2018 Speakers

J. Skyler Fernandes, Managing Director of Investments

J. Skyler Fernandes

Managing Director of Investments, Venture University

J. Skyler (Sky) Fernandes is ranked as a Powerlist 100 VC and is the Co-Founder & Managing Director of Venture University, a multi-stage investment fund that offers an Investment Apprenticeship Program to angels, family offices, emerging VC/PE investors, first time fund managers, undergrad and grad students, and entrepreneurs.  Venture University is redefining the value of an investment fund by leveraging a large investment team that is capable of covering markets broader, deeper, and faster than a typical fund, providing a network that can better support portfolio companies, and offering greater value to LPs.

Previously, Sky was the Managing Director of Investments at Cleveland Avenue, a fund focused on food and beverage brands, food related technology, and new restaurant concepts, co-founded by the former President and CEO of McDonald's.

Sky founded and was the Managing Director of Simon Venture Group (SVG), the venture capital arm of Simon Property Group, an S&P 100 company, and the largest retail real estate company in the world. CB Insights ranked SVG as a top 5 investor within retail alongside Google Ventures, Intel Capital, and Comcast Ventures and focused on investing in retail technology, rising new brands, and internet of things for smart cities and buildings. 

Sky has developed key resources, such as "The Best Startup Pitch Deck" (viewed and downloaded 500,000+ times and used by leading accelerators and business schools).  Sky also co-founded with his wife the #1 startup / VC board game, "The Next Big Thing: The Game of Entrepreneurship", http://www.nextbigthingboardgame.com/

Sky graduated early from New York University (NYU), summa cum laude, due to his studies at Harvard University in Physics and Foreign Policy.