Matt Michelsen has built his career in technology and venture capital by applying the approach and mentality learned in the US military. Matt has an enviable track record of leading the way to unique opportunities that unite global investors, Fortune 1000 executives, and venture capitalists for mutual benefit.

Matt has spent over 25 years leveraging his skills and experience to help found and advise some of the most notable and sought-after companies and venture firms worldwide. Along the way he has been an angel, or similarly early investor, in more than ten companies with billion-dollar outcomes, across the technology, intelligence, and consumer sectors. MCM has nine patents currently issued in his name.


Jon Gruen leverages more than twenty highly successful years in the defense and aerospace industry to provide innovative solutions for start-ups to support the largest corporations in the world in further growing their business. At Gothams, he uses his access to one of the world’s largest industry stakeholder groups to provide mentorship and growth funding to innovative start-ups.

Previously, Jon was a corporate business development and strategy lead for Lockheed Martin. He is currently a Captain in the U.S. Navy SEAL Reserves. Jon received his Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy and received his Master of Business Administration from the Haas School of Business, University of California – Berkeley.


Christopher Vanek continues his 28 years of service as one of our nation’s most experienced Special Operators and combat veterans by bringing emerging technologies to our next generation of warfighters.

As one of the United States Army’s few leaders to have commanded two brigade-level formations to include its most elite Special Operations unit, the 75th Ranger Regiment, Christopher brings his unique experience and expansive network to the Gothams Advisory and Accelerator services, connecting warfighters with cutting-edge capabilities they need to accomplish their unique missions.

After 19 years of leading the nation’s most accomplished warriors on the most challenging battlefields during our most recent conflicts, Christopher now uses that same leadership and resilience to lead technology startups to success.


Patrick McCauley brings over 33 years of experience building, developing, and leading some of the nation’s most elite high-functioning organizations. Patrick’s advice and strategic vision have been relied upon by some of the most senior leaders in the Department of Defense and across top-level agencies. He has served at virtually every level of leadership in the Special Operations enterprise to amount to more than 20 years in the Joint Special Operations Command’s elite Special Missions Unit.

As the Command Senior Enlisted Leader for the Special Operations Command, Patrick served as the principal advisor to the Commanding General on all matters pertaining to the training, sustainment, strategic employment, and leadership of the 82,000 personnel that make up all U.S. Special Operations. Patrick graduated summa cum laude from Norwich University with a B.S. in Strategic Studies and has an M.S. in Organizational and Strategic Leadership from the University of Charleston.


Matt Prusak leverages his prior experience as an investor and operator to add value to the Gothams team. Formerly a management consultant at Bain & Company, he worked on engagements across Asia and the Middle East. Areas of focus were due diligence, M&A, and strategy work in the private equity, financial services, and technology sectors.

Matt received his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and was a Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University, where he wrote his Master of Management thesis on industrial policy for the aerospace sector.


Passionate about Industry, Elodie supported the business development of aerospace and defence leaders for 15 years, mainly in Africa and Middle East.

She started her career in 2005 with Airbus Group, in charge of industrial cooperation projects for the UAE, Turkey and Romania. She joined Thales, leader in designing and building electrical systems for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets. For 9 years, she covered several positions, from handling industrial partnerships for the Africa region to head of partnerships and innovation for Middle East region.

She also launched for GMIS the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity, a UAE initiative promoting a collaborative competition for entrepreneurs encouraging them to solve real-world problems identified by several UN Agencies partners. She joined Gothams in 2019 to support the HUB 71 Abu Dhabi accelerator program for aerospace and defense.

She owns a Master of Management from ESCP Europe business school in Paris and a Master of Business Administration from UCM in Madrid.


Jake Windle served for over 20 years in the Navy. Retiring as a Master Chief, Jake led at every level in Special Reconnaissance Teams for Naval Special Warfare, completing multiple combat deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jake’s career in the Navy culminated in his assignment as a Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Commander of Naval Special Warfare. In that capacity, he served as the principal advisor to the Commander on all matters pertaining to the training, sustainment, strategic employment, and leadership of the 400+ personnel that make up a sensitive intelligence program, deploying globally to support Special Operations

During his time advising the Commander of Naval Special Warfare, Jake developed and implemented several strategic initiatives to bridge the gap between early stage technology companies in the commercial sector and the needs of warfighters in the Special Operations. These initiatives have led to dozens of successful technology development projects, creating and capturing more than $50M of new revenue for companies interacting with the government for the first time.


Mari Kooi has built many successful businesses in her more than 40 years in financial services and commodities. Her long history in finance and the industrial economy brings both Fortune 1000 industry contacts and expertise in Corporate structure, strategy, governance, and managing international businesses through decades of change.

Mari was formerly the President of Cargill Asset Management, Founder and CEO of Wolf Asset Management which operated in 13 countries; and is now the Managing Partner of Wolf Ventures, a family LLC. She has served on over 40 boards and is a member of the Board of the Santa Fe Institute. Ms. Kooi holds a master’s degree in finance from the University of Minnesota. Among her personal interests are flying and diving. Ms. Kooi is an instrument-rated private pilot.


JA former Navy Lieutenant, Kyle started his career serving as a Naval Flight Officer and Electronic Warfare Mission Commander specializing in Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Information Warfare.

Kyle is a fluent government contracting expert with specialized experience managing research and engineering acquisition programs. His project management and systems engineering efforts included multi-million dollar contracts requiring close collaboration between Navy, Naval Research Laboratory, National Reconnaissance Office, and National Security Agency personnel.

Kyle has also deployed as an embedded liaison and training asset with Joint Special Operations Task Force personnel and Special Operations Forces worldwide.

With a degree in Business Administration and post-graduate studies at Defense Acquisition University, Oxford University, and the University of Southern California, Kyle brings a multi-discipline approach to implementing strategic initiatives.


Chris Erickson has served for the past 20 years as an advisor to leading investors, Private Equity and Sovereign Wealth Funds. During this time, he has worked on over $3.5bn in deal flow – assisting start-ups and established companies/funds refine their strategies and has significantly enhanced their market connectivity. Most recently, Chris served as senior advisor to a Middle East Sovereign Wealth Fund, designing their national Food Security strategy. Chris began his career in the US Army as an Armor Officer.

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