Join us to hear from a group of funders across the spectrum – from angels and institutional investors, to social impact funders. You’ll learn about the metrics that funders look for in early-stage startups and how to approach them. You’ll also learn tactical ways to effectively communicate with investors, and what you need to do to prepare a winning investor pitch. Finally, you’ll hear about the current funding environment and learn what it’s like to do deal flow, pitch meetings, due diligence, and other elements of fundraising during the pandemic.
Moderator: Mike Fenn
- Liz Luckett (TSEF)
- Shereen Shermak (Soco Ventures)
- Deepak Verma (Innospark Ventures)
- Parul Singh (Founder Collective)
Liz Luckett (TSEF)
Liz Luckett has an extensive background in technology, data and financial services. Before joining TSEF in 2014, Ms. Luckett created and oversaw Impact Investing at the Pershing Square Foundation where she led mission-aligned investments for the $400M foundation. Prior, Ms. Luckett served as Senior Vice President at Citigroup where she built research products and partnerships based on credit card data and led the marketing and product development of all of Citi’s business cards. Before Citi, Ms. Luckett was an entrepreneur, co-founding Fulcrum Analytics (formerly, Cyber Dialogue), a predictive data modeling, market research and software firm. Ms. Luckett began her career with the Gartner Group as a technology analyst focused on data security and leading the practice on industry standards, then joined the Executive Team where she worked on M&A for the company.
Ms. Luckett is a board observer at Aunt Bertha, CloudFactory, ConnXus, Frogtek and Pigeonly.
She is also on the board of The Bail Project, the first national bail fund, and a board member emeritus of the Columbia University Trustee Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing and Root Capital. She received a B.A. from Columbia University and a Master of Philosophy from Cambridge University in England.
Shereen Shermak (Soco Ventures)
Shereen has been a resident of Boston’s South End for 20 years, and is focused on improving the local Boston economy through ensuring that Boston leverages 100% of the talent that lives and works here. She was previously a Boston-based venture capitalist, entrepreneur and active angel investor. Previously, Shereen served as a Fund Manager and CEO at Launch Angels, a Boston-based seed stage VC firm, where she managed the Where Funds investments in 13 early stage companies. She co-founded BuysideFX, where she led Product and was a member of the management team, and held a similar role at Boston-based Currensee (acq. Oanda). Her earlier career consisted of launching internal fintech ventures for large financial services firms, after joining the technology strategy firm DiamondCluster (acq. PWC) in its early days. Shereen also spent six years working as an environmental engineer after graduating from Duke University. Shereen received her M.B.A. from MITs Sloan School and holds an M.P.A. from Harvards Kennedy School. She currently serves on the Board of Overseers of Big Brothers Big Sisters Massachusetts Bay. Outside of work, Shereen pursues distance running and is a baker of old school breads.
Deepak Verma (Innospark Ventures)
Deepak is a Partner at Innospark Ventures, an early stage AI-focused Venture Fund.
Early in his career, Deepak was a consultant with McKinsey. He joined eCredit on the completion of its Series B funding, to lead strategy and business development. Subsequently, after the dot-com crash, he became CEO and led the turnaround of the Company. More recently, Deepak co-founded and led a solar power company to develop and construct ground-mounted solar plants in several Asian countries. The Company was acquired in 2018.
Deepak has spent several years in the non-profit sector, with the Clinton Foundation’s HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI). He joined as a volunteer, and then served as COO and subsequently as CEO. During this time, CHAI tackled some incredibly hard problems: strengthening health systems in developing countries (primarily in Africa and Asia) to enable them to identify, diagnose, monitor, and provide affordable lifelong treatment to HIV/AIDS patients.