Robert OkabeManaging Director, RPX Group LLC
President, Angel Resource Institute
Over the last decade Bob Okabe has been actively involved with early stage enterprises on multiple levels. As an angel investor he co-founded the Prairie Angels and has made eleven investments with three positive returns of capital. He is a principal of RPX Group LLC (www.rpxgroup.com), a consultancy focused on assisting universities, research institutions, and corporations with spinning out some of their innovative technologies as startup companies.
Among other notable consulting assignments Bob completed a capital markets feasibility study for the World Bank, presenting his findings to cabinet ministers and central bank officials in the Middle East. More recently, he was selected by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to speak at a symposium on new venture creation in Russia. Bob has also been a consultant to and expert witness for the Federal government in securities fraud litigation.
The core of Bob’s experience with growth companies was developed in the corporate world. He was an investment banker for twelve years as a Managing Director and group head at BancAmerica Robertson Stephens, a Senior Vice President at Lehman Brothers and a Vice President at Kidder, Peabody where he participated in numerous debt, equity, M&A, and advisory assignments. He began his business career spending nearly six years in financial management at General Electric. After leaving GE, Bob was a senior bond rating analyst for Moody’s Investors Service for two years.
His civic involvement also involves early stage enterprises. Bob has guest lectured at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and the Kellogg School of Management on new venture formation and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Mayor’s Council of Technology Advisors in Chicago.
Bob Okabe was awarded his Bachelor of Science in Finance and Organizational Behavior, cum laude, from Boston University’s School of Management.
John MayManaging Partner, New Vantage Group
Chair-emeritus of the Angel Capital Association
John May is the managing partner of New Vantage Group, a Vienna, VA firm that innovatively mobilizes private equity into early-stage companies and provides advisory services to both funds and private investors. Mr. May has been at the forefront of the angel investor movement and his experience in private equity capital over the last 20 years ranges from venture capital fund management to angel investing to overseas consulting.
In 1991, he co-founded the Investors' Circle, a national non-profit group of 150 family and institutional investors working to grow the social venture capital industry. Additionally in 1996, he co-founded and became executive director of the Private Investors Network, an angel network sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association, which he led until 2002. In 1999 he co-found The Dinner Club, an investment group of 60 regional angels who collectively invest in early-stage ventures, followed by the eMedia Club and in 2000, the Washington Dinner Club. In 2003, he created Active Angel Investors, a mid-atlantic fund with 60 active angels. He was managing general partner of Calvert Social Venture Partners LP, the Mid-Atlantic Fund of Funds LP, and an advisor to three other early-stage funds. In 2006 he became director and general partner in Seraphim Capital, a 30 million £ venture fund based in London.
He is chair-emeritus of the Angel Capital Association and is a lead instructor for their "Power of Angel Investing" seminar and is co-chair of the World Business Angels Association. He is the co-author of two books, Every Business Needs an Angel and State of the Art: An Executive Briefing on Cutting-Edge Practices in American Angel Investing. In the fall of 2002, the Batten Institute at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business appointed Mr. May a “Batten Fellow”. He has lectured extensively on venture capital and angel investing and has presented talks and seminars in over 20 countries.