David S. Rose
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
David S. Rose is a serial entrepreneur who crossed the aisle to become one of the country's leading angel investors... and then crossed back to found Gust, filling a major need in the rapidly growing world of early stage investing.
As an entrepreneur, David has founded half a dozen companies since his first one at the age of ten, and has personally raised tens of millions of dollars of venture, strategic and institutional capital. He was named to the Inc 500 list as CEO of one of the country's fastest growing private companies, and has been described as a 'world conquering entrepreneur' by BusinessWeek.
As an angel investor, David founded and chairs New York Angels, one of the largest and most active angel investment groups in the US. He has personally invested in over 70 early stage companies, and serves on the boards of directors of KoolSpan, Magnify Networks, Social Bomb, comiXology, and Pond5.
Outside of Gust, David is Managing Principal of Rose Tech Ventures, Chairman of Egret Capital Partners, and Track Chair for Finance, Entrepreneurship and Economics at Singularity University. He has been dubbed "The Pitch Coach" by BusinessWeek for his work with early stage entrepreneurs, a "top dog in tech"; by Crains New York Business, and "patriarch of Silicon Alley" by Red Herring magazine.
Ilana heads up all marketing and communication efforts for Gust. Prior to joining Gust, Ilana has held senior positions at leading digital marketing agencies, most notably Digitas and Organic, where she has led the development and implementation of several CRM and digital campaigns for clients such as Bank of America, Sanofi-Aventis, Johnson & Johnson, and Astra Zeneca. Ilana is a passionate marketer who always advocates for user-centric design and improved customer experience.
Prior to starting her Marketing career, Ilana was a Senior Associate with The Boston Consulting Group, and has also worked for the Brazilian joint venture of Salomon Brothers in her native Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Ilana holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Fundacao Getulio Vargas and an MBA in Finance and Strategic Management from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She lives on the Upper East Side with her husband and two children.
Lisa Balter Saacks
VP, Business Development
Lisa is in charge of all business development and strategic partnership efforts globally. Before joining Gust, Lisa held senior positions in the financial and media worlds. Most recently, she was VP of Strategic Partnerships at SecondMarket, the marketplace for alternative investments, where she also created and managed Alchemy Magazine, a publication on the alternative asset class.
The launch came on the heels of her previous tenure as VP, International Publisher at the financial media organization, The Deal LLC, where she ran the firm’s custom media and events division.
She began her career in finance at the European-based Creditanstalt Investment Bank. While there she worked on project finance, M & A and PE deals in Eastern and Central Europe.
Lisa holds a Masters in International Finance from Columbia’s School of International Affairs and a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Michigan.
As VP of Technology for Gust, Ryan enables the developers within the technology teams to create and deliver innovative solutions to the Gust platform. Ryan is a strong proponent of Agile development practices and works to bridge the gap between idea and implementation.
Before joining Gust, Ryan held technology leadership roles in several positions across the Computer Science industry. Most recently, Ryan worked for Boeing in the Defense, Space and Security division. Starting as an Engineer he ended up a Development Manager directing several development teams and choosing new product directions for Intelligence Community initiatives across the Defense Intelligence Agency, NSA, SOCOM and other Department of Defense agencies.
Prior to the IC world, Ryan was leading talented and technical people even before leaving college. Initially a technology Intern at a local company in his home town, he left as the IT Manager of the whole department. While there he worked on internal products, new product development and infrastructure planning. Ryan holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Binghamton University. He lives in Millburn, NJ.
VP Finance and Operations
Jess manages finance and operations, and brings to Gust a substantial track record as a buy-side investor and turnaround professional. Most recently, he spent eight years at a Connecticut-based hedge fund where he worked with the partners to manage a portfolio of investments, negotiate swap lines and supervise the audit, investor communications, and compliance processes. During this tenure he worked with the deal rooms of numerous LBO's and private equity engagements.
Prior to analyzing investments, Jess worked as a turnaround expert to help restructure companies and credit agreements, partnering with CEOs and CFOs to strengthen their treasury and accounting functions.
Jess received his Bachelors in Finance from NYU.
Member, Board of Directors
Member, Board of Directors
Director, Business Development Europe
Business Development Manager
Portraits by Michael Hoeweler