we've been there too.
As both founders and investors, we've sat on both sides of the table. Over the course of our combined operating and investing careers spanning 30 years, we've built, funded and supported companies through a number of historic economic cycles. However, we provide more than just capital to our partners. We actively work with founders and entrepreneurs to help them discover, drive and master the core parts of their businesses in order to help them achieve long-term value, greater brand recognition and increased market share.
Carter Weiss, Managing Partner
Before forming Silas Capital, Mr. Weiss co-founded Built NY, Inc. in mid 2003, and for 6 ½ years as CEO grew the company into an internationally recognized and highly profitable consumer products brand, taking sales from zero to approximately $30 million. Mr. Weiss oversaw the creation of the BUILT brand, steadily building and enhancing the company’s position in the marketplace with a distinctive brand strategy and product identity. Under his leadership, Mr. Weiss grew the BUILT brand to what it is today, selling in over 50 countries around the world at retailers including Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, MoMA and Target. Prior to his role as CEO of Built NY, Mr. Weiss spent 7 years as a venture capitalist. He was previously a member of the corporate venture capital fund Hollinger Capital, where he made successful investments in consumer internet companies such as Shopping.com (IPO in 2004). Before Hollinger, he was an Associate at venture capital firm Cornerstone Resources and a M&A analyst at CIS Corporation. Mr. Weiss began his financial career at World Marketing Inc, a Trans World Airlines holding company, where he held various accounting positions. Mr. Weiss graduated with a B.A. in Accounting from the Pennsylvania State University.
Frank T. Lin, Managing Partner
Prior to forming Silas Capital, Mr. Lin was a Principal at EuclidSR Partners, a leading venture capital firm focused on early stage investments in technology, business services and healthcare. Over the past decade, Mr. Lin has been an active investor, operating partner and advisor to founders and managers of emerging companies, and involved as lead investor and Board member for a number of Euclid's successful investments including FatWire Software (acquired by Oracle), Plateau Systems (acquired by SuccessFactors/SAP), KuDOS Pharmaceuticals (acquired by AstraZeneca) and SkinMedica (acquired by Allergan). Prior to venture investing, Mr. Lin was a technology start-up entrepreneur. In 1999, he co-founded and led corporate strategy for MatchMetrix, a consumer-focused software company that developed personalized recommendation technologies for the web. He wrote the company’s original business plan, raised financing from angel investors and secured early customers as well as partnerships for the company. Mr. Lin began his career as an analyst working with fund managers at Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Ltd. and Neuberger Berman. Mr. Lin graduated with honors from the University of Chicago with an A.B. in Economics.
Milton J. Pappas, Chairman
Considered a pioneer of institutional venture investing, Mr. Pappas has been a venture capitalist since 1966 when he was a Vice President at Drexel Harriman Ripley. In 1970, Mr. Pappas formed Euclid Partners, establishing one of the first venture capital funds in the U.S. He has since then managed five venture capital partnerships, including the currently active venture fund, EuclidSR Partners, L.P. Mr. Pappas has worked with a long line of successful companies in the communications, data management, internet and healthcare sectors, and on the last 17 investments that Mr. Pappas led, he returned an average of 6.6x to investors. His diverse Board of Directors experience includes positions at Intralinks, Multex Systems, Netegrity, PowerCenter Systems, CrossComm and BioSite. Mr. Pappas is a CFA charterholder and a graduate of Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Marshall Law School.
Jorge M. Torres, Vice President
Mr. Torres is a member of the Kauffman Fellows Program and a Vice President at Silas Capital. He is involved in all aspects of the firm’s operations, including deal screening, due diligence and investment execution. Previously, Jorge practiced intellectual property law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and at Fish & Richardson P.C. In the consumer space he successfully defended Nokia in a series of patent infringement lawsuits targeting its mobile handsets. He was also part of the legal team that helped Microsoft overturn a $1.5 billion jury verdict, which at the time represented the largest amount of damages ever awarded in a patent case. A significant share of his practice also involved handling matters for healthcare companies and investors, representing pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies. Earlier in his career, Mr. Torres clerked on the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Mr. Torres also sits on the advisory board of the Organization of Latino Entrepreneurs (part of the New York State Small Business Development Corporation). Mr. Torres holds a B.S. in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Mr. Ciporin is a General Partner at Canaan Partners and is committed to building innovative businesses that make the Internet a more engaging place for consumers. Dan joined Canaan in 2007 to invest in emerging leaders in online advertising and digital media in the New York corridor, as well as in communications infrastructure companies that deliver interactive content to connected consumers. Dan posses two decades of executive-level operational experience. He was the former Chairman and CEO of Shopping.com, the pioneer in online comparison shopping, where he oversaw growth from zero to over $100 million in revenues in just five years, culminating in the company’s IPO in October 2004 and later acquisition by eBay in 2005. Previously, Dan served as chairman of the Internet Lab, a US-Israeli incubator for early-stage consumer Internet startups, and as Senior VP of MasterCard International. At Canaan, Dan sits on the board of Lending Club, an innovative online lending community where people borrow and lend money, bypass the banks, and get better rates; OpenSky, a social shopping platform that helps consumers discover and buy great products that fulfill their interests in a variety of consumer verticals; and Gemvara, a web-based service that is revolutionizing the jewelry market by empowering consumers and independent jewelers to design fully personalized, high-quality jewelry. Dan earned an AB from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and an MBA from Yale University. Dan is committed to improving the lives of people living in poverty in Southeast Asia. After serving in 1980 as Director of Educational Programs for the UN-funded Sakaeo Refugee Camp in Thailand, Dan has continued to support volunteer organizations in that part of the world.
Richard D. Gersten
Mr. Gersten is a Partner of Tengram Capital Partners, a private equity firm formed to invest in the consumer and retail sectors. Mr. Gersten has over 18 years of experience in the private equity industry and has spent the last 13 years focused exclusively on the consumer sector. Prior to Tengram, he was a Partner at Catterton Partners, a leading consumer private equity firm focused on small to middle market consumer companies. Mr. Gersten served on the Boards of Strivectin, Aquasana, Van's Natural Foods, Monosol, and Dr. Miracle’s. Prior to Catterton, he was a Partner at North Castle Partners and led the firm's focus in the aesthetics and personal care industry and successfully completed investments in Avalon Natural Products, DDF Skincare and GloMinerals. Prior to North Castle, Mr. Gersten was a Principal at NMS Capital, the merchant banking arm of NationsBanc Montgomery Securities, and before that was at BT Capital Partners, the private equity arm of Bankers Trust. Prior to joining BT Capital, Mr. Gersten was an Associate in the middle market leveraged finance group at Chemical Bank. Mr. Gersten received a B.S. in Economics from Union College and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Hamadeh is CEO of the online health and wellness network Zeel and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Lightspeed Venture Partners. Prior to that, he was co-founder and CEO of Vault, which was sold in 2007 to Veronis Suhler Stevenson. Before co-founding Vault, Mr. Hamadeh with the Los Angeles management consulting firm LEK Consulting, where he focused on corporate and business strategy. Prior to that, he co-founded and managed a customized-textbook printing company, worked at the Chevron Corporation, and co-authored The Internship Bible and America's Top Internships. Mr. Hamadeh sits on the boards of the PeaceWorks Foundation and Dotmenu, Inc. and serves as an advisory board member at numerous early-stage companies. He is also a member of Young Presidents Organization and the Georgetown McDonough School’s Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. A David Rockefeller Fellow, Mr. Hamadeh holds a BS in chemistry and an MS in chemical engineering from Stanford University.