The Soho Loft Team
David Drake is a leading equity expert based in New York. He is the founder and chairman of LDJ Capital, a private equity advisory firm, and of The Soho Loft, an event-driven global financial media company.
Born in Sweden and fluent in six languages, Mr. Drake is a strong advocate of innovative investing in early-stage equity and the US JOBS Act, for which he lobbied both Congress and the EU Commission. Because of his leading work in this space, he was a US Commerce Department delegate to the EU Commission in Brussels and Rome, and was invited in May 2013 to the White House Champions of Change ceremony in Washington, D.C.
His investment, The Soho Loft, produces and sponsors 150+ global events a year. One such was produced in April 2013 for the institutional media leader Thomson Reuters, with speakers from Nasdaq, NYSE, KKR and Carlyle Group. He continues to advance innovative investing through his work as an international speaker and regular writer for major publications like Forbes and Thomson Reuters. He has co-authored the book Planet Entrepreneur: The World Entrepreneurship Forum’s Guide to Business Success Around the World and is the author of Crowd Fund Economics.
His focus today is to take on board advisory positions at companies, angel networks and venture funds, and to guide them on such topics as international regulations, corporate strategy and fund structures, with emphasis on the growing trend of online investment automation for retail and angel investors.
Privately, Mr. Drake has hosted the Harvard Business Club of NY at his home, produced Carnegie Hall concerts and raised funds for the charities Trail Blazers and Best Buddies Carnegie Hall for many years. Today he is a board director of the UBS Charity of the Year, London-based Archive International, and is co-chair of the Tree Kangaroo Foundation in New York.
Mr. Drake has an MBA in Finance and an MA in International Law and Economics from George Washington University, where he was awarded the Wallenberg Scholarship for academic merit.
Mr Enzo Villani joins The Soho Loft to head its Corporate Strategies. Previously Mr. Villani was the Managing Director of Products and Strategy at the NASDAQ OMX. He established NASDAQ Corporate Services through a series of alliances and acquisitions and in 2006 he lead the acquisition of Shareholder.com and Prime Zone Media Network (now GlobeNews- wire). Corporate Services has developed into a growth business line in NASDAQ OMX and continues to develop new products and services for public companies.Since 2006, Mr. Villani has completed over $400 million in acquisitions focused on investor relations, corporate communications, financial technology, media, and trading exchange industries.
In 2010, Enzo became a member of the MZ Group Board of Directors as an independent director. He sold Ilios Partners to MZ Group in 2011 and then advised on the acquisition and integration of Hayden International (HCI). MZ Group North America was launched by combining Ilios and HCI under the MZ Group umbrella. MZ NA consults over 100 clients includ-ing Cisco, Under Armour, Lincoln Financial, and Prudential. Before launching Villani Advisors, Mr. Villani was a founding member, EVP & Chief Strategy Officer of DF King Worldwide (formerly Sage Holdings). King Worldwide is the leading global Stakeholder Management and Financial Communications firm. Formed in 2007 as a private equity backed acquisition vehicle through The Riverside Company, the King Worldwide family now comprises of D. F. King & Co., M:Communications, Hallvarsson & Halvarsson, Capital Precision, Broadgate Consultants, Taylor Rafferty and Donlin Recano. D. F. King World- wide employs over 900 professionals with offices in New York, London, Munich, Stockholm, Dubai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Taipei.
In 1998, Mr. Villani co-founded Rivet Integrated Marketing. As CEO, Enzo developed a pioneering methodology for integrating traditional and interactive marketing. Rivet’s clients included: NASDAQ, Citibank, R/GA, AOL Time Warner, Kx Systems, Track Data Securities, and The Ford Foundation. Prior to Rivet, he was Director of Internet Development at Integrated Office Solutions (IOS), a system integrator and Microsoft Gold Partner servicing the top 10 invest- ment banks sold to Exodus Communications. Mr. Villani pioneered early web design and development for Modem Media, Byron Preiss Multimedia, MSNBC, and Intel. Mr. Villani holds a Masters in Business Administration from The Johnson School at Cornell University and completed his Bachelor of Arts from Iona College while working on the block equities desk for Lehman Brothers. He has studied at Pratt Institute and at The School of Visual Arts.
Bianca Blake is a Marketing executive with over 15 years experience working for major U.S. Corporations in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles including Prestige Magazine, IMN/Euromoney, Nielsen Media and The Merchandise Mart. She has produced global conferences in the financial services area for Pension Funds, Luxury Goods and Home Furnishings Industries. She recently opened and ran the US Office of a Swedish business consultancy firm located in Los Angeles, C.A.
Previous experience includes advertising, broadcast media, telecommunications with a successful track record of accom- plishments in project management, marketing communications, event production and financial planning. Prior to being Vice President for IMN of international pension fund conferences for investors – a division of EuroMoney – she was the Mar- keting Director at VNU Expositions in New York City. She helped organize 50 annual trade shows in jewelry from diamonds,gemstones, gold and high-end luxury designer brands.
Bianca started her career at MTG Media in Stockholm after graduating from the University of Stockholm with an MBA in Marketing. Bianca is fluent in five languages and enjoys traveling, sailing, art and interior design in her spare time.
The Soho Loft Capital Creation Events (”TSL”) is a corporate strategy and advisory services company specializing in financial innovation and economic sustainability. Through its global events and media platform it advances diligent mainstream and alternative investing for start-up entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises. TSL provides visionary leadership and relevant education in the areas of capital formation, crowdfunding, angel networking, non-conventional funding, eb5 green card programs, micro-finance, venture capital, private equity and hedge funds.TSL is a subsidiary of LDJ Capital based in New York USA. Its founder and Chairman, David Drake, is a founding member of Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates (CFIRA) and of Crowdfunding Professional Association (CFPA). He played a key role in the passing of the JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act) in the United States. His advocacy for financial innovation has taken him to the global stage when he joined the U.S Commerce Department’s delegation to Brussels and Rome at the Transatlantic Economic Forum for SME Policy last July 2012 where he met with European ministers and national legislators. He is an international speaker and prolific writer on these topics.
Overall, TSL’s mission is to bring global awareness and develop infrastructure to facilitate innovative capital formation and access and spur job creation. As such, TheSoho Loft operates as the leading global corporate strategy adviser on financial and economic policy.
The Soho Loft Advisors
Kamran M. Khozan joined The Soho Loft as a board adviser August 2012 as he saw the financial and technological innovation merging at the center of the media, events and publishing that The Soho Loft combine. Financial & Technological Innovation is Mr. Khozan’s expertise. Mr. Khozan is the founder and major shareholder of 70+ highly successful multinational corporations generating north of $40 billion in annual revenue. Mr. Khozan and Mr. Drake have been working closely together in the Middle East, Europe and North America since last decade. Among Mr. Khozan’s holdings are:
Chemical Vapour Metal Refining Inc. (“CVMR®”), a privately held corporation engaged in mining, metal refining and vapour metal- lurgy process development. CVMR® has extensive nickel, Platinum and Titanium mines and refining operations world wide. It uses a unique proprietary refining technology and has over 13,000 employees. (www.cvmr.ca)Intermaritime Financial Inc. with offices in BVI, Canada, South Africa and UAE, is a Shariah Compliant financial institution engaged in financing mega-projects, mostly related to infrastructure development.
(www.intermaritimefinancial.com) iFinancial Management S.A., is a unique financial advisory company focused on redefining conventional and Islamic financial products and services. It establishes Islamic banking departments for various banks, on a turn key basis.Secure Environment Services (“SES”) is a leading provider of homeland security and risk management systems, manufactured at its own facilities in North America as well as those manufactured by its industry-leading strategic partners. SES provides a complete continuum of security, defence and risk management products and support services to Governments and the Private Sector. (www.secures.ca) Al Khozan Holdings, oversees the operations of Khozan family’s corporations and assets.
From 1984 to 1992, Kamran Khozan was the Commissioner for the Lead Project’s Centers of Excellence, in Canada, reporting directly to the Prime Minister.
From 1992 to 1998 Kamran Khozan served with the Canadian Federal Department of Justice and the Ontario Ministries of Solicitor General, Community Safety and Correctional Services. He is a graduate of Oxford, McGill University, and University of Toronto in Philosophy, Economics, management, Criminology and law. He is an inventor with 32 international patents in metallurgy. (www.khozan.com)
Specialties: Strategic Planning, Media, Banking, Security and Defense, Mining and Metal Refining.
Kevin M. McGovern is the Chairman and CEO of McGovern Capital,LLC, which provides investments and business strategy to emerg- ing companies, particularly those engaged in consumer technologies and holders of Intellectual Property Rights. He has founded over a dozen companies, seven (7) of which have become world and/or category leaders, including SoBe Beverages, Tristrata (AHA skincare technology), and KX Industries (home-based water purification).
McGovern founded and serves as Chairman and CEO of The Water Initiative (“TWI”) (www.TheWaterInitiative.com), which develops and markets home-based water purification systems, particularly in developing countries. TWI has worked with the Mexican government and the people of Mexico as its first pilot. In less than 2 ½ years, TWI has formulated technology solutions to Mexico’s most severe unclean water conditions and has launched product distribution through the government and through those people most impacted.He also serves as Co-Chair of the Advisory Board and Board Member of the USA Pavilion and is Senior Advisor (only foreigner) to the Development Committee of the 2010 Shanghai World’s Expo.
McGovern was a founder of SoBe Beverages, which was the US’s fastest growing beverage company growing to $250mm in sales in less than 4 years, and estab- lished the “new age”/nutraceutical beverage category. SoBe was sold to PepsiCo.He also was a founder of KX Industries, which was the world’s leader in developing and marketing water and air carbon filters. KX developed and supplied the first home-based end of tap (“Pur”) filter for P&G and Brita and the first refrigerator water filter for Electrolux.McGovern co-published the pioneering Forbes/Wolfe Nanotech Report, which is currently the Forbes/Wolfe Emerging Tech Report.He created and directs the worldwide licensing program for Tristrata Inc., which owns the rights (over 100 patents) to Alpha Hydroxy Acids (“AHAs”), the most successful skin restoration and wrinkle reduction technology in skin care history. Tristrata licenses over 70 companies and is the leading seller of skincare products to dermatolo- gists and plastic surgeons in over 80 countries.
McGovern is a principal and strategist for Clean Coal Technologies, Inc. which has created proprietary technologies to clean coal; for EnviroFuels Manufacturing, Inc.,which markets and distributes proprietary smokeless stoves; and for Aquea Scientific,which developed and markets proprietary nanotechnology to “wash-on” additives to the skin, such as sunscreens; as well as an innovator to the fragrance industry.McGovern has served on various public and private Boards, including The Sports Authority (Executive Committee) and Nobel Education, and is the Co-Chairman of the Silver Shield Foundation, which provides education and counseling assistance to families of police and fire fighters killed in action in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.
A graduate of Cornell University (BA) and St. John’s University School of Law (JD), he is a Presidential Councilor (highest honor to alumni) and Trustee Emeritus of Cornell University, having chaired its IP and Tech Transfer Committees. He also serves on Cornell’s Joint Venture (CNI) in Singapore, Chairs Entrepreneurship@ Cornell, and was named Cornell’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2007. He teaches each spring at the Johnson Graduate Business School (Global Innovation and Com- mercialization) and recently donated and founded the McGovern Family Venture Development Center,Cornell’s first on campus science/business incubator.
Johan Gorecki is the founder/owner and CEO of Globe Forum, an internationally recognized marketplace for sustainable innovation. Globe Forum brings together innovators, investors, multinationals and entrepreneurs, and holds sustainability forums throughout Europe. Johan is also the founder of Globe Award, the leading sustainability prize for innovation. Europe’s 4th largest media company Bonnier is a large investor in his company.
An entrepreneur himself, he was a co-founder of Skype which sold to eBay for $4.1 billion in 2005. He also worked NS with the international entertainment broadcasting group Modern Times Group (MTG) where he was responsible for the internet portal Everyday AB. He is a board member of the Swedish Polish Chamber of Commerce and the Solar energy company Solarus.
Johan Gorecki is committed to the search for sustainable ideas. His entrepreneurial career has included working with the creators of the pioneering IP telephony company, Skype. Today, as CEO of Globe Forum, he helps innovators and entrepreneurs focused on sustainability find partners and investors that will bring their ideas to life.
Joe Rubin is a Founding Partner of ARC Angel Fund, the first Member managed Angel fund in NYC. ARC has 70 Angel members and has invested in 12 companies so far in the early-stage tech, mobile, healthcare IT and web enabled services sectors. Joe is also the Director and Co-Founder of FundingPost.com. FundingPost has been introducing entrepreneurs to investors nationwide for over 11 years through its Online Venture Exchange, Dealflow Magazine and its Venture Capital and Angel Investor Conferences in 22 cities nationwide.
Joe has also invested in 11 seed deals over the past 7 years, including Sticky, Inc. (acquired by DeviceVM), Senscient, Revstor, Fly- cast, Giftworks, Virtus Sensors, and CIMA Systems. He spends much of his time coaching and helping early-stage companies, and speaks at events such as the NYC Economic Development Corporation’s Jumpstart and Fast trac Programs, Early Stage East, and
Connecticut’s CTech, LIMs MBA program and is a sponsor of the UCLA Private Equity Club. Prior to FundingPost, Joe was instrumental in helping to raise $2.5
Million in angel and venture capital for his dot.com start-up producing a family-friendly network and over 100 flash-based video games which were playable
online and sold as a compilation in stores like Comp USA.
Joe was also the Webmaster at Knight Securities (NASD: NITE), where he helped to design its online trading platform and website. Prior to working Online, Joe worked in television and design for companies such as NBC and MTV, in addition to doing freelance commercial production. Joe began working in television production, graphic design and 3D animation professionally when he was 15, and graduated from Hofstra University with a Bachelor’s in Communications. He now lives in Connecticut with his wife and 2 children.
Bryan Zhang is a PhD researcher in crowdfunding at the University of Cambridge. His research examines the economic ge- ography of crowdfunding in the context of international political economy. He is currently an academic advisor to the Social Foundation (UK) and the Crowdsourcing.org (USA). Bryan also has extensive experience in the third sector, having worked as a corporate research executive for Oxfam and served on its governing board for six years as an associate. Bryan is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Postgraduate Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He holds a BA from Cambridge and an MSc from the University of Oxford.
Hoan Soo Lee is an entrepreneur and financial economist specializing in empirical corporate finance and entrepreneurial finance. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Harvard Business School and will become assistant professor of finance at the prominent Tsinghua University, School of Economics and Management (beginning August 2013) in Beijing, China.
His research studies determinants of performance and economic implications of private equity and venture capital through parsimonious applications of quasi-natural experiments for sharp identification. He is also interested in US-China relations, investment strategies and entrepreneurship in emerging markets. Several of his works have been featured on the Harvard Business Review.
Previously, he served in the Council of Economic Advisers, Executive Office of the President as a staff economist during the Obama administration from 2010 – 2011. He also served as a liaison for the White House economists in the Committee for Foreign Investments in the United States. He is also a successful serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Christian Media Corporation and Give2gether, Inc. He sits on the board of Dorinku Inc., United Kingdom.
He holds an A.M. and a joint PhD in Business Economics from Harvard University Department of Economics and Harvard Business School. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California-Berkeley in mathematics and economics, both with highest honors, Phi Beta Kappa.
He is married to Dr. Yangseon Park and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Chiara Franzoni is Assistant Professor at the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano. She is currently investigating crowd dynamics and crowd motivation in several different contexts, including crowdfunding, crowdsourcing of innovation and crowd science. Her research on Kickstarter crowdfunding shows that contributions received in the initial 2-to-10 days of a crowdfunding campaign increase the chances of success of up to 160%. It also shows that the social capital that a proponent builds internally to the crowdfunding community is critical to be successful and that rewards allowing a donor to be part of the developer community are more powerful than giving contributors peer-to-peer recognition. More broadly, her research interests include the management of intangible assets of high-tech companies, including high-skilled human capital and intellectual property rights. She has published articles in Science, Research Policy, Industrial & Corporate Change, among other outlets.