The Female VC Lab showcases the journeys of female investors. We're sitting down with Female VCs and Investors to talk about their funds, how they invest, how they make an impact, and their vision for the future.
E052: Melissa Stevens: Milken Institute
May 19, 2022 • 11 MIN
Melissa Stevens is the executive director of the Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy, leading its work with individual and family philanthropists and foundations seeking to deploy their capital to make a transformative, sustainable impact. Since co-founding the Center in 2015, she has overseen the creation and execution of strategies which have influenced $1 billion in philanthropic capital, and managed the development of programs and organizations including the Melanoma Research Alliance, the largest private funder of melanoma research.
E051: Nicole Valentine: Milken Institute
May 12, 2022 • 9 MIN
Nicole Valentine is the FinTech Director of the Center for Financial Markets at the Milken Institute with over a decade of financial services, international Mergers & Acquisitions, technology and innovation experience. She leads the FinTech Program with a focus on access to capital, financial inclusion, compliance and transparency.
E048: Cameron Peake: Financial Venture Studio
April 21, 2022 • 9 MIN
Financial Venture Studio is on a mission to help entrepreneurs build the world’s best fintech companies. We help early-stage startup founders get to market quickly, grow rapidly, and build an enduring market presence. Beyond capital, the firm provides operational experience, leadership support, and access to the typically closed financial services ecosystem. Learn more at http://www.finventurestudio.com/.
E047: Dina Burkitbayeva: PsyMed Ventures
March 31, 2022 • 11 MIN
PsyMed Ventures is a $25m venture fund focused on cutting edge mental health treatments including psychedelic therapeutic, neurotechnology, precision psychiatry and digital therapeutics. PsyMed Ventures invests in pre-seed, seed and Series A round. A third of PsyMed's current portfolio companies are co-founded by female founders. PsyMed donates 4.19% (wink to Bicycle Day, the day LSD was invested) to indigenous communities and non-profits in psychedelics space.
E045: Barbara Bickham: Trailyn VC
March 3, 2022 • 28 MIN
Trailyn VC is an early seed stage venture fund investing in diverse deep-tech founders in the US. Trailyn VC leads and invests in areas of Blockchain, AI, AR/VR, IoT and Quantum Computing.
E044: Caroline Lewis: Rouge Women’s Fund
February 24, 2022 • 15 MIN
Rogue Women's Fund is an early seed stage venture fund investing in women-led tech companies across the US. Rogue leads and invests in areas of consumer health tech, caring economy, experience tech, and equity tech. Rogue has a founder centric model that includes investor involvement, sharing the GP carry with founders, and providing access to performance coach and an emergency elderly and child care stipend.
E043: Annalise Dragic: Sapphire Ventures
February 17, 2022 • 8 MIN
Sapphire Ventures is a leading venture capital firm that partners with visionary teams and venture funds to build companies of consequence. For nearly two decades, Sapphire has been investing capital, resources and expertise in innovative startups and technology-focused venture funds around the world. With more than $6.8B in AUM across Sapphire Ventures, Sapphire Partners and Sapphire Sport, and with team members in Austin, London, Palo Alto and San Francisco, Sapphire is well-positioned to help scale companies and venture funds, elevating them to become global category leaders.
E042: Maggie Vo: Fuel Venture Capital
October 21, 2021 • 14 MIN
Fuel Venture Capital is committed to propelling groundbreaking ideas into world-changing companies and democratizing access to the creative economy to shape the future of society. The firm's "founder focused, investor driven" approach is led by a core team with more than 60 years of combined experience in investment banking, wealth management, executive leadership and entrepreneurship. The fund boasts a portfolio of 31 companies based around the globe across numerous sectors, bringing positive impact to virtually all corners of our modern economy.
E041: Gale Wilkinson: Vitalize VC
October 14, 2021 • 14 MIN
Gale Wilkinson is the founder and Managing Partner at Vitalize, a seed fund and angel community investing in future of work + learning software. Previously, Wilkinson founded IrishAngels, one of the largest angel groups in the country. Gale has led $65M+ in early stage deals across 80+ portfolio companies. Her experience prior to VC includes founding two failed startups, consulting for new product launches with Nielsen, and strategy with Orbitz.
E039: Courtney McCrea: Recast Capital
September 2, 2021 • 12 MIN
Recast Capital is a 100% women-owned venture capital platform that invests in and supports top-tier emerging fund managers, with a focus on diverse partnerships. The platform includes two offerings: 1) a fund investment strategy providing LPs diversified exposure to emerging managers and 2) a tuition-free educational program for GPs.
E038: Xiao Jean Chen: Venture Pole
August 26, 2021 • 17 MIN
VenturePole is an AI-powered venture investment platform and venture capital firm.
Our platform is armed with smart tools like our Investment Risk Rating, that uses machine learning to predict startup survival, alongside our Valuation Calculator and Company Strength & Weakness Analysis. Our tools are unbiased and factor in the diversity surplus, as well as help startups fundraise easier and investors make better investments faster.
VenturePole is the official partner of HealthInc, the health tech accelerator of Startupbootcamp.
E037: Lavanya Bhamidipati: InHealth Ventures
August 5, 2021 • 14 MIN
InHealth Ventures is a London based, health-tech focused, early stage, transatlantic fund which backs founders who are on a mission to solve painful, pervasive healthcare challenges. Through its link to the InHealth Group (the UK’s largest specialist provider of diagnostic and healthcare solutions), the team has a breadth of commercial and operational experience that allows them to support portfolio companies across R&D, go-to-market, and regulatory strategy.
E036: Rosie Rios: Unicorn Hunters
July 29, 2021 • 16 MIN
Unicorn Hunters spotlights emerging growth companies looking to hit the coveted $1B “unicorn” valuation mark, while rallying individual investors worldwide to help fund these breakout ventures. The show creates a new genre for audiences — enrichtainment —combines entertainment with the potential for consumers worldwide to back pre-IPO investment opportunities, democratizing wealth.
E035: Faye Sahai: Vinaj Ventures
July 22, 2021 • 9 MIN
Vinaj Ventures is a boutique innovation and investment services firm with presence in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Atlanta.
Telosity, their latest fund, is dedicated to investing in Pre-Seed and Seed-Stage companies offering both scalable and affordable mental wellbeing digital solutions for young people.
E034: Neda Amidi: Plug & Play
July 15, 2021 • 24 MIN
Plug and Play is the leading innovation platform, connecting startups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we're present in 35+ locations across five continents. We offer corporate innovation programs and help our corporate partners in every stage of their innovation journey, from education to execution. We also organize startup acceleration programs and have built an in-house VC to drive innovation across multiple industries where we've invested in hundreds of successful companies including Dropbox, Guardant Health, Honey, Lending Club, N26, PayPal, and Rappi. For more information, visit [https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com](https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/)
E033: Heather Hartnett: Human Ventures
July 1, 2021 • 11 MIN
Human Ventures is a business creation platform. We go beyond the business model and seek opportunities to build Model Businesses with ambitious founders who are innovating around Human Needs. By unlocking access to a powerful network of founders, investors and corporate partners, we are creating a blueprint for the future of business to be built on purpose.
E032: Lisa Carmen Wang: Republic
June 24, 2021 • 20 MIN
Republic gives people power to invest in the future they believe in by providing access to startup, real estate, crypto, and video game investments. Focused on creating a diverse, sustainable, connected world, Republic has facilitated over $300 million in investments from over one million global community members. With a global team in six countries, Republic is backed by Galaxy Digital, The Motley Fool, Binance, Naspers, AngelList and more. For more information, visit republic.co.
E031: Elizabeth Edwards: H Venture Partners
June 10, 2021 • 38 MIN
H Venture Partners is a female-founded, owned and controlled venture capital firm focused on purpose-driven, science-backed consumer brands. Led by a team of consumer experts with unparalleled experience as former consumer executives, the firm was co-founded by managing partner Elizabeth Edwards, a leading investor who has identified billion-dollar brands.
E030: Greer Tessler: Simple Food Ventures
June 3, 2021 • 13 MIN
Simple Food Ventures is a $2M mission-driven, early-stage venture fund investing in the future of healthy foods and products categorized in the better-for-you space. We look to partner with companies and passionate founders who are creating minimally processed, nutrient-dense, and nourishing products that are better for the body and the environment. Our investments range from $50K - $150K. In addition to a financial investment, we prepare our portfolio companies for successful entrances into conventional grocery. Our overall mission is to create access to healthy food for all.
E028: Han Ko: USAKO Group
May 20, 2021 • 22 MIN
USAKO Group is an international investment and accelerator company, which has presence in U.S.A. and S. Korea. The Group is an official global partner of S. Korean governmental agencies, and has played highly active roles in U.S. and S. Korean startup ecosystem for many years. USAKO Group's goal is to provide softlanding pad for any qualified companies entering U.S. and S. Korea.
In the past 24 months, USAKO Group successfully ran programs, resulted in investment commitment of over $25M. USAKO Group and its leadership also have focused on training and supporting female and minority enterpreneurs around the world. For the past 2 years, our group designed and operated multiple programs in order to promote women's startup, including close collaboration with two of top women's university in S. Korea.
E027: Tiana Laurence: Laurence Innovation
May 13, 2021 • 16 MIN
Laurence Innovation (LI) is an investment fund powering the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). At a time when emerging fields like artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), genetic engineering, and quantum computing are rapidly transforming the global economy, we can’t afford to overlook the most innovative entrepreneurs in the country. However, that’s exactly what far too many investors (particularly early-stage VCs) are doing by failing to fund diverse founders, confining their investments to saturated markets like software, and using cumbersome investment models that prevent them from taking risks.
E025: Bahiyah Robinson: VC Include
April 29, 2021 • 23 MIN
VC Include is an exclusive ecosystem and marketplace designed for GPs and LPs to expand investment opportunities that improve investment outcomes through the power of diversity. This ecosystem drives alpha to investors while also moving the needle on shaping a more equitable and empowered world. VC Include has built the infrastructure for an inclusive economy and is a forerunner in connecting diverse founders with ESG and impact investing. Learn more about VC Include at [www.vcinclude.com](http://www.vcinclude.com/).
E024: Pratibha Vuppuluri: Unreasonable Group
April 15, 2021 • 11 MIN
Yes, we operate immersive programs for growth-stage entrepreneurs offering solutions to seemingly intractable challenges. Yes, we are also a multi-media company, a private global network, and an investment firm. We forge unlikely partnerships with some of the world’s largest institutions and most admired brands, and we operate multiple initiatives across asset classes, industries and geographies, because we are dedicated to doing whatever it takes to drive resources to and break down barriers for entrepreneurs solving BFPs.
E023: Justine Humenansky: Playground Global
April 8, 2021 • 8 MIN
Playground Global is an early stage venture capital fund, based in Palo Alto, that invests in frontier technologies with the potential to create multi-generational impact. The table is a community for female and non-binary investors, operators, and founders in enterprise and deep technology.
E022: Jeep Kline: MrPink’s VC
April 1, 2021 • 11 MIN
We are a seed fund that invests in technology startup companies, located in Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay, that address global challenges. We believe that technology investment should not be confined to mainstream hubs like Silicon Valley, London, or Beijing. It is our mission to bring technology access and economic prosperity to Latin America through investment.
The initial portfolio of 20 companies will benefit from MrPink’s Venture Design & Growth Playbook, leveraging our experience by building, investing and refining over 40 startups, producing 10x returns and multiple exits.
Our partners and diverse leadership team have brought together decades of hands-on experiences to invest in high-quality entrepreneurs and help them succeed along the growth journey.
E021: Amal Enan: Global Ventures
March 25, 2021 • 11 MIN
Global Ventures is an international venture capital firm, investing in founders and ideas across emerging markets. We back global-minded founders that are leading growth-stage companies and using technology to transform emerging markets and the world. The Global Ventures team is a diverse, collaborative, talented and curious group of professionals who, combined, have years of experience and expertise building and scaling companies.
E020: Sallie Jian: SAP.iO
March 18, 2021 • 15 MIN
SAP.iO is SAP’s startup venture arm with an enterprise-focused accelerator program whose goal is to secure SAP customers’ future in a world going through rapid digital transformation by being the bridge to the most relevant startup innovation. Since inception in 2017, SAP.iO has supported 300+ startups across 25+ Industries of which 80+ have solutions available on the SAP App Store that have resulted in 150+ signed SAP Customer contracts. SAP.iO had an strong year in 2020 with more than 400 press articles mentions in The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, VentureBeat and more. It was recognized as Winner of the Corporate Startup Accelerator Award and named among the World’s Top 25 Startup-Friendly Companies by Mind the Bridge and the International Chamber of Commerce.
E019: Lenore Champagne Beirne: Bright Ventures
March 11, 2021 • 7 MIN
Lenore Champagne Beirne is an Investor, Executive Coach and Venture Strategist. At Bright Ventures, Lenore and her team are investing in and coaching startup leaders, and cultivating equity and access in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Lenore invested in early-stage companies at 645 Ventures and deployed foundation capital for economic development in Haiti.
E018: Melanie Mak: BCIF
February 25, 2021 • 11 MIN
Founded in 2016 and launched in January 2017, the Black Cooperative Investment Fund (BCIF) is a a 501(c)3, community-based organization rooted in self-help economics that provides microloans to the Black community through pooled dollars and raises awareness about the importance of economic empowerment, equity, and wealth building for the Black community.
The organization focuses specifically on the Southern California region. BCIF seeks to create social change for the Black community through the primary strategy of building assets and wealth. We provide microloans through pooled dollars from individuals and companies who are passionate about economic empowerment for the Black community. The long-term vision is to provide a dedicated, reliable, and perpetual source of capital to create assets and build wealth for, and within, the Black community, while also serving as a catalytic force for building a critical mass movement of change based on economic imperatives. We provide affordable, low-interest, low-fee loan alternatives to traditional lenders. All earnings from interest repayments are reinvested into the fund to grow and sustain the fund for long-term usage in the Black community. Annual fundraising goal: $500,000 will allow the fund to distribute 24 – 36 microloans annually, ranging between $5,000 – $20,000.
E017: Mac Conwell: RareBreed VC
February 18, 2021 • 10 MIN
RareBreed VC is a Pre-seed to Seed Fund that is investing in exceptional founders outside of the large tech eco-systems (SF,NY,MA) earlier than everyone else. At Rarebreed we invest in companies building a software product with a unique or clearly repeatable customer acquisition strategy or building a physical product in a vertical that has lacked innovation in 10+ years. This is because these two founders are out-of-the-box thinkers and problem solvers.
E016: Natasha Bansgopaul: VegaX Holdings
February 11, 2021 • 18 MIN
VegaX is the “BlackRock” of the Digital Asset Industry. We provide investors globally with one-stop access to sophisticated and secure crypto asset management. The asset management industry is the largest in the world representing more than $80 trillion dollars in investments through investment products like ETFs, mutual funds and indices that outperform investments in individual stocks. VegaX is the first to create similar investment products for Crypto providing investors outperformance versus buying individual crypto currencies. On average, investors buying VegaX products make 30% more profit versus just holding Bitcoin.
E015: Elianne Oei: Exponential Positive Impact Capital
February 4, 2021 • 18 MIN
EPIC and its team are the revenue-based financing platform for impact-driven companies and investors.
Our mission is to accelerate positive impact and improve humanity by democratising access to investments.
We leverage revenue-based financing as a financial instrument to match and align investors and founders who want to do good and do well.
E014: Irina Berkon: Goldenseeds
January 28, 2021 • 25 MIN
Irina Berkon, is a proven finance and accounting leader, a CPA with over 15 years of progressive hands-on experience in corporate finance. She brings a solid background in the fields of IPO, start-ups, M&A, financial audits, international accounting and tax structure (US, RU, EU), corporate strategic planning and development, deal structures, sales/supply channels establishment and financing activities. Irina is a member of various industry-specific groups and participates in publications, talks and panels on topics such as fintech, blockchain, compliance and leadership. She has delivered award-winning pitches in her role as CFO, written publications on various topics and has been featured in Forbes and other publications on the topic of fintech and blockchain. Irina is a Managing Director of 'Golden Seeds' one of the nation’s most active early-stage investment firms focused on women-led businesses and the CFO of MetalPay a fintech banking platform for fiat and crypto payments.
E013: Eva Yazhari: Beyond Capital Fund
January 21, 2021 • 13 MIN
Beyond Capital is an impact investment fund that invests in seed-stage, for-profit social enterprises serving impoverished communities throughout India and East Africa.
- In addition to investment capital, we provide probono (“Beyond Capital”) resources to social enterprises as a crucial part of our early stage investment strategy.
- Because we are structured as a non-profit, we can reinvest the returns from our investments for perpetual impact.
- To-date, we have achieved a fund IRR of ~27%
E012: Tanya Rolfe & Gail Wong: Her Capital
January 14, 2021 • 21 MIN
Her Capital is a venture fund supporting female entrepreneurs across Southeast Asia. We are on a mission to tap into overlooked female founders in the region, addressing the 3% of global venture funding that currently goes to female-led companies, and capture the potential for superior returns. We are driven to harness finance to create a more inclusive world, funding sector-diverse businesses with women at their core.
E011: Abby Lyall: Big Idea Ventures
January 7, 2021 • 16 MIN
Abby Lyall is Vice President at Big Idea Ventures, focusing on Series A+ stage investments in sustainable food and agriculture. Prior to this role, Abby was Program Director for BIV’s seed stage alt-protein accelerator and the second employee at Quake Capital Partners.
E010: Tracy Gray: The 22 Fund
December 31, 2020 • 19 MIN
Tracy Gray is the Founder and Managing Partner of The 22 Fund & We Are Enough, as well as Executive-in-Residence at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI). She is also a Board Director of APPLIFE Digital Solutions (OTC:ADLS) and CSUDH Philanthropic Foundation.
E009: Leesa Soulodre: R3I Capital
December 17, 2020 • 18 MIN
As a Xennial, born with an analog childhood, and digital adulthood, Leesa Soulodre is a serial entrepreneur who has invested her lifetime on the frontiers of DeepTech pioneering, digital transformation, and innovation. She has served more than 400+ multinationals and a plethora of start-ups in 19 sectors across Europe, the Asia-Pacific, and the Americas.
In Founder and CxO leadership roles, Leesa has led companies from seed to $14B USD into new markets, pioneered deep technology, accelerated top lines prior to exits, and supported in the raising of over USD40M in Seed to Series C investments. She has had one IPO, a number of successful exits, and knows the hard knocks of lessons learned. As General Partner of R3i Ventures, Soulodre supports many of the world's most promising early-stage deep tech companies in accelerating their growth and is an active EIR and coach across the DeepTech ecosystem accelerators.
E008: Carman Chan: Click Ventures
December 10, 2020 • 50 MIN
Carman Chan is in the cover story of Nikkei Asia Review as Top 5 Women-to-Watch in Asian Tech. Carman has 17 years of experience as a Serial Entrepreneur, Tech Columnist, 5 years as Venture Investor, and 3 years as International Speaker across ten countries. Carman is also the author of best-selling accelerated learning books. Her first startup, EnglishStreet (ES) became a business case at the Harvard’s Business Review Database. ES was acquired by the Hong Kong Economic Times (0423.HK). Her second startup, Click Limited, has the first CFO of Tencent, Patrick Tsang and the founder of Cherubic Ventures, Matt Cheng, as investors. Click Limited merged with Hiiir Inc. and was acquired by FastEastone (4904.TW).
Carman founded Click Ventures in 2015 and its first fund became the only seed fund from Asia to make the Top 5 Seed fund (Vintage 2013-2015) by performance, while its second fund became the Top 1 in the Fund to Watch category by performance in Preqin’s Top Performing Ventures Capital Funds Report in March 2018. In 2019, Click Ventures has been named Consistent Top Performing Fund Manager by Preqin!
E007: Eve Muradyan: Funded One
December 3, 2020 • 23 MIN
Eve is an international marketing professional and entrepreneur, experienced Business Development, Strategic Partnerships and Investor Relations professional with expertise in Tech, Entertainment (Video Games) and Blockchain. She has M.A. degree in Marketing and Ph.D. in Economics, and is a regular judge/panelist and mentor at Venture Capital classes at Los Angeles Film School and Stanford University.
E006: Delilah Panio: TSX and TSXV
November 19, 2020 • 15 MIN
Delilah Panio is Vice President of U.S. Capital Formation for Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) based in Southern California. In this role, Delilah advises U.S. companies on the opportunity to list and raise capital on Canada’s premier equity markets. She is a frequent speaker and pitch competition judge and coach, and was named in the “2019 Top 100 People in Finance” Magazine.
Previously, Delilah spent 10 years at TSX and TSXV in business development and strategy. She has advised many companies on the going public process and provides an understanding of private and public financing options in Canada and the U.S.
Delilah is an Advisory Board Member for MAPLE Business Council, a trade organization between Canada and Southern California, and is Co-Chair of the Capital Council for WE Global, an innovation studio for women entrepreneurs.
Delilah is also the Executive Director and Co-Founder of We Are Enough, a non-profit that educates women on why and how to invest in women-owned businesses and/or with a gender lens.
E005: Claire Chang: Ignite XL Ventures
November 12, 2020 • 26 MIN
igniteXL Ventures is Silicon Valley based global seed fund investing in and igniting exceptional founders at the intersection point of technology, beauty, and wellness.
E004: Liz Kukka, Ethereum Classic Labs
November 5, 2020 • 28 MIN
Liz splits her time between Ethereum Classic Labs, and parent company Digital Finance Group. On a daily basis she can be found: sourcing startups, working with portfolio companies, providing updates to crypto-exchange partners, collaborating with universities, giving talks, and helping get Matrix Exchange ready to launch. Previously, she was at Plug and Play Tech Center where she led the Insurtech startup program globally. She holds an MBA and Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science.
E003: Vera Schroeder, Safar Partners
October 29, 2020 • 11 MIN
Vera Schroeder is an early stage tech investor at Safar Partners. As an associate at Safar, Vera evaluates and mentors entrepreneurs, conducts diligence, and supports portfolio companies. In addition to her work at Safar, Vera is an officer at MIT's Social Entrepreneurship Alumni Group and mentor with the Junior Achievement of Northern New England. She also mentors MIT and Harvard students interested in entrepreneurship and acts as a judge and panelist for local startup and VC events. Vera earned a PhD in chemistry from MIT specializing in nanoscience and materials science.
E002: Dr. Silvia Mah, Ad Astra Ventures
October 22, 2020 • 19 MIN
Dr. Silvia Mah, is entrenched in the startup scene as Partner at Ad Astra Ventures, aiming to “get to even” for high achieving women, founding fund manager for the San Diego Angel Conference Fund I, Investment Committee partner in the global social impact fund, Next Wave Impact, Founder & CEO of She Invests!, a platform for female founders to learn about investing & most recently, the new Director of the Center for Peace & Commerce at the University of San Diego. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Dr. Mah believes in integrating family and work to create a lifestyle that serves both with a strong cup of integrity.
Barbara Bickham, Women's Innovation Fund Accelerator
October 15, 2020 • 13 MIN
Barbara Bickham, Managing Partner, Women's Innovation Fund Accelerator
Founder/CTO of Trailyn Ventures
Discusses her journey and her why as a Venture Capitalist.
Answers the 3 podcast questions:
What inspired you to become a VC?
What is your investment thesis?
What are you learning/listening to/reading?
Contact: Linked-In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/barbarabickham/