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Jose Mejia - Merlin Mentor Capita

José Mejía

Merlin Partner

Location: Silicon Valley.

Focus Areas: Sourcing, Organization, Operations.

       José co-founded Merlin4Ventures along with industry experts to use their breadth of leadership experiences helping grow companies that are transforming traditional verticals. As part of Merlin, he is a hands-on Operational and Executive coach, who joins businesses at the Board level contributing his expertise in Strategy, Business Development and Execution, as well as Talent and Compensation Management.

       He has been involved in the launch of more that 10 startups worldwide and as a key member of the leadership teams in over 48 mergers & acquisitions valued between $20M to over $30B, all of which have given  him unique perspectives in all the facets of the M&A process. José has also launched over 180 new products with each achieving $100M+ in sales.

       José has tackled many significant operational problems during his career. He was a key leader of Ford 2000, the operational driver at the start-up Bay Networks, and President of Lucent Bell Lab’s Value Chain, Network Ops, and Installation Services, leading over 80k people across 70+ countries. Among his achievements are designing an automobile in 18 months vs 4 years, selling Ford‘s ABS (Antilock Braking System) and EEC (Electronic Engine Control) modules to Toyota (thought to be impossible), reducing $8B of inventory to $1.4B at Ford and $4.5B at Lucent to $700M, and transforming Lucent Bell Labs in bankruptcy by realizing more than $4B of cash and improving margins from 9% to 47% without a single new product.

       He graduated from the University of Michigan where he earned a bachelor’s of science degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering. José  also earned an MBA in Finance and Operations Research from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, as well as an honorary doctorate from the W.P. Carey Graduate School of Business at the Arizona State University.

       José  is the recipient of the “Ellis Island” Medal of Honor. The Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation named Jose “Engineer of the Year”. They were both awarded by the United States Congress to distinguished immigrants and scientists.

Jose founded an abandoned children’s foundation called Unamos.org in Venezuela in 2001, which helped over 30 thousand abandoned children from the streets and provided them with education; many are college graduates today.

Francisco Marin - Merlin Mentor Capital

Francisco Marin

Merlin Partner

Location: NY/NJ Metro Area.

Focus Areas: Venture Planning, New Products / Channels, Operational
Efficiencies.

       Francisco is a global operations executive with extensive experience leading business planning, logistics, manufacturing and engineering teams; in growth and turnaround strategies for products ranging from $1M to $500M in sales, with industry leaders like L’Oreal, Pinnacle Foods (acquired by Conagra), Gurwitch Products (acquired by Shiseido), Esteé Lauder, Movado, Lucent Technologies (acquired by Alcatel and later on Nokia), and Spanish based global engineering turn-key projects company Duro Felguera.

       He is skilled in team building, business and go-to-market strategies, new product introductions, mergers & acquisitions integration, product portfolio lifecycle management, process improvements and technology systems design and implementation.

       Francisco has tackled many significant operational challenges during his career. For instance, he led the supply chain integration of Pinnacle Foods’ $0.6B Wish-Bone acquisition from Unilever, delivering an aggressive 4 month timeline, achieving 98% customer service level during a highly seasonal selling period.  Francisco also launched 200+ L’Oreal’s products including new induction sealed bottles on Amazon achieving over $5M in revenue and 99% service.

       Francisco attended Universidad Simon Bolivar in Venezuela and earned a bachelor’s of science degree in Electrical Engineering.  He also earned an MBA with emphasis in Corporate Finance and Supply Chain Management from Penn State’s Smeal School of Business, where he was the recipient of the Dean’s scholarship award.

      He brings a strong foundation in new venture strategic planning, operational performance improvements and shareholder value optimization to his new role as co-founder, partner, investor and advisor to early stage startups at Merlin4Ventures.

Victoria Yampolsky

Victoria Yampolsky

Merlin Partner

Location: New York Metro Area.

Focus Areas:  Strategic Planning, Financial Strategy, Financial Analysis, Modeling, and Valuation.

    Victoria is a serial entrepreneur and an experienced business & finance executive with extensive startup experience. She is the Founder of The Startup Station, an education and consulting company specializing in modeling and valuing early-stage ventures.

    The Startup Station helps startups articulate their business case to investors from the financial point of view. They create a detailed strategic roadmap, a robust financial plan and a resulting valuation that outline business logic, drivers, financial goals, and key metrics for their venture. The company has worked with over 100 startups across 15+ industries ranging from manufacturing to technology, consumer electronics, medical devices to fashion, media & entertainment.

     Victoria has also developed a comprehensive seven-course finance curriculum geared to entrepreneurs of early-stage ventures with little to no knowledge of finance. To-date more than 1,000 founders have completed the courses and learned the basics of accounting, financial modeling, valuation, and startup financing.

     Victoria is a speaker and an advisor to multiple startups as well as a founder of several ventures in media and entertainment. Previously, Victoria worked for Deutsche Bank and was a technology consultant with CapGemini’s Financial Services Division.

    Victoria holds a Bachelor’s Degree, Cum Laude, in Computer Science, with a minor in Mathematics, from Cornell University and an MBA, with honors, from Columbia Business School. Victoria is also on the Advisory Board of the Computing and Information Science (CIS) Department of Cornell University.

    Victoria brings her entrepreneurial skills as well a strong foundation in new venture strategic planning, financial planning, analysis, and valuation to her new role as partner and advisor to early stage startups at Merlin4Ventures.

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OVERVIEW

DEAL FILTER

COMPANY CHARACTERISTICS

Open, clear minded, focused on success

Transformational value with validated customers

Large, competitive, significant current spend

Fully funded 18 month plan aligning BOD, management, and investor interests

Clean cap chart, rational pricing and terms

TECHNOLOGIES

Energy Systems

Mobile Payment

IoT

SaaS

Sensors, Actuators

AI

Delivery Services

Digital Media

Machine Learning

Business Intelligence

NLP

Digital Commerce

Imaging

Data Analytics

EV

MARKETS

Financial Services

Energy, Construction

Health Services

Telecommunications, Internet, Mobility

Automotive, Transportation

Hospitality

Consumer Goods

PHILOSOPHY

A THOUGHTFUL AND ITERATIVE PROCESS
  • Engagement before investing → deep understanding of the business and what value we can add
  • Clear Plan of Record → we build it with management → no surprises after close
  • Alignment between board as well as management and investors → seamless execution
  • Control syndicate →  investor alignment → accelerated decision making
  • Understanding of the Ecosystem → ability to accelerate growth with one round of funding
Philosophy - Merlin Mentor Capital