Entrepreneur's Circle

Our nation relies on entrepreneurs to push us out of our comfort zone and lead the way forward toward a brighter future.  Below, the FPC honors the vision, grit, fortitude, and determination of entrepreneurs that inspire us to press onward regardless of challenges, obstacles, or setbacks.

Entrepreneur's Circle

Mark Minevich

Honorary Chairman

Mark Minevich

Mark Minevich is Principal Founder of Going Global Ventures (GGV), a New York based global investment, technology and strategic advisory firm, with bench strength and insight into business strategies and best practices dedicated to leading high growth tech clients to success in the global knowledge economy. Mark was recently appointed as Venture Partner at GVA Capital Group – Global Venture capital fund

Mark is an   associate partner of Blackhawk Partners, Inc. an international family investment group  Mark is also a strategist and advisor to Global Emerging Markets (GEM) a $3.4B NYC-based alternative investment group that manages a diverse set of investment vehicles; he plays an integral role in fundraising.

Additionally, Mark is Senior Advisor of the Council of Competitiveness in Washington DC and a Senior Fellow of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils (GFCC); his role is to provide strategic advice and counsel to help guide the Council’s policies at home and abroad. Most importantly,  Mark will be strengthening public policy to the benefit of all Americans  Mark is also on the Advisory Board of TriLinc Global, a US based private investment company dedicated to creating a global platform for impact investing through alternative investment funds.

To keep up with exponential emerging technologies, Mark also serves as a Chief Strategist and Executive Board member of  the multinational Comtrade  Group consisting of business units in product development companies, specializing in gaming, solutions, distribution, application management, travel and hospitality, extended R&D and outsourced products.

Mr. Minevich was CTO and Strategy Executive at IBM and has held various management, technology and strategy roles where he formulated the strategy of the Venture Capital Incubation program which provided LP investments to venture capital/incubators, coaching over 100 portfolio startups and generating USD2bn in revenue. Over the years, Mark’s deep focus has been on cultivating a multi-disciplinary approach to solving complex global challenges in the tech sector as a Vice Chairman,  CTO/CIO and Chief Strategy Officer (and an Advisor) at several top flight companies including   Sustainia/Monday Morning Global Institute (Denmark), , Research Board (Gartner company, international think tank to Chief Information Officers of the world’s largest corporations  Deutsche Bank, BTM Corporation, Geotek Communications,  Qwest Communications, Comcast, and USWEB/CKS — with a specific passion for driving innovation, creativity and sustainability both in the US and abroad.

Mark Minevich includes 20 years of experience as  business strategist and technology innovation consulting for the global technology markets which made him an influential authority on technology and particularly the role of the CIO/CTO. HIs unique experience and background in business strategy, technology, and innovation, his global orientation and expertise, and his exposure to working in the corporate, private, tech and investment sectors combine to make Mark an invaluable contributor to senior management in whatever endeavors and opportunities he is invited to participate in.

Mark is an author of highly acclaimed books including of “Six Billon Minds” (2006) and “The CTO Handbook: The Indispensable Technology Leadership Resource” (2002). He is a recipient of the prestigious Albert Einstein Award for Outstanding Achievement on global  innovation and World Trade Leadership Award by World Trade Centers and WTCA.

Erik Mathew

Founding Member

Erik Matthew

Erik Mathew is President of Software Nation; a Boston-based tech company specializing in custom software solutions, IBM Watson, cloud computing, web and mobile development, UX design and SEO.

Erik  is a proud  United States Marines veteran, entrepreneur and visionary . He started his career at the age of 19 when he joined the United States Marines as a Communication’s technologist .  Erik  developed his leadership, character and resilience core values  while proudly serving with the greatest fighting force in the world through his duties and assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After his honorable discharge from the United States Marine Corps , Erik  continued his career within the I.T. Sector and started a Cognitive and AI company Software-Nation, in which he utilizes  leadership skills and IT knowledge to create a high growth  30 member global team business within the first 2 years of  operation.

Erik’s vision with Software-Nation has been to  improve  existing legacy systems as well as deliver new ideas by partnering and co-creation  with  clients  for joint success of  developing innovative ideas, enhancing current operations and promotion of their products and services to the marketplace.

With Erik’s leadership , Software-Nation’s has been a pinnacle of success by converging the unique ability to focus  and commercialize   on complex custom solutions  to meet market demands and ever changing industry requirements.


November 2016 Honoree

Neil Rothenberg

Neil H. Rothenberg is the CEO and Founder of Paygevity, Inc., an innovative, disruptive and scalable, Supply-Chain, FinTech payment company. Paygevity has a “win-win” business model.

It contracts with many of the Fortune 1000 corporations and offers them increased flexibility in their working capital management. At the same time, Paygevity “promptly” pays the selected suppliers to these Fortune 1000 corporations. No longer does a supplier to a Fortune 1000 corporation have to wait 45, 60, or 90 days to get paid on their approved invoices.

During the mid-1990’s Mr. Rothenberg was an investment banker at Dillon, Read & Co., Inc. and Prudential Securities Inc. He provided M&A advisory as well as debt and equity underwritings for institutions operating in the financial services sector.

In the late-1990’s Mr. Rothenberg was recruited by CIT Group’s Merchant Banking Division. At CIT Mr. Rothenberg provided factoring loans, bank loans, mezzanine loans with warrants, and equity investments to small and mid-size corporations.

Starting in 2002 Mr. Rothenberg joined the hedge fund industry as a portfolio manager of Corporate Credit, Fixed Income and Distressed Debt. He managed funds for Ramius Capital Group, an affiliate of Paloma Partners, and M.D. Sass.

Mr. Rothenberg holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School and a BA in Political Science from Emory University.

Lenny Valdberg

April 2017 Honoree

Lenny Valdberg

Lenny Valberg is an entrepreneur driven by the vision of having at least one VIGO product in every household and hotel in America.

He believes that the products you choose say a lot about your personality.

As President and co-founder of VIGO, Lenny leads a team of talented professionals and business partners in many areas of business growth – strategy, new business development, manufacturing, logistics, R&D, sales, marketing and technology.

Together, he and his team bring an amazing line of high quality and modern products to homeowners who want their kitchen and bathroom to reflect their personality.

Lenny loves forging new business relationships with retail partners and uncovering ways to make our products more durable, more unique and more cost effective. He believe VIGO customers deserve the best products at the best price and I work to expand the business based on this philosophy.

Having done business in more than 15 countries and lived in three, his businesses have always had an international component to them. His personal style, as well as the style of many of VIGO’s products, has been influenced greatly by other cultures’ designs and traditions.

Lenny is always looking at industry trends in other parts of the world, as well as in our own region and is continually on the lookout for business opportunities that will either grow our current business or complement it in some way. As a business leader, building relationships is at the forefront of what he does.

Lenny is a graduate of Brooklyn College with a BS in Computer Science and fluent in Russian too.

Alexander Lopatine

March 2018 Honoree

Alexander Lopatine

Boasting more than twenty years of international business experience, Alex Lopatine brings a fresh, global perspective to the challenges facing the banking and technology industry today.

Alex is known for starting up Nymbus.com, the software system revolutionizing the banking industry through a modern and holistic approach to core infrastructures. He served as Founder & CEO and was responsible for overseeing the strategy, product, sales, business development, marketing and operational arms of the company. Alex raised more than $40 million for Nymbus from prominent VCs, such as Insight Venture Partners and international banking groups, such as Home Credit Bank.

As a Miami based business leader Alex received a Technology award from SCORE/Miami-Dade in September 2016. He was as well Chief Strategy Officer of Mediaspectrum and Vensure (Nymbus’ sister businesses).

Prior to founding Nymbus, Alex was brought on as both board member and Executive Vice President for FPB Bank, where he was responsible for strategy, sales and marketing. It was there he saw firsthand the egregious inefficiencies of the technology powering the global banking community, sparking his determination to design a 21st century banking platform to replace the dinosaurs of core banking. His vision is to build cloud-based enterprise software with a human face, as easy and enjoyable for users as a good consumer application

Throughout his fruitful career, Alex has served on several corporate boards where he has provided strategic leadership and direction on establishing, negotiating and structuring key partnerships and service channels.

Currently Alex is working on a number of ventures in stealth mode. He recently became Managing Director of Paladin (paladin-fs.com), a reputable consulting firm in the banking space leading the newly created Fintech Advantage practice, enabling community banks and credit unions to access the fintech eco-system, while upgrading their software stack.

Alex has a Masters of International Law degree. A true citizen of the world, he has lived and worked in the United States, Switzerland, Russia, Germany and Israel, and speaks French, Russian and English fluently.

Derek Lundsten

May 2018 Honoree

Derek Lundsten

Derek Lundsten is a serial entrepreneur, co-founding and leading half a dozen businesses across the healthcare, consulting, technology, and training industries.

His daily operational role and where he currently spends the majority of his time is as CEO of SCRIMMAGE, a modern mobile learning, development and training technology SaaS firm with a global footprint.

Derek has built and leads this dynamic growth business and a stellar team, overseeing its Sales & Marketing, Client Services and Technology divisions to ensure a proper alignment between evolving customer needs and innovation. Customers include a number of Fortune 100 and 500 organizations as well as startups and SMB’s. SCRIMMAGE’s mission is to make learning fun by personalizing the experience to users and allowing them to integrate learning with mobile devices and more traditional learning experiences.

Prior to his entrepreneurial endeavors, his business experience focused on Business Development and General Management at leading research, intelligence, technology and training organizations, by delivering successful solutions and driving customer retention.

Derek is active on a number of for and non-profit boards, as well several advisory roles with start-up firms and various trade organizations. He is a prolific networker and dealmaker always on the lookout for exciting new technologies, companies and investment opportunities, especially those with the potential to create massive positive societal impact while growing in financial success, ultimately empowering people both in business and in life.

Derek holds a B.S, double majoring in Philosophy and Psychology from James Madison University, and is an active speaker on the topics on entrepreneurship, technology, and healthcare among others.