- A Passion for Penn -
Red & Blue Ventures is led by a team of Penn alumni with decades of early stage investing and operating experience.
- Investment Team -
Michael co-founded Red & Blue Ventures and has had a more than 30 year career working with technology companies. He has significant expertise in company formation around business school concepts, software development, capital raising, strategic alliances and joint ventures, financial reporting and tax issues, executive compensation, employment matters and copyright law. He was previously the co-founder and Managing Director of MentorTech Ventures, where he also invested in the University of Pennsylvania ecosystem. Michael has participated on the Boards of Directors, either as a member or observer, of a number of active and successfully exited companies including Jet.com (acquired by WalMart), The Neat Company, Ticketleap (acquired by PatronManager), Port, SeniorHomes.com (acquired by Bankrate), Medivo and Wanderfly (acquired by TripAdvisor). He acted as an advisor to management at Quidsi (acquired by Amazon), Yodle (acquired by Web.com) and Merchant Circle (acquired by Reply.com).
Prior to becoming a full time venture capitalist, Michael was an entrepreneur and angel investor. He was the co-founder, CFO, EVP & Board Member of SMG, Inc., a $28M simulation software company, named three times to “Inc. 500” fastest growing companies list. He was a founding shareholder and/or co-founder of five successful software companies, two of which were acquired by public entities, two by private investors and one of which has NYSE-listed corporate investor. He was also an investor in two additional software companies, one of which was acquired by public company and one which had successful IPO.
In addition to his venture capital and entrepreneurial activities, Michael has served on the Board, and the Executive and Investment Committees of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania for more than 20 years. He also served as a Senior Lecturer and faculty member at Wharton for 20 years and has a network of more than 4,000 former students.
Michael received his B.S. in Economics with Honor from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in Entrepreneurial Management and Multinational Enterprise.
Brett co-founded Red & Blue Ventures and has a decade and a half of venture capital and private equity experience. He has spent much of his career primarily focusing on investments in ecommerce, digital media, mobile applications, marketing technologies and B2B software. Prior to co-founding Red & Blue, he spent more than nine years at MentorTech Ventures. He represents Red & Blue on the Board of AptDeco and as an observer at Burrow. He also serves on the Boards of Cloudmine and PayPerks and observes on the Boards of goTenna, Curalate and Quad Learning all representing MentorTech Ventures. He previously served on the Board of Wanderfly (acquired by TripAdvisor), and observed on the Boards of SeniorHomes.com (acquired by Bankrate) and TicketLeap (acquired by PatronManager).
Prior to joining MentorTech, Brett was a member of the Fund Investments Team at Hamilton Lane Advisors, a fund-of-funds manager and private equity investment consultant. In this capacity, he evaluated private equity funds across a broad spectrum of stages and strategies on behalf of both discretionary and non-discretionary clients. During his time at Hamilton Lane, Brett reviewed more than 100 funds, including venture capital, mezzanine, buyout and real estate funds. Based in part on reports he drafted, more than $1 billion was invested into these funds.
Prior to working for Hamilton Lane, Brett spent more than four years as an Associate with NJTC Venture Fund, where he focused on investments in early-stage companies in the software, Internet and communications sectors. His responsibilities included deal flow generation, initial company reviews, performing due diligence on potential investments, participating in deal structuring, reviewing legal documentation and working with companies post-investment, occasionally as an Observer on Boards of Directors.
Brett is a magna cum laude graduate of the Wharton School, with a B.S. in Economics, with concentrations in Finance and Legal Studies and a Political Science minor from the College and Arts and Sciences.
Michael Harrison Lee
Analyst @ Red & Blue Ventures
University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School
BS. Statistics, Entrepreneurial Management
2014 – 2018
Mike is a 2018 Venture for America Fellow learning what it takes to build a successful company from the ground-up. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from The Wharton School with concentrations in statistics and entrepreneurial management.
At the age of 16, Mike started his first business designing and selling skateboards out of his parents’ basement in Bryn Mawr, PA. The experience is what inspired him to apply to Wharton. While at Penn, Mike co-founded the music performance, event planning, and creative services agency known as “The Collctve” and was awarded the 2018 Y-Prize as a result of his team’s proposal for a new genetic testing method to reduce miscarriage rates for women undergoing in-vitro fertilization.
Prior to Red & Blue Ventures, Mike worked alongside his dad to launch SMART Biomedical, a now-profitable biomaterials, medical device, and education company focusing on minimally invasive oral surgery methods. In previous roles, he was an environmental sustainability intern at global materials company AMG: Advanced Metallurgical Group and a summer analyst at Pine Ridge Holdings, a lower-middle market private equity fund.
Mike’s professional interests are in statistics, cryptography, design, science, and technology. He hopes that the VFA fellowship will be a continuation of his education in entrepreneurship and an opportunity to explore his passions.
- Advisors -
Dr. David Bell
Stanford University Graduate School of Business
University of Pennsylvania
University of Auckland, New Zealand
M.Com (1st Class Honors)
Professor Bell is the Xinmei Zhang and Yongge Dai Professor of Marketing at Wharton and is an expert in consumer shopping behavior. His book on ecommerce and offline retail, Location Is (Still) Everything: The Surprising Influence of the Real World on How We Search, Shop, and Sell in the Virtual One, was published in 2014. His current research focuses on theories and explanations for geographic variation in the performance of Internet retail startups. Startups studied include Bonobos.com, Diapers.com, and WarbyParker.com. Recent articles explain the effect of physical location on customer acquisition, contagion effects among co-located consumers, and the effect of preference isolation on online demand. Other projects focused on traditional retail settings explore unplanned and impulse buying, and consumer amortization strategies for fixed shopping costs. Previous articles explained consumer store choice among retailers with different pricing strategies, the effect of reference point formation on consumer response to promotions, and the effect of structural factors (e.g., dwelling size) on consumer shopping strategies.
Professor Bell’s research is published in all of the premier academic marketing journals: Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Management Science, Marketing Science, and Quantitative Marketing and Economics. He has won several teaching and research awards, including the MBA Core Curriculum Award, Miller-Sherrerd MBA Core Teaching Award, MBA for Executives Excellence in Teaching Award, the Frank M. Bass Outstanding Dissertation Award, three John D.C. Little Best Paper Finalist Awards, and two INFORMS Marketing Science Long Term Impact Finalist Awards.
Professor Bell teaches Marketing Management in the Wharton MBA and MBA for Executives Programs and Empirical Modeling in PhD program. He also teaches an elective course Digital Marketing and Electronic Commerce on both the Wharton | Philadelphia and Wharton | San Francisco campuses. He is the Academic Director for Wharton’s Advanced Management Program.
Professor Bell serves as an expert witness in intellectual property matters pertaining to individual choice behavior. Recent representative cases include Sky Technologies LLP v. SAP, Individual Network LLC v. Apple Inc., and Two-Way Media LLC v. America Online, Inc. (on behalf of the plaintiff; retained by Susman Godfrey) and Power Management Solutions LLC v. Intel Corporation (on behalf of the defendant; retained by WilmerHale).
Professor Bell is on the editorial boards of International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Retailing, and Marketing Science. He holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, an MS in Statistics from Stanford University, an MA (Honorary) from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.Com (1st Class Honors) and B.Com from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
DR. DAVID REIBSTEIN
University of Kansas
BS & BA
Professor David J. Reibstein is the William Stewart Woodside Professor of Marketing at Wharton. His research focuses on competitive marketing strategies, marketing metrics, and product line decisions, among other issues. Most recently, Professor Reibstein's research on competitive marketing strategies addresses competitors' reactions to marketing actions, offering companies insight into ways to anticipate these reactions and use them as a part of strategizing. His marketing metrics work has focused on linking marketing metrics to financial consequences resulting in his most recent book, entitled Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance, 2nd ed.
Professor Reibstein is the Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Marketing Association. A former Executive Director of the Marketing Science Institute, he consults extensively with companies worldwide, including GE, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Rohm and Haas, and others.
His research has been published in top-tier academic journals including Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing Research, and the International Journal of Research in Marketing. Professor Reibstein is also the author or co-author of numerous books and chapters in books on subjects including competitive marketing strategy, global branding, and marketing performance measurement, among others.
Professor Reibstein is a dynamic, award-winning teacher who has been honored with more than 30 teaching awards. In 2005, he also received the John S. Day Distinguished Alumni Academic Service Award of Purdue University's Krannert School of Management, an honor given to a graduate whose service within the academic community reflects the spirit and service of former Krannert Dean John Day. His teaching interests include Marketing Strategy in the MBA Program, as well as teaching Competitive Marketing Strategy, Marketing Metrics, Pricing Strategies, and various other programs for Wharton's Executive Education Program.
Professor Reibstein received his PhD from Purdue University and his BS and BA degrees from the University of Kansas.