Past Meetup

VCs and Angels Share Funding Secrets and Tips

This Meetup is past

226 people went


Panel of funders gives advice about how to get money to start and/or grow a business: What do they want to see in a pitch? What are some deadly sins to avoid in a pitch?

John Ason, angel investor
Alex Goldberg, managing director at Canary Ventures
Dan Keoppel, advisor at Far Greater Ventures (previously executive director at Verizon Ventures)
Adam Plotkin, partner at ff Venture Capital
Kathryn Swintek, managing partner of Golden Seeds Fund 2 LP
Moderator: Kathleen Coviello, director, Technology & Life Sciences Division, NJ Economic Development Authority

Event is co-sponsored with Residence Life (, McCarter & English ( and Mission 50 (

6:00-6:45 p.m. Networking with pizza
6:45-7:00 p.m. Welcome and 1-minute pitches from the audience
7:00-8:30 p.m. Panel discussion with audience Q&A

Directions and parking info:

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram: #MSUmeetup and @FelicianoCenter

Speaker bios:
John Ason ( has been an angel investor for the past 15 years and has enjoyed the excitement and fast-paced work of the industry. Prior to investing he worked for over 25 years at AT&T, both doing engineering and international business. John made over 100 trips to the Far East and was working on “bleeding edge” technology, something he found to be useful when he transitioned into angel investing. John grew up in Chicago and graduated from IIT with degrees in Mathematics and Anthropology. John has currently made over 40 professional investments, in an eclectic range of industies, and for many of these investments he has been the lead angel.

Alex Goldberg (!bio/c1cnb) is the managing director of Canary Ventures ( and an entrepreneur and angel investor in early-stage B2B software start-ups. He has more than a decade of technical product management, business development and strategy experience from four high-growth, venture capital backed start-ups in Greater Boston, including: Art Technology Group (an innovator in personalized online advertising), Open Market (an innovator in online retailing), Frictionless Commerce (an innovator in strategic sourcing), and Adjoin Solutions (an innovator in cloud technologies). He spent several years working for the one of the top executives at New York-based Computer Associates, where he researched emerging technologies in the Office of the CTO. Alex is an active member of the New York Angels, serves as an advisor to the annual Nantucket Conference, serves on the Young Professionals Steering Committee at Carnegie Hall, and is a member of the TED Global community. Alex has an MBA from Columbia Business School and studied finance in Mumbai, Buenos Aires, London and New York.

Dan Keoppel ( is an advisor at Far Greater Ventures. He was previously executive director of Verizon Ventures for 14 years. Dan has established corporate venture capital funds with two firms and managed their evolution over several business cycles. He has personally invested over $100 million in capital in 30 portfolio companies. At Verizon, Dan networked with venture capital firms and international entrepreneurial communities to create deal flow and investments consistent with Verizon corporate strategy. He also has managed innovation and corporate development through CVC, M&A, joint ventures, divestitures, and business incubators in wireless and wireline telecommunications, application, M2M/IOT, and cloud computing markets. Dan has led venture-backed, technology start-ups through board representation and business development. On Twitter: @VZVC (

Adam Plotkin ( is a partner at ff Venture Capital ( A life-long technology early adopter and enthusiast, Adam spent several years prior to joining ff Venture Capital in business development, advisory and operational roles with a number of startups in New York and Los Angeles. Previously, Adam was the first hire at Lake Baldwin Management, a Princeton 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, where he devoted a substantial portion of his time advising clients in the telecom and insurance industries, and in the Risk Markets Group, where he was involved in the design, structure and marketing of two of the early catastrophe risk-linked bonds. Adam holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School. He also holds Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Applied Sciences, and Bachelor of Science in Economics degrees, cum laude with distinction from the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Wharton School, at the University of Pennsylvania, as a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and a Joseph Wharton Scholar. He grew up in New Jersey, where he operated a Commodore-64 based BBS before middle school.

Kathryn Swintek (, managing partner of Golden Seeds Fund 2 LP, is also the Co-Head of the Consumer Group for Golden Seeds ( She joined Golden Seeds in 2010 and has built stakes in 10 early-stage companies over a 20+ year period. Prior to Golden Seeds, Kathryn was a senior executive in the banking industry, heading Structured Finance, North American Leveraged Finance and launching and heading Global High Yield at BNP Paribas where she completed over 200 transactions in a variety of sectors including the consumer sector. She also served as the Head of Acquisition Finance at BNY Mellon. Active in women’s leadership circles, Kathryn served as Chair of C200, the leading global businesswomen’s organization and as Membership Chair of The Women’s Forum of New York. She is a Director of Open Road Integrated Media, Turtle & Hughes, and Mela Sciences. She holds a BA from the College of Mt St Vincent and an MBA from New York University.

Kathleen Coviello ( is the director of the Technology & Life Sciences Division (TLS) of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority ( As such, she along with her team, are responsible for working closely with the early-stage technology and life science companies and investors in the state and delivering the various Edison Innovation Fund products to this community. Prior to joining the EDA, she spent over seventeen years in the banking industry, with the last eight focused exclusively on the NJ Technology Venture Lending Market. Her venture lending experience includes employment at Silicon Valley Bank, Comerica Bank and Progress’s Techbanc. Coviello is active in the NJ entrepreneurial technology community and sits on the advisory and/or valuation boards of Edison Venture Fund, The Garden State Life Sciences Fund, Omni Capital, Osage Ventures, Next Stage Capital and NJTC Venture Fund. On Twitter: @KathleenCoveill (