CARTER WEISS, Partner
Carter is a former entrepreneur as well as investor with well over a decade of venture and growth equity investing experience. Before forming the consumer investment firm Silas Capital, he co-founded Built NY, Inc. and for 7 years as CEO grew the company into an internationally recognized and highly profitable consumer products brand, taking sales from zero to approximately $30 million, with total equity invested of just $1.5 million. He oversaw the creation of the BUILT brand, steadily building and enhancing the company’s position in the marketplace with its distinctive product identity. Under his leadership, Built NY grew to selling in over 50 countries around the world with retailers including Amazon, Apple, MoMA, Target and Whole Foods. BUILT was acquired by Lifetime Brands, Inc. (Nasdaq: LCUT). Prior to this, Carter spent 7 years as an Internet 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 (acquired by eBay in 2005). Carter graduated with a BA in Accounting from the Pennsylvania State University and has an ongoing appreciation of Internet cat photos.
FRANK T. LIN, Partner
Frank has spent the last 15 years as an investor in growth and venture stage companies. He looks at all things consumer with a special focus on active lifestyle and health & wellness brands. His investments include fast-growing brands like Boll & Branch, Bare Snacks and ILIA Beauty, as well as new, innovative brands like Casper and Lord Jones. Prior to forming Silas Capital, Frank was an investor and Principal at EuclidSR Partners, an investment fund formed by Euclid Partners and SR One, the corporate VC arm of GlaxoSmithKline. While there, he served operating and advising roles across a number of consumer, health & wellness, and software companies, and was involved in the success of such investments including SkinMedica (acquired by Allergan), FatWire Software (acquired by Oracle), and Plateau Systems (acquired by SuccessFactors). Before that, he co-founded and led strategy for MatchMetrix, a software company that developed personalized recommendation solutions for the consumer web. He began his career at Neuberger Berman and Aberdeen Murray Johnstone after earning his AB in Economics from the University of Chicago. Frank often revisits his Ohio roots as a mentor/advisor at The Brandery based in Cincinnati.
BRIAN THORNE, Partner
Brian has over 13 years of experience as an advisor, investor and operator in the consumer sector. He was most recently a Principal at Tengram Capital Partners, a private equity firm that invests exclusively in branded consumer and retail companies. Joining the firm shortly after its founding, Brian completed and managed investments in several prominent brands, including NEST Fragrances, Laura Geller, DevaCurl and Algenist within the firm’s core Beauty vertical, as well as Luciano Barbera, Zanella and SWIMS within the Fashion/Apparel category. Prior to Tengram, he was a Senior Associate at Catterton Partners, one of the largest and most experienced consumer-focused private equity groups in the world. There, he was involved in evaluating and executing investments in the personal care and branded food sectors, including Frédéric Fekkai, Brach’s Confections, Van’s International Foods and Naya Water. Previously, Brian was an Analyst in the Consumer/Retail Investment Banking group at Lazard. Additionally, Brian maintains investments in a portfolio of emerging consumer brands, including Ursa Major, Owl’s Brew, Naadam, United By Blue and Sombra Mezcal. Brian earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and holds a BA in Economics and Psychology with Distinction from the University of Virginia.
operating partners & advisors
MICHAEL HERSHFIELD, Venture Advisor
Michael has spent a career bringing seed-stage companies to hockey stick growth. Currently, he is VP of Product & Commercialization at WeWork. Previously, Michael was the COO of Nucleus Intercom and before that the COO of Kitchensurfing and in executive leadership roles at Sailthru, Howcast Media, and LiveStub. Earlier in his career, he specialized in technology and entertainment law at Fasken Martineau. Michael earned a BA in Political Science from McGill University and JD from The University of British Columbia. Michael is co-chair of Israel Policy Forum's Young Leadership board and an advisor to the Canadian Government's Technology Accelerator.
ANDREA FREEDMAN, Beauty & Household
With over 20 years experience as an operator and advisor for consumer companies, Andrea was most recently the CFO/SVP Finance & Operations for Kendo Brands, the LVMH beauty incubator that launched Kat Von D, Marc Jacobs Beauty and Fenty Beauty by Rihanna and acquired Bite Beauty and Ole Henriksen. She previously served as CFO of Method, and prior to that two other consumer companies sold to strategic acquirers. Andrea holds a BA in Economic Development from UC Berkeley and an MA in International Relations from SF State. An avid traveler, musician, and yoga practitioner, Andrea lives in SF with her family.
DAN CIPORIN, Technology VC
Dan is a General Partner at Canaan Partners and invests in the e-commerce and fintech sectors. He was former Chairman and CEO of Shopping.com, the pioneer in online comparison shopping, and oversaw growth from zero to $100+ million in 5 years, culminating in its IPO and acquisition by eBay in 2005. Previously, he was Chairman of Internet Lab, a US-Israeli incubator for early-stage Internet startups, and Senior VP of MasterCard International. At Canaan, Dan sits on the board of Lending Club, ShopKeep, CircleUp, Orchard and JOOR. Dan earned an AB from Princeton University and an MBA from Yale University.
SAM GLASSMAN, Health & Fitness
Sam is a partner of Planet Fitness Midwest. Its top-performing 25+ clubs operate in in Alabama, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Missouri. Sam's focus is on real estate financing, corporate and capital structure, financial reporting and marketing. He joined Planet Fitness Midwest in 2012 after spending nearly twenty years in asset management. Sam is a Board Member of SCAN NY, a nonprofit with the mission to deliver social programs to at-risk families in Harlem and the South Bronx and is also a member of YPO. Sam received a BS in Finance from NYU and MBA from NYU Stern.
RICHARD GREEN, Finance & Operations
Rich has spent the last 15 years working in VC and PE as both operator and investor, focused on food, nutrition and retail. Rich is currently the CFO of Jack's Stir Brew Coffee. Previously, he worked with Nautic Partners in the roll-up of Agilex Flavors and Fragrance, the #1 middle-market flavor and fragrance company. Rich also served as operating executive at Omega Tech, a biotech nutrition company which was acquired by Martek Biosciences. Prior, Rich was an EVP and CFO of the Pfizer Food Science Group. Rich earned a BS in Business from the University of Rhode Island.
DAVID "SCOTT" SCHIFF, Private Equity
David has over 20 years of investing experience in alternative investments. As Managing Partner and co-founder of Bernard Caroli Wealth Management, he specializes in estate planning and wealth management services. He is also Managing Partner of Kuhn, Loeb & Co., a partnership that makes PE, VC and hedge fund investments. Prior, David served roles as VP and Financial Advisor at UBS, and as a M&A analyst at G.L. Ohrstrom & Co., Inc. David was also the Founder and President of Touchwood Records, LLC and prior to that with Atlantic Records. David received a BA from Trinity College and MBA from NYU Stern.
SAMER HAMADEH, Health & Wellness
Samir is CEO of the online health and wellness network Zeel and an EIR at Lightspeed Venture Partners. Previously, he was co-founder and CEO of the career site and publisher Vault, which was sold in 2007 to Veronis Suhler Stevenson. Before Vault, he worked at LEK Consulting and at the Chevron Corporation. Samer is on the boards of the PeaceWorks Foundation and Dotmenu, Inc. and is also a member of YPO and the Georgetown McDonough School’s Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. A David Rockefeller Fellow, Samer holds a BS in and MS in chemical engineering from Stanford University.