Our Founders

PAUL CAPON

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Paul Capon has over a decade of experience in managing teams, investing in and running companies, in both start- up and distressed situations.  After serving as a U.S. Air Force Captain responsible for 150+ personnel and convoy commander for over 100+ missions in Kabul and Logistics lead in Kandahar, Mr. Capon joined Capstone in early 2013 and worked in the  restructuring industry.  He worked on multiple cases representing both company and lender side helping recoup lent capital or helping companies secure DIP financing . 

In early 2015 , Mr. Capon founded LunaCap Ventures, a Venture Debt  firm focused on hybrid growth capital investing. As Managing Partner of LunaCap, he has led and executed a number of investments and distributed capital to LP’s within the first year.  He sits on the board of one portfolio company as vice chairman, and helped guide it out of distress to its first profitable year and subsequent sale.  He is also the CEO of Wessex Press, a LunaCap Ventures portfolio company,  where he  increased revenue 4X and turned the company to its first profitable year since inception within in his first three years.  Paul holds a B.S from the United  States Air Force Academy, and MBAs from Columbia Business School and London Business School. 

Mr. Capon is a founding member of the New York City Military Officers Club, and also sits on the advisory boards of Comply First and the Joint Service Academy Network. 

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CHRISTOPHER MENDEZ

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Chris has over 12 years of legal and compliance experience; currently serving as the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of a $3B New York City-based asset management firm. Chris’ area of focus in the investment management industry include open and closed end registered funds, private funds, and separately managed accounts, as well as advising on investment advisory and broker-dealer regulatory compliance matters. Chris was most recently in the Business Law Department of Goodwin Procter LLP advising on corporate and securities law matters. Prior to joining Goodwin Procter, Chris was in the legal and compliance group of Invesco Ltd.'s alternative investments business, responsible for the private equity firm WL Ross & Co. LLC, Invesco Private Capital and Invesco Senior Secured Management. Chris began his career at Vanguard in 2006 following active duty service in the U.S. Marine Corps. Chris is a frequent speaker at industry events on legal and compliance matters and advises emerging asset management firms, entrepreneurs, and start-ups across various sectors and industries. Chris is actively involved in several charitable organizations, including serving on the board of directors of Volunteers of Legal Service, College and Community Fellowship, and the CFA Society New York’s Veterans Roundtable. Chris earned his J.D. from Rutgers Law School and B.B.A. from Temple University. 

 

BEN LABRA

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Originally from Denver, Colorado, Ben brings 20+ years of experience in management, operations, technology and leadership. An entrepreneur at heart, Ben started a successful IT business at the age of 16 while working the counter at a local KFC restaurant. Over two years, Ben raised enough start-up capital to purchase two franchises by the age of 18. Two years later, he sold both businesses for a strong return and enrolled in college to pursue a degree in information technology and business.

Immediately following graduation, Ben began a career in finance with Citi as a desk trader and later moved to the risk and compliance department. After 5 years with Citi, Ben made his way into higher education, where eventually managed 150+ people as a VP of Revenue & Marketing. In 2010, Ben joined the executive team of a large beauty, health and wellness education firm as the Chief Admissions Officer. He went on to attend executive education degrees at Columbia Business School followed by WashU Law School.

After leaving corporate life, Ben returned to his entrepreneurial roots and founded the first LinkedIn for high school students; yondster.com. This afforded Ben experience in coding & software development, startup operations and technology management. Currently, Ben is the Co-Founder & CEO of Gesture Inc., a Founding Partner at 10X Ventures in NYC, a Data Science Specialist & Coach at Galvanize NY, and a start-up consultant and mentor.