Team

Donald Sackman

Mr. Sackman, who serves as the Managing Partner of the General Partner, has extensive experience in private investing. He was a principal at Oryx Capital which over a nine-year period through 2005 invested in excess of $80 million to acquire controlling positions in 15 companies. Post-Oryx Capital, for the past six years Mr. Sackman has been a participant in the growth capital industry as an angel investor and through his involvement with Independence Equity and VentureLab, which assist clients with strategic advice and capital sourcing. Earlier in his 30-year career in the finance and investment industries, Mr. Sackman was with Draper and Kramer, Inc., a Chicago real estate company, and Morgan Guaranty Trust Company, where he worked with both domestic and international clients and for one year directed the bank’s MBA recruitment effort.

Mr. Sackman received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago. Mr. Sackman is a Trustee Emeritus of Robert College of Istanbul Turkey; is a Director of Mottahedeh & Co., Inc., Advanced Diamond Technology, Inc., Tagnetics, Inc., Intellihot Green Technologies, Inc., Nanostatics Corporation; and is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago.

Michael Gruber

Mr. Gruber serves as an Investment Partner of the Fund and is part of the Investment Committee. Mr. Gruber has extensive experience with early stage investments particularly in the information technology, material science, and energy sectors. Mr. Gruber is a Partner and Co-Founder of G4 Capital LLC and VentureLab, where he works with emerging growth companies in interim executive capacities on go-to-market and financial strategies. Mr. Gruber’s prior industry experience includes key operational roles in high growth corporations (Koei Corporation, Intuit, InsWeb, Silicon Investor), two of which went public and one of which was acquired by a strategic investor. Mr. Gruber had founded Cornerstone Angels and Keiretsu Forum Chicago/Midwest, private investment organizations of high net worth investors focused on growth stage investments. Mr. Gruber was also a Director of Taproot Ventures, an early stage investment affiliate of the Harbour Group, an investment and holding company with assets under management of $1.3 Billion.

Mr. Gruber currently serves on the Board of Directors for ACG Chicago as Co-Chair of the Venture Network and Cleantech Network, and serves on the Board of Advisors of Factory Physics, Inc., and the Institute for Sustainability and Energy (ISEN) and NUvention Energy at Northwestern University. Mr. Gruber received a BA in International Relations and Economcis from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

Laurence Hayward

Mr. Hayward will serve as an Investment Partner of the Fund and is a member of the Investment Committee. Mr. Hayward has extensive experience working with smaller companies. Mr. Hayward founded VentureLab to help early-stage companies gain access to the resources they need to grow such as capital, quality people and strategic partners. He is also a Managing Partner for Rainmaker Securities LLC, a FINRA broker-dealer. He previously served as a Managing Partner at SCIUS Capital Group, where he completed more than a dozen private placements (primarily seed and venture capital equity offerings) in areas ranging from water purification to nano-structured materials. He is also a Co-Founder and Director of Cornerstone Angels, a private network of angel investors. Previously, he has held leadership positions as the Chicago Office Managing Partner for Jesup & Lamont Securities, President of entrepreneurial start-up Vcapital. He worked at Arthur Andersen from 1992 to 2000, including as the international marketing director of the Enterprise Group, a $500 million revenues practice serving middle-market and venture-backed companies.

Mr. Hayward earned a BS Psychology & MBA from the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana, graduating a year early. He serves on the CEC Client Advisory Board and Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce assisting local entrepreneurs. He also serves on the Advisory Boards of several Chicago-area companies. Mr. Hayward is an active member of the Angel Capital Association and Cleantech Venture Network, an environmentally focused investor network. He also volunteers his time as a guest lecturer, panelist, and business plan judge for the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, DePaul University’s MBA program and his alma mater. He holds a Series 7 license.

Michael McCullough

Mr. McCullough will serve as the Administrative Partner of the Fund and is a member of the Investment Committee. Mr. McCullough has served in various financial directorship positions in businesses ranging from transit and transportation system leasing to investment banking. McCullough blends his experience as an operational leader as well as high level business strategist to create the most cohesive growth plan for the companies he assists.

Mr. McCullough joined Oryx Capital in 2006, where he served as the company’s CFO with additional responsibilities that included liaison with portfolio company financial reporting and internal reporting to investors. Mr. McCullough’s previous experiences included auditing and internal audit at Arthur Andersen, Baker & McKenzie, and GATX. During 15 years at GATX, Mr. McCullough served in numerous financial and operational capacities, concluding his tenure there as Director of Financial Planning and Analysis. Mike received his BBA degree in Accounting from the University of Iowa and MBA from the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. Mr. McCullough, who is a licensed CPA, is also currently a Business Management Professor at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management where he teaches Managerial and Financial Accounting.

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