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With founder/CEOs Ben Stokes (Chasing Rainbows), Jessica Thurmond (Athelo Health), Al Wynant (Ingomu).
Friday, June 17, 2022 at 01:00 PM   Absolutely Free   Online

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Learn about the pros & cons & the do's & don'ts of raising funding through angel investors, especially for underrepresented founders.
About this event
Are you seeking to raise early stage capital? Wondering if angel investment is right for you? The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center & StartOut are excited to present this chat featuring an experienced LGBTQ+ angel investor & a LGBTQ+ founder that raised a successful angel round about the benefits & drawbacks of this type of fundraising. Hear tips on how to raise an angel round as well as how to succeed with this type of fundraising as an underrepresented founder.

This session will cover:

How to determine if angel investing is right for their business

How to successfully raise an angel round in an often uneven playing field for underrepresented founders

How to present your business to angel investors

What common pitfalls should you avoid when seeking investment from angels


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Ben Stokes
Founding Partner of Chasing Rainbows

Ben Stokes is the Founding Partner of Chasing Rainbows, an early-stage investment fund specifically aimed at creating more equality in startup funding by investing in founders who come from underrepresented backgrounds - particularly those from the LGBTQ+ community.

Ben previously founded & ran the virtual networking platform SocialTable, with customers on all 7 continents. Using his own experience as an LGBTQ+ founder of color, he has been an active angel investor in companies led by underrepresented founders & has fostered a number through to their exit or next investment phase.

He was a mentor at the Australian Landing Pad in San Francisco, assisting Australian founders who take their start-ups & scale-ups global. Ben has an Executive MBA, attended UC Berkeley's Venture Capital Program & was selected to be part of both the StartOut Growth Lab, a start-up incubator located in San Francisco, & RBL1, based in Austin. In 2020 he was asked to address the UN General Assembly for their Leaders on Purpose Summit. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur he worked at Oracle & Salesforce.

Ben Stokes grew up on a farm on the North-West Coast of Tasmania after being adopted from an orphanage in Sri Lanka, by a loving Tasmanian family. Ben's mission is to help create a world that's built on radical inclusivity where diversity of knowledge & experience is celebrated. It is the cornerstone for the vision of his fund, Chasing Rainbows.

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Jessica Thurmond
Co-Founder of Athelo Health

Jessica Thurmond is the co-founder of Athelo Health where they have developed the first biometric anchored virtual coach for women with breast cancers after witnessing her mother's challenging battle at a young age. Since then she has spent over a decade working in healthcare & drug development, advocating for accessibility of care to disadvantaged populations through technological innovation. Having been homeless during early adulthood, Jessica's personal & professional goals have been driven by the desire to provide support & opportunities to the people who need it most. She's a proud descendant of the Wahpeton Oyate Sioux tribe, dog & cat mom & wife to her partner Kelly.

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Moderated by: Al Wynant
Co-Founder & CEO of Ingomu

Al Wynant, is the Co-Founder & CEO of Ingomu, an app offering equitable coaching that addresses the issues, pressures, & difficulties facing higher-ed students, employees, & employers every day. Al has 32 years of international experience working with speakers & coaches, & in the event tech industry. A 40 Under 40 recipient, he has worked as a Marketing & PR Rep on concert tours. He ran meeting firm A6, & co-founded event tech firm EI. He has served on the boards of nonprofits including Girl Scouts & Gabriel's Angels, & is an appointed Representative for Flemish in the World. He Co-Chairs the StartOut Denver Programming Board.

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The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center is a 501c(3) public charity whose mission it is to make entrepreneurship accessible to all. We deliver world-class resources & mentoring to enable every entrepreneur across the globe to realize their maximum potential. Please join us & make your gift to ensure these transformative programs may continue to reach the underserved.

All Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center programs & services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least 48 hours in advance of this event; please send an email to with the subject header ACCOMMODATION REQUEST. For assistance with registration or other technical difficulties, please contact
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