Growth through patient investing, industry expertise, and hands-on guidance.

Innovation has always demanded agility and a keen eye for new opportunities, but markets today are more dynamic and competitive than ever before. To succeed in this fast-moving landscape, technology entrepreneurs need the right partners –ones who know how to navigate the uncertain and can offer guidance informed by experience.

We’re different.

At Emerald, we have a unique approach to investing. Because we invest a significant amount of our own capital into your business, we have a stake in seeing you succeed — and we’re there to ensure that you do.

Been there. Done that.

We're operators at the core — not just investors who have never run a company. We've raised billions of dollars as founders and negotiated everything from union labor agreements to tech transfer licenses, and we have the start-up founder experience to steer you through the unexpected.

Emerald’s Success Story

IT STARTED WITH SOFTWARE AND SALT.

Neil Cohen and Charles Collins began their partnership nearly three decades ago as investors backing early-stage companies. The first two of these were an enterprise software company and a salt mine that they founded with additional founders called American Rock Salt (ARS). Through diligent, hands-on management, they built and grew ARS into the largest salt mine in the U.S. ARS has returned over a billion dollars to its investors and is currently valued at over a billion more.

AND GREW INTO EMERALD.

From salt, we moved to finding and polishing gems —investing in and nurturing promising young tech companies. Emerald has since built a portfolio of over 20 companies and has an investment focus on life sciences, enterprise software, cybersecurity, industrial technology, and sustainability.

Meet Our People

Neil Cohen
Neil Cohen

Founder

Neil Cohen

Founder

Neil Cohen is the Founder and Chairman of Emerald Development Managers LP, the successor to Cohen & Company, LLC, which he founded in 1994. He is also Co-Founder, Co-CEO, and a Member of the Executive Committee of American Rock Salt Company LLC.

In addition to his roles at Emerald and ARS, Mr. Cohen sits on the board or serves as a board observer for Babson Diagnostics, Inc., Proscia Inc., LifeSprout Inc., WATT Fuel Cell Corporation, TBT Pharma Inc., Sustained Nano Systems, LLC, and Torigen Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Over the course of his career, Neil has cultivated deep ties to academia. At The Johns Hopkins University, he sits on advisory boards for the Whiting School of Engineering, the Institute of NanoBio Technology, and the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Advisors of the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, chairs its Finance Committee, and serves on its committees for Research, Clinical Care, and Innovation & Entrepreneurship. He also serves as a member of the advisory board of Columbia’s Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.

From 1992 to 1994, Mr. Cohen was Executive VP, CFO, and a board member of AmBase Corporation, a publicly held financial services firm, where he led a turnaround of the company. From 1986 to 1992, he was an investment banker at Dillon, Read & Co. Inc. specializing in M&A, leveraged finance, and restructuring. Mr. Cohen holds an MS in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a Bachelor of Engineering Sciences in Mathematical Sciences from The Johns Hopkins University.

Charles Collins
Charles Collins

PARTNER

Charles Collins

PARTNER

Charles Collins joined Emerald’s predecessor, Cohen & Company, in 1996. He has been a Member of the Board of Managers of American Rock Salt Company LLC since 1998, where he was also interim CFO. More recently, he led Emerald’s investments in Socure, TrueFort, Cyware, Capital Rx, Baton, and SafeBreach. He is a trusted advisor to Cyware, where he is a Member of the Board, and TrueFort, where he is a Board Observer.

Prior to 1996, Mr. Collins was a CPA and Manager in the audit practice of Coopers & Lybrand LLP, which he joined as an Associate in 1988. Mr. Collins holds a BS in Accounting from New York University.

Ian Tolfree, PhD
Ian Tolfree, PhD

ENTREPRENEUR-IN-RESIDENCE

Ian Tolfree, PhD

ENTREPRENEUR-IN-RESIDENCE

Ian is Emerald’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence and a theoretical physicist turned commercialization generalist. He holds a PhD in theoretical physics from The Johns Hopkins University and a BS in Applied Physics from Columbia University.

As former Manager of The Johns Hopkins University’s FastForward incubator, Ian advised more than 70 research groups, many in the fields of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, on commercialization and business building. Ian is a serial entrepreneur and currently the Founder and CEO of TBT Pharma Inc., a preclinical stage biotechnology company addressing large unmet needs in the dermatology market.

Josh Smith
Josh Smith

VP OF INVESTOR RELATIONS

Josh Smith

VP OF INVESTOR RELATIONS

Josh focuses on building and strengthening Emerald’s long-term relationships with its limited partner (LP) investors and co-investors, a role informed by his ten years of operating experience.

Prior to Emerald, Josh spent three years running operations and syndication for an emerging venture capital firm specializing in early-stage technology and healthcare investments.

Josh holds an MBA in Finance and Strategy from NYU’s Stern School of Business, an MA in Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and a BA in International / Global Studies from The Ohio State University.

Cy Schroeder
Cy Schroeder

Senior Associate

Cy Schroeder

Senior Associate

As a Senior Associate at Emerald, Cy evaluates new investment opportunities and supporting the firm’s portfolio companies. Prior to Emerald, Cy worked at Barings, an institutional asset management firm, where he spent time on both the firm’s U.S. high-yield investment team covering technology, media, and telecom companies, as well as its European high-yield and distressed investment teams. He also worked at Rhapsody Venture Partners, an early-stage VC firm in Cambridge, MA investing in materials science and applied engineering innovations.

Cy holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BS in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.