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Alpha Venture Partners Team

Steve Brotman

Steve Brotman

Steve Brotman, an entrepreneur, investor, and fund manager, is the founder and Managing Partner at Alpha Venture Partners. Steve also serves as a Strategic Advisor to the Pritzker Group‘s venture arm, Pritzker Group Venture Capital.

Prior to Alpha Venture Partners, Steve was the co-founder and Managing Director of Greenhill SAVP, Greenhill & Co’s venture capital unit (which was spun out as Tribeca Venture Partners), a technology- and business information services-focused venture capital fund with $100 Million under management. Prior to GSAVP, Steve founded Silicon Alley Venture Partners with $15 million assets under management.  At his prior funds, Steve invested in 30 portfolio companies and was among the first institutional investors in LivePerson (Nasdaq: LPSN) and Medidata Solutions (Nasdaq: MDSO).

Steve was also the co-founder of a venture-backed company, AdOne, the pioneer online classified advertising platform.  AdOne was Steve’s first entrepreneurial effort, which started life as an assignment in an Entrepreneurship class at Columbia Business School. AdOne signed over one third of the newspaper industry, 500 newspapers, and was acquired by a newspaper consortium led by Hearst.  During his entrepreneurial and VC firm career, Steve has been recognized a few times: as a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award as well as being named in Crain’s Tech 100, Top 25 Players Shaping Silicon Alley and Top 40 under 40 among New York business leaders.

Steve has previously served on the boards of the MIT Enterprise ForumCritical Mention, DataSynapse (Observer), Medidata (Observer) and Truveris, among others. Steve has been a mentor with the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, Blueprint Health, Startup Health, Columbia Business School Lang and Greenhouse Funds. Steve received a joint M.B.A. / J.D from Washington University / Columbia and a B.A. in economics from Duke University.

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Brian Smiga

As a Venture Partner of Alpha Venture Partners, Brian evaluates investment opportunities. In addition, he provides product, marketing, strategic partnership, and operating expertise to AVP and its portfolio.

Prior to Alpha Venture Partners, Brian was the CEO and founder of Preclick, (sold to Smilebox), where he developed popular photo software licensed worldwide by HP, 3M, Sandisk, Walmart, Costco, CVS, and Walgreens. Prior to Preclick, Mr. Smiga was CEO at 3Path, an Intel and Goldman-Sachs backed startup, and the SVP of Marketing at 1ClickCharge, where his product launch resulted in a sale of the company to CMGi.

After first working with Mr. Brotman at 1ClickCharge, Mr. Smiga has advised SAVP-backed portfolio companies: Altruik, Headliner, Knovel, and Mobile Commons. In the 1990s, Mr. Smiga began his career as a developer at Booz & Co, and in Silicon Valley was cofounder and President of Portfolio Software and Actioneer, where he co-authored six software patents and licensed top-rated software to Apple, IBM, Microsoft, AOL, 3Com, Acco, and others. Brian received a BA in Liberal Arts from Swarthmore College, and a Masters of Philosophy in Literature from Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland. Brian is executive director of TEDxNavesink, hosted at Two River Theater, Red Bank, NJ.

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Ben Freeberg

As an analyst at Alpha Venture Partners, Ben works to source and evaluate investment opportunities, provides support for AVP’s portfolio companies, researches market sectors and works closely with the venture capital arm of the Pritzker Group.

Prior to joining Alpha Venture Partners, Ben was an investment banking analyst at Peter J. Solomon Company.  He worked closely with the Technology and Media M&A group and Restructuring division, and co-authored two articles published in trade journals.  Ben was an intern at Susquehanna Growth Equity, where he assisted in the closure of SGE’s investment in B-Stock Solutions.  Ben also worked with entrepreneurs while interning with the Council for Entrepreneurial Development in Durham, North Carolina and has presented two of his business ideas at start-up pitch competitions in both Ireland and the annual Duke Start-Up Challenge.

Since 2009, Ben has worked closely with the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Organization, helping to organize annual conferences for this program that is dedicated to leadership, service and innovation. Ben is a former tennis instructor and enjoys snowboarding, playing basketball and juggling Chinese Devil Sticks in his spare time.

Ben graduated from Duke University with his B.A. in Economics, a concentration in Finance and a Markets and Management certificate.

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