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CHESTNUT STREET VENTURES is a private community of thousands of Penn alums. We all share an interest in entrepreneurship, venture capital, and our alma mater. We raise a fund each year and invest that capital in a portfolio of 15-25 companies with a Penn alum connection. We also offer a number of ways to engage with one another through events, webinars, and other activities.


With the launch of our first newsletter, I want to welcome everyone to our community. As Managing Partner of the fund (a brief bio below for those who don’t know me), I’m delighted to be at the helm of a venture that aims to bring smart venture investing to more Penn alums.

First, a brief reminder about us: Chestnut Street Ventures is a group of accredited Penn alums who pool money into a VC fund to invest in other Penn alums. Like our sister funds at Dartmouth, Harvard, Yale, and MIT, we are private, for profit, and ROI driven—and not part of Penn. Bottom line: We believe can do more together than we can alone.


Although we’ve only been in launch mode for a little over a month, I am gratified to find our mission is resonating with many people. A big thanks to those who have already committed to investing—and to many others who have helped raise awareness of the fund. Your contributions have helped us exceed our first close minimum of $1M. We plan a first close soon, so we can start investing in promising deals already being shared with us.

If you're an accredited investor who wants to learn about participating in the fund, just reply to this email and we'll follow up. Or you can click the blue button below to reserve your spot in our fund now.

Show Me Deal Flow


We provide the simplest, smartest way to add venture capital to your portfolio through three investment offerings:

1) Annual Funds offer you diverse portfolios of 15-25 venture deals.

2) Co-Investment Program lets you opt into one-off deals with $2,500 minimums.

3) Partner Program offers you a broad, index-like portfolio across all Launch Angels funds.

Read more and sign up by clicking the blue button below.

Show Me Deal Flow

If you know of Penn-connected companies that are raising money, or should be on our radar, contact us.

We invest in all sectors and stages and are looking for companies that have a Penn alum connection—with a preference for following in a VC or PE firm with expertise in the sector.  To share info, email:



Gail Gilbert Ball is a fintech executive who has had a long career leading tech teams at global financial services firms. Building and overseeing a broad swath of entrepreneurial groups, she has held decision-making posts at nearly every seat around the financial services table—banking executive, regulator, service provider, and board member—in both for-profit and social-impact markets. Among her many areas of expertise: financial services, portfolio development, financial analysis, and information tech.

Gail has a BS Economics, Finance and Statistics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (‘79). She is a member of multiple entrepreneurial, venture, and financial interest groups, including Venture Capital Group, On Startups, Innovation in Payments, and Global Financial Markets.


On April 28, Managing Partner Gail Gilbert Ball will be a judge at the semi-finals for the Startup Showcase at the Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship Center. The event gives student-founded startups a chance to pitch their ideas to Penn alumni, compete for funding, and receive advice for improving their business model. For more information, click here.



An important factor in the future success of Chestnut Street Ventures is a strong, experienced Investment Committee that advises us on deals. This month, we welcome four IC members to our team.


Bruce Cahan
Bruce has advised Fortune 1000 corporations and federal technology investors; is an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University's Civil School of Engineering and a former CodeX Fellow at Stanford's Center for Legal Informatics; innovated investment strategies for sharing smarter open data; and is redesigning banking, its impacts, and safety. He co-founded Urban Logic, a nonprofit that harnesses finance and technology to improve sustainability decisions in real time, and is a frequent mentor for startups in Silicon Valley. Bruce graduated from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (‘76) and Temple Law School (‘79).

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Carol Curley
Carol has held senior investment banking positions with Berkshire Capital Corporation, Prudential-Bache Capital Funding, and Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. Inc. She is the Chief Investment Officer of The Charian Group, an early stage investment vehicle. Prior to forming The Charian Group, Carol was Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and a member of the Board of Westwood Management Corporation, a registered investment advisor. Carol holds a BA in Economics from Wellesley College, an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.


Peter Graham
Peter has key experience within the investment banking industry and extensive knowledge of finance and capital markets. Most recently, Peter was the Chairman of the Board of Seventh Generation, Inc. (“SVG”), a position he held from 2000 to late 2016, when Unilever purchased SVG. Prior to that, Peter held various positions with investment banking organization Ladenburg Thalmann Group, including Principal, President, and Vice Chairman of its subsidiary, Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Under his direction, Ladenburg led numerous public offerings, corporate restructurings, and acted as advisor on many merger and acquisitions. He attended the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied finance and accounting.

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Justin Shreve
Justin has been a software developer and entrepreneur for over twenty years. He has worked extensively in the fields of commercial real estate, online payment solutions, and sports technology. He has helped 13 startup companies launch ideas, drive user engagement, and build innovative products. He is the founder of Rentmatic (acquired by LiveLovely in 2012), which provided rent payment software to landlords, and enterprise media planning platform Adgile Interactive (acquired by Doubleclick in 2001). Justin holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania ('96).


At our core, we are a venture capital firm, but our model is based on you – the community of investors, entrepreneurs, and startup and innovation enthusiasts. Here’s a quick summary of what we offer:

  1. Power of the Network. Our investors are all Penn alumni. We like to say that Penn people are one degree of separation from anyone, and our community serves as a source of both our capital and deal flow.
  1. Access to Venture with Diversified Portfolio. Even accredited investors have had—until nowpoor alternatives for adding venture to their portfolio. Venture is a speculative, long-term investment, but an important part of a well-structured portfolio. Our model provides smart, simple access to a portfolio of 15-25 companies, diversified across sectors, stages, and geographies. 
  1. Piggyback Investors Following Smart Money. We follow “smart money” into opportunities, investing alongside top VC and PE professionals. We do not price deals, negotiate terms, or take board seats, so our investment is regarded as additive rather than competitive.
  1. Educational and Fun. The cycle is rewarding on many levels. For our stakeholders, the experience is educational and fun, while building a network and supporting entrepreneurship at Penn.
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Important Disclosure Information 
Chestnut Street Ventures is a Series of Launch Angels Funds, LLC, is an independent, for-profit company. It is not affiliated with nor officially sanctioned by University of Pennsylvania. Launch Angels Management Company, LLC (LAMC), is the General Partner to Chestnut Street Ventures, a Series of Launch Angels Funds, LLC.

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