E ^ 3 = Entrepreneurial.Expressions.EnPowered

Entrepreneurial Roundtable

October 29, 2012: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Entrepreneurial: We are going to present you with 3 start-ups, which are going to tell their stories to you and highlight their upcoming challenges. Expressions: In a new, small-group setup, each of the 3 companies is going to present to the attendees and highlight a milestone or an obstacle that they are attempting to cross. In a discussion-friendly atmosphere, the audience members are going to be invited to provide their viewpoints and advice. Enpowered: A new, innovative form of Structured Networking (SN) is going to be introduced (but not mandated) at this event! It is to provide meaningful connections among the CBERT participants to reach their objectives in immediately connecting (if possible) with like-minded or otherwise with individuals, in whom they have an interest. We want to eliminate impersonal, boring gatherings that people attend, but walk away mostly with unfulfilled goals or expectations.You would not want to miss this! Join early! SN Format: Specifics and instructions, as to the way and how the Networking is going to be conducted are going to be communicated as the event approaches. Clue: As a starter, it is going to involve a popular and often beloved tool.


Gleacher Center
Room 600, Sixth Floor
450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive
Chicago, Illinois

Driving Directions:



201 E. Illinois St. (NBC Tower Surface Lot, just North of the NBC building)

300 E. Illinois St. (AMC Theater-River East Self Park Garage, entrance just next [East] of PJ Clarks)

Cost: $6.00 after 3:00pm, with validation at Gleacher's lobby


Event Details


SoFi (Social Finance) - A Different Kind of Lender, is a one-year-old Internet start-up that offers inexpensive student loans through a mechanism known as group-to-group lending, which connects individuals or groups of lenders with borrowers online. The $1 trillion US student loan market is deemed broken. SoFi was founded to deliver an innovative approach to addressing this problem using the power of social communities to transform the industry. The SoFi program works as a dedicated lending fund that offers students a better fixed loan rate than today's unsubsidized Federal Direct and PLUS loans. At the same time it enables alumni to connect with their alma mater, while earning an attractive return. The program also fosters interaction between students and alumni through a unique social platform that combines on-line and off-line connections that facilitate financial literacy, career mentoring, and in-school project assistance - ultimately helping to reduce lending rates and lower loss rates for students. SoFi just raised $77 million from its Series B financing round, valuing the company at $177 million, up $8 million from a year ago.

Daniel Fell, Director, Social Finance, Inc. is a 2009 Booth Alum. Prior to joining SoFi, he spent over 12 years working in Financial Services, last as a Manager at Morgan Stanley’s Private Wealth Management, which was named one of Barron’s Top 100 Advisors (2011) in the U.S. He has extensive experience and knowledge in financial products, business development, and sales.

Cumulus Funding. Cumulus Funding aims to revolutionize consumer finance by making investments in people. As a response to the fundamental misalignment of interests between a borrower and lender -- brought into clear focus by the Financial Crisis -- we are introducing an equity-like structure, whereby we invest in individuals. Instead of a fixed principal-and-interest payment scheme, we make investments in people in exchange for a portion of their future income (over a fixed period of time). This structure, known in the academic community as a Human Capital Contract, has long been advocated by Nobel Prize winning economists like Milton Friedman, Bob Merton and Gary Becker. However, only recently has the technology and data become available to underwrite and service this type of contract.

Nathan Popkins, Founder and CEO, Prior to founding Cumulus Funding, was an Associate Director at investment banking firm Sandler ONeill & Partners, where he primarily advised banks and specialty lenders. Nathan volunteers with or advises a number of non-profit organizations that focus on financial literacy, entrepreneurial education, and microfinance.

AlumTalks is a company that helps people share stories and figure out what they want to do with their lives. Chirag Gupta is the Founder and CEO of He has worked in various industries including advertising, counseling, sales, performing arts, education, non-for-profit, and now spends his time managing the team of web developers and journalists behind AlumTalks. Prior to launching, he spent time in various companies including State Farm, Strategic Financial Planning, The Aidmatrix Foundation, Northwestern University Career Services, Digitas, and DraftFCB.

Chirag Gupta is a graduate of Northwestern University where he studied Industrial Engineering & Management Science at the McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science as well as Integrated Marketing & Communications at the Medill School of Journalism.

Hosted by your CBERT-Downtown Chairs: Emil Koulov and Enrique Posse


$25.00 for general public;  $20.00 for Chicago Booth alumni, students & faculty.

Extra $5.00 discount if register by October 25th.

Space is limited, so register early.


Register Online
Register By Phone: 630-344-1119

Deadline: 10/29/2012


6:00 PM-6:15 PM: Check-In & Introduction to Networking Mechanics

6:15 PM-7:00 PM: 1st Round of Structured Networking

7:00 PM-8:15 PM: Main Program - Expressions Time

8:15 PM-9:00 PM: 2nd Round of Structured Networking


Bill Wentz, '88 
Roundtable Chair