Princeton’s senior investment team brings more than substantial investment experience to the companies with which we partner. We have an appreciation for what it is like to actually be an entrepreneur as we have all founded one or more businesses over our careers. We strive to have productive and enjoyable relationships with the management teams we support.
James A. Waskovich, Managing Partner
Jim has spent his entire career working with growth companies and founded Princeton Ventures to build one of the nation’s most flexible and entrepreneur-friendly private equity firms. He leads Princeton’s investment activities and is proactively seeking new investments in a variety of growth industries.
Jim began his private equity career at Summit Partners, a $16 billion private equity firm in Boston where he was responsible for sourcing and executing investments in the Technology and Financial Services industries. Prior to Princeton Ventures, Jim was with ABS Capital Partners, a $2.5 billion private equity firm in Baltimore where he sourced and executed several investments, including the firm’s largest investment at the time.
While at ABS, Jim participated on the boards of Double-Take Software (acquired by Vision Solutions) and Rosetta Stone (NYSE: RST) and worked with portfolio companies Cyveillance (acquired by QinetiQ Group), DrugMax, eFashion Solutions, Emptoris, and RLX Technologies (acquired by HP). He also has experience in the M&A and Technology Investment Banking groups at First Union Securities (now Wells Fargo Securities) where he executed a variety of middle market transactions. Jim received his B.A. from the Williams School of Commerce at Washington and Lee University where he double majored in Politics and Economics and was a George Washington Honor Scholar.
William C. Martin, Co-Founder
Bill has over 15 years of experience investing in and growing market-leading public and private businesses. He is a co-founder of Princeton Ventures and also serves as the Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Raging Capital Management, a private investment partnership focused on public equities.
As an entrepreneur, Bill has co-founded a number of financial information companies, including Raging Bull and InsiderScore.com. He has invested in and/or advised a number of Internet and institutional financial services companies, including CallStreet, acquired by FactSet; FolderShare, acquired by Microsoft; Gerson Lehrman Group; Lux Research; and Majestic Research,
acquired by Investment Technology Group. Bill has also served on several public company boards including Vitesse Semiconductor (NASDAQ: VTSS); Bankrate, which was acquired by Apax Partners in 2009; and Salary.com, which was acquired by Kenexa in 2010.
Bill has appeared on CNBC and Fox News. He has also been a guest speaker at Fordham School of Business, Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School, Indiana University, MIT, and The University of Virginia.
Robert A. Finn, Partner
Rob has worked as a growth market investor for over 15 years. He is interested in understanding high growth businesses and connecting with entrepreneurs and has been fortunate enough to invest in a number of market leading businesses over his career.
Prior to Princeton, Rob was an investor at Edison Partners, a $1 billion venture capital firm focused on emerging growth, where he originated six investments and co-led another fifteen including FolioDynamix; Neat; Notable Solutions, acquired by Nuance; and PlumChoice. One of those became the firm’s highest growing portfolio company in its history.
Rob also worked heavily with management teams to balance growth with profitability while expanding markets, channels and product. Ultimately, Rob co-led execution of over $3 billion of exits including GAIN Capital (NASDAQ: GCAP) and M5, which was acquired by ShoreTel. Earlier in his career, Rob worked in Strategic Investments & Partnerships at GTSI, a $1 billion revenue value added reseller of technology. Rob received a B.S. in Management Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Philip A. Piro, Vice President
Phil has broad experience as an entrepreneur, operator and investor. He is passionate about connecting with entrepreneurs to learn about and help grow their businesses.
Prior to joining Princeton Ventures, Phil served as the COO of Brad’s Raw Chips, where he managed the company’s supply chain and manufacturing facility and successfully executed numerous operational improvements and strategic priorities. Before Brad’s, Phil launched and managed a beverage business. Phil began his career in investment banking at Deutsche Bank and Citigroup, where he worked with a variety of businesses on mergers, acquisitions and capital raises.
Phil received his B.A. from Yale, where he completed majors in Economics and Middle East Studies, and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he focused on strategy, negotiations and organizational behavior. He is an active member of the Brookings Institution and was previously the Co-Chair of the Brookings Society in Boston.
Val Kharkover, Associate
Val enjoys identifying new investments and working closely with entrepreneurs and management teams to support growth. Prior to joining Princeton Ventures, Val was at Financial Technology Partners where he focused on transactions in the global payments and financial services industries. Previously, he worked in strategy and corporate finance at GE Healthcare. Val received a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.
Robert L. Lerner, Venture Partner
Bob has over twenty years of experience in the alternative investment management industry and focuses on Princeton’s investment activity in the financial services, information services, and technology industries. Over his career, Bob has successfully invested in companies like CallStreet (acquired by FactSet Research), IntraLinks (NYSE: IL), Gerson Lehrman Group (backed by Silver Lake Partners), Majestic Research (acquired by ITG), Massage Envy (acquired by Roark Capital), and Maven Research (backed by Accel Partners).
Since 2006 Bob has been Senior Advisor to Raging Capital Management, LLC, a manager of long/short equity funds. He also is an Advisor to The Bridgeton Group, a futures and options brokerage and research firm. Bob has co-founded several investment management firms, including Partners Capital Investment
Group, LLC, Mount Lucas Management Corporation and DPT Capital Management, LLC. Bob was a member of the Board of Directors of Resource America, Inc. (NASDAQ: REXI), a specialized asset management company that manages $20 billion through its financial fund and real estate management subsidiaries. From 1984 to 1987 Bob was employed as Associate General Counsel and Trading Development Manager by Commodities Corporation (which was acquired by Goldman Sachs Asset Management). Before that he practiced financial services law. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University Law School. He is a member of the National Futures Association and is a member of the Board of Trustees at Metedeconk National Golf Club.
David Mortimer, Venture Partner
Dave has over 25 years of experience in the financial technology industry and is a recognized authority on securities trading systems and the listed derivatives markets.
Dave is currently Managing Partner of Foxbriar Partners, LLC, a consulting and advisory firm he founded that is focused on capital markets micro-structure. Prior to Foxbriar, he was the founder and CEO of 3D Markets, Inc., the world’s first Alternative Trading System for block options trading and the inventor of the Gamma Weighted Average Price (GWAP) Benchmark execution algorithm. Previously, Dave headed Algorithmic and Portfolio Trading at Piper Jaffray and was the President of Vie Financial where he effected a very successful turnaround.
Earlier in his career, Dave held leadership positions in program and derivatives trading at Knight Securities, Susquehanna International Group, and The Chase Manhattan Bank.
Dave has been a member of the Securities Traders Association’s Trading Issues Committee and served as Chairman of its Options Subcommittee. Dave is also a popular corporate and academic lecturer who has shared his knowledge of trading and markets at many trade conventions, prominent business schools, and international conferences. Dave received his BA in Business Administration from Drexel University.