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Funding Your Start-Up



Come join us for a panel discussion to help start-up companies get funded. Entrepreneurs are full of great ideas and powerful ways to implement them, but for many startups looking for possible funding sources can seem impossible and is hard to sort through the many options available to determine which are most effective and timely.

Meet with venture capitalists, angel investors, commercial lenders, and serial entrepreneurs for a very interactive discussion about ALL THINGS FUNDING! Bring your own questions!

Agenda:

3:00 pm – Registration, refreshments, networking

3:30 pm - Panel starts

4:30 to 5:00 pm - Networking

Funding Panel Bios:

Ed Jennings is the Head of Commercial Banking at SEFCU. Ed was born and raised in the Capital Region and currently resides in Colonie. Ed has been involved with commercial banking for over 23 years and has been involved in over $1 billion in financing over his career.

Ed received his undergraduate degree from Villanova University and his MBA in Finance from the Sage Colleges of Albany.

Clayton Besch is the Director of Empire State Development’s New York Ventures which works to bolster the critical capital needs of New York State's innovation economy by providing seed and early-stage venture funding to high growth startups as they move from concept to commercialization, through early growth and expansion.

Raised in the Capital Region, Clayton did his undergraduate at Hamilton College in Central NY followed by advanced education in Asia, earning a Masters at Nagasaki University and a PhD at Tokyo University. After working with SOFTBANK Capital's worldwide VC network for a number of years he returned to the Capital Region and joined New York State’s VC program.

D. Bruce Johnston, Social Media Consultant, Two Dogs Social, is a 30-year financial services career sales executive. Prior to co-founding Two Dogs Social he co-founded MOBI Digital Holdings developers of MDC DOT a sales enablement platform designed to provide organizations with the right resources, processes and technology needed to sell more effectively.

He held the position of President & CEO of Old Mutual Investment Partners, where he was charged with the distribution of the firms affiliate manager mutual funds and separately managed accounts. He held the same positions at Sentinel Investments and Gartmore Global Investors, the former asset management division of Nationwide Insurance.

The sales and marketing strategies he developed and implemented resulted in annual sales going from $2.0 billion a year at Old Mutual to over $7.0 billion a year; from $200 million to $2.5 billion a year at Sentinel; and, from $1.0 billion a year to over $7.5 billion a year at Gartmore.

He has been recognized as Institutional Investor’s Mutual Fund Marketer of The Year for his transformational distribution strategy and is often quoted in the financial press on his opinion regarding distribution, branding and social media policy and strategy.

Paul Carman, is President & CEO of Xamcor, a boutique M&A firm serving the Information Management Software sector. Paul is an experienced Senior Executive, holding leadership positions in companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 enterprises. He has spoken across the globe on many key management topics. As a veteran of the Information Management sector, Paul brings deep experience to software and service companies around the world.

In his current role, Paul advises companies of all sizes on growing revenue through mergers and acquisitions. He is also a member of the Adjunct Faculty in the School of Management at Sage College.

Roberrt J. Nichols serves as Director of Commercial Banking at Key Bank, for the Eastern NY market, headquartered in Albany. He is responsible for sales and relationship management for large and mid-size commercial client relationships.

Rob began his commercial banking career in 1987, when he completed an 18 month comprehensive management training program in Washington, DC. Rob proceeded with a banking career that has included both line and management positions in Commercial and Industrial Lending, Commercial Real Estate and Municipal and Not-for-Profit Investment Banking. Rob joined KeyBank in 2016, upon Key’s acquisition of First Niagara Bank. Rob had joined First Niagara in 2012, where he served as the Bank’s Director of Business Banking. Mr. Nichols received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University at Albany and his Master’s Degree from Union Graduate College. He has also completed employer-sponsored Advanced Leadership and Development programs through Babson College and Harvard University.

Rob is a member of the Eastern NY Angels investment fund, and the Upstate Venture Association of New York. He serves on the Board of Advisors for Pine Street Capital, and the iClean Business Incubator at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute. Rob is also the founder of Seed-Leverage, a revolving debt fund for high growth companies.

Tony Annese, Enterprise Account Manager at SMP, has been passionately involved in Information Technology Sales and Sales Management for over 30 years. Tony’s career experience spans from direct B2B sales success with various technology solutions to Vice President of Sales and Marketing at one of the leading IT Solutions Integrators in Upstate New York. Annese worked in all facets at one of the largest Rawlings Sporting Goods equipment distributors in the country.

Tony has volunteered as a Sales Coach for the Saratoga Start-Up Weekend, as a judge for the multiple Start-up weekends including the most recent at Sage Colleges in Albany. Annese Consulting Services has provided business, funding and sales consulting for many small business start-ups and entrepreneurs throughout the years, especially in the media, IT and service delivery space.

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