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With Del Johnson (Principal, Backstage Capital), Diana Melencio (VC, WISE Ventures), Mat Kaliski (Principal, Rubicon Venture Capital), Nicole Shimer (Sr Investment Assoc., Insight).
Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 06:00 PM   $10   Online

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DownToDash & New York Entrepreneurs Startup & Business Coalition presents a night of networking & learning from Venture Capitalists.
We have four speakers that will be sharing tactics & strategies for startups & raising VC money.
6:00 - 7:00 pm- Meet & Greet7:00 - 8:30 pm- Speaker Address + Q&A8:30 - 9:00 pm- Networking


1. Del Johnson -Principal,Backstage Capital

Del Johnson is a venture capital investor, tech writer, & keynote speaker who builds organizations that identify outlier talent beyond the reach of traditional networks & signals. A graduate of Columbia Law School, Del declined his big law firm offer to join Backstage Capital, a VC fund dedicated to eliminating tech disparities through investing in high-potential underrepresented founders.As an investment Principal, Del leads the fund's scouting, diligence, & operations in New York. To date, his fund has invested over $7 million into over 100 startups led by founders from groups traditionally overlooked by venture capitalists.Del honed his skill for talent identification working with the People Operations team at Google, where he was recognized for developing the first internal initiative to source & hire women software engineers from coding bootcamps. As an award-winning business development & account management professional at Oracle, he perfected the art of negotiating & closing complex deals with senior executives.In addition to his Columbia law JD, Del holds a Bachelors from the University of California, Berkeley.
2. Diana Melencio - VC at WISE Ventures

Venture investor focused on early & growth stage investment opportunities in tech-enabled B2B & DTC companies across sports & entertainment, media, consumer, real estate, & adjacent industries.Previously built & scaled two technology companies in retail & consumer tech: securing funding & successfully leading major partnerships; most notably with the Hudson's Bay Company, Neiman Marcus, MasterCard, & Hearst Media. Prior to starting her companies, Diana spent close to a decade investing & consulting for reputable $12B+ funds in San Francisco & New York. During her time on Wall Street, she was a top ranking analyst in the Specialty Retail sector, as named by the Financial Times.Diana has appeared on the Today Show, quoted in CNN, US News, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes,, Bustle, MarketWatch, & related to start-ups, fundraising, entrepreneurship & innovation.Diana is a founding board member of the Ascend Educational Fund, a 501c3 focused on enabling & encouraging higher education & professional achievement for New York's immigrant community.
3. Mat Kaliski - Principal at Rubicon Venture Capital

Mat is a Principal at Rubicon Venture Capital where he focuses on sourcing, evaluating & supporting portfolio companies. Mat is passionate about building a diverse & inclusive tech community & is a co-organizer of Founders Friday & started FirstGeneration VC.
Rubicon Venture Capital is a generalist fund that invests in Late Seed & Series A rounds of enterprise & omni-channel consumer companies. Rubicon was an early investor in Daily Harvest, Domio, SuperCoffee, EasyKnock, Superhuman & others.
4. Nicole Shimer - Senior Investment Associate Insight

Nicole Shimer joined Insight in 2016, where she focuses on enterprise SaaS investments across verticals. Prior to Insight, Nicole worked in Morgan Stanley's Investment Banking Technology Group in NYC.Nicole graduated Phi Beta Kappa & Sigma Xi from Brown University. She is active in the alumni community by sitting on the University's Advisory Council on Entrepreneurship & leading Digital Brown, an NYC-based & tech-focused alumni group with 600+ members.Outside of work, Nicole is a Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher & enjoys traveling.

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