Challenges in Middle Market
PE and Early Stage VC Investing:
New Ideas and Strategies

Laboratories for Innovation: Creating Entrepreneurial Hubs

S. Edward Torres
Co-Founder & Managing Director, Lilly Ventures

Ed oversees Lilly Ventures operations and brings nearly 25 years of pharmaceutical and venture capital experience to the team. Since co-founding Lilly Ventures, he has led the investments in, and previously served on the boards of, Serenex (acquired by Pfizer), Conforma Therapeutics (acquired by Biogen Idec), Cabrellis Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pharmion Corporation) and Fluidigm (FLDM:NASDAQ). Ed currently sits on the boards of Coherus Biosciences, GlobeImmune, Receptos (RCPT:NASDAQ), Viamet Pharmaceuticals and various non-profit institutions.

Prior to his role in Lilly Ventures, Ed had a diverse set of experiences throughout the domestic and international pharmaceutical businesses including operational finance, planning, M&A, business development and global marketing roles. Ed received a bachelors of arts from Creighton University and a master of business administration from the University of Michigan Business School, where he was a Consortium Fellow.

Nick Rosa
Founder & CEO, Sandbox

Nick Rosa is Co-founder and Managing Director of Sandbox Industries and Managing Director of Cultivian Sandbox. Nick serves as an advisor to several companies, such as the Blue Cross Blue Shield Venture Fund, Healthbox Global Partners, Marbles: The Brain Store, doggyloot, Lab42, Get A Five and TechStars Chicago.

Prior to forming Sandbox, Nick led the buyout and served as CEO of The NutraSweet Company. As a senior executive at Monsanto, he led the Nutrition and Consumer Products division, overseeing NutraSweet, the consumer Lawn and Garden Business, and Kelco food ingredients business. Nick also served as a Senior Vice President and Advisor to the Board of Directors at Monsanto. Previously, Nick held senior executive positions at Searle and has experience with Masonite Corporation and Baxter. He has lived and worked in several countries, including Kuwait, Switzerland and France. Nick has also been involved with numerous civic and commercial organizations. Nick holds a B.S. in Political Science from Northern Illinois University and an MBA from DePaul University.

James J. O’Connor (’96)
Managing Director, MVC Capital

Mr. O'Connor is a senior investment professional with over a decade of private equity and venture capital experience. Prior to joining TTGA Advisers, Mr. O'Connor held senior management positions within Motorola, Inc. (NYSE:MOT). Mr. O'Connor was Co-Founder and Managing Director of Motorola Ventures, the venture capital and private equity investment arm for Motorola, where he led numerous global transactions. In 2006, Mr. O'Connor was named to the American Ventures Magazine (AVM) "40 UNDER 40" list. In his most recent role, Mr. O'Connor also led Motorola's Innovation Program where he built several high growth businesses for the corporation, including the initial successful launch of the development team for the Google – Motorola "Droid" product. Before Motorola, he worked for A.T. Kearney as a management consultant and the U.S. Treasury Department in the areas of Domestic and International Finance as a White House Fellow. Additionally, he held roles at Ariel Capital Management, Sidley & Austin, the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee and the City of Chicago Finance Committee. Mr. O'Connor is Co-Chair of the Chicago Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) and a Board member of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Chicago Urban League, Kohl Children's Museum, Children's Home + Aid, the Big Shoulders Fund for the Archdiocese of Chicago's inner-city school fund and serves as a Trustee on the Board of the Field Museum of National History. He is a Henry Crown Leadership Fellow of the Aspen Institute. He holds a BA (Government) and JD from Georgetown University and an MBA from the Northwestern University J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Tom Loverro (’11)
Principal, RRE Ventures

Tom focuses on early and expansion stage investments in the financial technology, business software and advertising technology spaces. Tom is a Director of CoverHound and actively involved with RRE's investments in On Deck Capital and Drobo. Prior to joining RRE, Tom worked at Lightbank in Chicago, where he focused on early stage investments. Tom began his career at Goldman Sachs & Co., where he advised technology, media and telecommunications clients on M&A and corporate finance. Following Goldman, Tom joined RRE as an analyst. Tom's involvement in Drobo led to him join the company full-time where he took responsibility for the company's marketing, branding and product launch efforts.

Tom is a Mentor for Blueprint Health in New York, TechStars New York and TechStars Chicago. He is also the Founder of the Young Executive Board of CampInteractive, a non-profit in Bronx, NY. Tom holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, where he was an Austin Scholar, and a BA from Stanford University, where he graduated with Distinction.