State of Angel Investing in Chicago

Finance Roundtable

May 16, 2012: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Join us for a discussion on angel investing and its prospects for growth in Chicago and the Midwest going forward.


Gleacher Center
Room 100
450 North Cityfront Drive
Chicago, Illinois

Event Details

Silicon Valley has historically been the dominant location for angel investing. However, Chicago has been building momentum as a center for angel investors. Recent high-profile success stories like Groupon, the May 1st launch of 1871 (a tech incubator located in the Merchandise Mart), and the formation of angel networks like Hyde Park Angels and Wildcat Angels are all contributing to the rise of angel opportunities in Chicago.


No Charge


Register Online

Deadline: 5/15/2012


6:00 PM-6:30 PM: Networking and Beverages

6:30 PM-7:30 PM: Presentation and Discussion

7:30 PM-8:00 PM: Panelist/Audience Q&A

8:00 PM-9:00 PM: Networking and Discussion

Speaker Profiles

Ira Weiss (Moderator) '99
Managing Director, Hyde Park Angels

Ira Weiss is has been an active investor in private companies for the past 15 years, and is a professor at University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he teaches course on both entrepreneurship and tax strategy. He is a managing director of Hyde Park Angels ( and was formerly a managing director of RK Ventures ( Ira's primary investing interests are technology-enabled consumer and business services, and healthcare IT.

Through his work at Hyde Park Angels and Chicago Booth, he helps provide valuable experiences in early stage investing to overachieving MBA students who want to be VCs. He serves on various boards including Concerro ( and ReTel Technologies ( He started his career as an accountant at Coopers and Lybrand, and received both his MBA and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Karin D. O’Connor (Panelist)
Managing Director, Hyde Park Angels

Karin D. O'Connor is Managing Director of Hyde Park Angels, a Chicago-based angel investment network. She has been active on HPA's Deal Screening Committee and Business/Financial Services and Consumer Ambassador Groups. To date, she has invested in seven deals with HPA and served as the group's representative on the board of portfolio company FeeFighters, which was recently acquired by Groupon, Inc. She is also the founder of Perimeter Advisors, an advisory firm that assists owners of promising mid-market companies with planning and execution of value enhancement strategies.

Since beginning her career at Continental Bank in the 1980's, Ms. O'Connor has invested in and advised entrepreneurs in a variety of industries that includes financial services, business services, technology distribution, health care, and manufacturing. She has invested at all levels of the capital structure—from senior debt to mezzanine, venture leasing, and equity—and in companies ranging from early stage to mature.

Ms. O'Connor received her BA in Finance from the University of Illinois, where she graduated magna cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, where she was an F.C. Austin Scholar and was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma. She has served on the Kellogg Alumni Council since 1999 and enjoys guest lecturing and judging student business plan presentations for the school's Entrepreneurship Program. She has also received a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) charter.

Craig Bradley (Panelist)
Co-Founder and Board Member, Wildcat Angels

Craig serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where he has taught "Business Law for Entrepreneurs" since 1999. He is a co-founder and board member of Wildcat Angels, Northwestern University's angel financing network. He is a long-time board member of the Illinois Technology Association. Craig is recognized by Chambers USA as an Illinois "Leading Lawyer" in Corporate/M&A: Private Equity.

Craig received his J.D, cum laude, from Indiana University, where he was a member of the Indiana Law Journal, and his B.A., summa cum laude, from Elmhurst College. Craig is a partner at Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, which has 650 lawyers in Chicago, New York, London, Boston, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and other offices. Craig can be contacted at (312) 201-2606 and

Gabe Greenbaum (Panelist)
Senior Associate, OCA Ventures

Gabe Greenbaum is a Senior Associate with OCA Ventures and has been working at OCA since 2011. He has been involved in the financing, strategy and operations of various technology, energy/clean-technology and business service companies over the past 10 years.

Prior to joining OCA Ventures, Gabe worked as a management consultant for AlixPartners and began his career as a financial analyst with ABN AMRO Bank. While in graduate school, he founded StudentSpace LLC, a Chicago-based lead generation, brokerage, and investment group focused on the student housing market. He is also co-founder of Storeplacer, a multi-channel agile commerce platform-as-a-service enabling transactions via any digital touchpoint.

Gabe holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of management, and a law degree from the Northwestern University School of Law. He received his B.A. with honors from Washington University in St. Louis, where he was President of his graduating class. He is a member of the Non-Profit Board of Chicago Professionals for Youth (CPY) and Indego Africa.

Prashant Srivastava (Panelist)
Co-founder, COO Principal

Prashant Srivastava cofounded Evive Health, LLC in 2007 to encourage employees to seek appropriate healthcare and live healthier, more productive lives. Today, Evive Health provides its communication services and decision tools to over 50 large self insured employers and health plans across the country. Prior to founding Evive Health, Prashant directed clinical operations for Focused Health Solutions. Dr. Srivastava earned an MBA from the University of Chicago ('05) and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University.

Kevin Willer (Panelist) '71


Vern Broders, '94 
General Director of Marketing, Gentry Partners Ltd.

Other Information

The Chicago Booth Alumni Finance Roundtable is a University-sanctioned alumni network, formed and led by alumni professionals within the financial services industry. The common purpose of the finance roundtable is to facilitate interaction among alumni, students and friends of Chicago Booth and the University of Chicago. Our goal is to meld financial theory with real-world application by encouraging intellectual enrichment and professional growth through interactive discussion and presentations from leading finance professionals and academics; as well as elevate the stature of Chicago Booth. Events will be organized around the following three topic areas:

  • Corporate Finance – capital markets, banking, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions
  • Investment Management – asset allocation, asset management, and strategies
  • General/Leadership – micro-finance, specialty finance, regulation, and industry icons

Finance Roundtable Committee:

  • Dustin Weinberger '06; Finance Roundtable, Chair
  • Richard Thoroe '07; Finance Roundtable, Co-Chair
  • Michael Fisch '02; Corporate Finance, Chair
  • John Salvino '06; Corporate Finance, Co-Chair
  • Scott Kemper '06; Investment Management, Chair
  • Guy Lakonishok'09; Investment Management, Co-Chair
  • Vern Broders '94; Leadership and General Topics, Chair
  • Kevin Clarke '08; Leadership and General Topics, Co-Chair

Finance Roundtable Advisory Council:

  • Andy Busch '88; BMO Capital Markets, Global Currency and Public Policy Strategist
  • Steven N. Kaplan; Chicago Booth, Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance
  • Tom Ricketts '93; Incapital, Founder & Chairman
  • Ken Viellieu '84; Moelis & Co, Managing Director & Head of Chicago Office
  • Paul Yovovich '75; President, Principal and Co-Founder of Lake Capital