Watch

November 4, 2015

How to Pick Winners at an Early Stage

The November 4 discussion gathered leading investors in the Washington, DC region to discuss how they assess risk and find winners in early-stage startups.

Sheila Herrling, senior vice president for social innovation at Case Foundation, leads the foundation’s efforts to develop and implement mission-driven domestic and international initiatives, expand tech for good platforms, leverage partnerships, promote entrepreneurial approaches to social change, and build a robust portfolio of social and impact investments.

She possesses over 20 years of experience in international development and U.S. foreign policy, focused on aid innovation and effectiveness, monitoring and evaluation, and economic analysis. Sheila spent five years as senior vice president for policy and evaluation at the Millennium Challenge Corporation. She also served as senior policy director at the Center for Global Development and in senior management positions at the U.S. Department of Treasury. She also served as a senior advisor on the Obama administration’s foreign policy transition team.

Sheila holds a M.A. from American University’s School of International Service with a focus in international development and development finance, and a B.A. in economics from William Smith College. She serves on the advisory board of Publish What You Fund.

Sheila Herrling

Sheila Herrling, senior vice president for social innovation at Case Foundation, leads the foundation’s efforts to develop and implement mission-driven domestic and international initiatives, expand tech for good platforms, leverage partnerships, promote entrepreneurial approaches to social change, and build a robust portfolio of social and impact investments.

Sheila Herrling, senior vice president for social innovation at Case Foundation, leads the foundation’s efforts to develop and implement mission-driven domestic and international initiatives, expand tech for good platforms, leverage partnerships, promote entrepreneurial approaches to social change, and build a robust portfolio of social and impact investments.

She possesses over 20 years of experience in international development and U.S. foreign policy, focused on aid innovation and effectiveness, monitoring and evaluation, and economic analysis. Sheila spent five years as senior vice president for policy and evaluation at the Millennium Challenge Corporation. She also served as senior policy director at the Center for Global Development and in senior management positions at the U.S. Department of Treasury. She also served as a senior advisor on the Obama administration’s foreign policy transition team.

Sheila holds a M.A. from American University’s School of International Service with a focus in international development and development finance, and a B.A. in economics from William Smith College. She serves on the advisory board of Publish What You Fund.

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Mr. Tien Wong is chairman and CEO of Tech 2000, Inc., a Virginia-based EdTech company providing e-learning, learning analytics and mobile sales enablement software to Fortune 500, education and government clients. An active angel investor, he is also chairman of Opus8, Inc., a private investment and consulting firm which helps private equity and venture capital funds raise capital overseas.

In his career, he has raised over $1 billion in equity, debt and mezzanine capital for a variety of corporate finance and commercial real estate transactions. He has placed capital from pension funds, insurance companies, banks and publicly traded business development companies.

Mr. Wong received the 2001 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Greater Washington and the 2003 Ernst & Young Performance Excellence Award. He is a 2012 and 2013 Washington Business Journal "Power 100" selection as one of the region's most influential leaders, and a three-time SmartCEO Magazine selection as a "Smart100" CEO ('09, '10 and '11).

Mr. Wong was appointed by Governor Martin O'Malley to the 9-person Maryland Venture Fund Authority which oversees $84 million in venture capital allocations, and he serves on the Investment Advisory Board of the Commonwealth of Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology GAP Fund. He is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. Mr. Wong has served as treasurer and National Board Member of the American Teleservices Association, trustee of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and served on the boards of the Technology Council of Maryland and Association for Corporate Growth. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College.

Tien Wong

Mr. Tien Wong is chairman and CEO of Tech 2000, Inc., a Virginia-based EdTech company providing e-learning, learning analytics and mobile sales enablement software to Fortune 500, education and government clients. An active angel investor, he is also chairman of Opus8, Inc., a private investment and consulting firm which helps private equity and venture capital funds raise capital overseas.

Mr. Tien Wong is chairman and CEO of Tech 2000, Inc., a Virginia-based EdTech company providing e-learning, learning analytics and mobile sales enablement software to Fortune 500, education and government clients. An active angel investor, he is also chairman of Opus8, Inc., a private investment and consulting firm which helps private equity and venture capital funds raise capital overseas.

In his career, he has raised over $1 billion in equity, debt and mezzanine capital for a variety of corporate finance and commercial real estate transactions. He has placed capital from pension funds, insurance companies, banks and publicly traded business development companies.

Mr. Wong received the 2001 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Greater Washington and the 2003 Ernst & Young Performance Excellence Award. He is a 2012 and 2013 Washington Business Journal "Power 100" selection as one of the region's most influential leaders, and a three-time SmartCEO Magazine selection as a "Smart100" CEO ('09, '10 and '11).

Mr. Wong was appointed by Governor Martin O'Malley to the 9-person Maryland Venture Fund Authority which oversees $84 million in venture capital allocations, and he serves on the Investment Advisory Board of the Commonwealth of Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology GAP Fund. He is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. Mr. Wong has served as treasurer and National Board Member of the American Teleservices Association, trustee of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and served on the boards of the Technology Council of Maryland and Association for Corporate Growth. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College.

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Mr. Klein is a successful private equity investor and author who focuses on identifying, investing in and helping build transformative companies – those that not only succeed but transform their industries, their markets and the world around them. During his career he has been involved in financing over 130 venture and growth stage companies.

In his role at SWaN & Legend, he serves on the boards of Anonymous Content, La Lumiere, China Senior Care and MyOwnMed. He is also a board observer on CustomInk, Optoro, Social Radar, Quad Learning and Think Food Group.

In 2005, he founded and served as managing partner of Legend Ventures, a private investment firm targeting new media and information technology opportunities. Prior to founding Legend, he was a managing director and member of the investment committee of Kinetic Ventures, which he joined in 1994. Earlier in his career, he worked in corporate finance for Salomon Brothers and Chemical Banking Corporation where he completed numerous mergers & acquisitions, restructurings, public and private financings, and leveraged buyouts.

In addition to his private equity activities, he is the author of two books on Transformative Companies: East of Wall Street, a work of business fiction and Built for Change: Essential Traits of Transformative Companies (Praeger Publishing).

Mr. Klein is a frequent speaker on capital formation and entrepreneurship and has appeared on Lou Dobbs and CNN, as well as keynoting Fortune Magazine’s Growth Summit. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization, serving in several leadership roles including chapter chair and chairman of YPO’s largest network, the Deal Network, where he built worldwide membership to over 4,000 CEOs in 105 countries. He is an executive producer of the film “Breakup at a Wedding.”

He received his BBA from the University of Texas and MBA from Harvard Business School.

Todd Klein

Mr. Klein is a successful private equity investor and author who focuses on identifying, investing in and helping build transformative companies – those that not only succeed but transform their industries, their markets and the world around them. During his career he has been involved in financing over 130 venture and growth stage companies.

In his role at SWaN & Legend, he serves on the boards of Anonymous Content, La Lumiere, China Senior Care and MyOwnMed. He is also a board observer on CustomInk, Optoro, Social Radar, Quad Learning and Think Food Group.

Mr. Klein is a successful private equity investor and author who focuses on identifying, investing in and helping build transformative companies – those that not only succeed but transform their industries, their markets and the world around them. During his career he has been involved in financing over 130 venture and growth stage companies.

In his role at SWaN & Legend, he serves on the boards of Anonymous Content, La Lumiere, China Senior Care and MyOwnMed. He is also a board observer on CustomInk, Optoro, Social Radar, Quad Learning and Think Food Group.

In 2005, he founded and served as managing partner of Legend Ventures, a private investment firm targeting new media and information technology opportunities. Prior to founding Legend, he was a managing director and member of the investment committee of Kinetic Ventures, which he joined in 1994. Earlier in his career, he worked in corporate finance for Salomon Brothers and Chemical Banking Corporation where he completed numerous mergers & acquisitions, restructurings, public and private financings, and leveraged buyouts.

In addition to his private equity activities, he is the author of two books on Transformative Companies: East of Wall Street, a work of business fiction and Built for Change: Essential Traits of Transformative Companies (Praeger Publishing).

Mr. Klein is a frequent speaker on capital formation and entrepreneurship and has appeared on Lou Dobbs and CNN, as well as keynoting Fortune Magazine’s Growth Summit. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization, serving in several leadership roles including chapter chair and chairman of YPO’s largest network, the Deal Network, where he built worldwide membership to over 4,000 CEOs in 105 countries. He is an executive producer of the film “Breakup at a Wedding.”

He received his BBA from the University of Texas and MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Yanev is the founder of SineWave Ventures, a new venture capital fund focused on connecting the top technology companies of the top VC firms to access the public sector.

Before starting SineWave, Yanev was an investor in New Enterprise Associates’ D.C. office. Yanev focused on early stage tech investments, including enterprise and cloud solutions. Yanev also worked in NEA’s energy portfolio on both supply and demand side solutions across renewable technologies.

Before joining NEA, Yanev was a senior investment officer in the government, where he was engaged in the underwriting of billions of dollars of debt for issuance to new, innovative technology companies.

Yanev serves on a number of advisory boards, including the Technology Advisory Board for NJIT and NJ Economic Development Authority. He is the recipient of a series of fellowships, including the Kauffman Fellowship, the Presidential Management Fellowship and the Heymann, Kennedy, and Cravath Fellowships.

Yanev earned an MBA with distinction from Oxford Said School of Business (Christ Church), a J.D. from Harvard Law, and a Master's degree from Sydney Law School. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University, receiving his B.A. in Ethics, Politics and Economics, and Sociology.

Yanev Suissa

Yanev is the founder of SineWave Ventures, a new venture capital fund focused on connecting the top technology companies of the top VC firms to access the public sector.

Before starting SineWave, Yanev was an investor in New Enterprise Associates’ D.C. office. Yanev focused on early stage tech investments, including enterprise and cloud solutions. Yanev also worked in NEA’s energy portfolio on both supply and demand side solutions across renewable technologies.

Yanev is the founder of SineWave Ventures, a new venture capital fund focused on connecting the top technology companies of the top VC firms to access the public sector.

Before starting SineWave, Yanev was an investor in New Enterprise Associates’ D.C. office. Yanev focused on early stage tech investments, including enterprise and cloud solutions. Yanev also worked in NEA’s energy portfolio on both supply and demand side solutions across renewable technologies.

Before joining NEA, Yanev was a senior investment officer in the government, where he was engaged in the underwriting of billions of dollars of debt for issuance to new, innovative technology companies.

Yanev serves on a number of advisory boards, including the Technology Advisory Board for NJIT and NJ Economic Development Authority. He is the recipient of a series of fellowships, including the Kauffman Fellowship, the Presidential Management Fellowship and the Heymann, Kennedy, and Cravath Fellowships.

Yanev earned an MBA with distinction from Oxford Said School of Business (Christ Church), a J.D. from Harvard Law, and a Master's degree from Sydney Law School. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University, receiving his B.A. in Ethics, Politics and Economics, and Sociology.

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