Student Profile: The Entrepreneurs
Chris Cheever ’09, Chris Thomas ’09
Founding Principals, Fontinalis Partners
Chris Cheever ’09 and Chris Thomas ’09 met during their first days at SOM. Cheever, who worked at UBS before SOM, and Thomas, a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, found they had much in common, not least their interest in finance and entrepreneurship. They worked together as leaders in the Private Equity club, helping to organize its annual conference in Greenwich. For their summer internships, Cheever went to a private equity firm while Thomas returned to his native Michigan to intern at Ford Motor Company. Even though they were heading in different directions at that moment, they spoke about finding an idea they could turn into a company.
Thomas’s work at Ford provided the spark that became Fontinalis Partners. Thomas saw an opportunity for an investment firm working with young and growing companies in the transportation technology space. Back at school, the two developed the idea as part of an independent study. They put together a business plan, lined-up partners (including those with significant transportation industry and finance experience) and funding, and shortly after graduation, they launched their company.
Interviewed on June 16, 2009.
Watch Chris Cheever ’09 and Chris Thomas ’09 talk about their new company. (8:16)