About Us

Keiretsu Forum is a global investment community of accredited private equity angel investors, venture capitalists and corporate/institutional investors. Keiretsu Forum was founded in the San Francisco East Bay in California in 2000.

We are a worldwide network of capital, resources and deal flow with 48 chapters on 3 continents. Keiretsu Forum members invest in high-quality, diverse investment opportunities.

“Keiretsu” Definition

Keiretsu is a Japanese term describing a group of affiliated corporations with broad power and reach. Keiretsu Forum is described as a conglomeration of individuals or small companies that are organized around private equity funding for mutual benefit. Keiretsu Forum believes that through a holistic approach that includes interlocking relationships with partners and key resources, they can offer an association that produces the highest quality deal-flow and investment opportunities.

Keiretsu Forum Midwest

The region is a diverse and thriving business ecosystem. With one of the lowest costs of doing business and living in the U.S., it is home to some of the most vibrant Fortune® 500 companies, who actively support tech and innovation growth. With the support of corporations and regional economic development engines, the Midwest is fast attracting a vibrant start-up scene and becoming an epicenter for innovation and investment.

This is aided by an affordable cost of living, world class universities and research centers, and some of the best hospitals in the world. The recent announcement of the smart cities award to the City of Columbus was followed by significant private sector investment. The growth of medical start-ups in Ann Arbor; the establishment of Chicago as a pivotal center for financial innovation; the establishment of Cincinnati as a world class destination for branding, marketing and consumer goods and the rebirth of Detroit as a vibrant tech center, are all contributing to the early successes at Keiretsu Forum Midwest.

Our Focus

Keiretsu Forum Midwest focuses on an array of business disciplines, amongst which are: Aerospace • AgTech/Food • Manufacturing • Life Sciences • Smart Cities • Internet of Things • Big Data/SAAS • Energy/Sustainable Solutions • Real Estate • Fashion Tech • Hospitality

Our motto is “Great Association with Quality Deal Flow.” We live up to our motto by creating a vibrant environment for the investor community to gather socially, exchange ideas, bring and assess high quality deal flow.

We provide educational stimulation by bringing guest speakers from a variety of industries to meet with and interact with our members and entrepreneurs. We are also very active in the world of philanthropy and seek to be strong participants in our community.

Keiretsu Forum Midwest has created a unique platform in the region, offering our network of over 2500 angel investors from around the world the opportunity to co-invest alongside our Midwest Chapter members. We actively work with start-up companies in coaching and professional training and offer them easy access to our global membership.

Monthly Forum

The “Forum” is a monthly event for Keiretsu Forum. On any given day we spend our time working with and coaching our members as well as focusing on attracting new members who love the ecosystem as much as we do.

We also spend our time strengthening our relationships in the start-up ecosystem and vetting new companies to present to our members. Each month this vetting process involves personal interviews, prescreening interviews and deal screening. We take our start-ups through a rigorous process before we introduce them to the Forum. By the time they are invited to the Forum, we have spent considerable time and energy in cultivating them to present to our members. Our Forums are unique, inviting and very exciting events. These events are strictly by invitation only. If you are interested in attending one of our Forums, please send an email to:


Our Forum typically takes place from 3 – 6 PM followed by cocktails. This provides our members, entrepreneurs and guests with a workable and enjoyable calendar day.

Keiretsu Forum Midwest meetings are currently held in the following cities:



Keiretsu Forum Midwest opened its doors in the spring of 2016, launching its first Chapter in Cincinnati, Ohio. Subsequent Chapters were established in Chicago in the spring 2017 and Ann Arbor in the spring 2018.  It is comprised of the States of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Headquarters for Keiretsu Forum Midwest are in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Our Team

Sotiris Pagdadis, Ph.D.

Sotiris is a futurist, strategist, public speaker, problem solver and entrepreneurial investor. He has led investment opportunities from large scale, multi-billion-dollar public infrastructure projects around the world to early stage companies in Tech, Life Sciences, CPG, Space, Automation and Robotics. He is constantly seeking cutting-edge entrepreneurial ventures with massive growth potential to nurture and grow. He is president of Keiretsu Forum Midwest and Lambousa Enterprises.

He previously served as a Principal at PwC in a variety of global and national roles and as Managing Director at the law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge (now Dentons US), focusing on procurement advocacy,
governmental affairs and Public-Private Partnerships. Earlier, he was Global Vice President for public sector strategy at CA Technologies, Inc.

He began his career as a university professor at the Polytechnic Institute of NYU, where he created his first technology innovation lab.

Jacob Rayyan
Jacob Rayyan
Entrepreneur & Due Diligence Director

Entrepreneur & Due Diligence Director

Jacob Rayyan is a current PhD student in Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. He wishes to pursue a career in the VC space performing scientific due diligence. His academic background includes a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and a Master’s in Neurobiology from Northwestern University. Jacob’s current research pursuit involves studying the connectivity of memory-related brain areas in epilepsy patients. His previous work included studying motor deficits in patients with Parksinon’s Disease and identifying new therapeutic targets in patients with terminal brain cancer.

Jacob is actively involved in numerous organizations on campus including internships with the Emory’s Office of Technology Transfer and the biotech consulting clubs at both Georgia Tech and Emory. He has volunteered as a DD fellow for Keiretsu Mid Atlantic before assuming the role of Entrepreneur & Due Diligence Director for Keiretsu Forum Midwest + Northeast. He wishes to continue doing scientific due diligence after the conclusion of his PhD either in the VC or PE space.

Nicole Rayyan
Nicole Wedad Rayyan
Membership & Events Director

Nicole is a seasoned professional in the pharmaceutical industry with extensive experience. She started her career as a quality control scientist at an international generic pharmaceutical manufacturer, and currently holds a pivotal role with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vaccine Development Team’s GLP/QA unit, focusing on CVV development for influenza vaccines.

Nicole has earned a Master’s of Science in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Florida and a Bachelor’s of Science in Biochemistry from Hofstra University. Throughout her scientific career, she has authored notable publications in the Journal of Medical Virology and with the American Chemical Society.

Beyond her scientific achievements, Nicole serves as the Membership and Events Director for Keiretsu Forum Midwest + Northeast. Her approachable demeanor and commitment to both the venture capital space and member development are invaluable assets to her role at Keiretsu Forum.

Contact Us

phone: (917) 653-9490
email: midwestinfo@keiretsuforum.com

Forum Cities

Minneapolis/St. Paul

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