Speakers

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J. Skyler Fernandes, Managing Director of Investments

J. Skyler Fernandes

Managing Director of Investments, Cleveland Avenue

J. Skyler Fernandes is ranked as a Powerlist 100 VC and is the Managing Director of Investments at Cleveland Avenue (CA), a private equity and venture capital fund focused on restaurants, food and beverage brands, and related technology. Cleveland Avenue was co-founded by the former President and CEO of McDonald's and is an innovation platform that incubates, accelerates, and invests in the food industry through its three core pillars: a PE / VC fund, a consulting acceleration group, and an incubation lab for testing new concepts. 

Previously, Mr. Fernandes founded and was the Managing Director of Simon Venture Group (SVG), the venture capital arm of Simon Property Group, an S&P 100 company, and the largest retail real estate company in the world. SVG was ranked by CB Insights as a top 5 corporate venture group within retail alongside Google Ventures, Intel Capital, and Comcast Ventures and focuses on investing in retail technology, rising new brands, and internet of things for smart cities and buildings. 

Mr. Fernandes has developed a number of key entrepreneur resources, such as "The Best Startup Pitch Deck" (a top ranked investor pitch deck template, viewed and downloaded 500,000+ times and used by leading accelerators and business schools). Mr. Fernandes also co-founded with his wife the #1 startup / VC board game, "The Next Big Thing: The Game of Entrepreneurship", http://www.nextbigthingboardgame.com/

Mr. Fernandes graduated early from New York University (NYU), summa cum laude, due to his studies at Harvard University in Physics and Foreign Policy. Mr. Fernandes is an adjunct professor at NYU, teaching Venture Capital Intensive, and is a frequent speaker on venture capital and entrepreneurship. Mr. Fernandes also gave a TEDx Talk on Venture Capital, called "Innovating the Financing of Innovation".