Mark Poag, '93

Position
GradFUTURES Learning Cohort Facilitator
Role
GradFUTURES Forum Speaker
Bio/Description

Mark is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Fitz Gate Ventures. Mark and Jim Cohen lead the Venture Capital & Startup Learning Cohort for the Graduate School. In collaboration with the Keller Center and the Princeton Entrepreneur Council, the learning cohort introduces graduate students to the world of venture capital and start-ups and facilitates connections to the broader innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem at Princeton and beyond. Since 2018, this learning cohort has inspired many graduate students to transform their ideas and discoveries into meaningful real-world solutions with significant social, economic— and human impact.

Fitz Gate Ventures invests a majority of its capital in early-stage companies from the Princeton ecosystem, and a portion of its capital is available to be invested more broadly. Fitz Gate’s portfolio companies have been profiled in the New York Times, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, and other media outlets. Fitz Gate invests alongside other world-class VC firms but is also willing to lead and/or invest alone. Fitz Gate currently manages two funds and has approximately $25mm under management.

Mark brings to Fitz Gate Ventures 20+ years of experience as an experienced entrepreneur and executive with a proven track record of successfully growing companies from the ground up to mature industry leadership. Prior to Fitz Gate Mark was the head of Product, Marketing, Legal and Alliances and Board Secretary at Datacert, Inc., an enterprise software company (sold 2014) and Founder and CEO of Digicontract, Inc., a SaaS company (sold 2001).

Mark received an A.B. from Princeton University in 1993 and a JD and MBA with honors from Tulane University in 1997. Mark teaches a class on venture capital at Rice University to undergrads and MBA students and also leads a seminar series on venture capital at Princeton University's Graduate School.  He is currently President of the Princeton Alumni Association of Houston and Co-Chair of the Alumni Schools Committee of Houston and volunteers as a member of the Keller Center’s eLab Advisory Committee and as a mentor to the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council.  Mark previously served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Alumni Council of Princeton University.

“Leading this venture capital cohort is so much fun since we’re teaching these grad students who are brilliant experts in their respective fields of study a topic with which most of them are not very familiar.  I’ve enjoyed getting to know many of them better and am excited about their innovative startup ideas.  Hopefully, once they are ready to raise outside capital, they’ll be a little better prepared after taking this class.”