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About us

Ryzing is a new kind of social gaming company. Our mission is to bring the fun and excitement of winning real cash and prizes while playing great social games on Facebook. We're just getting started so keep an eye out for some exciting games and fantastic prizes!

Leadership

Manu Gambhir leads Ryzing in achieving its vision of bringing casual, social gaming with real prizes to players around the world. A passionate online gamer and serial entrepreneur, Manu ran Cantor Fitzgerald's online gaming business in the United Kingdom, a role assumed when Cantor bought his prior online gaming business. Prior to Cantor, he built and marketed Harrods Online Casino in the UK market, based on the world-famous brand of London's premier luxury retailer. After graduating from University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School and BSE in Computer Science Engineering from University of Pennsylvania, Manu built Intermedia Interactive Software - an educational and entertainment software company.
 

Dr. Dmitry Cherkassky has worked closely with Manu over the past 20 years and led the architecture of the gaming systems design. He has also led his own consulting practice since 2002 in which he designed a prototype of an aircraft health monitoring system for Boeing and augmented a neuroscience research tool involving 3D visualization of MRI data for the Univ. of Penn. Dr. Cherkassky holds a Ph.D. in and Computer and Information Science, an MA in Mathematics, and BSE in Computer Science Engineering - all from University of Pennsylvania.



Board

Wayne D. Kimmel is a Founder and Managing Partner of Artists & Instigators, a venture capital company that he founded in 1999 that invests in primarily consumer-facing companies. Some of Wayne’s most successful investments include, SeamlessWeb (acquired by ARAMARK), Take Care Health Systems (acquired by Walgreens), and NutriSystem (NTRI), (top performing stock in the U.S. for 5 consecutive years). Currently, his investments include, Fisker Automotive, Ryzing, Omek Interactive, meetMoi, ReverbNation, Startup Health, Dwolla and Zaarly.

He is on the Advisory Board of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and the National Advisory Council for Widener University School of Law. In addition, he sits on the Board of Powered by Professionals, a fundraising and event management firm specializing in the non-profit sector based in New York City. Wayne is the Treasurer and Board member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. He is also on the Board of Trustees of Jewish Federations of North America and on the Board of Trustees of the Einstein Healthcare Network and the Chairman of its Development Committee. Wayne lives in Philadelphia, PA with his wife and their two children.

Tony Bifano A “lego-snapper,” Tony is passionate about connecting new ideas, emerging technology, and talented people together to assemble innovative companies that can revolutionize markets ripe for reinvention. A serial entrepreneur, Tony has launched, invested in, and advised early stage technology companies for 15 years. Tony is active in Durham based ReverbNation, a company that is reimaging the music economy digitally, Philadelphia based social gaming platform Ryzing, New York mobile dating company MeetMoi.

Prior to Artists & Instigators, Tony was an entrepreneur with a novel startup that deployed advanced video motion capture technology to detect consumer healthcare fraud, a big data healthcare data mining platform for aggregating healthcare provider information, and a enterprise technology platform that empowered small businesses to integrate disparate systems with trading partners without writing any code. A native of Buffalo, New York, Tony was exposed early to entrepreneurship and technology. In 1979, his father, a math teacher at a local high school, brought home the first Apple II. Tony was hooked on what’s next after playing Castle Wolfenstein, Oregon Trails, and writing “If Then Goto 10” loops. Tony graduated as an Industrial Engineer from Penn State University and launched his first business after a brief programming stint at Anderson Consulting Technology Practice. From his very first startup he launched in 1997, Egenda.net, Tony has been interested in applying technology to reinvent education. His company built an online community platform that was a pre-cursor to the modern social networking movement and launched Aroundcampus.com at universities. The service offered students and faculty an online personal information manager providing club and classroom information, web email, calendar, and no-code wizard driven publishing tools. The company also built the largest “hyper-local” campus advertising network comprised of 17,000 local merchants in 100+ college markets. Aroundcampus was subsequently acquired by White Directory, a division of the Hearst Corporation.

Manu Gambhir leads Ryzing in achieving its vision of bringing casual, social gaming with real prizes to players around the world. A passionate online gamer and serial entrepreneur, Manu ran Cantor Fitzgerald's online gaming business in the United Kingdom, a role assumed when Cantor bought his prior online gaming business. Prior to Cantor, he built and marketed Harrods Online Casino in the UK market, based on the world-famous brand of London's premier luxury retailer. After graduating from University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School and BSE in Computer Science Engineering from University of Pennsylvania, Manu built Intermedia Interactive Software - an educational and entertainment software company.


Strategic Advisors

Paul Martino is a Co-Founder and Managing Director at Bullpen Capital. He serves as an Advisor of 3jam Inc. and Redux, Inc. Mr. Martino has expertise in both engineering and business leadership. He has over 20 years of technology career and is a serial entrepreneur. Mr. Martino is an active early stage investor and has been doing angel investing for almost a decade. Some of his investments include Zynga, PayNearMe?, and Zvents. Mr. Martino co-founded Aggregate Knowledge Inc., in 2005 and served as its Chief Executive Officer until May 2010. He also served as the Chief Technology Officer at the firm. Mr. Martino co-founded Tribe Networks, Inc. in 2003 and served as its Chief Technology Officer. He served as Founding Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer at Ahpah Software in 1997. Mr. Martino has held positions in business development, strategic alliances, and mergers and acquisitions at Intertrust and SkyPilot?. Mr. Martino has been Executive Chairman of Aggregate Knowledge Inc. since May 2010. He served as a Director of Zvents, Inc. He is the inventor of several core patents related to social networking. Mr. Martino’s tools for reverse engineering and obfuscation were first used by the premier security lab, the Princeton Secure Internet Programming Lab (SIP). He is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University, holds a M.S. in Computer Science from Princeton University, and a B.S. in Mathematics from Lehigh University.

Gregg Alwine is the CEO of Promotions.com, a leading provider of games-of-chance promotions for the world’s most sophisticated marketers and their agencies. Delivering international promotions for companies as significant and diverse as Kraft Foods, McDonald’s, Hasbro, HSBC, and many others, Gregg has overseen the deployment of sweepstakes, contests and instant-win games responsible for more than 1 billion consumer entries and the distribution of over $2 billion of real cash and prizes in more than 150 countries.





Mark Kahn is the founder and former President of TRAFFIQ, an end-to-end digital media planning and buying platform. Mark brings an unparalleled understanding of both the operational and the strategic sides of the Interactive world. Prior to founding TRAFFIQ, Mark served as Vice President of Business Development and Vice President of Corporate Development at a leading pay-per-click search network, where he was responsible for growing the company’s core revenue-generating relationships. Mark has also held senior business development, marketing and corporate development positions at iVillage, B2B Video Network and several of The News Corporation’s companies including, News America Publishing, News America New Media, Kesmai Corporation, American Sky Broadcasting, Delphi Internet Services and TV Guide. Mark has also managed over $500 million in M & A transactions. He earned his Bachelors of Arts from Connecticut College.


Lead Investors

Artists & Instigators is a early stage venture capital fund that invests in consumer product and service businesses. The Fund is led by Wayne Kimmel, Tony Bifano and Marc Eckō, founder and Chief Creative Officer of Marc Eckō Enterprises, the billion dollar global fashion and lifestyle company and founder of the Complex Media Network. Artists & Instigators' successful investments include, Ryzing (acquired by RockYou), SeamlessWeb (acquired by ARAMARK), Take Care Health Systems (acquired by Walgreens), and NutriSystem (NASDAQ: NTRI), (top performing stock in the U.S. for 5 consecutive years). Currently, Artists & Instigators is an investor in Fisker Automotive, ReverbNation, StartUp Health, Dwolla and Zaarly.

Our approach to investments is different than most venture capital and private equity firms. Although return is important, Kielvest works closely with the principals of companies to provide both capital and business guidance without unnecessary pressure on short-term results. We have found that this approach achieves satisfying results for all parties involved.


Team

Meet the team