Investing in Tomorrow’s World-Changers.
Investing in Tomorrow’s World-Changers.
Investing in technology companies developed at the leading universities of the world
Safar™ takes advantage of its deep connections at world-class universities — primarily, MIT, Harvard, and the University of Rochester — to invest in the commercial potential of technology startups originating there. As board members, trustees, and partners of these three institutions, Safar’s principals have had a long and successful history of investing in innovative entrepreneurs and tech startups, an approach that they have now institutionalized at Safar. To date, Safar has invested in 40+ portfolio companies.
Safar invests in three areas: cleantech and advanced materials, AI/IT and robotics, and life sciences. Safar targets a return multiple of over 4x on invested capital and a net IRR of over 20%.
Deep roots at leading academic institutions.
Our board is comprised of scholars and experts from Harvard, MIT, and the University of Rochester who are committed to seeing a more efficient technology transfer and faster scaling of ideas that will change the world.
“Working with Safar has been a pleasure – they have been engaged, and were willing to try our product, for which no previous frame of reference existed. Safar is willing to take leaps, shift paradigms, and nurture disruptive technology, and we are thrilled to be part of their portfolio.”
Co-Founder, Health Care Originals
Creating value through innovation.
With the vision and global reach to tackle today’s biggest challenges, including climate change and global health, Safar nurtures innovations in sustainable energy, clean water, food management, and healthcare to maximize returns and create impact.
Safar has made a public commitment to formally incorporate considerations of environmental, social, and governance factors into its investment processes (https://safar.partners/esg-policy) and is a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment. Accordingly, Safar publishes an annual sustainability report covering all our investments (Link).
Uniquely positioned, our flexible strategy allows us to take technologies from inception to global scale.
Early Stage Investment
A network of experts
“Over the years that I have known Safar principals, I have seen them be early supporters of world changing technologies. I’m excited about continuing to build the next generation of PSFC startups with the team and grateful for their continued support.”
Director, Plasma Science and Fusion Center at MIT and Hitachi America Professor of Engineering at MIT
From industry veterans with decades of experience to fresh minds with a drive to change the world, our diverse team is committed to guiding our portfolio companies to financial success and global impact.
Nader Motamedy is a Managing Partner at Safar Partners. Prior to founding Safar, and until January 1, 2018, Nader was Senior Founding Partner, Chairman, and CEO of Caspian Private Equity (“CPE”), with over $3 billion under management. He led the Investment Team and was a member of the Investment Committee and responsible for the strategic direction as well as the development and management of the firm. During 2018, Nader was Vice Chairman of the Board of Managers of CPE.
Prior to and concurrent to that, until January 2012, Nader was a Founding Partner and member of the Board of Managers of Caspian Capital Management, LLC (“CCM”) which managed as much as $2.2 billion of alternative assets, including fixed income relative value portfolios and quantitative trading strategies. CCM also provided non-discretionary consulting on as much as $3 billion in structured products on funds of hedge fund programs. Nader began his investment career at Morgan Stanley in 1985 and worked at Prudential Securities and CDC Investment Management Corporation prior to founding CCM.
Nader holds an MBA from Boston College and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University. He serves on various company and fund advisory boards. In addition to other community engagements, he is also actively involved in several youth assistance and development projects. Nader was instrumental in establishing the Paris St. Germain professional soccer team youth development program and its Foundation in the United States to help underprivileged youth achieve their athletic as well as academic potential. He is also a senior advisor to Inter Campus, the philanthropic arm of Inter Milan soccer team in New York as well as the Youri Djorkaeff Foundation. Nader is a member of the Directors Council at the Whitney Museum of Art. He is also a member of the Tiger 21 organization in Boston, MA.
Arunas Chesonis is a Managing Partner at Safar Partners. He has a long history in sustainability and has supported numerous environmental and renewable energy research projects at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to address climate change. He has also personally invested in the past 15 years in cleantech, life sciences, and information technology ventures through his involvement at universities in Boston and Rochester. Arunas served as CEO of Sweetwater Energy and prior to that, he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PAETEC Holding Corp., a Fortune 1000 telecommunications company acquired in 2011 by Windstream Corp. (NASDAQ: WIN), one of the largest national telecom carriers. Arunas founded PAETEC in 1998.
He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from MIT, an MBA from the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester, and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Rochester. Arunas is also a member of the M.I.T. Corporation and is a life trustee of the University of Rochester.
Sahba Vaziri is a Partner, the Chief Financial Officer and member of the Investment Committee at Safar Partners. Sahba also spearheads the ESG efforts at Safar Partners..
Sahba is a successful finance professional in the energy field, focusing on renewable energy. She has 20 years of experience financing power projects, both as a banker at Lehman Brothers, CS First Boston Corporation, and Bechtel Corporation, and as a personal investor. Most recently, Sahba worked as a financial consultant to the leading marine hydrokinetic energy company, Ocean Renewable Power Company, where she analyzed financial and market conditions, performed due diligence, and raised private and public financing.
Sahba is a dual degree holder from MIT. She received her MBA from Sloan School of Management, with Concentrations in Finance and International Management. She also has a BSc in Electric Engineering from MIT with concentrations in Optoelectronics and Telecommunications. Sahba is involved with community volunteering, as a member of the Ethel Walker School Board of Trustees, and a member of Mission: Restore Advisory Board.
Greg Feldman is a Partner and a member of the Investment Committee. He co-founded Wellspring in 1995. Areas of investment focus for Greg include retail, restaurants and consumer products and services where he has led numerous transactions for Wellspring.
For four years prior to the formation of Wellspring, he was in charge of acquisitions at EXOR America Inc., the U.S. investment arm of the Agnelli Group. For two years before joining EXOR, Greg was vice president and co-founder of Clegg Industries, Inc., an investment firm backed by Drexel Burnham Lambert Incorporated to invest in leveraged acquisitions of middle market manufacturing companies. From 1983 to 1988, Greg was a mergers and acquisitions lawyer at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York.
Greg has served on the boards of more than twenty public and private companies. In addition to his for-profit board activities, Greg also serves as President of the Board of The Kitchen and Co-Head of the Director’s Council at The Whitney Museum of American Art. Greg received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampshire College and a JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. Greg and his wife have three children and live in New York City.
Bob Metcalfe received the 2022 Turing Award for inventing, standardizing, and commercializing Ethernet, plumbing for the Internet on June 10, 2023. The Turing Award comes with a million-dollar Prize and is often called the Nobel in Computer Science.
Metcalfe’s grandparents arrived from Norway, England, and Ireland in New York City about 100 years ago. They met and married in Brooklyn. Bob was born and raised on Long Island.
Bob became an Internet pioneer starting in 1970 at MIT, Harvard, Xerox Parc, Stanford, and his Silicon Valley startup, 3Com Corporation. He invented Ethernet at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (Parc) in 1973, 50 years ago, to connect personal computers to the Internet. He founded 3Com in 1979 to promote computer communication compatibility. 3Com went public in 1984 and became a billion-dollar part of HP in 2010.
Bob is now starting his sixth career. He was an engineer-scientist, entrepreneur-executive, publisher-pundit, venture capitalist, and professor of innovation. He is now Emeritus Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. He has started as a Research Affiliate at his alma mater MIT. Bob is now a fledgling computational engineer. He is currently modelling geothermal wells.
Metcalfe graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969, receiving two Bachelor of Science degrees in electrical engineering and industrial management. He then attended Harvard University and received a Master of Science in Applied Mathematics in 1970 and a PhD in Computer Science in 1973.
Robert B. Millard is the Chairman Emeritus of the MIT Corporation and a Senior Advisor to Safar Partners. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the External Advisory Council of NYU’s Global Institute for Advanced Study, the Business Advisory Board of Safar Partners, and the MIT Dean of Science Advisory Council. He attended MIT as an undergraduate and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. He was elected to the MIT Corporation in 2003 and became the 11th Chairman of the Corporation in 2014. He has been a member of the Visiting Committees for Physics, Architecture, Chemistry, and Philosophy & Linguistics. He also served as the Chairman of MITIMCo, which manages MIT’s endowment. He is co-founder and former Chairman of the Board of L3 Technologies, a major defense technology company. He currently serves as Lead Director of L3Harris Technologies. He is a Director of Evercore, an international investment bank, and a former Partner of Lehman Brothers. In addition, he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and a board member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is married to Bethany Millard and has four children. He lives in Miami and New York.
Ayman Hindy is a Senior Advisor to Safar Partners. He is a managing director in PIMCO’s Newport Beach office, overseeing portfolio management reengineering and infrastructure. He focuses on the oversight of portfolio management processes, technology, and execution. Prior to joining PIMCO in 2021, he was an operating partner at Safar Partners, and previously he was a partner at Advanced Liquidity Concepts, an investment firm specializing in execution efficiency. Prior to this, he was a partner, senior portfolio manager, and head of the U.S. office for Capula Investment Management, and a founding partner and portfolio manager at Platinum Grove Asset Management. He has served as a professor of finance at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and published research in leading academic journals, and he is a guest lecturer at leading business schools. He served on the advisory board of the Cairo Stock Exchange and the visiting committee at the American University in Cairo. He has 28 years of investment experience and holds a master’s degree in engineering and a Ph.D. in financial economics from the MIT.
Rob Fleischman is an Operating Partner of Safar Partners and a successful technology entrepreneur and has deep knowledge in the areas of Internet Infrastructure, Distributed Systems, Artificial Intelligence, Security, Networking, and Very Large Scale Server Development. After graduating from MIT (SB in Computer Science, SM in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering), Rob began his career at BBN Labs (where the Internet was invented, in fact, Rob’s first mentor was Ray Tomlinson, the inventor of e-mail). Mr. Fleischman founded multiple start-ups, and held senior engineering positions at large technology and financial companies (BBN, Fidelity, Highwind, Software.com, Openwave, Sandvine, Xerocole, Akamai, and others). He holds many patents, invented and helped build news, messaging and DNS technologies that currently process trillions of transactions daily on the Internet.
Mr. Fleischman is currently a valued advisor on the boards of multiple technology companies and leads multiple endowment investment committees. In addition, Rob is currently a Tiger 21 chair in Boston where he helps UHNW investors, families, and financial advisors discuss investments, family wealth issues, and philanthropy.
For many years, for fun, Rob could be heard on the radio as a guest and contributor to NPR in New England as the “explainer of all things wired”. Finally, and most importantly, Rob is a dedicated husband and father (2 daughters) and works hard to maintain an active life in New Hampshire.
Vera Schroeder is a Partner, Investment Committee Member and an Associate at Safar Partners. Vera brings broad experience in the fields of chemistry, nanoscience and materials science to the Safar team. As a graduate student, she worked in the laboratory of Professor Tim Swager at MIT focused on carbon-nanotube based chemical sensing. While at MIT, she also spent her time at Sloan and HBX learning about venture creation and strategy as well as interning at MP Healthcare Venture Management fund. She holds a BS and MS in Chemistry from RWTH Aachen University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from MIT.
Parinaz Motamedy is a Partner, Investment Committee Member and an Associate at Safar Partners. Prior to joining Safar, Parinaz worked at Accorhotels in Paris, investing in hospitality startups on Accor’s corporate venture team. Before Accor, Parinaz worked on the Product Structuring Team at Blackstone, structuring specialized hedge fund products at Blackstone Alternative Asset Management in New York City. Parinaz has a BA in Philosophy and a secondary in Psychology from Harvard University.
Daniel Korsun is an Associate at Safar Partners. Daniel is currently completing his Ph.D. in Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center, working with Dennis Whyte and Zach Hartwig on superconducting magnet development for nuclear fusion reactors. Previously, Daniel also worked at the Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and at Commonwealth Fusion Systems, a Safar Partners portfolio company. He also holds a B.S. in Physics from MIT.
Arda Kotikian is an Associate at Safar Partners. In addition to Safar Partners, Arda is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Jennifer Lewis’ lab at Harvard University working on the development and fabrication of soft functional materials. She has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from Harvard, where she developed a platform for hierarchical programming and synthesis of liquid crystal elastomer actuators for 3D printed soft robotics in the Lewis Lab. Prior to Safar and Harvard, Arda received a B.A. in Chemistry and Mathematics from Mount Holyoke College.
Leslie Hartford is the Manager of Administration at Safar Partners. She brings extensive experience in executive, financial and legal administration to the Safar team. Leslie has over 20 years of experience working directly with corporate executive and legal teams at AIG, Inc., PAETEC Corp., and Sweetwater Energy, Inc. She holds a BA in Sociology from Le Moyne College, a Paralegal Certification from Syracuse University, and a MBA from the Madden School of Business at Le Moyne College.
Tony Cheung is the Manager of Systems and Operations. Since 2013, he has consulted for various private equity firms, hedge funds, and startups primarily advising and implementing information technology, operations, and business processes. Prior to that, he worked as a Trade Analyst at Caspian Capital Management, which managed as much as $2.2 billion of alternative assets. Tony holds a B.S. in Information Technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
“Safar Principals have been extremely helpful with building Gradiant’s network. They care and make it easy to discuss both positives and negatives candidly to come up with solutions to complex issues. They know the path isn’t always straight.“
CEO & Co-Founder, Gradiant Corporation
Scientific Advisory Board
Influential academic leaders dedicated to advancing new technologies.
Former Department Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering & McAfee Professor of Engineering
Director of MIT.nano, Professor of Engineering at MIT and Fariborz Maseeh Chair in Emerging Technology
Danielle Benoit is the inaugural Lorry Lokey Chair of the Department of Bioengineering. Her research specializes in the rational design of polymeric materials for regenerative medicine and drug delivery applications. Dr. Benoit’s work has provided insights into the translation of tissue engineering strategies for bone allograft repair, development of pH-responsive nanoparticles for nucleic acid and small molecule delivery, and novel targeting strategies for bone-specific delivery of therapeutics.
Benoit received her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington in the Department of Bioengineering. She holds a B.S. from the University of Maine, Orono, in Biological Engineering.
Before joining the Knight Campus, Benoit served as the University of Rochester’s William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Materials Science Program. An award-winning researcher, teacher, and mentor, she is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and is an Associate Editor for Science Advances and the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B.
As chair, Benoit plays an instrumental role in continued development of the Department of Bioengineering, including shaping and maturing the research and educational portfolio, coordinating fundraising, outreach, and alumni and industry relations, and hiring of approximately 15 new faculty as Phase 2 of the Knight Campus is completed. These efforts will be critical to advancing the Knight Campus mission of translating research discoveries into innovations to improve the human condition.
Markus J. Buehler is Former Department Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering & McAfee Professor of Engineering at MIT. He also directs the Laboratory for Atomistic and Molecular Mechanics (LAMM) and serves as the Director of the MIT-Germany Program. Until 2013, he served as Co-Director of the MIT Computation for Design and Optimization Program.
Buehler has published more than 300 articles and delivered hundreds of plenary, keynote and invited speeches. Buehler received the NSF CAREER award, the United States Air Force Young Investigator Award, the Navy Young Investigator Award, and the DARPA Young Faculty Award, as well as the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). In 2010 he received the Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award for exceptional distinction in teaching and in research or scholarship. Other awards include the TMS Hardy Award, the IEEE Holm Conference Mort Antler Lecture Award, the Materials Research Society Outstanding Young Investigator Award, the SES Young Investigator Medal, the Thomas J.R. Hughes Young Investigator Award, the Sia Nemat-Nasser Medal, the Rossiter W. Raymond Memorial Award, the Stephen Brunauer Award, the Alfred Noble Prize, and the Leonardo da Vinci Award. Buehler serves as a member of the editorial board of many international publications and has chaired numerous committees.
He received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Stuttgart and the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research after obtaining a M.S. in Engineering Mechanics from Michigan Tech, and undergraduate studies in Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Stuttgart.
Vladimir Bulović is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, holding the Fariborz Maseeh Chair in Emerging Technology. He directs the Organic and Nanostructured Electronics Laboratory, co-leads the MIT-Eni Solar Frontiers Center, leads the Tata GridEdge program, and is the Founding Director of MIT.nano, MIT’s new 200,000 sqft nano-fabrication, nano-characterization, and prototyping facility that opened in the summer of 2018. He is an author of over 250 research articles (cited over 45,000 times) and an inventor of over 100 U.S. patents in areas of light emitting diodes, lasers, photovoltaics, photodetectors, chemical sensors, programmable memories, and micro-electro machines, majority of which have been licensed and utilized by both start-up and multinational companies. The three start-up companies Bulović co-founded jointly employ over 400 people, and include Ubiquitous Energy, Inc., developing nanostructured solar technologies, Kateeva, Inc., focused on development of printed electronics, and QD Vision, Inc. (acquired in 2016) that produced quantum dot optoelectronic components. Products of these companies have been used by millions. Bulović was the first Associate Dean for Innovation of the School of Engineering and the Inaugural co-Director of MIT’s Innovation Initiative, which he co-led from 2013 to 2018. For his passion for teaching Bulović has been recognized with the MacVicar Fellowship, MIT’s highest teaching honor. He completed his Electrical Engineering B.S.E. and Ph.D. degrees at Princeton University.
Harvard Medical School, Mass. Eye and Ear
Claes Dohlman Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, and Director of Cornea at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Former Department Head of Chemistry, Director of The Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation & Professor of Chemistry
Director, MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center
Hitachi America Professor of Engineering;
Professor, Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering
Strategic Vision Ventures
Founder and Owner of Strategic Vision Ventures, Member of MIT’s Dean of Engineering Advisory Council, Former IBM and Xerox executive
Sophie Vandebroek is founder and owner of Strategic Vision Ventures LLC, a strategic advisory firm working with clients worldwide. Most recently, Sophie served as the Chief Operating Officer of IBM Research where she was instrumental in creating the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. Previously, Sophie was Xerox’s Chief Technology Officer and led Xerox’s global laboratories, including PARC, Inc., an innovation services company for over a decade.
In 2019, Sophie became the Inaugural School of Engineering Visiting Scholar at MIT. She has been a member of the Advisory Council of the Dean of Engineering at MIT for the past decade. She is also a trustee at the Boston Museum of Sciences and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Flanders AI Research Program. Sophie is a member of the Board of Directors of IDEXX Laboratories, the global leader in veterinary diagnostics, and on the Supervisory Board of Wolters Kluwer, a global provider of professional information, software solutions, and services.
Sophie is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, an inductee into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame and elected member of the Royal Flemish Academy for Arts & Sciences. Sophie’s passion for creating inclusive organizations where innovation thrives has earned her many awards among which is Xerox’s Inaugural Lifetime Diversity Leadership Award of Distinction.
Sophie grew up in Belgium and earned a master’s degree in Engineering Magna from KU Leuven, Belgium and a Ph.D. in Engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Reza Dana is the Claes Dohlman Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, and Director of Cornea at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear, and Senior Scientist at the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass Eye and Ear, where he leads the Laboratory of Corneal Immunology, Transplantation and Regeneration. In addition, he is a faculty member of the Immunology graduate program at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program.
A graduate of Johns Hopkins and Harvard, his work focuses on disease mechanisms that underlie autoimmunity, tissue scarring, transplant failure, chronic inflammation, and pathological blood vessel formation. He has authored over 400 articles and his published work has been cited more than 26,000 times. He has been recipient of numerous awards, including the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Cogan and Friedenwald Awards, the Physician-Scientist Award, Senior Investigator Award and the Stein Innovation Award from Research to Prevent Blindness, the Alcon Research Institute Award, the Endre A. Balazs Prize from the International Society of Eye Research, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his contributions in the United States.
He is Editor-in-Chief of Cornea, Senior Associate Editor of Ocular Surface, and Senior Editor of Encyclopedia of the Eye. In addition to his basic investigations, he leads a translational research program that has received 12 IND permits from the US FDA. He has trained over 120 fellows and graduate students from 34 countries in his laboratory, and over 80 physician fellows to date. He is recipient of the A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award at Harvard Medical School.
Reza Dana has launched multiple new programs in biotechnology, and has co-founded several new enterprises including Eleven Biotherapeutics, Claris Biotherapeutics, Aramis Biosciences, and Boston Eye Diagnostics.
Swager earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Montana State University, received a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology working with Robert H. Grubbs, and performed postdoctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under Mark S. Wrighton. He began as an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in 1990 and returned to MIT in 1996 as a Full Professor.
Swager is best known for advancing new chemical sensing concepts based on molecular electronic principles. He introduced the concepts of charge and energy transport through molecular and nanowires as a method to create amplified signals to chemical events. These methods gave rise to the sensitive explosive sensors that have been commercialized under the trade name Fido. He demonstrated the integration of molecular recognition into chemiresistive sensors, first with conducting polymers and later with carbon nanotubes, and these methods were commercialized by C2Sense.
Dennis Whyte’s research in the magnetic confinement of plasmas sets us on an innovative and faster path to producing fusion energy. He is one of the leaders of the SPARC project, a collaboration between Commonwealth Fusion Systems and MIT, to design and build a high‐field fusion device to demonstrate net energy production for the first time. Many of the technology approaches underpinning the high‐field approach to fusion energy, including SPARC, were formed over the last decade in his MIT fusion design class: utilizing magnets from high‐temperature superconductors, demountable magnets for modular assembly and maintenance, and liquid immersion blankets for robust energy removal. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, has served on panels for the National Academies and Royal Society, and has won the Fusion Power Associates Leadership Award and the 2013 Nuclear Fusion Prize. He previously served as Department Head of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT. His is a co‐founder of Commonwealth Fusion Systems, whose goal is the rapid commercialization of fusion energy to tackle climate change. Whyte earned his BS and PhD in Canada.
Paul A. Maeder Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the John A. Paulson Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Associate Faculty Member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering
Conor Walsh is the Paul A. Maeder Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the John A. Paulson Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and an Associate Faculty Member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. He is the founder of the Harvard Biodesign Lab, which brings together researchers from the engineering, industrial design, apparel, clinical, and business communities to develop new disruptive robotic technologies for augmenting and restoring human performance. This research includes new approaches to the design, manufacture, and control of wearable robotic devices and characterizing their performance through biomechanical and physiological studies so as to further the scientific understanding of how humans interact with such machines. Example application areas include enhancing the mobility of healthy individuals, restoring the mobility of patients with gait deficits, assisting those with upper extremity weakness to perform activities of daily living, and preventing injuries of workers performing physically strenuous tasks. His multidisciplinary research spans engineering, biology, and medicine and has led to multiple high impact scientific papers as well as technology translation. Multiple technologies from the lab have been licensed to industry. He is a co-founder of Verve, Inc. commercialization of a back assist exosuit and the ReStore soft exosuit from ReWalk Robotics is now FDA and CE mark approved for use during gait rehabilitation poststroke. He is the winner of multiple awards including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and the MIT Technology Review Innovator Under 35 Award.
Professor Grossman received his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Illinois and performed postdoctoral work at the University of California at Berkeley. In 2009 he joined MIT, where he has developed a research program known for its contributions to energy conversion, energy storage, membranes, and clean-water technologies. He has published more than 200 scientific papers, holds 17 current or pending U.S. patents, and recently co-founded two Massachusetts companies to commercialize novel membranes materials for efficient industrial separations: ViaSeparations, a company that commercializes graphene-oxide membranes to separate chemicals for manufacturing, and SiTration, a company that commercializes silicon membranes for chemical-free, energy-efficient extraction and recycling of critical materials.
Business Advisory Board
Industry veterans to guide our portfolio companies to financial success and global reach.
He joined Accor’s Board of Directors in 2005 and, via Colony Capital, became a Paris Saint-Germain shareholder in 2006 and the club’s Chairman in 2009.
In August 2013, he resigned from his duties at Colony Capital and was appointed Chairman and CEO of Accor.
Sébastien has been Chairman of the Théâtre du Châtelet’s Board of Directors since 2015 (and a Board member since 2013), is Vice-Chairman of the Gustave Roussy Foundation’s Supervisory Board, and has been a member of GE’s Board of Directors since 2016.
Prior to founding Gradiant, Anurag received his PhD in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mark’s commitment to innovation has spawned a new Innovation lab which has developed new products such as Opti-Cool (Energy efficient Data Center Cooling Equipment) and X-Cell (Modular and Redeployable Assembly Equipment). Bringing high technology to manufacturing automation, machine tooling and robotics is important to the future of Calvary.
Mark bases a high level of importance on the values of reliability, integrity, high quality, honesty and respect for all employees and customers, as well as takes a strong personal interest in helping set strategies for continued growth and success for Calvary’s Market with executive leaders in the company.
He graduated from Centre College (BA,’71) and Duke University School of Law (JD), followed by a federal judicial clerkship for Judge Pierce Lively (6th Circuit Court of Appeals).
She also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from MIT in mechanical engineering and technology & policy.
For four years prior to the formation of Wellspring, he was in charge of acquisitions at EXOR America Inc., the U.S. investment arm of the Agnelli Group. For two years before joining EXOR, Greg was vice president and co-founder of Clegg Industries, Inc., an investment firm backed by Drexel Burnham Lambert Incorporated to invest in leveraged acquisitions of middle market manufacturing companies. From 1983 to 1988, Greg was a mergers and acquisitions lawyer at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York.
Greg has served on the boards of more than twenty public and private companies. In addition to his for-profit board activities, Greg also serves as President of the Board of The Kitchen and Co-Head of the Director’s Council at The Whitney Museum of American Art. Greg received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampshire College and a JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. Greg and his wife have three children and live in New York City. Greg Feldman is a member of the Investment Committee and non-employee of Safar Partners.
Nicolas oversaw the acquisition from Temasek of Singapore of structured finance activity Nexgen in 2005. He co-managed the Lazard-Natixis joint venture from 2006 onwards. As CEO of advisory boutique Alfafinance between 2009 and 2014, he was more specifically involved in debt restructuring and advisory of major clients in banking and insurance sectors. He merged Alfafinance with asset management company Acofi in 2014 to set up an innovative direct lending platform managing $2 billion in real estate, energy, SME, and early stage innovation actors in Europe.
Nicolas is a graduate from French National Statistics School, holder of a Masters in Economics from Université de Paris Sorbonne, and a chartered actuary.
Natalie Lorenz Anderson is a senior Cybersecurity executive with over 30 years of experience, including 18 as a Partner with Booz Allen Hamilton. She is currently focused on high tech start-ups where she is serving in operational and corporate board director roles. Since 2017, Natalie has been working with 247Solar Inc., currently as Vice President Operations and Board Director, building the company and working on strategic issues, including cybersecurity, logistics, workforce development, and fundraising as the company commercializes its Concentrated Solar Power for electricity and heat, and Thermal Storage technologies and prepares for construction of its first demonstrator 247Solar Plant™ and HeatStorE™ Thermal Battery in Arizona, USA, in 2022.
Natalie serves as an Independent Director on the Board of Ocean Power Technologies (NYSE:OPTT) and is a member of the Board’s Environment and Sustainability Committee. She is a Director on the Boards of MIT Technology start-ups Embr Labs and 247Solar Inc. providing expertise in market and organizational strategy, workforce development, government contracting, and cyber and privacy. She is also an advisor to Lutron’s Cyber Advisory Group. She served as a product strategy and market advisor for 5 years to MIT technology start-up, Gigavation Inc., acquired in 2020 by NetScout, who developed technology that secures all forms of removable media with a focus on National Security and Defense markets.
Natalie has provided board leadership, strategy, and multiple-committee service to Universities, professional associations, and youth development organizations including MIT, Johns Hopkins University, AFCEA International, Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital, Society of Women Engineers, and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.
She holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from MIT, and an M.S. in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University
Priti Agarwal Marteil is currently acting as CIO for PCINVEST, a French family office investing after having had a long career in finance – M&A, investing and consulting globally (India, USA, Israel, France). Having worked in India in investment banking in the early 90, she moved to the US in 1997 where she worked in Telecom Consulting for the likes of At&T and Motorola before transitioning to investing where her investments included the Al Bawaba Group, the leading Middle-East news portal. Once she moved to France, she worked at Natixis Private Equity as Partner in charge of Business Development and M&A. Since 2011 she has advised family-owned companies such as ID Kids (leading textile retailer), Basaltes (largest independent French granulate producer), Titan (Greek cement manufacturer), Sofisport (world leader in leisure shooting and self-defence products) etc, in their investments and cross-border M&A activities.
Priti has a Diploma in Software and a Bachelors in Commerce (Accounting and Law) from India and is a graduate of HEC (Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales) in France.
Seth’s twenty years of corporate board service spans both public and private companies. He has also served as a trustee of Colby College for twelve years and is active in other private and non-profit institutions.
Seth holds a B.A. in Economics and German Studies from Williams College and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Chris O’Donnell is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of OAM Quant, an investment management company whose aim is to consistently generate alpha in liquid global markets using a disciplined approach rooted in data science, technology, and finance.
Chris has in excess of 25 years of investment and entrepreneurial experience. Investments have spanned all business stages (from seed to mature) across numerous industry sectors. Chris is a serial entrepreneur having founded, built, and led multiple companies.
He holds a B.S. in Finance and Accounting from Ithaca College and an MBA from the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester. Chris is a Board Member of the Wegman Family Foundation and serves on the Safar Partners Advisory Board.
Prior to joining Highland Capital Partners in 2004, Dr. Salehizadeh spent several years in a variety of healthcare operational roles at publicly traded and emerging growth companies.
Dr. Salehizadeh led NaviMed’s investments in and currently serves on the Board of Directors of CenterPointe Behavioral Health System, The CM Group, Scientific Commercialization, and Velocity Clinical Research. He also serves on the Board of Directors of OPN Healthcare. Dr. Salehizadeh previously served on the Board of Directors of several companies including Auris Health (sold to Johnson & Johnson for $5.7 billion), BARRX Medical (sold to Covidien for $400 million), Hyperion Therapeutics (IPO; sold to Horizon plc for $1.1 billion), Lumere (sold to GHX), and Opgen (IPO). In addition, he has sourced or been actively involved in Highland Capital Partners’ investments in AVEO (IPO), Baronova, Conor Medsystems (IPO; sold to Johnson & Johnson for $1.4 billion), kyruus, and Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy.
Dr. Salehizadeh holds an AB in Molecular Biology from Princeton University, an MD and Master’s in Science in Health Policy from Columbia University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is also a graduate of the Kauffman Fellows Program.
Prior to that, he was Dean of the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School for ten years, after which he served for two years as the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and Public Policy and Director of the Bradley Policy Research Center at the Simon School. He had previously served as the Dean of the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management for seven years. While Dean at the Simon Business School, he championed an $85 million fundraising campaign that added 9 new endowed professorships, quadrupled philanthropic support for scholarships, and more than doubled annual discretionary giving; the campaign ultimately raised more than $96 million. He also established an undergraduate business program in partnership with the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences; pioneered specialized masters programs in finance, marketing, accounting, business analytics, and medical management; and doubled overall graduate student enrollment at Simon.
Holds a Bachelors degree from Harvard University, and his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
5×5 TECHNOLOGIES develops software to reinvent inspection of physical equipment in the field. Their software solutions convert visual information like photographs and videos taken by drones into interactive 3D models. This tool allows their customers to analyze and maintain equipment like cell phone towers in the field, replacing dangerous and costly manual inspections.
2Pi Optics is developing single-element, flat fisheye metalenses with extremely wide field-of-view (nearly 180 degrees). A metalens is a lens that uses carefully calibrated nanostructures to focus and alter the properties of light. 2Pi’s advanced metalenses offer unparalleled resolution and field of view, which will allow them to directly compete with traditional, expensive, multi-element curved fisheye lenses. 2Pi’s metalenses will be particularly useful for the next generation of 3D sensing technologies.
AcousticaBio – Advanced manufacturing is limited by the fluid processing technologies available. Current methods require additives, solvents, and cumbersome post-processing, which increases R&D costs, hinders scope of available products, results in high production costs, generates greater pollution, and has suboptimal product quality. AcousticaBio changes that: its proprietary platform is the only available technology that can precisely dispense microdroplets from highly viscous fluids, enabling new product, improving existing processes, and significantly benefitting our society and our planet.
AGILITY ROBOTICS manufactures highly capable legged robots. Their latest model, Digit, can walk, navigate, and carry boxes to perform simple tasks with minimal or no additional programming. Agility is exploring use cases in diverse markets such as last-mile logistics, telepresence, automated inspection, entertainment, and academic research
Altaeros is developing tethered, aerial cell towers designed to extend communication networks to areas in need. Altaeros’ SuperTowers float over ~1000 feet off the ground and can carry a variety of payloads including 4G, 5G, IoT, fixed wireless, environmental monitoring, and others. Each SuperTower can replace numerous ground-based towers, offering a quicker and less expensive way to build communications infrastructure or roll out new technologies.
ARAMIS BIOSCIENCES is committed to the development of therapeutics in the area of ocular inflammation and pain. In order to address this domain, Aramis is producing therapeutics to address dry eye disease (DED).
Axoft makes soft and scalable neural probes for brain implants. By leveraging its proprietary soft material, Axoft probes can record neuron signals in the brain with long-term signal stability, high-bandwidth recording, and greater safety than existing solutions. Axoft’s first product will be a brain implant to create brain-machine interfacing for paralyzed people to control neuroprosthetics
Chromatic 3D Materials (C3DM) is inventing the next generation of 3D printing materials with the durability to meet the requirements for finished manufactured goods. Chromatic 3D Materials is developing the technology to print with thermosets, a broad class of materials including polyurethanes, silicones and epoxies. The adaptability, durability and resilience of these materials are unmatched by the thermoplastics used in conventional 3D printing processes.
COGITO is an AI company that augments emotional intelligence and helps elevate human performance. Their real-time, streaming voice AI instantly analyzes hundreds of conversational behaviors and emotions to provide live in-call guidance to contact center agents and real-time measurement of customer experience.
Microbiomes—complex, bustling ecosystems of bacteria, fungi, and viruses—influence the health of every person, plant, animal, and environment. When a microbial ecosystem loses one of its key functions, it can contribute to the onset or progression of recurrent infection, chronic inflammation, and other disease states. Using a novel screening tool called kChip, Concerto Biosciences creates microbial Ensembles, combinations of microbes that restore beneficial functions to a microbiome, healing people, plants, and the planet. Concerto’s first products will treat skin disorders like eczema, allowing hundreds of millions of people globally to enjoy a life free from inflamed, itchy skin.
By assembling two commonly available polymers into molecules that reflect different wavelengths of light, Cypris Materials can produce structural color coatings. Cypris’ coatings are cheaper and easier to formulate than competing structural color options, and eliminate the need for toxic chemicals and heavy metals commonly used in the colorants industry.
Encora Therapeutics is medical device company focused on treating tremors. Encora’s first product is a wearable wrist device that uses vibratory neurostimulation to reduce the magnitude of hand tremors. With this device, Encora is initially targeting patients with Essential Tremor (ET) and Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Encora’s device offers instant tremor relief and can enable patients to resume activity previously hindered by hand tremors, like writing, eating, drinking, and working.
Finwave Semiconductor, formerly Cambridge Electronics, Inc (CEI), is an MIT-founded startup that is pioneering advances in 3D GaN semiconductor chips for use in 5G communications. Finwave’s GaN FinFET (gallium-nitride fin field-effect transistor) has significant advantages over existing mainstream chip technologies for certain applications, including for 5G radios
GELMEDIX develops solutions for drug delivery. GelMEDIX can replace today’s drug regimens that require application of eye drops 4-12x per day over several weeks with a single, non-invasive gel patch. GelMEDIX’s gel could also be used as a drug-eluting sealant for other wet mucosal surfaces, like the ear or mouth, and could be adapted for post operative work, including as a heart or lung sealant
Gradient Comfort’s mission is to cool the world by transforming every home to be more comfortable and healthy for the people who inhabit it — without compromising the environment. Gradient has developed polymer-based heat exchangers that allow for cheaper production and higher cooling efficiency, and the first product to utilize this is a high-efficiency and low-emission heat pump-based heating and cooling system.
Harmony Baby Nutrition is developing allergen-free, affordable baby formulas to address the problem of baby allergies to cow’s milk, using precision fermentation. Harmony’s formula bears a 64% resemblance to human breast milk, a very high percentage in relation to competitors. Harmony is able to vary the ratio of whey to casein protein in their product, which enables them to produce different baby food formulations for different stages of development.
HUMANYZE is an AI company that uses data analytics to measure and improve the organizational health of companies, making them more efficient and productive. Through their use of sensors and AI technology, Humanyze analyzes existing corporate data to drive actionable organizational health scores that help companies make objective and informed decisions.
Imago Rehab enables superior hand recovery outcomes for stroke survivors through a combination of home-use wearable robotics and digital health. Their first product is a soft robotic glove that allows stroke survivors to complete high-intensity rehab from the comforts of home along with personalized coaching through telehealth sessions with occupational therapists.
ISEE is an early-stage MIT spinout that is developing technologies to support autonomous vehicles. ISEE is not focused on developing vehicles to drive autonomously on public roads; instead, ISEE is developing autonomous trucks that are used to move containers and goods within low-speed, privately-held logistics centers, such as container yards.
LUCY THERAPEUTICS develops chemical therapeutics to treat mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondrial dysfunction, caused by disease, may contribute to the complex pathology seen in certain diseases like Rett Syndrome, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and COVID-19.
Membrion is an early-stage startup that is developing ceramic ion-exchange membranes for water desalination and treatment. Unlike existing membrane technologies, Membrion’s CeramIX membranes can survive in harsh industrial wastewater for long periods of time (1-2 years), reducing maintenance and replacement costs compared to competitors.
MetOx Technologies manufactures next generation high temperature superconducting tape. These tapes enable innovations in electrical applications: high-field magnets for fusion power and next generation MRI’s; advanced motors and cables; space-based electrical storage; and a myriad of new applications in clean and renewable energy.
MicroByre is an early-stage bioengineering startup out of UC Berkley. MicroByre combines molecular biology, microbiology, automation and machine learning to identify and grow bacteria with industrial applications. MicroByre domesticates and then genetically engineers otherwise reluctant, recalcitrant, and rebellious bacteria.
NELUMBO is an advanced materials company developing high-performance surface modifications for industrial surfaces (metal, glass and fabric). First applications are in refrigeration and HVAC for residential and commercial heat pumps where Nelumbo has first customers.
Pirouette Medical has developed and is bringing to market a revolutionary auto-injector. Auto-injectors are automated injection systems designed to allow self- or caregiver- administration; even by untrained individuals. Pirouette is initially developing an epinephrine auto-injector (EAI), which is used for the emergency treatment of severe allergic reactions. Existing EAIs leave patients actively seeking an alternative to address the anxiety they feel, associated with the affordability, portability, and usability of existing devices. Pirouette Medical is answering that call for something better, delivering a new EAI to revolutionize the marketplace and the overall patient experience. The patented device is portable, intuitive, and easy-to-use. Pirouette is poised to deliver a device that addresses all the major pain points through our human-centered design focus. Beyond EAIs, Pirouette’s technology is diversely applicable to many drugs that require fixed-dose, single-use intramuscular, or subcutaneous injections.
QUAISE is developing and commercializing novel millimeter wave drilling systems to harness geothermal energy around the globe, overcoming the geographic constraints limiting this energy source today. Quaise’s technology enables the clean energy transition by accessing the largest source of power-dense clean energy on Earth.
RADICAL PLASTICS has developed a patented catalyst that renders conventional plastics biodegradable in the natural environment. Items made from the Radical Plastics compound perform just like regular plastics. But if they end up in the environment, the free radical catalyst converts the plastic into a material that microbes recognize as food.
At Riff Analytics, we build tools that use AI to measure and augment human interactions, helping people and organizations communicate, collaborate, and innovate better. The Riff Platform includes a video collaboration tool that helps organizations improve team performance in online courses and corporate meetings by raising awareness of team dynamics and increasing engagement. Riff analyzes conversation patterns that reveal the subtle behaviors between colleagues, such as influence and dominance, and then provides the coaching necessary for participants to improve their behavior in meetings leading to better team performance.
RIGHTHAND ROBOTICS creates robots that can grasp products of different sizes, shapes, and weights. The combination of suction cups and compliant finger-like grippers handles a wide range of objects efficiently, and their cameras and machine-learning capacities allow the robots to learn from past mistakes.
Satelles has developed a low earth orbit (LEO) satellite system which provides accurate position, navigation, and timing data (PNT), indoor penetration, and added security to prevent malicious attacks. This is a global, private sector solution to unsecure and obsolete GPS and unscalable ground systems for PNT data. Satelles’ satellite time and location (STL) method provides a trusted PNT solution that is highly resistant to cyberattacks and other signal manipulation methods.
Seaspire is a life sciences company creating high performance skincare ingredients inspired by marine biodiversity. The Seaspire team is pioneering a new category of multifunctional skincare materials that are more effective, safer, and more environmentally conscious. Seaspire’s first product uses xanthrochrome, an organic natural product found in arthropods and cephalopods, which can be formulated to not only protect the skin from UV-induced damage, but also restore through innovative delivery.
SightStream Biotherapeutics is an early-stage startup affiliated with Harvard University. SightStream develops cytoprotectives to prevent and reverse the cell death to aid patients in recovering from ocular cell damage. SightStream is accomplishing this through use of an α-MSH analogue, which has potential for use as a stand-alone therapeutic for corneal endothelial cell dystrophies, persistent corneal epithelial defects, and retinal diseases, and as an additive to ocular stem cells to enhance cell stability, durability, and integration in diseased tissues.
Souffle is developing a platform for targeted, tissue-specific genetic therapy delivery through the discovery of new cell proteins and pathways that can precisely deliver genetic payloads. Its first therapies could target macrophages and cardiac cells for treatment of autoimmune diseases and cardiac diseases.
Venti Technologies, Inc. is an MIT spinout focused on developing autonomous logistics solutions. Instead of developing autonomous vehicle technologies for public roads, such as consumer vehicles and long-distance trucking, Venti is developing software to pilot autonomous vehicles in private logistics centers, such as shipyards and factories
Veo Robotics uses sensing and 3D vision technology to allow humans and robots to collaborate safely and efficiently in manufacturing and logistics settings. Veo’s safety certified FreeMove solution uses proprietary algorithms, sensing, and control systems to allow robots to sense humans and their locations, so that they can safely work around humans without danger of injury or need for a robot cage
Verve Motion is the developer of SafeLift. The technology behind SafeLift has been developed at Harvard over the past decade, and is based on the latest advances in robotics, apparel design, and movement science. The suit applies assistance in parallel with the user’s muscles and responds to their movement in milliseconds. It combines state-of-the-art motion tracking technology with powerful robotic actuators and integrates it all into a lightweight and easily wearable device that doesn’t restrict normal activities.
The result is a device that takes 30% of strain off of people when they perform physically strenuous tasks, supporting the back and hips to reduce risk of injury, improve lifting form and posture, and greatly lower fatigue and soreness. Even better, it is incredibly simple to integrate our system into your workplace: it takes less than 30 seconds to put on, one size fits most, and the suit is ready to wear right out of the box.
VIA SEPARATIONS is a membrane company applying novel filtration to reduce the energy used in industrial separation processes by 90%. With applications across food and beverage, pulp and paper, pharmaceuticals, and chemical production, Via is targeting the 10% of global energy consumption that is wasted in thermal separation processes.
CORVALLIS, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Agility Robotics, creator of the groundbreaking bipedal robot Digit, today revealed that the company is opening RoboFab™, a robot manufacturing facility in Salem, Oregon with the capability to produce more than 10,000 robots per year....
BOSTON, Sept. 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Boston-based technology startup Embr Labs is announcing the next stage of development for the Embr Wave: a consumer wearable that utilizes temperature sensations as haptic therapy. Together with researchers at the University of...
Much has been written about the failures of autonomous driving cars in places like San Francisco. But the real success and perhaps even bigger opportunity is in industrial vehicles in ports, factories and airports. In fact, the global heavy-duty autonomous vehicle...
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