The White Star Capital Summer Associate Class of 2017

Since the founding of White Star Capital, we have experimented with different models of adding brain-power to our team to help identify trends and investment opportunities.

A few years ago we hired our first interns, Matt, who’s now rocking it at Entrepreneur First, and Max, who finished his Masters at UCL last year and is now working on FinTech at Accenture. Both experiences taught us the value of sharp, analytical minds helping us to learn more about industries and technologies. In return, we hopefully gave our interns a unique insight into the world of Venture Capital. Matt actually wrote a great post on his experience as “the intern.”

This summer, we decided to expand our informal internship program into a more structured, and larger class. As with the rest of the White Star team, the Summer Associate Class carry multiple passports, multiple backgrounds and multiple areas of interest.

The young bright minds listed below are conducting research into mobility, logistics, data-as-a-service, utilities, InsuranceTech amongst other subjects. As they finalise their areas of research we will publish some of their insights on this post.

Please join us in welcoming the White Star Capital Summer Associate Class of 2017:

Victoire Hayek
“My name is Victoire and I’m a rising junior at Princeton University studying Operations, Research and Financial Engineering. I’ve lived in New York and Geneva, and come from French and Lebanese descent. My areas of interest include anything tech-related, from mathematics/algorithms to automatization in the food and fashion industries. I wanted to get firsthand experience in a VC because they provide exposure to many different fields, and I really wanted to gain insight on how to evaluate an exciting company from an investment standpoint.”

Louis Dussart
I was born in London and raised in Paris and am at college in FranceFrench student. After entering HEC Paris in 2014 and getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Mathematics in parallel, I worked 6 months as an intern for Bolloré’s financial management in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, then joined White Star Capital for another 6-month internship in Montreal, New York and London. Next year, I’ll enter L’École Polytechnique to study for a Master’s Degree in Big Data and Machine Learning. I’ve always been fond of tech (AI, VR and FinTech), and was naturally attracted by the world of VC: a mix of finance, new technologies, innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Yannick Folla
I began my career as a hockey scout for the Omaha Lancers of the USHL while pursuing studies in Entrepreneurship and Finance at HEC Montreal. While finishing my college degree, I joined Residence Ventures, a family office investing in tech in New York City, with the mandate of developing its Canadian investment thesis and the fund’s presence up north. Even though I’ve always had an entrepreneurial drive, I felt I needed to see how others succeeded and failed in order to be successful in my own career. The overview Residence Ventures and White Star Capital gives me is unmatched in order to develop into a better investor and eventually a better operator. A generalist by definition, I thrive on discovering new verticals and business models but also calls myself a Blockchain and token economy aficionado as I’ve been following the industry closely for the past 18 months.”

Karolina Mrozkova
Hi, my name is Karolina Mrozkova and I was born and raised in Prague, Czech Republic. My path has been quite unconventional so far as I spent 4 years working full-time between high school and college, living mostly between Europe and NYC. The shift gave me a good understanding of the basic differences in cultures, lifestyles and the market, while living in NYC since 2010 has allowed me to take a front-row seat in watching how new tech startups disrupt seemingly unshakable industries — even the one I was in at that time. This experience, together with my father’s entrepreneurial history and studying finance and marketing at NYU Stern (graduating in Fall 2017) has naturally pulled me towards VC. I am especially interested in the consumer, e-commerce and retail tech markets, which is what I do at WSC and I love it:)”

Grant Shen
My name is Grant and I am a rising junior at NYU Stern studying finance and computing & data science, as well as pursuing a minor in music. I am originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, but I have also spent a few years living in Beijing. Regarding areas of interest in tech, I am interested in VR/AR, payments, and clean tech. Overall, VC represented a great opportunity for me to merge my business studies with my interest in technology.”

Vithushan (Vitu) Jeyakumaran
After completing a Bachelor’s in Mathematics at the University of Waterloo in Canada, I spent 2.5 years as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where I worked on strategy and operations projects for Fortune 1000 clients, eventually focusing on e-commerce and digital strategy. I joined White Star Capital to get direct exposure to the start-up worlds in North America and Europe, while supplementing my theoretical finance knowledge with first-hand investing experience. I’m particularly interested in B2C (or B2B2C) disruptive commerce, applications of AI for consumer products (including IoT), and AR platforms/applications. I will be starting my MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in September 2017; upon completion of the program, I plan on either continuing to work in venture capital or founding/joining an early-stage start-up.”

Sami Khleif
I am an MBA candidate at the London Business School. Prior to reading for my MBA degree, I worked as a consultant with Roland Berger across the Middle East, South East Asia, and Africa advising clients in the TMT and logistics space on strategy and corporate finance topics. I also interned at Babylon Health, a London based health-tech startup building an artificial intelligence doctor and angel invested in retail companies in the Middle East. I have a Bachelor’s in Business Administration Degree from the American University of Beirut and am a CFA Charterholder. I’m interning at White Star Capital to learn the intricacies of Venture Capital investing and deepen my exposure to the London technology ecosystem.”

Edouard (Teddy) Favre-Gilly
“I’m studying for a BSc in IT & Management at University College London. Prior to UCL I attended Westminster School in London where I co-founded the Entrepreneurial Society. My interests lie mainly in programming and innovation and have competed in Hackathons in London, coming third in the UCL IMB Challenge. Outside of programming my other interest is in music and I performed as a soloist the Royal Opera House and English National Opera. I previously interned for two consecutive years at Humetrix, a California-based health-tech firm. In the summer of 2015 I interned at Menlo Park VC firm Glynn Capital, focused on research in the e-Gaming space. I am currently interning at White Star Capital in New York, hoping to further my knowledge of start-up venture ecosystems outside the Silicon Valley and applying my academic knowledge of machine learning to real-case analysis in the industry.”

Josh Lebacq
I’m a graduate student at the Richard Ivey School of Business pursuing a dual-degree in partnership with CEMS. I joined White Star after spending the last few months in India advising on growth strategies for a FinTech and InsurTech venture. Prior to pursuing my graduate studies, I earned three promotions working in the FMCG industry; started an award-winning Not-for-Profit in Hong Kong; represented Canada as a Junior Trade Ambassador in China; experienced Investment Banking in New York City; as well as completing internships in the public sector and for a leading Canadian financial institution. My interest in technology and innovation combined with my passion for entrepreneurship culminated in a desire to pursue a career in Venture Capital. I’m looking forward to being part of the growing VC ecosystem in Canada and to gaining exposure to new and innovative ideas in the tech sphere.”

Gauthier Salavert
I’m an MBA graduate from Columbia Business School. Previously, I was an investor in Growth Equity at Finatech and prior to that an entrepreneur disrupting construction in Emerging Markets at HD Alliance. I was also involved with Medef International and Arborescence Capital, a renewable energy investment firm.

Over time, I have built a strong interest in SaaS, Mobility and Fintech ventures. Working in Venture Capital is a way to leverage my strong investor and entrepreneurial background. It’s also my way to be a part of the exciting times in which we live. At White Star, I’ve found a team of thoughtful investors with deep knowledge of their ecosystem and market. Working with them provides me with an amazing learning opportunity.”