Seed Fund Advisory Board

Seed Fund Advisory Board of Directors

The Seed Fund Investment Committee evaluates potential investment deals. They meet approximately 10 times a year to evaluate multiple prospective entrepreneurs at a time.

Two critical factors for the success of the Seed Fund are (1) a thorough pre-screening process and (2) fund credibility. Our Investment Committee members are an integral part of the fund’s credibility as they have established strategic partnerships and relationships with already existing and respected angel funds, experienced law firms and other business-related entities. This credibility further attracts new investors to fund our selected entrepreneurs’ initiatives.

Jan L. Davis

Jan L. Davis

Retired CEO, ShopperTrak RCT Corporation; Investor, Triangle Angel Partners; Board Chair, The Launch Place Seed Fund; and Entrepreneur in Residence

Jan Davis is a retired CEO and active board member for companies in drowning prevention, software, analytics, database and digital marketing and information. These enterprises sell products and services to a broad range of industries, including retail, real estate, financial services and insurance as well as on-line to consumers. She presently serves on the boards of directors of Megalytics, and SEAL Innovation and on the boards of advisors of multiple companies, including cultivate social and Market Vue Partners. She is past president of Triangle Angel Partners, an Executive in Residence for the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network and the Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship at UNC-Chapel Hill, on the Screening Committee for the Carolina Angel Network and Chairs the Investment Committee for the non-profit Launch Place Seed Fund.

Davis served as CEO of ShopperTrak RCT Corporation, the global leader in pedestrian traffic counting, from 2004 to 2008. Before joining ShopperTrak, she was an executive vice president and business unit president at TransUnion LLC, the international credit reporting giant. Previously, Davis was a marketing consultant in Boston, MA and in Warsaw, Poland, working with a US database marketing agency, multi-nationals and a Polish enterprise. She co-founded SmartNames, a venture-backed database marketing information, analysis and services company.

Davis holds a BA and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dawn DeHart

Dawn DeHart

Senior Vice President, Carter Bank and Trust

Dawn is Senior Vice President and Director of Community Development Lending with Carter Bank and Trust. Dawn’s role with the organization is to develop a company-wide community impact lending strategy and to originate loans meeting the impact mission. She works with small business owners, economic development and government officials, housing authorities, and real estate developers. Dawn has expertise in small business government guaranteed loan programs and in historic, low income, and New Markets tax credit programs.

Dawn has worked in the banking/finance sector for over 30 years and has worked for several regional and national banks. Prior to joining Carter Bank in 2017, Dawn spent 10 ½ years as a commercial lender with Virginia Community Capital and 9 years as a lender with Business Finance Group, an SBA 504 lender. Dawn previously served on The Launch Place Seed Fund board for 3 ½ years representing Virginia Community Capital. She holds a Finance degree from Virginia Tech.

Bob Creeden

Robert J. Creeden

Managing Director, UVA Seed Fund & New Ventures

Bob Creeden joined the UVA Licensing & Ventures Group in September 2016 as its first Managing Director of the UVA Seed Fund & New Ventures. Bob's experience includes launching the Partners Innovation Fund at Partners HealthCare in Boston, one of the first academic medical center venture funds of its kind in the country. Bob is an senior entrepreneurial executive with extensive experience commercializing new technologies, as well as more than 25 years experience as an early-stage venture capitalist.

Proven expertise developing and implementing vision, strategy, and tactics to create, operate, and fund new ventures across multiple industries. Collaborative leader and advisor, with excellent communication, presentation, and relationship-building skills. Frequent speaker, panelist, and lecturer on issues related to starting and funding a business. Prior to joining UVA, Bob most recently served as the founding executive director of the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network in the North Carolina Research Triangle. His efforts helped strengthen the area’s business environment, resulting in early-stage and seed investment of more than $60 million. Bob earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Holy Cross College and a master's of business administration from Suffolk University.

Mark Friedman

Mark Friedman

President and Co-founder of RTP Capital Associates; CEO of Lakeview Business Advisory

Mark Friedman, is a founding member and current President and member of the Board of Directors of RTP Capital Associates, Inc., an angel investor network based in Research Triangle Park, NC. Mark has held numerous senior level positions throughout his career, and is currently CEO of Lakeview Business Advisory and Management, Inc., a business assistance firm he formed in 2018. Mark is also chairman of the nationwide series of educational conferences, the Mid-Sized Retirement and Plan Management Conferences. Prior to that, he served as CEO of Cutting Edge Information, LLC, a leader in providing Fair Market Value databases and market research to the pharmaceutical industry.

Previously, Mark was a member of the senior management team and Vice President of Development for Affordable Care, Inc, one of the largest dental support organizations in the country. Affordable Care is affiliated with more than 260 Affordable Dentures and Implants practices in 39 states. Before that, Mark was COO and Director of UAI Technology and its Phoenix-Hecht, University Conference Services and Alexander Business Suites divisions as well as past President of Mid-Jersey Realty, LLC. He was also president of Garden State Dental, LLC, a Dental Support Organization, and Group Dental Health Administrators, Inc., a dental insurance company, and President of Leonard Financial Planning Systems.

Mark has been involved with many entrepreneurial businesses in senior operating roles, as an investor and as an adviser. His experience includes a wide variety of industries such as dentistry, financial services, retirement planning, healthcare and real estate. He has his bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester, his MBA from Duke University and also holds the Certified Financial Planner designation.

Paul Nolde

Paul Nolde

Director, NRV

Paul brings more than a decade of sales and management experience in the banking and finance industries to NRV. Offering a unique blend of early stage capital structuring and business development strategies, he has a passion for engaging in, and advocating for, the entrepreneurial community. Prior to NRV he served as the Small Business Capital Strategist for Virginia Community Capital, Virginia’s largest community development financial institution. Paul also served as Managing Director for a small family office in Richmond, VA, that took seed and angel stage equity positions in start-up market makers and maturing market disrupters in the technology sector.

He is a frequent panelist and speaker on early stage investing, serves on multiple higher ed and community organization boards, and enjoys mentoring Richmond's high growth startups. At NRV, Paul is responsible for originating deal opportunities, expanding the firm's brand and reach across the Commonwealth and among strategic funding partners, analyzing investment proposals, and supporting portfolio companies.

Paul received a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.

Marco Rubin

Marco Rubin

Senior Investment Director, Center for Innovative Technology

Marco is responsible for sourcing, diligence and closing of seed and early stage investments on behalf of the CIT and serves as a board representative to a numerous portfolio companies. He divides his responsibilities between the GAP Tech Fund and the Commonwealth Energy Fund which he manages for the CIT. He also leads Exoventure Associates, LLC which is primarily engaged in emerging market activity. Marco mentors entrepreneurs and serves as an expert judge in global business plan competitions sponsored in part by the World Bank and/or State Department.

Throughout his career, Rubin has invested in over 60 early-stage technology companies throughout his career and has held leadership roles with funds recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine’s Annual VC100list since 2002. Prior to forming Exoventure, Rubin was founder of Monumental Venture Partners, LLC (MVP) making investments in security, information technology, telecommunications, software and medical devices sectors. Substantial exits were made to Dolby Labs and Level 3 Communications. Before MVP, he ran New Ventures, MCI’s venture capital unit until the company's acquisition in 1998 where investment exits were made Cisco and Alcatel. Prior to MVP, Rubin worked for Booz Allen & Hamilton where he served as a project leader for clients in the energy, telecommunications and information technology industries. Clients included names such as Mobil Oil and NASA.

He began his career as an engineer at NASA Johnson Space Center where he trained and certified astronauts and flight controllers to operate spacecraft. He holds an MBA from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico.

Gary Waldman

Gary Waldman

Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, Danville Regional Foundation

Gary joined DRF in January 2013 as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, bringing with him over three decades of diversified experience. A resident of Danville since 1990, Gary has held senior financial positions with Dan River Inc., Alpha Natural Resources, and Pike Electric Corporation. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Kent State University and is a Certified Public Accountant.