Carlos Cabrera, ’89
The heavy oil development and production company is working on a strategy to implement heavy to light technology. On May 9 the company signed a memorandum of understanding with Coban Oil and Gas, a Guatemalan company. The feasibility of a heavy to light technology facility in Guatemala is going to be assessed, to convert heavy Guatemalan oil. It is planned that at least 10,000 barrels a day of the crude oil would be upgraded, according to information from Ivanhoe’s website.
Charisse Conanan, ’10
Cofounder and CEO
Conanan and cofounder Adrissha Wimberly, ’10, who serves as chief operating officer, talk about money management and budgeting for 20-somethings and 30-somethings in a May 11 BlogHer interview. “The story is a common one,” the two said. “While starting our careers, we experienced the pain that new graduates feel year over year when planning a paycheck. We were recent grads with new salaries and student loan debt, living in a new city with no clue on how to manage our money. Is it wise to keep 10 percent or 30 percent of a paycheck? Do I put away for retirement or pay down debt, and how much?” Smarteys was born out of the need to specifically guide new graduates or “millenials.”
"We turned to spreadsheets and other online services to help us ease the pain, automate budgeting, and become more financially responsible,"they said. "However, the existing services were cumbersome and disconnected, and they never answered the real questions: What is the best use of my paycheck? How much will I have left to spend after saving, paying down debt, and bills?"
Dean Curnutt, ’96
President and Founder
Marco Risk Adivsor
Curnutt has been named one of Institutional Investor’s 2012 Rising Stars of Hedge Funds. Curnutt and the other honorees will be awarded at a dinner and ceremony on June 21 and will be written about in the June issue of Institutional Investor.
Thomas Doctoroff, ’89
JWT is an advertising agency based in Shanghai, China. Doctoroff has written a book called What Chinese Want: Culture, Communism and China’s Modern Consumer. It’s opening line “What makes Chinese people tick?” is praised in a “Business Books” review May 14 in the Financial Times. The reviewer said, “Doctoroff tackles ten urban myths about the middle kingdom—and demolishes them one by one.”
Brady Dougan, AB ’81, MBA ’82
Swiss companies have been adjusting well to a strong Swiss franc, Dougan said. He pointed to decreasing loan loss provisions as evidence. “If you had dramatic strengthening of the Swiss franc, which we think is unlikely, you would of course see an impact,” Dougan said in a May 21 Dow Jones wire service article. “We feel good about corporate Switzerland.”
Seyi Fabode, ’10
The website that lets consumers compare utility prices and switch to cheaper utility sources got some help from Brian Scalabrine, the Chicago Bulls player who stars in advertising for the service. (The promo spot is available on YouTube.) A May 13 “Daily Blend” article on the NESN website described the Scalabrine commercial, “Starring as the ‘White Mamba,’ a derivation of Kobe Bryant’s famous ‘Black Mamba’ nickname. In it, Scalabrine shows off some ping pong skills, flexes his muscle at dodge ball, and even performs telekinesis.” “Daily Blend” called Scalabrine’s performance “nothing short of electric.”
The company is planning to update its electricity bills starting at this summer’s end. The bills will use color charts to reflect the cheaper cost of electricity when purchased from an alternative supplier. “The plan is to make the bills interactive on our site and accessible to customers,” Fabode said in a June 1 Fast Company Co.Design article. “Our belief is that as customers start to understand their energy usage, and its impact on their pockets and the environment, customers will start to take more responsibility for their actions. An educated customer base is required for the energy industry to be run sustainably.”
Kevin Willer, ’10 (XP-79)
Chicago Entrepreneurial Center
A discussion about tech start-ups choosing between headquarters in Chicago and the West Coast was held on Chicago’s public radio station WBEZ 91.5 on May 11. The discussion was held between Willer and Khim, who eventually moved her tech start-up to San Francisco from Chicago, and a third entrepreneur who had returned to Chicago from Texas, preferring the modest goals and steady work ethic of the Midwest. Khim’s company Alltuition, an online student loan resource, started out as Edulender at Excelerate Labs incubator, which has since moved to 1871, a new tech hub in the Merchandise Mart run by the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center.
Matt Maloney, SM ’00, MBA '10
Cofounder and CEO
The free online food ordering app is using new technology to improve its service, Maloney said in a CNBC interview on May 14. The new technology is called “OrderHub.” It “makes restaurants 80 percent faster at receiving and confirming online orders,” Maloney said. To facilitate the ordering, restaurants are being given tablets, which are in the beta stage, he said. GrubHub makes money by taking a small percentage off of gross sales. “We’ve served over 700,000 diners in the last 30 days,” Maloney said.
Howard Marks, ’70
Oaktree Capital Management
Marks doesn’t go for the popular idea of separate accounts set up by private equity firms for their largest investors. “If other [asset managers] define strategic relationships as having many hundred millions of dollars and get a fee discount, then that’s not something we are very hot on,” Marks told a Wall Street Journal private equity beat blog writer who posted on May 10.
Marks also told the blog that Oaktree currently sees opportunities in commercial real estate in the United States and Europe, and in European corporate distressed debt.
In its first quarter earnings statement, the first since the firm went public in April, Oaktree reported revenues of $318.3 million, said a May 14 Private Equity International article. The firm "held a first close on its ninth Opportunities fund with $1.2 billion on its way to a $4 billion target. The fund, according to Oaktree, is not expected to commence the investment period until 2013,"the article said. Marks commented, "The first quarter demonstrated the ability of our business to generate meaningful cash earnings and quarterly distributions, and at the same time to add significantly to accrued incentives and raise capital for future deployment."
Jon Morris, ’05
Recently ranked one of CNNMoney’s 100 Fastest Growing Inner City Businesses, the firm works to make websites more “popular and profitable,” said a CNNMoney article on May 11. Morris credits his business success to “ideal timing” and the hiring of financial analysts who analyze website performance for clients.
Joseph Neubauer, ’65
Former President and CEO
Neubauer retired as Aramark Chief on May 9. He was “best known as benefactor to some of the region’s top cultural organizations,” said a May 9 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Neubauer told the newspaper he was proud that the company had become a place where people wanted to work and where they could “change their life’s trajectory.” Neubauer had come to America at age 14, living with an aunt in Massachusetts and knowing very little English. He ended up attending the University of Chicago Booth School of Business on a full scholarship and eventually spent nearly three decades helming ARAMARK, a food service business that staffs concession stands, hotels, universities, and businesses.
Neubauer retired as Aramark Chief on May 9. He was "best known as benefactor to some of the region’s top cultural organizations,"said a May 9 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Neubauer told the newspaper he was proud that the company had become a place where people wanted to work and where they could "change their life’s trajectory."Neubauer had come to America at age 14, living with an aunt in Massachusetts and knowing very little English. He ended up attending the University of Chicago Booth School of Business on a full scholarship and eventually spent nearly three decades helming ARAMARK, a food service business that staffs concession stands, hotels, universities, and businesses.
Borna Safabakhsh, ’11
Cofounder and CEO
The Agile Diagnosis app gives medical professionals easy access to consensus-based best practices and guidelines without wasting time, said a June 1 l’Atelier article. Updated information is accessible by clicking on a hyperlink, so that clinicians know “where current methods are going, what the current diagnoses are,” Safabakhsh said in the article. The article said Agile Diagnosis “built its web and mobile platform in a very visual way meant to match clinical reasoning and give physicians step-by-step clinical guidance.”
Uzi Shmilovici, ’11
founder and CEO
The company, which makes sales management software for small businesses, has received $6.8 million in a second round of venture capital funding, said a May 11 Crain’s Chicago Business article. Future Simple plans to use the funding for growth and product development, the article said.
The funding is for customer relationship management (CRM) software called Base, said a May 8 TechCrunch article. The software has a mobile application, rather than being only computer-based as most other similar software currently is. “The cloud was only act one of the enterprise software revolution. The end game is to have your data with you on any device, at any time, anywhere you are. This kind of ubiquity, together with a focus on product design and user experience, is what makes the next generation of CRM,” Shmilovici said.
Michael Small, ’81
President and CEO
Gogo is buying Airfone from JetBlue Airways’ LiveTV LLC subsidiary, reported the Chicago Tribune on May 7. Gogo provides in-flight connectivity to the internet. “Acquiring the 1 MHz spectrum license from LiveTV will play an integral role in our continued expansion activities and help us deliver a performance boost for end users,” Small said.
Gogo also plans to extend its service beyond the United States to transoceanic routes. To do so, it plans on partnering with AeroSat to gain access to Ku-satellite antenna, radome, antenna control and modem unit, and high-power transceiver equipment. “Ku is the here and now satellite technology and will allow us to service airline clients who want an overseas solution today,” Small said in a May 18 PRNewswire article. “However, in many cases we see this as a bridge technology that will allow us to offer overseas service until Inmarsat's Global Xpress Ka satellite service is available.”