Brian Smiga, Alpha Venture Partners

Alpha Venture Partners

Brian Smiga is a co-founder and partner at Alpha Venture Partners, an innovative late-stage venture fund that invests growth capital in category-leading technology companies sourced from a network of 260+ early stage venture firms. Brian also serves as an advisor to Pritzker Group Venture Capital, a twenty-year old venture firm that’s invested in 180+ technology companies.

Prior to Alpha Venture Partners, Brian was the CEO and founder of Preclick, (sold to Smilebox), where he developed popular photo software licensed worldwide by HP, 3M, Sandisk, Walmart, Costco, CVS, and Walgreens. Prior to Preclick, Mr. Smiga was CEO at 3Path, (sold to Cadmus), an Intel and Goldman-Sachs backed early “Dropbox”, and the SVP of Product & Marketing at 1ClickCharge, an early “Paypal”, where his leadership resulted in a profitable exit to CMGi.

In the 1990s, Mr. Smiga began his career as a developer at Booz & Co, and in Silicon Valley, was cofounder and President of Portfolio Software and Actioneer, where he co-authored five collaboration software patents and licensed award-winning software to Apple, IBM, Lotus, Microsoft, AOL, 3Com, Acco, and Mastercard. Brian received a BA from Swarthmore College, and graduated first with a Masters of Philosophy from Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland. Brian is founder of         TEDxAsburyParkBrian Smiga

As Operating Partner, Brian builds and works with Alpha’s early stage venture network to source and evaluate investment opportunities and strategy. Brian also advises Pritzker Group Venture Capital on deal origination and relationships.

Prior to Alpha Venture 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 Intel and Goldman-Sachs backed startup, and the SVP of Marketing at 1ClickCharge, 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 cofounder and President 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 TEDxNavesink, a top-ranked TEDx conference, hosted at Asbury Park Boardwalk.

 

 


Claire Smith, Beyond Investing

Beyond Investing

Claire Smith

Claire Smith is a vegan entrepreneur and impact investor based in Geneva, Switzerland. She created the humane investment platform Beyond Investing, which designs cruelty-free programs in public equity markets and undertakes venture capital investment in vegan, plant-based and cruelty-free businesses through Beyond Impact. Beyond Investing is the architect of the US Vegan Climate Index, a stock index which screens out all animal exploitation and fossil fuel from a US market benchmark, and which was listed on the NYSE as the US Vegan Climate ETF (ticker: VEGN) in September 2019. She is a co-founder of Beyond Animal, an online platform to accelerate the growth of a thriving vegan economy, and the chair of Beyond Cruelty Foundation, formed to campaign for zero animal exploitation and to fund safe havens for animals.

Previously, she was a research analyst, partner and shareholder at alternatives advisory firm Albourne Partners, covering managers globally across systematic quantitative equity, convertible and volatility and hedging strategies. Claire also led a project to expand Albourne’s proprietary database on alternatives managers and digitize the research process.

Prior to joining Albourne in 2004, Claire provided bespoke hedge fund research to London funds of funds and published well over 100 articles in the financial press. From 1986 to 1998 Claire was employed at various UBS group companies as a derivatives broker, marketer and structurer. Claire started her career in 1985 as a credit analyst at Chase Manhattan Bank after completing a Masters program in Chemical Engineering and Management at Imperial College, London.

Claire founded 100 Women in Finance in Geneva in 2007 and oversaw its growth in Switzerland through till 2014, as a member of the London Board, organizing over 100 events, including seven Galas which raised well over $1 million for charity.

Since 2013 Claire has served on the Board of AVVEC, a Geneva-based charity that provides support to victims of domestic violence.


Chris Solarz, Cliffwater

Cliffwater

 chris Solarz 2 (2)

Managing Director

Cliffwater LLC

Chris is a Managing Director of Cliffwater LLC in our New York office and a member of the hedge fund research team. Prior to joining Cliffwater in 2011, Chris was a Senior Analyst at SAIL Advisors, where he focused on manager selection and due diligence as Head of Research for tactical trading and relative value strategies. Previous experience includes working for ING Investment Management, Antarctica Asset Management, Societe Generale Barr Devlin, and CIBC World Markets.

He earned a BA in Economics and Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and a MComm in Finance from the University of New South Wales, where he was a Federation Scholar. Chris is a Certified Public Accountant, holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst® designation, the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, and is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts.  Chris has broken 6 Guinness World Records, has run marathons on all 7 continents and in all 50 US states.

 


Chris Solarz, Cliffwater LLC

Cliffwater LLC

Chris Solarz, Cliffwater LLC

Chris is a managing director of Cliffwater LLC in the New York office and a member of the hedge fund research team.

Prior to joining Cliffwater in 2011, Chris was a senior analyst at SAIL Advisors, where he focused on manager selection and due diligence as head of research for tactical trading and relative value strategies. Previous experience includes working for ING Investment Management, Antarctica Asset Management, Societe Generale Barr Devlin, and CIBC World Markets.

Chris earned a BA in Economics and Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and a MComm in Finance from the University of New South Wales, where he was a Federation Scholar. Chris is a Certified Public Accountant, holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst® designation, the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, and is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts.


Marco Soriano, Soriano Group Family Office

Soriano Group Family Office

I’m a Partner and Chief Investment Officer at the Soriano Group Family Office, a leading consortium of global enterprises some privately-held others publicly traded, of approximately 500,000 employees with offices in the United States, Europe, LatAm and Asia. My key strategic experience involved:

• Domestic and cross-border private equity-backed and strategic mergers and acquisitions involving private and publicly-listed companies;
• Private equity and venture capital fund formation & management;
• Shareholder activist matters, including Advisory Board Memberships
• Public offerings and private placements of equity securities;
• Global Business Development
• Venture capital investments.

Over the course of my career, I’ve had the privilege of leading a number of the world’s most recognized mergers, acquisitions, public offerings and fund formation transactions.

Prior to joining The Soriano Group, I served as a VP at Goldman Sachs Private Banking side in London, UK and The World Bank Group as a Senior Financial Analyst under the Special Representative to the United Nations.