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Frankel Commercialization Fund - Student Participation

Overview | Student Participation | Submit a Business Plan | Current Portfolio | Advisors

Students participating in the Frankel Fund join one of four teams with an industry-focused investment: Health Care Fund, Consumer Fund, CleanTech Fund and the Technology Fund. The teams are managed like small venture capital funds with responsibilities assigned to each of the team members who serve as partners.

The Frankel Fund experience is designed to teach students about the commercialization and venture investing process and about developing an efficient process for assessing the promise of early stage commercialization opportunities. Students need to work quickly and effectively to perform due diligence on an opportunity and then recommend a strategy to a Board of Advisors about potential investments. Additionally, students will create long-lasting working relationships with inventors and other team members, without which commercialization success may not be possible. Mandatory weekly meetings are held on Mondays and Wednesdays at 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Students are selected for the program by existing student members of the Fund and the managing director. The application process consists of the submission of a personal written statement and resume. The Fund encourages students with diverse backgrounds to apply, including those with technical, finance, legal, and/or start-up experience. Individuals who are selected attend regularly scheduled weekly meetings in addition to the time spent evaluating opportunities outside of class and receive course credit for their work with the Fund.

Fall Application Process
Each fall, the Frankel Fund seeks 6 to 10 first-year MBA students and 2 to 4 second-year or evening MBA students to become members of the Frankel Funds: the Technology Fund, Consumer Fund, Cleantech fund, and the Health Care Fund. Applicants should demonstrate a strong interest in entrepreneurshipand or commercialization and have the relevant academic or work experience for the team for which student is applying. Students should have excellent interpersonal and analytical skills. If an invitation to join the Fund is extended, students should understand that they will be committing the level of effort required for a very rigorous course. Because of the time commitment required, a strong desire to participate and to see the Fund be successful is necessary.

Information sessions will be held on September 9 and will be offered at two times: 7:30 a.m. (in R2220) and 4:30 p.m. (in R2210). Applicants are not required to attend an information session but may find it helpful.

2010 applications are found here and should be submitted by 8 a.m. on September 13.

Spring Application Process
In the Spring of each year, the Fund has a spring recruiting process to augment its teams with with additional MBA1 team members for the beginning of the next school year in September. The spring recruiting period ensures that the Frankel Fund teams will be fully staffed for the next year and is appealing to MBAs who were not able to participate in their first year.

If you have a strong interest in one of the Frankel Fund focus areas, venture capital, new product development, or commercializing technology, consider applying to the Frankel Fund.

An announcement of the recruiting period and related timing will be announced in the spring of each year.

Bios for Frankel Fellows

Clean Tech Team
Mark Leo
Mark is a second year student in the University of Michigan's dual-degree MBA/MS program between the Ross School of Business and the School of Natural Resources and Environment. Mark is interested in renewable and traditional energy systems, as well as energy efficiency as it applies to new and existing buildings. He also has a strong interest in Cleantech Entrepreneurship and Finance.  Before attending the University of Michigan, Mark worked in construction and real estate development in Washington, DC. He is a LEED Accredited Professional and has worked on several high profile projects in the Washington Metro Area including ballparks, museums, commercial, and residential buildings. In his first year at U of M Mark worked on a team to launch a startup company producing environmentally friendly architectural windows. This summer, Mark worked with a team to launch a startup that provides marketing services to companies in the energy industry. Mark graduated from Cornell University in 2001 with a BS in Industrial Engineering.

Krishna Parab
Krishna is a first-year MBA student at the Ross School of Business focusing on Entrepreneurship, Strategy and General Management.  Prior to Ross, he worked as a Senior Design Engineer and led global cross functional teams in the Semiconductors industry. Krishna’s work experience includes experience at multinationals like ST Microelectronics and Texas Instruments; as well as a Silicon-Valley start-up, Teranetics Inc. Krishna has also been very active in a Silicon Valley chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) the world’s largest non-profit dedicated to the advancement of entrepreneurship. Krishna is interested in renewable energy and clean technology. He has a bachelor’s degree from Indian Institute of Technolgy (IIT), Bombay, and an M.S. degree from the University of Texas at Austin; both in Electrical Engineering.

Alanya Schofield
Alanya is a second year Erb (dual degree MBA/MS Natural Resources & Environment) student and a Tauber Institute for Global Operations Fellow focusing on renewable energy, business development, and corporate strategy. She received a B.A. from Yale University and worked in green building and sustainable development prior to enrolling at the University of Michigan. As part of the business school curriculum, Alanya undertook a 7-week business development project for Energy Conversion Devices/UNI-SOLAR identifying new potential product applications and developing business case analyses for the most promising applications. For her 2009 summer internship with SRG Global, an automotive trim supplier, Alanya identified renewable energy products that were a strategic fit for the company’s engineering and manufacturing capabilities. Additionally, Alanya is currently working part-time with Vortex Hydro Energy, a hydro-kinetic generator startup, undertaking market entry and business development strategy.

Nic Wetzler
Nic Wetzler is a second year MBA and MS student with the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, a joint program with the Ross School of Business and the School of Natural Resources and Environment. Nic is focused on Strategy, Finance, and Entrepreneurship in the clean tech space.  Nic is working on a Master’s Project to identify indicators and build a real options model to help make investment decisions considering externalities, as observed in and applied to early stage social and clean tech ventures. Nic spent this past summer working for Turtlerock Cleantech, a venture development firm that builds portfolio companies to commercialize platform clean technologies. Prior to his business studies, Nic was a Mechanical Engineer in product development with Ford Motor Company’s Engine Division focusing on hardware-software integration. Nic created and led a team to invent and implement new engine control software algorithms for a critical technology roll-out. He also led a Six Sigma team to launch a new digital engine control sensor as a major quality improvement action. Nic holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Consumer Team
Chris Cheung
Chris Cheung is a first year MBA student at the Ross School of Business focusing on Strategy and General Management. Prior to business school, Chris worked as a consultant at Doll Capital Management Inc, a leading venture capital firm, to improve their back office systems and reporting capabilities. Prior to Doll, Chris worked at Deloitte Consulting in San Francisco. At Deloitte, he worked on a variety of strategic advisory and M&A integration assignments. His clients included leading public and private technology companies in the internet, software, communications and semiconductor verticals. Chris earned a BA in economics and history from Claremont McKenna College.

Rosedel Davies-Adewebi
Rosedel Davies-Adewebi is a first year MBA student at the Ross School of Business focusing on Corporate Strategy and Finance within the technology industry. Prior to enrolling in Ross, Rosedel was the Director of the Brooklyn College Small Business Center, where she was responsible for launching the center from proposal to operational stage as well as developing business plans and conducting market research for start-up companies. Rosedel has six years of experience providing financing solutions to start-up companies and small businesses that span the private and non-profit sectors.  During this time, she also launched a start-up technology consulting firm, First Touch Technology.  After receiving her MBA she has a strong interest in using venture capital finance to spur entrepreneurship and economic development in West Africa. She holds a B.A. in Economics and International Relations from Boston University.

Nicolas Leon
Nicolas Leon is a first-year MBA student at the Ross School of Business focusing on Entrepreneurship, Strategy and General Management. Nicolas has five years of experience in one of the two most prestigious economic think tanks in Latin America, where he worked as a researcher on consulting projects focused on industrial organization for a wide range of industries. Nicolas’ consulting projects required defining analytical frameworks and statistical analysis, interviewing industry leaders and other stakeholders, and writing and presenting conclusions to CEOs and high level public officials. Coming from an entrepreneurial family, Nicolas has also worked in various family businesses, where he gained experience in marketing, finance and corporate governance in family businesses. Additionally, during his undergraduate studies, he worked part time at the financial stability department of the Colombian Central Bank, where he studied the effect of macroeconomic shocks on industry. Nicolas has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Economics from Universidad de los Andes, Colombia.

Health Care Team
Asaf Alkoby

Asaf Alkoby is a first year MBA student at the Ross School of Business focusing on Strategy and Finance. Prior to business school, he worked as an attorney in the Corporate Legal Department of Teva, the world’s leading generic drug company.  Asaf’s responsibilities included legal counseling for financing activities, M&A, distribution channels, clinical trials, IP, licensing, coordination of litigation proceedings, corporate governance and financial reporting. In addition, he was a professional volleyball player, member of the Israeli Volleyball National Team and the pre-Olympics cadre for Athens 2004.  Asaf also co-founded a VOIP telephone company, Nikkom, which currently provides its services to more than 3000 customers worldwide. He earned his joint degree (Cum Laude) - LL.B (law) and B.A in Business Administration (Finance) from the Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya, Israel.

Dane Johnson
Dane Johnson is a first year MBA student at the Ross School of Business focusing on Entrepreneurship and General Management. Prior to attending business school, Dane worked as an R&D Engineer and Project Manager for a venture backed medical device company in Northern California. He was a part of a small team that invented a novel therapy for the treatment of obesity.  Dane led the development effort of a portion of the devices that make this procedure possible.  He holds both a Bachelors and Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Sangeetha Krishnan
Sangeetha is a Bio-Statistician at the University of Michigan Health Systems and is in the Evening MBA program at Ross. Sangeetha has seven years of experience in scientific research specifically in areas of renal disease, organ transplantation, preventive cardiology and pulmonary hypertension. Sangeetha has worked with multi-disciplinary researchers to publish several reports on quality measures and outcomes in Dialysis and Transplantation Centers for Federal agencies. She also has over 25 publications in leading International journals/conferences to her credit. She holds a Bachelors degree in Engineering from the University of Madras and a Masters in Quantitative Analysis from the University of Cincinnati.

Yaseen Oweis
Yaseen Oweis is a full-time MBA student with the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, also enrolled in the University of Michigan Medical School for a dual MD/MBA degree. Before attending the University of Michigan, he received his undergraduate education at the Johns Hopkins University in Biomedical Engineering. He then joined an 8-person biomedical devices start-up company in Baltimore where he contributed to development of early-stage Neurodiagnostic and Cardiac prototype devices. Transitioning into medical school, he became interested in healthcare leadership, and joined the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) where he was elected to its Board of Directors for 2 terms. Additionally, he started his own Wireless Consulting small business upon coming to Ann Arbor for Medical School. He ultimately hopes to start his own healthcare technology venture, tying together his engineering, medical, and business interests.

Technology Team
Amrita Kumar
Amrita is a second year Erb student, enrolled with the University of Michigan's dual-degree MBA/MS program between the Ross School of Business and the School of Natural Resources and Environment. She is interested in Business Development and Corporate Sustainability Strategy. Her long term goal is to enable the scaling of new ventures that provide access to clean energy, water, financial services and technology in emerging markets. Amrita spent this past summer in West Africa working for E+CO, a social venture fund that provides seed capital to clean energy enterprises around the world.  Prior to graduate school, Amrita worked with a carbon project developer in Bali where she helped to develop one of Indonesia's first peat swamp forestry projects. She has also worked for five years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Singapore specializing in internal controls, IT security and risk management consulting. Amrita holds a Bachelor's degree in Business from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Biswaroop Palit
Biswaroop Palit is a first year MBA student focusing on Corporate Strategy and Entrepreneurship. Prior to business school, he worked as a software engineer at AOL India and Riya Photo Search where he developed new face recognition products. He also has a couple of publications in the field. Biswaroop is an avid trekker and runner. He also has a true passion for giving back to the community, having dedicated much of his time to working with schools for underprivileged children, and mentoring students. Biswaroop has a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and M.Sc in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Alberta, Edmonton.

Kevin Phillips
Kevin Phillips is enrolled in his first year at the Ross School of Business with an emphasis on Entrepreneurship and General Management. He is interested in the High Technology and Cleantech sectors and has a goal of founding his own start-up in the future. Most recently Kevin was a Project Manager at United BioSource Corporation which develops software that is used in clinical trials. Prior to that, he was a Consultant with CGI Group, an IT consulting firm. Kevin graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor’s of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering.


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