Steve Brotman, an entrepreneur, investor, and fund manager, is the Managing Partner at Alpha Partners. Steve also serves as a Strategic Advisor to the Pritzker Group‘s venture arm, Pritzker Group Venture Capital.
Prior to Alpha Partners, Steve was the co-founder and Managing Director of Greenhill SAVP, Greenhill & Co’s venture capital unit (which was spun out as Tribeca Venture Partners), a technology- and business information services-focused venture capital fund with $100 Million under management. Prior to GSAVP, Steve founded Silicon Alley Venture Partners with $15 million assets under management. At his prior funds, Steve invested in 30 portfolio companies and was among the first institutional investors in LivePerson (Nasdaq: LPSN) and Medidata Solutions (Nasdaq: MDSO).
Steve was also the co-founder of a venture-backed company, AdOne, the pioneer online classified advertising platform. AdOne was Steve’s first entrepreneurial effort, which started life as an assignment in an Entrepreneurship class at Columbia Business School. AdOne signed over one third of the newspaper industry, 500 newspapers, and was acquired by a newspaper consortium led by Hearst. During his entrepreneurial and VC firm career, Steve has been recognized a few times: as a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award as well as being named in Crain’s Tech 100, Top 25 Players Shaping Silicon Alley and Top 40 under 40 among New York business leaders.
Steve has previously served on the boards of the MIT Enterprise Forum, Critical Mention, DataSynapse (Observer), Medidata (Observer) and Truveris, among others. Steve has been a mentor with the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, Blueprint Health, Startup Health, Columbia Business School Lang and Greenhouse Funds. Steve received a joint M.B.A. / J.D from Washington University / Columbia and a B.A. in economics from Duke University.
Brian Smiga, a serial entrepreneur and seasoned marketer, is a Partner at Alpha. Brian also advises Pritzker Group Venture Capital on deal origination and relationships.
Prior to Alpha Partners, Brian was the founder and CEO of Preclick, (sold to Smilebox), where he developed photo software licensed worldwide by HP, 3M, Sandisk, Walmart, Costco, CVS, and Walgreens. Prior to Preclick, Mr. Smiga was CEO at 3Path, an early Dropbox, an Intel and Goldman-Sachs backed startup, and the SVP of Marketing at 1ClickCharge, an early Bolt, where his product launch resulted in a sale of the company to CMGi.
Since first working with Mr. Brotman at 1ClickCharge, Mr. Smiga advised Brotman-backed portfolio companies: Altruik, Headliner, Knovel, and Mobile Commons. In the 1990s, Mr. Smiga began his career as a developer at Booz & Co, and in Silicon Valley was the founder of Portfolio Software and Actioneer, where he co-authored six collaboration software patents and licensed top-rated software to Apple, IBM, Lotus, Microsoft, AOL, 3Com, Acco, and others. Brian received a BA in Liberal Arts from Swarthmore College, and a Masters of Philosophy in Literature from Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland. Brian is the founder of TEDxAsburyPark, the top-ranked TEDx conference on the US east coast, and a board member of the Roothbert Fund, a scholarship grant program for graduate students whose daily actions are guided by spirituality.
Chief Financial Officer
At Vreeland, Mr. O’Brien launched and managed a number of funds and strategies in the equity, real estate and private investment space. He has served in roles that include Chief Investment Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Director of Investor Relations. At Vreeland, he pioneered the expanded use of dividend reinvestment and stock purchase plans with institutional investors, transfer agents and public companies including Southern Company, Annaly Capital, Progress Energy and others.
Mr. O’Brien also co-founded and served as Managing Director of Brinson Patrick Securities Corporation. There, he served as Co-Head of Investment Banking as well as Director of Capital Markets and Business Development. At Brinson Patrick, Mr. O’Brien developed and pioneered the “at-the-market” equity offering, creating a new capital alternative for public companies, including the first equity REIT, Centerpoint Properties and later with numerous others, including Fortune 500 companies like Kinder Morgan and CMS Energy.
Mr. O’Brien earned his B.A. in history from Yale University and has served on the Board of Directors for the Yale Alumni Fund and as a member of its Executive Committee. Mr. O’Brien has five children and resides in Westfield, NJ where he met Mr. Brotman and his family.
As Vice President at Alpha Partners, Sam evaluates investment opportunities, contributes to quantitative and qualitative fund analysis, and manages Alpha’s venture network. He is also the lead Associate for Alpha Partners Technology Merger Corp (APTMC), Alpha Partners’ Special Purpose Acquisition Company.
Prior to joining Alpha Partners, Sam obtained operator experience building and expanding CPG startups. He managed a restaurant in Manhattan where he launched a private label beer brand and auxiliary speakeasy. He also directed operations and logistics for a multimillion-dollar chain of restaurants, overseeing the opening of two locations in Logan Airport. Sam completed a graduate internship with Alpha Partners.
Sam received his M.B.A. with a concentration in Finance from The University of Kansas and a B.S. in Biology from Dickinson College.
Julian Fainzaig joined Alpha Partners in 2022 to focus on growth-stage investments. As part of the investment team, Julian is involved in sourcing, diligencing and evaluating investment opportunities both in the US and overseas.
Prior to joining Alpha Partners, Julian worked with Soma Capital’s multi-stage fund, where he focused on B2B SaaS and Fintech Investments, and helped expand the fund’s presence in LatAm.
Previously, Julian worked as an Investment Banker at Kidron Corporate Advisors, specializing in cross-border M&A in the TMT space and advising both buy-side and sell-side clients on multi-million dollar transactions.
Investor Relations and Operations Manager
As Investor Relations and Operations Manager at Alpha Partners, Mali assists with managing the firm’s Investor Communications and Fundraising activities. Mali also contributes to Alpha’s Marketing and Operations, which includes implementing new systems and processes across the firm. Prior to Alpha Partners, Mali was a Senior Analyst at Murano Connect. At Murano, Mali led an International LP research team, which helped streamline the Fundraising efforts of various institutional GPs. Mali received his BSc in Economic History from The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
Investor Relations and Operations Manager
As an Investor Relations and Operations Manager at Alpha Partners, Michela handles internal operations for the firm and provides support to the Managing Directors.
Prior to joining Alpha Partners, Michela worked in the hospitality industry managing well known restaurant chains in Tampa, Florida. In 2017, Michela moved to New York City to follow her dreams of working in the financial industries. Her hospitality experience has helped along the way as she prides herself on being extremely organized and client focused.
Michela Bracich received her B.S. in Public Policy and Administration from St. Petersburg College.
As an Associate at Alpha Partners, Michelle evaluates investment opportunities, contributes to quantitative and qualitative fund analysis, and manages Alpha’s venture network.
Prior to joining Alpha Partners, Michelle was a member of the United States Antarctic Program and Long-Term Ecological Research project, where she investigated the effects of climate change on humpback whales in Antarctica. She also started her own education company and co-authored one of WWF’s most successful publications to date, reaching over 70 million readers and contributing to the establishment of the Whales and Dolphins Initiative. In addition her research has been presented to the international commission CCAMLR, the governing body created by the Antarctic treaty that determines the use of marine living resources in the Antarctic.
Michelle received an MS from UCSC, an MSc from Imperial college, and a BA from Yale University.
Venture Partner, CEO of Alpha SPAC
At Alpha Partners, Matt Krna serves as Venture Partner.
Matt was most recently co-founder and Managing Partner of Princeville Global, a San Francisco and Hong Kong-based successor fund to SoftBank Princeville focused on backing breakout-stage technology companies around the world. There, he helped raise over $500 million and led investments in and served on the boards of Doctor on Demand, a leading telemedicine company; Remitly, a provider of global remittance services; and Tripping, a provider of vacation rental metasearch solutions (acquired by HomeToGo).
Before Princeville Global, Matt was a Partner at SoftBank Princeville, a growth-stage venture fund affiliated with SoftBank Group. There he was involved in investments including BigCommerce (NASDAQ: BIGC), Fitbit (NYSE: FIT), Criteo (NASDAQ: CRTO), Kabbage (acquired by American Express for $850M), Kony (acq. by Temenos), and others. During his tenure at Softbank Princeville, Matt was also an active advisor to SoftBank Group, Alibaba, and YAHOO! Japan and was a member of Sprint’s venture advisory board.
Earlier, Matt was a Vice President at Investor Growth Capital, the growth-stage venture arm of Investor AB, and an investment professional at Canaan Partners, an early-stage US-based venture fund. He began his career as a technology investment banker at Credit Suisse First Boston and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.
Matt received an A.B. in History with honors from Harvard after three years of study and was a member of the varsity swim team.
Venture Partner, Chair of Alpha SPAC
At Alpha Partners, Mike Ryan serves as Venture Partner, a limited partner, and Chair of its SPAC, (APTMU).
Mike is the Co-Founder of Bullet Point Network. An active entrepreneur, and board member, Mike has almost 30 years of investment, capital markets, and management experience.
Mike has been the CIO of MDR Capital, his family office, since 2009. Before founding Bullet Point Network, Mike served as Head of Public Equity and Absolute Return at the Harvard endowment, Head of Global Securities (overseeing equities, fixed income, currencies & commodities) at Credit Suisse, and Partner and Head of Global Equity Products at Goldman Sachs, where he spent the first 18 years of his career.
Mike has served as a director, committee chair, and board chair on numerous corporate and non-profit boards. He graduated summa cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in economics and was an Academic All-American in basketball.
Videesha Böckle has over a decade of work experience in the areas of business/product development, sales, corporate innovation and venture capital. Before moving to Berlin she worked as an Associate for London-based Venture Capital fund PROfounders Capital. She was formerly the Founding Partner and Managing Director of Berlin headquartered early stage investor Signals Venture Capital backed by one of Germany’s leading insurance companies and worked as a Principal for Redstone, an organisation pioneering the co-GP fund model and “Venture Capital as a Service” in Europe. She was awarded a Digital Policy Fellowship to investigate pressing policy or regulatory issues for the transatlantic digital economy by the German Marshall Fund of the United States a public policy think tank. At the start of her career she worked as a Credit Analyst for Lehman Brothers and transitioned to a generalist Private Banking role with exposure to product and business development at Barclays Wealth in London and Singapore.
Michael Staton is Venture Partner at Alpha Partners in addition to Learn Capital, the leading sector-focused venture fund in Education, Learning, and Talent — where he served as a General Partner for a decade. He helped lead investments into Coursera, Outschool, Andela, Photomath, Minerva, and Brilliant. He angel invested in several breakout companies, including MavenClinic, Ontra, Hipcamp, Yassir, and Clever; in addition to investments into private market data and intelligence platforms Allocate and CobaltLP.
While transitioning into Venture, he was selected as a Kauffman Fellow – the industry leading learning network and training program for Venture Capital — where he was awarded the Jeff Timmons Award for outstanding leadership, which recognized his initiatives for a peer learning process and a Fellow governance & collaboration model. Since, he continues to serve on the Curriculum Advisory Board.
Michael is currently the CEO and Founder of Colearn Club, a startup aiming to power parent involvement, engagement, and agency in education. Prior to Learn Capital, Michael worked as a co-founder of DevBootcamp (sold to Kaplan) and an advisor to Quizlet (backed by USV) after being the founder and CEO of Uversity (sold to TargetX). Starting his career as a public school teacher, Michael served as a Venture Partner and Community Advisor to NewSchools Venture Fund’s Seed Fund, now Reach Capital. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, but loves travelling to New York, France, Spain, and the Nordics.
Prior to joining Thyme Care, Ben was a Vice President at Optum Ventures, a $600M healthcare focused venture fund.
He joined Optum Ventures from Alpha Partners, where he started as Alpha’s first full-time employee and left as a Senior Associate at the fund.
Prior to joining Alpha, Ben was an Investment Banking analyst at Peter J. Solomon Company, working with their Technology and Media M&A group and Restructuring division. In addition, Ben was an intern at Susquehanna Growth Equity during his time at Duke University, where he graduated with his B.A. in Economics.
At night, Ben is a stand-up comic who has opened for Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Gaffigan and others, in addition to MC’ing and speaking at TEDx conferences.
Charlie is a partner with SilverTech Ventures, the technology investment arm of Silverstein Properties. Charlie previously served as a partner in BRM Capital, and led its US activities. Before joining BRM, Charlie spent fifteen years (culminating as Chairman) with the M&A boutique, Broadview, where he advised on more than 100 acquisitions of software/Internet companies.
David S. Bennahum
David is a lifelong entrepreneur and technologist, starting when he learned to program video games in BASIC at the age of 13. Today David serves as the CEO of READYgg, operating the leading Layer3 enabling the onboarding of the first billion web2 players into web3 gaming. Prior to working in the gaming industry, David was part of the founding team at WIRED, leading coverage out of the New York area. He’s a graduate of Harvard College.
Chris joined Pritzker Group Venture Capital in 1996 and has served as its Managing Partner since 1998. During this time, he has led the organization and capital formation for 7 technology venture funds and has led or overseen investments in more than 150 companies. For more than 20 years, Chris has assisted management teams in building businesses, including helping guide strategy, execution and overall value creation, and optimizing liquidity events. As an active investor and board member, Chris works closely with companies providing general management, finance and operational assistance.
His prior experience includes the corporate finance departments of two regional investment banking firms, The Chicago Corporation and Kemper Securities, Inc. As a banker, Chris focused on technology-related transactions including public offerings, mergers and acquisitions and financial advisory. Prior to becoming a banker, he worked in the merger and acquisition group of KPMG Peat Marwick where he coordinated business valuations and divestiture engagements.
Chris currently serves on the boards of Advantage Optics, BASELAYER Technology, and IO Data Centers. In addition, Chris serves on several non-profit boards including the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Brown University Sports Foundation, the National Venture Capital Association as well as a Development Council Member for US Soccer Federation. Chris also serves as a mentor and advisor to numerous accelerators, funds and individual entrepreneurs. Chris received a ScB. degree in Applied Mathematics-Economics from Brown University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.
As an Advisor and limited partner to Alpha Partners, Daniel provides legal, corporate structure, governance, and venture best practices advice. Daniel was an formerly a Managing Director at SoundView Technology Group (NASDAQ:SNDV), which sold to Charles Schwab; Head of Venture Capital Funds at SoundView and Wit Capital; and a co-founder of Dawntreader Ventures. Currently, Daniel is the Co-Chair of the Venture Capital and Emerging Practice group at the law firm of Mintz Levin, a law Professor at NYU Law School, and an Advisor and Board member of a number of leading private technology companies.
As an Advisor and limited partner to Alpha Partners, Erik brings more than twenty years of technology venture capital investment success and operational experience both in the US and abroad. Erik served as the co-founder and General Partner of Pequot Ventures, the direct venture investment arm of Pequot Capital Management, with close to $2.0 billion under management across five technology PE/VC funds, and one early stage healthcare fund. Erik serves on the Eli Whitney Investment Advisory Committee of Connecticut Innovations, the State of Connecticut venture fund and resides in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Marc Michel has had a long career as both a venture investor and founder of a successful technology company. Marc started his career as a tech banker at Merrill Lynch before moving into Merrill’s middle market buyout business. After Merrill exited the business, Marc returned to his first passion and founded Eos Partners’ venture fund. He then built and ran TD Capital USA, TD Bank’s venture and growth equity arm in NYC. In 1999, Marc became co-founder and visionary of Precyse Solutions, now one of the country’s leading clinical health data capture and management companies that serves over 4,000 health facilities. In 2008, Marc co-founded Metamorphic Ventures (renamed Compound) as one of NYC’s first Seed venture funds. Marc has backed many successful companies such as Peapod, Brooks Fiber, Mountain Union Telecom, Insite, Coinstar, IndieGoGo, MovableInk, Appboy, Transactis, Thrive Market, Tap Commerce, Tapad, and many others.
Marc is originally a Canadian citizen who moved to Cleveland, Ohio as a boy and calls himself a Clevelander at heart. Marc is an avid tennis player and fan and anyone who knows him, knows he will be at the US Open come the end of August!