12:00 PM EST/9:00 AM PST - 1:00 PM EST/10:00 AM PST: Panel Presentation
1:00 PM EST/10:00 PM PST - 1:30 PM EST/10:30 PM PST: Q&A
COVID-19 has impacted all our lives on a massive global scale.
The uncertainty it caused, led to reduced spending in all aspects of our lives, including VC investing.
There have been many gradual iterations and transformations of the VC model before the pandemic that have accelerated during this time. More recently, the trends of big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning, have converged on venture investing itself, resulting in more VC firms applying sophisticated models to venture investment processes. The new, data-driven model, brings data analytics to the forefront to inform the various steps of the venture capital investment process, including sourcing, screening, selecting, and monitoring investments as well as in aiding portfolio companies post-investment.
We are also seeing a significant increase in presence of Equity Crowdfunding (EC) platforms like StartEngine in venture investing. StartEngine, for example, has seen investments on their platform skyrocket since March, while at the same time, the VC investment has significantly slowed down. EC platforms are not just outliers anymore, but are becoming significant players in the venture ecosystem.
Our panel, which is comprised of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, crowdfunding and machine learning experts, will help us understand the pros and cons of using data driven models, and EC platforms to help us predict future trends in the VC industry.
Francesco Corea, PhD, Research Lead, Balderton Capital
Francesco joined Balderton in 2019 as Research Lead, working on all research and data projects on the investment team. Prior to Balderton, Francesco helped a number of AI startups ramp up operations, and worked with small financial boutiques on venture strategies. Francesco was an Anthemis fellow in London and a fellow at UCLA's IPAM (Institute of Pure and Applied Math) in Applied Math and High Performance Computing. Francesco has a Bsc in Management; an Msc in Economics; a second Msc in Finance; and a PhD in Economics. He also did his post-doctoral research on AI and risk management and published several academic peer-reviewed articles and books. Francesco has lived, studied, and worked in more than ten countries worldwide, and speaks fluent English, Italian and Spanish.
Erica Van, Early Stage Investor, Charles River Ventures
Erica is an investor at Charles River Ventures (CRV), a coast to coast venture capital firm that has invested in hundreds of startups over the past 50 years. The firm focuses on consumer, enterprise, and biotech/healthcare sectors. Prior to joining CRV, Erica was an investor at Presidio Partners focusing on frontier tech. Prior to that, Erica co-founded a Strategy team at JPMorgan, and worked as a rotational analyst across investment banking, asset management, and treasury securities at the firm.
Senofer Mendoza, Founder and General Partner, Mendoza Ventures
Senofer Mendoza is a founder and General Partner of Mendoza Ventures, a Boston based pre-seed Fintech, AI, and Cybersecurity venture capital firm. After having a career in enterprise sales and hospitality design, she began Mendoza Ventures to address the growing funding gap in the pre-seed investment stage. The firm was launched in January of 2016 and invests internationally in the Cybersecurity, AI, and Fintech space. She is a published author, innovator, and thought leader in the technology, startup, and VC space with a passion for equity and diversity.
Boston based Mendoza Ventures invests in early stage AI, Fintech, and Cybersecurity companies that are targets for early acquisition. Mendoza Ventures is a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE).
Josh Amster, VP of Sales, StartEngine
Josh is one of StartEngine's first employees, joining the company in early 2016. Since joining the team as the first salesperson, Josh has built and developed the sales and service department from the ground up and now manages a team of over 10 sales and service team members. Josh joined StartEngine after a couple years as a sales and business development executive at the sports and entertainment conglomerate AEG. Josh excels at developing business and relationships, and uses his competitive and fun-spirited attitude to achieve tremendous results. A Los Angeles native, Josh studied and played collegiate football in Vermont at Middlebury College. StartEngine is an equity crowdfunding platform that allows everyday people to invest in startups and allows companies to raise capital directly from their customers. StartEngine’s mission is to democratize access to capital and help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.
Michael Burtov, Founder and CEO at GeoOrbital
Michael Burtov is a serial entrepreneur that has lead multiple startups from zero to millions of dollars in revenue and millions of dollars in funding (including raising millions through various forms of crowdfunding). His work has been featured on the cover of TIME Magazine, has been the subject of mini-documentaries by the Discovery Channel and CNN's Great Big Story, and has appeared on ABC's Shark Tank. He is the inventor of the GeoOrbital wheel (a TIME magazine Invention of the year for 2019) and is the author of The Evergreen Startup: The Entrepreneur's Playbook for Everything from Venture Capital to Equity Crowdfunding. In addition to his own startups Michael has worked with or mentored hundreds of founders that have collectively reached hundreds of millions in funding and sales. He also teaches innovation-related topics at the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge, where he is the Vice Chair the Board of Directors.
John Harthorne, Founding Partner, Two Lanterns Venture Partners
John Harthorne is the Founder and Former CEO of MassChallenge, the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet. To date, ~2,500 MassChallenge alumni have raised over $6 billion of funding, have generated over $3 billion of revenue, and have created over 157,000 jobs. The World Economic Forum elected John as one of the 2013 Young Global Leaders, and Ernst & Young selected John as Social Entrepreneur of the Year in New England for 2013. John stepped down as CEO of MassChallenge in 2019 to launch Two Lanterns Venture Partners, a seed fund focused on capital-efficient startups poised to create massive impact.