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This is our first virtual event we have done so we tried to find some of the best people in Seattle who would share insights and answer questions in one wonderful evening. On April 9th at 530 pm we will be answering questions sharing insights and things that have been learned by very costly mistakes. Our guest so far with a few more to come.
Rand Fishkin SparkToro
Chris Devore Founders Co op
Fran Dunaway TomboyX
Matt Oppenheimer, Remitly
Tim Porter, Madrona Venture Group
Leslie Feinzaig Female Founders Alliance
April Dunford Author/Speaker
Lisa Nelson Formerly started M12 VC Fund
This will be fun, faced paced evening that you will be able to ask questions and get some direct feedback from our guests.
Exclusive application for 1:1 Mentorship with an AWS expert
As a Startup Grind community member, you are invited to apply for our exclusive AWS + Startup Grind Mentorship Program as part of Mentorship Month.
Selected applicants will have the opportunity to participate in a one-on-one mentor session to get guidance on how to grow and develop your business and allow you to get first-hand advice from experts in your field. We offer 5 distinct mentoring tracks that you can choose from, including Fundraising, Product, Marketing, Sales, or Strategy & Ops, and you will get paired with an AWS expert in the field of your choice. All sessions are held remotely, and the program is completely free for all participants.
Founder + CEO
CEO, Co Founder
Formerly Managing Director
Madrona Venture Group
Female Founders Alliance
Rand is the founder of SparkToro and previous co-founder of Moz and Inbound.org. He’s dedicated his professional life to helping people do better marketing through the Whiteboard Friday video series, his blog, and his book, Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World. Over 7 years as CEO, Rand grew Moz from 7 employees to 134, revenues from $800K to $29.3mm, and traffic from 1 to 30mm annual visitors. He raised two rounds of funding ($1.1mm in 2007 and $18.1mm in 2012), led three acquisitions, and, in 2013, re-branded the company from SEOmoz to Moz,
Chris DeVore is Managing Partner of Founders’ Co-op, the Pacific Northwest's leading seed-stage venture capital fund, and Managing Director of Techstars Seattle, the region’s most selective startup accelerator. Between these two roles Chris has helped over 200 Pacific Northwest startups raise over $1.5 billion in investor capital. Previously a co-founder of Adjacency (acquired by Sapient, NASDAQ: SAPE) and Judy's Book (backed by Mobius VC and Ignition Partners), Chris also launched Patagonia's first online store and led product and business strategy teams at AT&T and McCaw Cellular Communications. As a community volunteer, Chris co-chaired the City of Seattle’s Economic Development Commission, partnered with the University of Washington to create Startup Hall (a commercial innovation space located on the UW Campus), and is a current Board member of Friends of Waterfront Seattle (a non-profit helping to transform Seattle’s downtown waterfront after the Viaduct comes down). Chris attended Yale and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
A media executive turned fashion entrepreneur, Fran has been on the leading edge of the movement to revolutionize how the fashion industry understands gender. When Fran and her wife Naomi founded TomboyX it was to give a voice to people who didn’t feel seen by the fashion industry, support their community, and challenge the binary one pair of underwear at a time.
The inspiration behind Remitly came when Matt was working for Barclays in Kenya and saw how difficult it was to send and receive money overseas. Matt was drawn to the global impact his business could have: remittances eclipse foreign aid in improving global wealth equality and give people who receive them upward mobility. He began working on the problem immediately as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Highway 12 Ventures in Idaho and launched the company from Techstars in Seattle. Matt was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 in the Pacific Northwest and has been recognized as a Puget Sound Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree for his work with Remitly. He holds a MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Dartmouth College.
Lisa was Managing Director at M12, Microsoft’s venture fund. In addition to being an investing partner, Lisa also managed portfolio development, VC partnerships and marketing for the fund. Lisa’s been with Microsoft for several years in a variety of roles across business development and finance.
As the corporate venture arm for Microsoft, M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures) invests in enterprise software companies in the Series A through C funding stage with a focus on big data & analytics, business SaaS, cloud infrastructure, machine learning & artificial intelligence, productivity and security. As part of its value-add to portfolio companies, M12 offers unique access to strategic go-to-market resources and relationships globally. The Company has offices in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, London and Tel Aviv. Since its inception in 2016, M12 has invested in almost 70 early stage startups.
Tim has been particularly focused on intelligent SaaS applications, next-generation developer services and platforms, cloud computing and automation, machine learning and data analytics, and security. He is passionate about very early stage companies with dynamic founders building businesses around deep, differentiated technology. Tim serves on the boards of Algorithmia, Context Relevant, Echodyne, Highspot, Jama Software, Jobaline, Pixvana, Saykara and Shippable. He was previously on the boards of Z2 (acquired by King Digital), Union Bay Networks (acquired), buuteeq (acquired by Priceline), Appature (acquired by IMS Health), Mobilisafe (acquired by Rapid7), and AppFog (acquired by CenturyLink). Tim is a member of the three-person Investment Committee for the first Alliance of Angels Seed Fund, and also is on the boards of the Washington Technology Industry Alliance and the Technology Alliance.
Leslie Feinzaig is a tech executive and entrepreneur on a mission to democratize entrepreneurship. In 2016, she launched Venture Kits - games that turn kids into CEOs through play. It was during this founding of Venture Kits that she started to talk to other female founders. These conversations and Facebook group turned into a movement and community called Female Founders Alliance.
The Female Founders Alliance, a private community of 70+ venture-scale company founders and CEOs dedicated to actively helping each other succeed and collectively breaking the gender gap in VC investments. She has made this community into a fast growing entity helping other female founders.
Leslie is a frequent public speaker, including solo keynotes at SXSW Interactive and a TEDx talk. Her work has been published by Forbes, All Things Digital (now ReCode), and Geekwire. She has a BSc from the London School of Economics and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
She is a consultant and author who helps companies make complicated products easy for customers to understand and love. She is a globally recognized expert in Positioning, having launched 16 products across her 25-year career as VP Marketing at a series of successful startups. She is the author of the best-selling book Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get it, Buy it, Love it
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