Technology Investment Fund

Team

experienced water technology investors

Investment Team

Mark Kropilak, ESQ. 

Mark has been involved in the water profession for over 30 years, running a water technology company, structuring private equity investments, directing infrastructure investments, and buying and selling unregulated and regulated water companies.  Mark previously worked for Aqua America (a publicly-traded water utility holding company) for over 20 years, serving in various roles, including Senior Vice President of Corporate Development for the company and General Counsel for the regulated water and wastewater divisions.  He has conducted numerous seminars on acquisition strategy, due diligence, sales and marketing, investment analysis and financial modeling related to infrastructure investments.  Mark holds several professional degrees, including a JD from Columbia University, an Executive MBA from Villanova University, and degrees in Economics and Accounting from Saint Vincent College.   

Tami Fratis

Tami has 10 years experience as an investment professional in the water/wastewater industry, over 20 years of technology company board experience, more than 30 years of business experience in portfolio management and all aspects of the direct investment process. She has served as an interim CEO, CFO, CMO, and COO for start-up to pre-IPO companies. Services have been provided at the request of family offices, private investors, creditors, and Mid-Atlantic based venture capital and private equity funds, including TL Ventures, Safeguard Scientifics, IL Management, LLR Equity Partners, Murex Investments, Meidlinger Partners, Innovation Ventures, Holding Capital, Liati Group, and Broadway Direct Investments/Waypoint Residential. Ms. Fratis has served on both private and public company boards ranging in market cap from $10 million to just under $1 billion.  Ms. Fratis is the former president of the Wharton School of Business Alumni Association of Philadelphia, where she earned her Masters of Business Administration in finance, strategy, and entrepreneurial management. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, with a minor in economics and physics concentration, from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. 

John W. Robinson

John has operated as a strategy and operations consultant in the water/wastewater business for 9 years, and is largely responsible for deal sourcing and execution of Mazarine's investments.  John has lead over 30 consulting engagements that have included top-line and bottom-line initiatives, developing a track record driving performance improvement for water/wastewater technology executives.  John completed undergraduate studies at Denison University and graduate work at Johns Hopkins University SAIS. He lived in China for 7 years, is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, and maintains large network in China's water/wastewater technologies industry.  John is Co-chair the Connect platform at Chicago-based Current, a non-profit water technology innovation hub. 

 

Senior Advisor

Karen MEIDLINGER, PhD

Karen has been investing in, growing and developing water technology, product, and service companies for the past 9 years.  Prior to this Dr. Meidlinger worked for Johnson & Johnson where she spent almost four years leading innovation management projects, identifying new technologies that would drive future business growth for the corporation. Prior to her work at Johnson & Johnson, she ran the life science business incubator at the University City Science Center.  She advised over 100 start-up companies, including several biotech companies that went from start up to exit, turning $432 million of VC investment into $1.2 billion.  Dr. Meidlinger earned her M.B.A. at the University of Cape Town (South Africa). She completed her Ph.D. in marine ecology at the University of Southampton (UK) and her B.Sc. in marine biology at the University of Liverpool (UK). She also completed an entrepreneurship fellowship at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.   She has recently transitioned to an advisory role in Mazarine Partners. 

 

Venture Partners

Steve Markscheid

Mr Markscheid is a senior executive and corporate director concentrated in mergers and acquisitions and other financial transactions, corporate governance, and consulting. During his time with GE Capital (1998-2006), Steve led business development activity—primarily acquisitions and direct investments—in China and Asia Pacific. Prior to GE, Steve worked with the Boston Consulting Group throughout Asia. Steve was also a commercial banker for ten years in London, Chicago, New York, Hong Kong and Beijing with Chase Manhattan Bank and First National Bank of Chicago. He began his career with the US-China Business Council, in Washington D.C. and Beijing. Steve holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University, where he was class valedictorian and member of Beta Gamma Sigma. He earned his master’s degree in international affairs at Johns Hopkins SAIS and his B.A. in East Asian studies at Princeton University. He is a trustee of Princeton-in-Asia. Besides his native English, Steve is fluent in Chinese and conversant in Japanese and French.

Elli Streit

Over the last thirty five years Elli Streit has been active in multinational business development involving investments, corporate finance, private equity, international trade and transfer of technologies.  In 1982 Mr. Streit was appointed as the managing director of Yeda, the commercial arm of the Weizmann Institute, one of the world’s leading Life Sciences research centers.  His negotiating exclusive licensing agreements with multinational companies added further valuable experience related to transfer of intellectual property, when commercializing patent and innovations resulted in substantial royalty payments for the Weizmann Institute.  Following his tenure at the Weizmann Institute, Mr. Streit became a consultant for international trade and investments, mainly between Israel and the US.  Mr. Streit also provided consulting and management services to Israeli and British firms looking to raise capital, divest corporate holdings, and cultivate markets in developing countries.  Today Elli Streit provides investment banking services to companies, mainly in the Health care sector, which are looking to raise capital or expand the marketing of their technology based products.  He also arranges licensing of IP, alliances and strategic partnerships for established firms, as well as young growing companies.  Mr. Streit has a BA in Economics and Political Science from Hebrew U., Israel and an MBA in Finance and International Marketing from Wharton, U. of Pennsylvania, US.

Ursula Boehm

Ursula provides a unique blend of 15+ years of Management Consulting know-how, Executive Leadership Track record and deep, first hand Industry insight in various regions around the globe.  After a very successful career in various countries with a top industrial company, she founded Liinc, Ltd., providing Advisory and Consulting in Water, Wastewater and Industrial Equipment & Services.  Her Customers are Private Equity Firms, Investment firms as well as established companies and start-ups.  She has worked on various major deals along with significant projects for top tier companies, and start-ups, receiving exceptional customer feedback.  In prior positions, Ursula held the position VP of Global Sales for Evoqua, a $1.2bn Water Technologies firm, and the GM for the $400M+ US Equipment business of Siemens Water Technologies.  Before, she was based in Singapore as the GM for Siemens Water Tech’s $300M+ business in South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.  Prior, she ran for 5 years a management consulting Company she started from scratch in Beijing China.  Ursula is truly a global Mind: she lived in Germany, the Netherlands, China, Singapore and the USA, and worked/did business in 15+ countries, giving her deep insights into local markets.  Ursula holds a Masters Degree in Engineering & Management from KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, a tier 1 university in Germany), along with INSEAD’s Women Leadership Program and Asian International Executive Program.

Operations Team

rudy lutterschmidt

Mr. Lutterschmidt is a financial advisor to Mazarine Partners and Meidlinger Partners.  He is currently Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Nocopi Technologies, Inc., a publicly traded technology licensing company.  A graduate of Syracuse University, he has had a long career with a number of publicly traded and privately-held companies in southeast Pennsylvania including Safeguard Business Systems, Inc.  Additionally, he has been a financial consultant to several entrepreneurial businesses in the Philadelphia area.

JANET KERMAN

Ms. Kerman is an accountant at Mazarine Partners but prior to this worked for other asset investment management firms including including Meidlinger Partners and 3Sisters Sustainable Investments.  A graduate of Indiana University, Jan has been in the financial services industry for ten years. She has worked with a number of small businesses and non-profits during that time, including RISA Charitable Trust, Kids Smiles Dental Centers, and Commonwealth Youthchoirs. She has also served as treasurer on the board of directors for Philadelphia Theatre Workshop and Thrift for Aids Fund.  

 
We know what to look for and where to find it, which is a skill developed by conducting due diligence on hundreds of water/ wastewater technology companies over our careers.
— Mark Kropilak, Managing Principal, Mazarine Partners