Hunting for Silver Linings w/ Mike Ducker, Director of Global for Valhalla Private Capital

Grand Rapids
Thu, Feb 25, 2021, 8:00 AM (EST)

About this event


Through our Startup Grind event series Hunting for Silver Linings, we check in with ecosystem builders, investors, and business leaders from around the world.

We dig for deeper context around challenges and opportunities found in markets around the world, as well as mine for insight that can better inform biases about regions, their talent, and potential for investment.

Then, we connect the dots.


Corey Hart | LinkedIn
Chapter Director, Startup Grind
Co-founder & CMO, Telebehavioral Health.US

Yorgo (George) Katsanos
Managing Director, Beneventure Partners


February 25th, we are pleased to host Mike Ducker: Ecosystem builder in emerging markets & Director of Global for Valhalla Private Capital. Mike will give us some insight on how the epidemic is affecting the startup and entrepreneurial ecosystems within which he serves, as well as provide advice to entrepreneurs.


  • How to support and build ecosystems and entrepreneurs
  • Importance of building social capital for entrepreneurs
  • Importance of policy for entrepreneurs
  • How to unlock early-stage capital
  • Have a good understanding of different global ecosystems in Asia, Africa, and the middle east.


Over the last 14 years, Mike has been leading, designing, and advising donor-funded entrepreneurship programs in 20 countries. These programs include developing entrepreneur white papers for heads of state, designing programs for donors like USAID, GIZ, the Swiss Government, ADB, AFD, DfID, MCC, and World Bank, developing startup training programs, and building networks of support including investors and mentors. 

He has advised and supported over 50 entrepreneurship support organizations that supported more than 4,400 ventures on both their programming needs and how to become financially sustainable. These programs have supported in facilitating $15 million in new financing and recruiting 1200 new mentors. 

Currently, working part-time to catalyze early-stage investing with Valhalla Global Accelerator. 

Most importantly, he shares lessons with the greater development and entrepreneurial community through different events, workshops, panels, training, and writings in media outlets like TechCrunch, Inc, the Kauffman Foundation USAID market links, and many others. 

His work has been recognized by heads of state and by other government dignitaries. Currently, he's writing a book about catalyzers of local economic growth and he has finished 7 marathons, 2 triathlons, and summited Mt. Kilimanjaro 


We spend our time checking in with investors, entrepreneurs, founders, and Startup Grind Chapter Directors from around the globe to get accounts of what's happening in their areas and learn of what their challenges and opportunities are. 

  • We learn about our guest, their story
  • We dig into their area & industry of expertise, and their ecosystem
  • We identify specific challenges & opportunities they are close to
  • We ask what their outlook is for the next 6, 12 months
  • Finally, we ask how our network of global Directors, entrepreneurs, and investors can help them



Thursday, Feb 25
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM (EST)

Brought to you by

  • Corey Hart

    Corey Hart

    Startup Grind Grand Rapids

    Chapter Director

    See Bio
  • Yorgo Katsanos

    Yorgo Katsanos

    Beneventure Partners


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