PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Elevate Capital, which manages one of the nation's first venture capital funds to support inclusion and diversity, today announced the speakers for its first annual Elevate Inclusion Summit on Friday, October 12, 2018. The investment conference celebrating inclusion will bring together entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds, startup companies, venture capitalists, and investors for a day of inspiration, discussions about inclusion and empowerment, and learning about new funding opportunities. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici and Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith will also speak at the event.
"The Elevate Inclusion Summit will celebrate inclusion and provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors to connect while discussing the important issues around diversity and inclusion. We're honored to have Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici and Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith attend our summit and we're pleased to have so many other female leaders including inclusion-oriented investors, women venture capitalists and women of color speaking on panels as well," said Nitin Rai, Founder and Managing Director of Elevate Capital.
"I'm excited to see groups like Elevate Capital empower women and others from diverse backgrounds to succeed in fields where they are often left out," said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici."As one of the few women in Congress, I've worked hard to advocate for equity in our workforce. We need to remember, and remind others, that diversity is a strength, and that we benefit when our communities and our businesses include people from different backgrounds and traditions and countries. I look forward to discussing these important issues at the Elevate Inclusion Summit."
According to Commissioner Smith, all communities and organizations should work together to support and share the message of inclusion. "I fought for the Elevate Inclusive Fund at Multnomah County because women and entrepreneurs of color have long been overlooked by traditional investors. Working together in support of diversity and inclusion in Portland helps us build a stronger, more unified community," said Smith. "I applaud the efforts by Elevate Capital and other investors who are taking a leadership role and actively providing the funding and support necessary to women and other minority entrepreneurs."
Rai added, "Together, we can make a difference through funding and mentoring entrepreneurs from underrepresented and underserved communities—including women, entrepreneurs of color, veterans, and LGBTQ—to help bring their ideas to market and launch their companies," said Rai. "We founded Elevate Capital with a mission to invest in the next generation of promising entrepreneurs, targeting investments in entrepreneurs who are overlooked when it comes to funding. Currently, 60% of our investments are in women-led companies, 40% in African American/Latino companies, and 55% in companies founded by entrepreneurs of color. At the Summit, we will be showcasing several outstanding company founders who will be sharing their inspiring startup success stories as well as providing a platform for new company founders to share information about their companies with potential investors."
Entrepreneurs interested in sharing information about their companies in front of potential investors at the Elevate Inclusion Summit are invited to apply now. In addition, scholarships are available upon request for entrepreneurs from underserved communities who are in need of financial assistance to attend this event. Registration to attend the summit is open now.
Elevate Inclusion Summit 2018 Agenda Overview
Welcome: Nitin Rai, Founder and Managing Director, Elevate Capital
Remarks from Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici
Remarks from Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith
Fireside Chat: Nitin Rai interviewed by Anita Kissée, former KATU-TV news anchor and reporter
Fireside Chat: Kathryn Finney, Founder and Managing Director, digitalundivided, interviewed by Paige Hendrix Buckner, TiE Oregon, and Program Director, Founder Gym
Panel: Tenacity & Success – Inspiring Stories from Entrepreneurs
Paula Hayes, President and CEO, Hue Noir Cosmetics
Ana Chaud, Founder and CEO, Garden Bar
Steven Sperry, Co-Founder and CEO, Minnow
Lili Yeo, Co-Founder and CEO, Goumikids
Chelsea Deloney, Founder and Head Designer, Chelsea Deloney Collection
Gabe Paez, Founder and CEO, The Wild
Moderator: Malia Spencer, Reporter, Portland Business Journal
Panel: Inclusive Impact – Inclusion in Investing & Business is Win-Win
Sayer Jones, Director of Finance and Mission Related Investing, Meyer Memorial Trust
Tory Campbell, Manager of Entrepreneurship & Community Economic Development, Prosper Portland
Ganesh Shankar, Co-Founder and CEO, RFPIO Inc.
Steve Marsh, Founder, Archivist Capital
Sabrina Parsons, CEO, Palo Alto Software, Board of Directors Member, Oregon Growth Board and The Oregon Community Foundation
Moderator: Mark Zusman, Editor and Publisher, Willamette Week
Panel: Funding With Purpose – Women VCs Making A Difference
Diane Fraiman, Partner, Voyager Capital
Anarghya Vardhana, Partner, Maveron
Nita Shah, Executive Director, MESO
Julie Harrelson, Founder, Cascade Angels
Priya Saiprasad, Principal, M12 (fka Microsoft Ventures)
Jesse Draper, Founding Partner, Halogen Ventures
Moderator: Robin Jones, Venture Partner, Elevate Capital
Panel: She Means Business – The Power of Investing in Women-Led Companies
Sharon Richardson, System Vice President, PeaceHealth
Sadhana Shenoy, Board Chair, Oregon Public Employees Retirement System, and Board Member, TiE Oregon
Melissa Freeman, Director of Strategic Projects, Oregon Community Foundation
Anyeley Hallova, Partner, project^
Kate Delhagen, Founding Partner, Oregon Sports Angels
Moderator: Anita Kissée, former KATU-TV news anchor
Panel: Sharing the Message of Inclusion - Reaching Underserved Communities Locally & Globally
Kari Naone, Executive Director, TiE Oregon
Carol Dahl, Executive Director, The Lemelson Foundation
Caroline Cummings, Executive Director and Venture Catalyst, Oregon RAIN
Shelmina Abji, Board Member, TiE Seattle, and Advisory Board Member, United Nations Foundation's Girl Up Initiative
Crystal Sincoff, Manager of Workplace Experience, Diversity & Inclusion, Zapproved
Moderator: Mike Rogoway, Senior Business Writer, The Oregonian
Entrepreneur Spotlight: Managing Growth & Pursuing That Next Round of Funding
Allison Magyar, CEO, Hubb
All day – Entrepreneurs will be making company presentations throughout the day.
Elevate Capital is a Pacific Northwest-based venture capital firm that invests in early stage under-represented entrepreneurs, including women, minorities that include communities of color, veterans, and entrepreneurs located in underserved areas. These investments are made through two funds, the Elevate Capital Fund and the Elevate Inclusive Fund. For more information, visit elevate.vc or follow @pdxelevatevc on Twitter.