FFA Founder Day
Powered by City of Seattle
February 27 | 9:00-5:00
FFA Founder Day
Powered by City of Seattle
February 27 | 9:00-5:00
Powered by City of Seattle
February 27 | 9:00-5:00
Powered by City of Seattle
February 27 | 9:00-5:00
10:00-12:00: 1:1 meetings
12:00-1:00: Lunch/Facilitated networking
1:00-2:00: Workshop – Positioning as the Core of your Elevator Pitch with John Zagula
2:00-3:00: Founder AMA with Eddie Behringer and Jessica Eggert | Moderator: Domonique Meeks
3:15-4:00: Panel – Sources of Capital with Vani Rao, Javier Soto, and Kaitlyn Witman | Moderator: Jeremey Williams
4:00-5:00: Happy Hour and Networking
FFA and The City of Seattle Office of Economic Development are so excited to partner to bring FFA Founder Day to founders from BBIPOC (Black, Brown, Indigenous People Of Color) communities looking to scale their business. At this event, we'll combine workshops and panels on how to scale your business with 1:1 meetings with investors, business vertical experts, and other influentials.
You’ll also have an opportunity to be selected for the City's Startup Success Cohort (sponsored by Create33), a 6 month program that includes monthly summits, one on one office hours, investor pitch coaching, mentorship and tailored content. The program also includes desk space at Create33 in downtown Seattle.
Nellie is dedicated to increasing sustainability, communication, collaboration & empowerment among community, public-sector & start-up constituents through the creation of dynamic, results-oriented solutions.
As an inaugural member of Pipeline Angels’ Seattle cohort, Nellie joins a national network of new and seasoned women investors dedicated to mentoring, investing and creating capital for women social entrepreneurs. In addition, Nellie was recently nominated for a Female Founders Alliance Champion Award for her mentorship, sponsorship, advocacy for and support of women professionals.
Nellie also serves as a Strategic Funding Advisor to brettapproved.com, the first travel booking site & review platform for individuals with mobility challenges.
Earlier, she worked for CBS-affiliate KIRO, TV news writer & marketing research (AM, FM & TV). There, she honed her sales & marketing skills working with sales teams & major advertisers.
NFA Marketing Services is also a licensed WA real estate brokerage where Nellie is the Designated/Managing Broker.
Community Involvement, Achievements & Recognition:
*Unsung Hero Award, Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), Seattle Chapter. Recognized for community involvement activities by the oldest & largest Asian American civil rights group in the US.
*Top 10 Community Contributor for volunteer & activist contributions to the community, by Northwest Asian Weekly, WA’s largest Asian American weekly.
*Commander’s Award, Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC). While their families were interned behind barbed wire during World War II, many Japanese-Americans volunteered for the US Army, becoming the US Army’s most decorated unit in history. It was an honor to be recognized for my volunteer efforts.
*Nominee, Female Founders Alliance Champion Award for her mentorship, sponsorship, advocacy for and generous support of women professionals
Co-Founder & COO of an incredible Inc. 500 company that’s at the forefront of changing gender conversation and gender parity in this world. It was brought about by a desire and responsibility mandated by our customers to create community around services, products and issues that address real needs in the world. Needs that address fit, function, quality in clothing. Needs that address changing the norm of who we see in media representing women, trans & gender fluid folks as well as plus size people. Our brand mission has become my passion and I love the journey I’m on with our incredible team.
Bei-Jing graduated from UCSB with a BS and a MS in Electrical Computer Engineering, after which she spent 17 years at Microsoft and 3 years with Amazon Web Services. After a strong career leading product management running world-class products/services asuch as Windows and AWS S3, Bei-Jing founded her own start-up and is now an angel investor with AoA and Grubstakes.
Manpreet Kaur Kalra is a digital marketing expert and social activist. She currently serves on the board of NYC Fair Trade Coalition, a grassroots fair trade advocacy organization. She is an advocate for fostering cultural humility in sustainability through inclusive brand narratives. As a speaker, Manpreet is a thought leader in impact communication and has spoken at multiple conferences and trade shows, including the World Fair Trade Summit, Annual Fair Trade Federation Conference, and NY NOW. She launched Art of Citizenry to coach conscious businesses on how to maximize their impact through business development, branding, and strategic marketing. With a background in venture capital and startups, Manpreet uses her knowledge to help businesses think of creative ways to grow and expand their influence. She brings a wealth of experience from her work with impact-driven businesses and startups globally. She also serves on the board of Dasvandh Network, a crowdfunding platform established to inspire giving.
Anita Loomba is dedicated to supporting women and minorities in tech. She is currently the Director of Marketing at App in the Air, a mobile application targeted towards frequent fliers around the world. Prior to this, she spent several years launching marketing campaigns and initiatives for startups of all sizes and industries including: Uber, Fred Meyer, Intel and Tilray. Helping founders achieve their vision and bring their brands to life is her passion so you’ll often find her at speaking events, panels or conferences. She is a startup mentor and speaker and when not working, loves travel and photography.
Yoko is a co-founder of First Row Partners, a seed-stage firm investing in technology that give more power to individuals in their everyday lives – at work and at home. Prior to First Row Partners, Yoko built an portfolio of 30+ companies as an angel investor through her active participation in angel networks like Grubstakes. Being in the heart of Silicon Valley while at Stanford connected her deeply into the tech sector, including 8 years at Google, working on product operations and partnerships for the launch of Google eBooks (now Google Play), and as a product lead for startups.
Vani Rao is a Product Manager at Lighter Capital. Vani is leading the product build out of an investment analytics platform for investors to find companies seeking capital, with the ability to monitor and evaluate financial metrics while accessing deeper performance insights through the company’s machine learning capabilities. Before becoming a Product Manager, Vani was a Director on Lighter Capital’s Investment Team working directly with companies to provide them financing. Prior to her time at Lighter Capital, Vani spent 13 years in the banking sector working in Interest Rate Risk Management. Vani is a CFA Charterholder and has a Master’s Degree in Financial Engineering from Kent State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from the Courant Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science at New York University. She lives in Lake Forest Park with her two daughters and King Charles Cavalier, Pepper.
Hi there! I’m honored that you’re taking time to learn more about “Take 5” and my role on the show. When I left broadcast news three years ago, I never in a million years thought I would return! Years of traditional news coverage had worn me down mentally and spiritually, and I wanted to use my skills for something uplifting and more meaningful.
I used the time away to write stories I believed needed to be told. And then KING 5 called! I was hesitant at first to jump back in, but it was clear they wanted to use their huge platform to not only inform, but to advocate and inspire. I’ve always said, “If you want a new chapter in life, you must be willing to turn a page!”
“Take 5” is betting on the need for a show that highlights what’s good in our world – and advocates for what needs changing. Of course, we want to have fun while doing it! When I’m not working on the show, I’m busy with my two daughters, reading a good book, and enjoying great food! I’m always looking for great pizza, so let me know if you have a great place I should try!
Dona is convinced that working in an organization doesn’t mean you need to turn into a corporate drone, obey your village elders, track your work in that tool, and risk dying of boredom. Instead, she believes that it’s absolutely possible to win in the corporate world while still being YOU. How? By practicing the ancient art of Intrapreneurship. She spends her days engineering software as the Chief #NinjaCat of the Windows Insider Program at Microsoft, one of the biggest communities of people in the world who act as the tech influencer for everyone in their lives. Previously, she worked on developer engagement for HoloLens, the world’s first holographic computer. She’s been in the tech industry for over a dozen years, and despite her decades of shenanigans, she remains unfired (and unjailed!). She spends her side-hustle time writing fiction and non-fiction books to help young professionals have the careers of their dreams, running an ethically-made luxury fashion line called Prima Dona, coaching entrepreneurs in emerging markets, saying words on stages all over the world, and coming up with some REALLY scheme-y schemes. Her favorite, FAVORITE job is being a bossy big sister to thousands of amazing humans who want to #DoTheThing.
Colleen Badgley practices corporate law, with a focus on all aspects of emerging company development, including corporate formation, venture capital financings and M&A. While at the University of Michigan Law School, Colleen served as an international fellow at the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. She was also a member of the Entrepreneurship Clinic.
Currently Co-Founder and CEO of Copper, the first of its kind, all-digital bank, built specifically for teenagers. Copper teaches teens how to make smart financial decisions by developing patterned behaviors in our supervised app experience. Building on the previous success as co-founder and CPO at Snap! Raise, the #2 Fastest Growing Company in Northwest and #46 in America (Deloitte Tech Fast 500). Grew company from 3 founders to 300 employees within 5 year journey.
Fin Tech, Education, Technology, Generation Y-Z
Cameron joined Ignition in 2017 after several years working in technology investment banking and co-founding a seed stage investing firm, Curious Capital. At Ignition, Cameron plays a key role in sourcing, identifying, and supporting new investments.
Prior to Ignition, Cameron was a co-founder of Curious Capital. He raised a small fund of outside capital to invest in innovative seed-stage technology companies based in the Pacific Northwest. The fund currently has seven investments in the enterprise software, fin tech, and consumer internet sectors. Prior to Curious, Cameron was a technology investment banker at Vaquero Capital in San Francisco. At Vaquero, Cameron was critical in leading marketing and diligence efforts, as well as sourcing transactions for two leading software companies. Cameron also worked as a financial analyst intern for Isilon/EMC.
Cameron holds a BS degree in Business Administration-Finance from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.
Emer Dooley serves as adjunct faculty in technology strategy, entrepreneurship, venture capital and global health, in the Foster Business School, at the University of Washington. She works with the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, involving students in all aspects of company creation, technology commercialization and investment. She has received the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Emer has a BSc and MEng from the University of Limerick, and an MBA and PhD from the University of Washington. As a former computer designer, Emer is passionate about early science and math education. In addition to her work at the University of Washington, Emer is the Executive Director of the Alliance of Angels Seed Fund, a $4.4 million fund that has invested in 16 local startups. She is on the board of the Washington Research Foundation, and ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists), and a past board member of Social Venture Partners and Julep.
Enrique is a business, technology, and investment professional with lots of experience building, growing, and investing in market leading products and enterprises. For 15 years, he served in R&D and business management roles at Xerox PARC, Adobe and Gartner. In 1996, he cofounded Voyager Capital, a Seattle-based, early-stage venture capital firm where for 16 years he led investments in software, wireless and service tech businesses. In 2008, he was recognized by the National Association of Corporate Directors as the Northwest’s Region Private Company Director of the Year.
Enrique co-founded 9Mile Labs, a Seattle-based B2B accelerator. He later joined UP Global, the nonprofit parent company of Startup Weekend, Startup Week and other entrepreneur-focused programs. After their merger with Techstars, Enrique and his wife toured the country in an RV for 3 years on a personal exploration of “Innovation in America.” He serves as an advisor to the Women’s Venture Capital Fund and a board member of Global Partnerships, an Impact-First Investor dedicated to expanding opportunity for people living in poverty. He holds a BS in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Rebecca Lovell is the Executive Director of Create33, a resource center for technology entrepreneurs, and also serves as the Chair of the national Center for American Entrepreneurship and an instructor in the UW Foster Technology Management MBA Program. Previous roles include Director, City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, Chief Business Officer, GeekWire, Executive Director, Northwest Entrepreneur Network and Director, Alliance of Angels. She has been leading and supporting startups in Seattle for the last 15 years and is endlessly devoted to entrepreneurship and karaoke.
Domonique Meeks holds a Masters degree from the University of Washington’s School of Information and has a passion for entrepreneurship and storytelling. He finds excitement bringing resources to historically oppressed communities in Seattle. As a small business advocate for the Office of Economic Development at the City of Seattle Domonique aims to contribute to the creation of more successful Black, Latin-x and Indigenous startup’s and small businesses.
Jaren is the Senior Director of Create33, a membership organization for venture-scaling technology startups in Seattle, where she leads the programming and operations. Prior to Create33, Jaren was the Program Director for Techstars Seattle and the Alexa Accelerator, two premier 12-week accelerators based in Seattle supporting startups through mentorship, capital, and a global network. Jaren also worked at a food technology startup, a local nonprofit increasing investments into Africa, and served in the Peace Corps. She has an undergraduate and graduate degree in International Relations.
Lindsey has a decade of experience working in some of the most innovative financial services companies. She has traded securities at top hedge funds, activated and grown local capital economies to fund small businesses, and currently helps technology founders access non-dilutive financing through her work at Lighter Capital. She has deeply creative entrepreneurial experience, helping build startups in their early growth stages and leading established organizations through times of change.
Rob Smith is the editor in chief of Seattle Business magazine. Smith previously served as editor of the Portland Business Journal for more than 10 years, and was also editor of the Puget Sound Business Journal. Most recently, he served as a national retail coordinator and reporter for CoStar, a comprehensive commercial real estate database that launched a news division for its subscribers.
Taylor Soper is GeekWire’s managing editor, responsible for coordinating the newsroom, planning coverage, and editing stories. A native of Portland, Ore., and graduate of the University of Washington, he was previously a GeekWire staff reporter, covering beats including startups and sports technology.
Full time individual angel investor and member of different angel groups in Seattle (Grubstakes, Alliance of Angels, SWAN Venture Fund).
As a Partner at Keeler Investments Group, Rochelle manages a multigenerational family office and invests in Seattle and San Francisco-based pre-seed and seed stage tech companies. Prior to KIG, Shelley spent nearly 10 years with Intel Corporation in a broad range of senior marketing roles. Shelley received her MBA from the University of Washington and her BA from Pomona College.
Jeremey Williams is a Senior Vice President, Market Executive for Bank of America. As Market Executive, Jeremey works in partnership with the Seattle Market President to help lead the local market goals of connecting businesses, families and individuals to the banking and investment teams that will help improve their financial lives. Specifically, Jeremey is responsible for the development and execution of the market strategic plan, designed to drive revenue growth, employee engagement and corporate reputation. In addition, he also oversees community partnerships, sponsorships and philanthropy in Originally from Spokane, Jeremey played football for Washington State University and has maintained a strong network in the northwest.
John Zagula is the founding managing director of Ignition Capital, a boutique private-equity fund. He is formerly the founding managing director of Qiming Ventures, a top-five venture capital fund in China, and a partner at Ignition Partners, one of the leading venture capital firms in the Northwest. Zagula has also served on numerous U.S. and international corporate boards that focus on software, hardware and consumer services from inception to IPO. Before working as a professional investor, he held marketing and strategic executive roles at Microsoft and American Express. John is also an adjunct instructor in Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington.