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Steven G. Martin | Managing Member

Mr. Martin has more than twenty-five years of experience financing publicly traded companies and extensive experience in finance and venture capital. He was a founder and Managing Member of Fusion Capital, a Chicago-based investment fund started in 1999 that funded or committed to fund over $700 million in public company financings. While at Fusion Capital, Mr. Martin was responsible for the creation of the Fusion Capital investment structure and documentation used in virtually every Fusion Capital transaction. Prior to Fusion Capital, he was a principal at a $150 million Chicago investment fund where he originated, structured, and negotiated private placement investments in public companies. Mr. Martin was also a partner at the Chicago law firm of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP. As an attorney, Mr. Martin represented institutional investors and public companies in highly complex private and public investments. Mr. Martin received his Juris Doctor degree with honors from Northwestern University School of Law. Mr. Martin graduated with high honors from the University of Michigan with a Bachelors of Business Administration, concentrating in finance.


Christos Komissopoulos | Principal

Mr. Komissopoulos has approximately thirty years of business experience in negotiating, financing and closing highly-complicated transactions. He was a principal at First National Development LTD for more than twenty years, where he negotiated and closed numerous transactions worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He has a strong interest in studying law as well as economics and has for many decades been a scholar in academia both as student and instructor: since 2003, he has been an adjunct professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law (IIT) where he teaches classes on agreement negotiations, real estate transactions and comparative transactional issues between the US and the European Union introducing students in the analytical tools of the law and economics discipline. Mr. Komissopoulos earned a Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degree from Northwestern University School of Law, a Master of Arts (M.A.) in economics from University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from DePaul University College of Law, an LL.M degree from Northwestern University School of Law, and a Law Diploma from the National & Kapodistrian School of Law in Athens.


Erik J. Brown | Principal

Mr. Brown has over eighteen years of experience financing private and publicly traded companies. He spent seven years at Fusion Capital where he was responsible for deal origination and negotiation. Prior to this, he was the President of CGI Capital, a venture capital firm and NASD broker-dealer in Illinois. Mr. Brown began his career in finance at Merrill Lynch. He currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Financial Markets Institute at Michigan State University. Mr. Brown has also served on the Leadership Council of the Chicago Public Education Fund, a venture capital fund focused on improving public education, and on the board of the Kellogg Alumni Club of Chicago. He earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and his B.A. in finance from Michigan State University.

Michael P. Burrows, PhD | Vice President, Life Sciences

Prior to joining Aspire Capital, Dr. Burrows was a biomedical researcher at the University of Chicago where his work focused on better understanding the relationship between autoimmune disease and the microbiota. He has developed expertise in a number of disease models and his research has resulted in several publications in high impact journals including Immunity and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Additionally, Dr. Burrows gained significant experience in the technological and commercial assessment of early stage biotechnology projects while serving as a Chicago Innovation Mentors Fellow and a CIE Innovation Fund Associate. Previously, he worked as a research scientist for an immunotherapeutics company where he was responsible for drug development. Dr. Burrows received a Ph.D. in Immunology at the University of Chicago. He also received a M.S. in Microbiology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Illinois.

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