Dr. Peter S. Whalen is a highly respected director, professor, and entrepreneur who has received his MBA in Entrepreneurship and his PhD in Marketing from the University of Oregon. He has over fifteen years business experience in sales, promotions, research, consulting and entrepreneurial start-ups. Peter Whalen's first-hand experience has inspired Penn State students to create a feasible solution for start-up companies. He is currently the Managing Director of Penn State’s Graduate Venture Capital fund which has enabled graduate students to evaluate and advise investments on a strategic path to grow their business. Peter continues to mentor Penn State students by providing extravagant insights on the best technique to market and develop prospective ventures.
Steven Sponder is a renowned investor with over 30 years of experience within the Technology and Restaraunt industries. Sponder has founded, co-founded and invested in start-up companies over the past 30 years. Sponder has grown restaurants that have developed into universal successes that have been publicized by USA Today, The New York Times and multiple other respected publications. In addition to his restaurant successes, Sponder has founded two Technology companies that have developed partnerships with the most powerful technology companies in the world. One of Sponder’s companies developed a joint venture with Microsoft. His other technology company was backed by United States and European Venture Capitalists and selected for a partnership with AOL-Time Warner before being acquired. Sponder’s deep expertise and willingness to assist SVP enables Penn State students to learn about the startup industry and execute on promising ventures by providing extensive guidance on how his investments have been so successful.
Santosh Sankar is a co-founder and director of Dynamo, a Chattanooga-based venture capital firm that specializes in investments related to global trade and commerce. Sankar is a Penn State alumnus, and one of the founders of Penn State’s $8 million student run hedge-fund, The Nittany Lion Fund. Before transitioning into the venture capital industry, Sankar started his career as an investment banker at Citigroup. In addition to his role as a director of Dynamo, Sankar currently sits on the board of several startups. As a result of his successes, he was awarded the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 award in 2018.