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Why We Started Novel

We started Novel Growth Partners because we saw too many entrepreneurs struggle to raise the right kind of capital for their companies when they needed it.

And as a team full of former startup founders, we understand well the challenges entrepreneurs face to quickly raise capital with limited resources. Throughout our entrepreneurial journeys, we struggled with the common obstacles that often thwart founders’ fundraising goals.

Banks are too restrictive to invest in early-stage companies that do not have meaningful assets. Traditional venture capital models only invest in companies with a hockey-stick growth profile that many early-stage companies don’t fit. And depending on where you are in your business journey or what type of business you want to build, equity investment simply may not be the best tool.

But through those struggles, the Novel team learned that there are better, more creative solutions to help growing companies fuel their futures. The solution for us was Revenue-Based Financing (RBF), a more flexible tool that allows us to invest in a larger number of early-stage entrepreneurs.

That ability to help more people is core to what Novel aspires to achieve. We’re a mission-driven organization that wants to help change the culture of startup investing in early-stage businesses. Our RBF tool will not only benefit more businesses that need capital on fair terms but also show the world that there are other successful sources of capital outside of traditional Venture Capital.

Ethos / Values

WE…

  • Strive to be simple, direct, and transparent.
  • Recognize the challenges of the entrepreneurial journey. Put the Entrepreneur first.
  • Maintain integrity and accountability in all our interactions.
  • Are capital entrepreneurs. We embrace the entrepreneurial experience ourselves.

Meet Our Team

Headshot of Carlos, Novel Growth Co-Founder
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Carlos Antequera, Cofounder

Operational Experience:
Carlos was the cofounder and CEO of Netchemia, an EdTech startup, where he raised $7M, generated $15M in revenue., and managed a team of 120 employees. He successfully exited Netchemia, selling the company to Vista Equity Partners. Before Netchemia, Carlos was the Chief Corp Dev & Strategy Officer at PeopleAdmin.

More About Carlos:
Carlos is a current Kauffman Fellow, TechStars & Village Capital mentor, and a board member of The Lean Lab. He received his MBA from the University of Kansas and his bachelor’s in computer science from Washburn University.

Personal quote: “The defining factor [for success] is never resources; it’s resourcefulness.” — Anthony Robbins.

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Brock Edwards, Senior Analyst

Operational Experience:
Brock was the founder of Elite Paint, a commercial painting business, that he started in college and hired fellow college students eager to learn about entrepreneurship. Before Elite Paint, Brock worked in operations and finance in his 30+-year-old family business at Precision Paint.

More About Brock:
Brock was a first-generation college student that attended the University of Kansas, receiving his bachelor’s of science in finance.

Personal quote:
“Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day.” – Charlie Munger

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Ila Chaubey, Analyst

Operational Experience:
Before Novel, Ila worked on the data science teams of two fintech startups, MoneyLion and LendUp, helping optimize portions of the apps. She also interned at Expedia on their data team, identifying untapped customer segments.

More About Ila:
Ila is currently a Venture for America Fellow. She also runs an education-focused nonprofit in her hometown in Indiana. Ila received her bachelor’s in applied mathematics, with concentrations in probability theory and economics, from UC Berkeley.

Headshot of Carlos, Novel Growth Co-Founder
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Keith Harrington, Cofounder

Operational Experience:
Prior to cofounding Novel, Keith cofounded Fulcrum Global Capital, an early stage VC firm focused on investing in agtech companies. Prior to Fulcrum, Keith was a Managing Director at KBA, where he invested in early stage life-sciences companies across digital health, therapeutics, animal health, and agtech. Before that, Keith led global data center operations at Quintiles Transnational and led technology, corporate development and M&A integration functions at Birch Telecom.

More About Keith:
Keith is a Kauffman Fellow, earned his MBA from Indiana University and his bachelors in finance from Park University. He is also a graduate of the Venture Capital Executive Program at Berkeley. He is a TechStars mentor, teaches a class for KC-based early stage entrepreneurs raising capital from angel investors, and runs the Revenue Based Financing Network newsletter and community.

Headshot of Nick, Novel Growth Operating Partner
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Nick De Buyl, Operating Partner

Operational Experience:
Nick was the Director of Sales at EdTech startup Netchemia, where he built a national sales team that sold to more than 2,500 B2B customers through an exit in 2015. He then joined a primarily B2C SaaS startup Pear Deck and built a B2B sales team that doubled revenues for three straight years, exiting in 2020.

More About Nick:
Nick is an advisor to Informed K-12 and other Edtech Startups, helping with go-to-market strategy and developing sales people. He received his MBA and Bachelor’s degree in Pyschology from the University of Houston. He also loves to travel to new countries, discover new culture, and loves watching a good soccer (futbol) match.

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Dhruv Patel, Analyst

Operational Experience:
Dhruv was an associate intern at a venture capital firm, Capital Innovators, as well as an analyst at a student-run angel investing group called AACE. With these organizations, he played a key role in deal flow, the due diligence process, and worked closely with portfolio companies and entrepreneurs to help them reach important sales milestones.

More About Dhruv:
Dhruv graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He has always had a passion for investing and looks to build upon his early stage investing experiences with Novel.

Personal quote: “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.” – Vince Lombardi

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Adi Walavalkar, CTO

Operational Experience:
Before Novel, Adi was the VP of Product Engineering at Navex Global, where he owend the product development process, and Software Development Leader at e-Solutions and PeopleAdmin.

More About Adi:
Adi received his MBA from the University of Kansas, his Master’s of Computer Science from University of Missouri-Kansas City, and his Bachelor’s in Computer Science from the University of Mumbai.

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David Rosenthal, Analyst

Operational Experience:
David spent 2 years interning for The Selling Factory in Gainesville, FL. There he performed outsourced lead generation and direct marketing projects for startups across the US. He also directed his university’s homecoming parade and was in charge of a $475K budget as Treasurer of the Accent Speaker’s Bureau.

More About David:
David graduated from the University of Florida, cum laude, with dual-degrees in Finance and Psychology. He is a Venture for America Fellow, coming to Kansas City to pursue a career in Venture Capital at Novel. David also authored his own children’s book, Me in My Mask.

Personal quote:
“Do not let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden

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Beth Wright, Analyst Intern

Operational Experience:
Beth worked for the educational startup, Young Founders Institute as their Curriculum Consultant. She contributed to the design of their comprehensive 2-week entrepreneurship curriculum teaching high school students how to successfully build and grow a business. Additionally, Beth helped promote a make-a-thon by forging partnerships with over 30 schools to publicize the event, which resulted in the attendance of 60 kids.

More About Beth:
Beth is currently a junior at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill majoring in business administration and minoring in entrepreneurship. She is co-founder of UNC’s first undergraduate venture capital club with the goal of educating students on the industry through speaking with experts and getting real life experience.