Student Panelists: Andrea Coravos | David Freed | Reuben Ogbonna | Arjun Srinivas
Moderators: Joanna Bromley and Kenny Osakwe
Alex Duff is currently the Principal of Alexander Advisors, a San Francisco-based advisory firm providing business development, financial, operational and strategic services to high growth companies. Founded in late 2009, Alexander Advisors evolved from numerous requests Alex had fielded over the years from entrepreneurs and senior management at companies who had sought his input.
Alex began his career in investment banking in 1995, working for Morgan Stanley in the Energy Group in New York City. In 1998 Alex moved to the principal investing business, and was hired by the Fremont Group in San Francisco to join the Communications investment area, where he eventually served as fulltime CFO for Tenzing Communications, a Seattle-based software company.
In 2006 the CEO of Fremont connected Alex with his son, who is the Founder of PIX System, LLC. PIX is a Software as a Service (SaaS) company providing next generation project management solutions for the entertainment industry. Major projects include Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Star Trek, Terminator Salvation and Up in The Air.
In addition Alex has personally invested in over a dozen startup companies during the past ten years, and has also advised startups both in the US and overseas. Alex has strong connections in the startup/ venture and private equity communities. A cum laude graduate of Duke University, Alex has an A.B. in History, and is a CFA charter holder and a Member of the CFA Institute.
Daina Falk received a BA in History and a Certificate in Markets and Management from Duke University in May of 2005. Daina left Duke for Los Angeles where she briefly lived the "Entourage" experience, working at United Talent Agency in Beverly Hills. In January of 2006, Daina became an active partial owner of Pokeware, a start-up interactive marketing company that she had been a part of since 1997. Working full-time for Pokeware provided Daina invaluable business experience and a wealth of knowledge about the rapidly changing marketing industry, especially as it has been affected by emerging technologies. Daina's work at Pokeware also introduced her to a rich network of leaders in various industries, including Music. In January of 2009, Daina began her foray into the music business and took on her first musician client, an up-and-coming Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter named Adam Rader. As a first-time manager, Daina has learned first-hand what it takes to break an artist in today's music industry, which, like the marketing world, is swiftly changing, largely due to technology.
On the side, Daina keeps busy exhibiting her original artwork and photography in galleries and art festivals around Los Angeles and online. She recently published her first book, Photos from Around the World, a collection of her international landscape photography, which is being featured at the 2010 Bologna Book Fair in Bologna, Italy and in the International Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany. Daina is also enriching her Entertainment Industry resume with reality television producer credits for shows like 2006's "Committed: The Christies" (the highest rated show in the history of BET at that time) and two other yet-unannounced projects.
Reid Lewis graduated from Duke in 1984 studying Computer Science, Economics and Math, often while waiting in line for front row seats in Cameron.
Reid serves as President of Group Logic, a software firm that he co-founded in 1988 with two other Dukies and his Princetonian brother and he's Co-Chair of DukeGEN, the Duke Global Entrepreneurship Network.
Reid lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife Kari and children.
Jay Mebane is the co-founder and CFO of US Handbags, manufacturer of SnapTotes custom photo handbags. He has also co-founded or co-owned a variety of other companies (Rapidata.net, Thundershirt.com, First Analytical Laboratories and Arcametrics). Jay also served as a member of the management team of Foveon, an early provider of Internet marketing data. Prior to pursuing his entrepreneurial endeavors, Jay practiced corporate finance law with the Charlotte office of Moore & Van Allen, PLLC. Jay has degrees from Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law and the Duke University Fuqua School of Business.
Page Murray recently joined Hewlett Packard's Personal Systems Group managing worldwide advertising and marketing communications. Prior to that, Page was Comcast's SVP of Marketing Communications for cable, high speed internet and telephone service. Page has held senior marketing positions for Palm, Apple Computer and several startups. He began his career in advertising, working on Absolut Vodka, Evian and several other consumer brands.
He is a 1985 graduate of Duke's Trinity College and spent his final year building a replica of the Duke Chapel which has been on display at the library, chapel and Bryan Center. He lives in Silicon Valley with his wife, 3 children and a paralyzing mortgage.
Andrea Coravos is a senior from Andover, Massachusetts. She is currently working towards a major in Economics and is finishing her thesis in community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and the use of credit scoring for small business loans.
After her freshman year, she worked as the game operations and marketing intern at the Washington Capitals NHL team. She spent sophomore summer in Guatemala on a DukeEngage grant, working with Soluciones Comunitarias, a microfranchise and development organization. In Guatemala, she trained entrepreneurs to supply rural communities with essential life items, including pure water and eyeglasses, in a sustainable business setting. This summer she worked for McKinsey & Company in Houston, where she will return after graduation.
At Duke, she was the EVP of Duke Venture Forward and active in the start-up community, most recently helping BioWires and Phosify get to the semi-final round in the Duke Start-Up Challenge. She also studied abroad in Berlin at Humboldt-Universitat during her junior year. Andrea enjoys her crazy Greek-Irish family, the NYT science section on Tuesdays, and the Boston Red Sox.
David Freed is a senior from Vista, California pursuing a Biomedical Engineering degree and a Markets and Management Studies certificate. At Duke, David was the president of his freshman class, the president of Duke Venture Forward and is a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. This past summer David interned at Talent Maven, a angel-funded arts and entertainment professional media start-up based in New York City built to help high quality talent connect with elite industry professionals.
David has previously worked in Merrill Lynch wealth management, as a research assistant in the Fuqua School of Business and is graduating with distinction for his work in tissue engineering. He will start his career at the Boston Consulting Group in New York this September. In his free time, David is passionate about the San Diego Chargers, pickup basketball, entrepreneurship, medical devices, Classic Rock, and reading non-fiction.
Reuben Ogbonna is a sophomore at Duke University majoring in Economics while also minoring in Education. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. as well as Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity. Reuben serves as a resident assistant in an all freshman dorm and is an active mentor at the elementary, high school, and college level. Reuben plans on pursuing a career in investment banking upon graduation from college, eventually pursuing an MBA. This summer, he will be interning at JP Morgan Investment Bank in the equity research division.
Arjun Srinivas is a sophomore from Rockville, Maryland studying physics and economics. This summer, he will be working in the securities division of Goldman Sachs, and he hopes to pursue a career in finance in the future.
Arjun is a highly-ranked and successful online poker player. He travels around the world to compete in high-stakes tournaments, and invests a portion of his winnings in a jointly-managed portfolio. Besides poker, Arjun enjoys being an RA for freshmen, meeting new people, and watching Duke win national championships.