Our Mission and Values
At Stage, our mission is to provide a second chance to early-stage companies, helping them reach their full potential by humanizing and demystifying private equity.
With our extensive founder and investor experience, female-led diversity of thought, and unique purchase-restructure-exit model, we strive to provide investors with superior returns while giving companies the opportunity for a successful exit.
Our approach is built on the values of courage, adaptability, honesty, and empathy. By embodying these principles, we work tirelessly to help overlooked companies thrive and realize their full potential.
We are built with purpose.
Stage, founded in 2009 by Daniel Frydenlund, has a strong track record of acquiring, growing, and exiting various technology and consumer product goods businesses. In 2020, Krista Morgan and Ingrid Alongi joined as General Partners, adding their experience and expertise as previous technology founders and entrepreneurs to build and grow Stage.
Stage Fund manages investment funds dedicated to acquiring and growing technology businesses. Our investment strategy focuses on identifying undervalued but fundamentally good companies and applying our expertise and unique Playbook to improve operations and maximize value. We are particularly interested in businesses that have strong underlying fundamentals but require strategic and operational support to achieve their full potential. Overall, Stage Fund’s investments provide a compelling opportunity for investors seeking exposure to the private equity market.
In addition, Stage also has a specialized arm called Stage Restructuring, which focuses on turnaround management. We work directly with lenders, investors, and founders to execute fast turnarounds and stabilize any business facing pressing operational challenges. Our hands-on management and advisory services for troubled companies aim to stabilize the business and increase the value of assets for all shareholders, and our proven track record of success has earned us recognition and referrals from trusted banking and private equity partners.
At Stage, we are passionate about turnarounds and solving complex business challenges, and our unique approach combined with our investors, partners and experience as founders make us uniquely positioned to achieve superior investment returns for our portfolio companies and partners.
Experienced, proven leadership.
Ingrid Alongi is a General Partner at Stage and a founding partner of the Stage Fund. Utilizing her vast technical expertise, Ingrid spearheads the due diligence process for all potential technology companies. Drawing on her extensive background in software development, including her experience as a co-founder at Quick Left and involvement with multiple start-up tech firms, she is able to provide invaluable insights. In addition, Ms. Alongi has served as the Chair of the Board for the Turing School of Software and Design, and she continues to share her knowledge as a mentor for TechStars and a public speaker.
As the founder of Stage in 2009, Daniel Frydenlund now serves as a General Partner at Stage Fund. With over 25 years of experience as a financial and operating executive for The Gores Group and Sturm Group, he has led seed stage investing and seen companies through IPO. Mr. Frydenlund has raised an impressive $1B in both debt and equity capital and has gained valuable operating experience in various regions including the US, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Since the inception of Stage, he has successfully acquired over 25 companies.
As a General Partner at Stage and one of the founding partners of the Stage Fund, Krista Morgan brings her extensive knowledge of financing and go-to-market strategy to the team. Prior to joining Stage, Ms. Morgan made a name for herself as a successful fintech entrepreneur, having founded two ventures of her own. Her impressive track record includes raising over $100M in both debt and equity, managing a $75M loan portfolio, and providing over $1B in financing. Alongside her impressive career, Ms. Morgan is a well-known speaker on topics of entrepreneurship and finance. She is also a vocal advocate for diversity in the tech industry.
As a Managing Partner at Stage, Wendi brings a unique blend of expertise in fundraising, entrepreneurship and marketing to her role. An accomplished CEO and founder, she has built, operated and scaled companies from seed stage to exit. Her extensive experience spans multiple industries, and she has a proven track record of successfully building and leading companies through periods of transformation. In addition, Wendi currently serves as a Board Director, mentor and public speaker, and she is a dedicated advocate for diversity and women's leadership in the tech and finance industries.
Controller & Director, Shared Services
Jon Nemecek serves as the Controller and Director of Shared Services at Stage. With over 20 years of leadership experience in accounting, finance, M&A, and technology, Jon creates tremendous value by helping Stage companies bring order to chaos through building great teams, effective systems, structures, and reporting. He is a certified public accountant (CPA) with a Masters in Professional Accountancy and Bachelors of Business Administration from West Virginia University.
As an Analyst at Stage Services, Luis Villarreal brings over 8 years of experience in FP&A and Ops to the team. His key responsibility is to assess potential investment opportunities, conduct thorough financial due diligence, provide insightful business analysis to support the portfolio, and keep the General Partners informed of performance and strategy. Mr. Villarreal holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Tec de Monterrey, an MBA from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is currently pursuing an MS in Accounting from the University of Colorado at Denver. Furthermore, he is a CFA Level II Candidate, demonstrating his dedication to the finance industry and commitment to professional growth.
As the Managing Director of Operations at Stage, Mark Fetcenko leads the charge in overseeing the operational aspects of both new and existing portfolio companies. With an extensive background in senior operations positions, he has held roles with companies such as GuestTek Interactive Entertainment, Nextel Communications, On Command Video, and General Electric Mobile Radio Communications. Mr. Fetcenko has gained invaluable operating experience across various regions, including AMER, EMEA, and APAC. This diverse background has equipped him with the skills and expertise needed to successfully navigate the global business landscape and drive success for Stage’s portfolio companies.
George Horton specializes in financial restructuring, optimizing financial operations, and generating valuable business insights. With a wealth of experience serving as a contract controller and director of finance for a diverse range of clients, including VC-funded SaaS Technology and CPG, Mr. Horton is well-equipped to navigate the intricacies of the financial world. Early on in his career, Mr. Horton worked as a VC banker, providing debt to companies of all sizes and gaining hands-on experience in workout situations. This unique background has given him a well-rounded perspective on financial operations and has allowed him to provide valuable expertise to clients in need of financial restructuring.
Sherry Frydenlund is a Stage Operating Partner who currently serves as the CEO of Coops and Feathers, a company in the Stage portfolio. With a rich history as a co-founder of the original Stage group, Ms. Frydenlund has been involved in the restructuring and development of numerous companies over the past 14 years. Her experience includes managing the financial and logistical operations of a $20 million commercial solar project in Canada. Ms. Frydenlund’s valuable contributions have continued to play a critical role in the operations of both Stage’s portfolio companies and those undergoing restructuring.
With over 30 years of experience as a business development executive and in-house general counsel, Barbara Vonderheid has a wealth of knowledge in the telecom industry and other product and service sectors across the U.S. and Latin America. Her expertise is invaluable during turnaround and wind-down engagements, where she provides legal services to companies in need. Ms. Vonderheid’s transactional experience is diverse, spanning commercial loans, regulatory compliance, creditor workouts, vendor and customer contract drafting, negotiations, commercial leasing, and human resources matters.