, a healthcare PE firm. He co-launched Accretive Health (now R1 RCM) in 2004, and tool the company public in New York in 2010, at a $1.2 billion enterprise valuation. Since then he has enjoyed numerous other exits as a founding board member and angel investor. He is the author of "Untangling the USA..." recently published by Routledge, Taylor & Francis. Prior, he was a global managing partner at Accenture and helped take the company public in 2001 on the NYSE at a $13 billion valuation. Before that, he was a senior partner and global practice leader with Booz Allen Hamilton.
IMRE ESZENYI, CFA OPM ’40
Imre is an investment banking trained entrepreneur and financier with experience in structuring and execution of capital markets, private equity investments and derivatives transactions globally. As the Managing Partner of Orchestra Capital LLP, Imre focuses on making investments in fast developing companies, funding growth strategies and acquisitions, while partnering with industry experts and management. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and is member of the CFA Institute.
STEVE KIRSCHNER, MBA ’86
Steve Kirschner, CMO, is a marketing professional and veteran entrepreneur. He started his career on Madison Avenue in advertising and subsequently worked in virtually every aspect of the modern marketing mix, with a specialization in public relations. Steve co-founded MarketWare, a merchandising software developer that became market dominant and had a successful M&A that was entirely funded with angel capital – so he’s a big believer in angel funding for startups. Today Steve runs a consulting boutique called Package Perfect, Ltd. that helps companies improve their marketing and prepare for M&A with a goal of increasing exit valuations. Steve holds a B.S. in Communications from Boston University and lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his family where he is authoring a book on a new theory of marketing communication, mentors entrepreneurs and plays guitar badly.
Magnus Arantes is a serial entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist, angel investor and innovator board member. He developed the complete cycle from the foundation to exit of a few companies. Magnus serves as board member in a few companies but, his primary occupation is as Managing Partner at LM Ventures, an innovation consulting company that operates Vertical Innovation Hubs, connecting big corporations with startups in an industry vertical ecosystem. These including Okara Hub, Hubble Hub, Pulse Hub and AgriHub Space. LM Ventures is also a venture builder, where they partner with big corporations to co-create new business outside their organizations. As early stage investor, LM manages a few investments vehicles and partner since 2012 with NXTP Labs, the most active early stage investor in Latin America, with more than 200 investments made. Magnus is also co-founder and President of HBS Angels Alumni Association of Brazil, angel investor group formed by former Harvard Alumni, and board member of the HBS Alumni Angels Global since 2014, a global institution that oversees 14 groups of HBS Angels Alumni worldwide, where he served as co-president in 2017-18. Magnus also help big organizations and startups siting in its boards, usually responsibly for a more innovative perspective to the organizations. Magnus holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineer by UFPR, a master’s degree in business administration from FEA-USP and had completed the OPM from Harvard Business School.
DAVID CHEN, MBA ’96
Mr. David Chen co-founded AngelVest Group (angelvestgroup.com), an investment platform comprising of individual angel investors and the AngelVest Fund curate and invest in early-stage companies. AngelVest Group has grown to be one of the largest branded angel groups in Greater China comprised of mostly expats based in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Mr. Chen is also the Founding Partner of the AngelVest Fund, which is structured as a private equity fund focusing on investments alongside AngelVest Group. Mr. Chen also takes active management roles in select portfolio companies including Hanson Robotics (hansonrobotics.com) – makers of the world famous “Sophia” robot – where he is a member of the Board of Directors and leads the CFO office. Mr. Chen aims to provide innovative solutions in the early-stage investment marketplace through the AngelVest Fund and strategically related blockchain-based technology partners helping investors connect with compelling deal opportunities globally. He is an avid supporter of disruptive innovation and entrepreneurs leading great change for the betterment of society. His areas of investment focus in recent years include robotics, AI, blockchain, and other Internet businesses. Mr. Chen is also the Founding Chairman of the Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of China – with the mission to provide an educational and networking forum for Harvard alumni interested in angel investing. Previously, he worked in a variety of corporate finance and product development roles at companies including Salomon Brothers, Advanced Micro Devices, and Honda Motor. Mr. Chen earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rochester and MBA from the Harvard Business School, and studied Chinese at Peking University. Originally from New York, Mr. Chen most recently lived in Shanghai for over 12 years.
MAURICE GOPIKIAN, MBA ’96
Maurice Gopikian is a Fundraiser and manages MG Ventures, his own M&A boutique. He has been influential in the entrepreneurial scene for 30 years as CEO/founder or co-founder of a dozen companies, angel investor and minority owner of a few other ones, and coach/mentor to many startups, accelerators and incubators. Formerly from an engineering background in Computer Science and Information Technology, he previously was manager for the TMT Strategy Consulting and M&A practice at Accenture, planned the IPO within Trader Media and worked in Venture Capital at Innovacom.
SIMON GREENMAN, MBA ’99
Simon Greenman has over 20 years of CEO and CDO experience leading digital transformations of local media, SMB SaaS, and marketplace businesses in both the US and Europe. He is co-founder and partner at Best Practice AI, a London-based AI executive advisory that helps companies create competitive advantage through AI. Earlier in his career he was co-founder of MapQuest, one of the first internet brands. On the investment side Simon is an advisor and former venture partner at DN Capital and AI expert in residence at Seedcamp along with Chair of the London Angels. He holds a BA in computing & artificial intelligence from the University of Sussex
ALEX MEYER, MBA ’05
Alex Meyer is a partner at Origin Ventures focusing on Seed and Series A investments. Alex held management roles at SAP, Deloitte, and House of Blues. He is founder & chairman of HBS Alumni Angels Chicago and the Alumni Entrepreneurship Council of Chicago. He served on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s economic development delegations to London, Israel, Tokyo, Beijing, and Boston. He co-authored the HBS case: Rising from the Ashes - The Emergence of Chicago’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem. He is founder of the National Organization for Business & Engineering, co-founder & vice chairman of Stage773 Theater, and was named one of Chicago's 40 Under 40.
Additional Officers/ex-Officio Board Members
TOM CERVANTEZ, JD/MBA ’92
Tom Cervantez is one of the Co-Founders of the HBS Alumni Angels Association together with Sean Jacobsohn MBA ’98, Maurice Gopikian MBA ’96 and Sajjad Masud MBA ’98. Tom is an active angel investor and also a Venture Partner at Accelerator Ventures, and sits on the Boards of Sleepquest and PillDrill. Tom brings a strong deal background to his investments and portfolio companies from the legal perspective, having practiced law as a venture capital lawyer in Silicon Valley since 1992, as well as being a founder of a corporate/venture law boutique, Business Counsel Law Group, LLP – in San Francisco. On the non-profit side, Tom sits on the boards of the HBS Latino Alumni Association and the HBS Alumni Angels Association.
PRASHANT DIXIT, PLDA '16
Prashant Dixit is a business driven technology professional with extensive experience in driving and delivering business initiatives by leveraging information technology. His career spans from working in startups to Fortune 500 companies, such as RewardsPlus, Accenture, AIG, GMAC and Lincoln Financial Group. Prashant's area of expertise is in driving digital strategy that defines how organizations uses people, processes, and technology to radically transform business performance. He holds a BS in engineering from Indian Institute of Technology and an MS in Technology Management from Columbia University, NY.