Alumni Ventures Secret Recipe: How Fund Portfolios are Built

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2 min

In this video, we hear from the portfolio builders themselves, the Partners of AV’s Alumni Funds who oversee the pipeline of investing activities from deal sourcing to portfolio monitoring.

Topics discussed in this video include:

  • How we source and gain access to deals
  • How investors think about diversification when constructing portfolios
  • How we sell our way into the most competitive deals
  • The key steps in diligence and decision-making

See video policy below.


Catherine Lu
Catherine Lu
Managing Partner, Seed Fund

Before joining the Basecamp Fund, Catherine was a successful entrepreneur, product manager, and software engineer. She was Director of Product at NEA-backed DataVisor, an enterprise company offering an unsupervised machine learning fraud solution. Prior to that, she co-founded the retail analytics company Fancy That (acquired by Palantir in 2015). While at Stanford, she built an online platform used by thousands of students and instructors to streamline grading. Catherine graduated from Stanford with a BS and MS in Computer Science, focusing on AI.

Cainon Coates
Cainon Coates
Partner, Castor Ventures

For the past 15 years, Cainon has worked with startups as an entrepreneur, advisor, and investor. Prior to Castor, Cainon helped co-found five companies: Viafy, Human Design Medical (merged with Breas Medical of General Electric [NYSE:GE]), Triangle Research Labs (acquired by Lonza [SIX:LONN]), Revive Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Concordia Healthcare [TOR:CRX]), and University Laundry (acquired by a national operator, then Proctor & Gamble’s Tide [NYSE: PG]). Previously, he was an investor at PBM, a $500M healthcare-focused VC firm. Cainon also worked at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Goldman Sachs, and NASA. He has an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a BS from the University of Virginia in Systems and Information Engineering.

Laura Bordewieck Rippy
Laura Bordewieck Rippy
Managing Partner, Green D Ventures

Laura brings operational perspective as a CEO, Chairman, and executive in technology startups in addition to investing experience. As Managing Partner at Ripplecreek Partners’ technology practice and General Partner at FA Technology Ventures, she worked various tech sectors: mobile, consumer, internet, SaaS, cloud-based, marketing, and enterprise software across many economic cycles. She also served as CEO at Handango, creating the first marketplace of mobile apps. At Microsoft, she co-founded two businesses as an intra-preneur in an elite swat team spun out of Bill Gates’ office. Laura holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and AB in Government from Dartmouth (’89).

Ludwig Pierre Schulze
Ludwig Pierre Schulze
Managing Partner, Waterman Ventures & 116 Street Ventures

Ludwig has been on all sides of venture — as an entrepreneur, corporate buyer of ventures, and venture capitalist. Before Alumni Ventures, he experienced the daily realities of entrepreneurship as Founder and CEO of a mobile payments venture that served over 12 million people. Earlier, at a Fortune 100 telecommunications manufacturer (Nokia), he held general manager and business development roles that included investing in and acquiring venture-backed businesses. His first experience in venture capital was with an $800 million global fund that focused on enterprise and mobile software both before and after the crash. Ludwig began his career as a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. He has a BA from Brown University and an MBA from Columbia.

Peter MacEwan
Peter MacEwan
EVP of Community

Peter has startup experience in both the non-profit and business sectors, a BA from Wesleyan University and an MBA from The Wharton School. Peter developed expertise building teams and strategic planning in the San Francisco Bay Area, driving growth across multiple seed- and early-stage companies (with many nights spent as informal adviser to a network of entrepreneurs). Peter has a passion for social impact and loves working with people who love what they do and strive to get better at it.

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