The Project Entrepreneur Summit | San Francisco: The Fundamentals of Funding offers aspiring and early-stage women entrepreneurs the chance to connect with one another and workshop their ideas with some of the brightest entrepreneurs and investors. Workshop speakers include Jennifer Hyman, Rent the Runway, Joanne Yuan, Cowboy Ventures and more!
1:00-1:30 PM Check-In
1:30-1:40 PM Welcome Remarks
1:50-2:50 PM Workshop #1
10 Minute Break
3:00-4:00 PM Workshop #2
10 Minute Break
4:10-4:55 PM Keynote Conversation
5:00-6:00 PM Cocktail Reception
Jennifer Hyman, Co-Founder & CEO of Rent the Runway
Jennifer Hyman is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Rent the Runway, a company that is disrupting the $1.7 trillion fashion industry by introducing clothing rental as a utility in women’s everyday lives. In her role, she sets the strategic priorities and leads the company in growing all areas of the business, including marketing, technology, product, logistics and analytics. She co-founded Rent the Runway in 2009 with Jennifer Fleiss, and has since raised over $190 million in venture capital, growing the business to over 6 million members, 1,100 employees (which is over 60% female and 70% minority) and 450 designer brands. As the CEO, Jennifer has built Rent the Runway from an idea into a profitable, high-growth company valued at nearly $1B and one of the most beloved brands in the U.S.
Jennifer has been honored with recognitions like Forbes “12 Most Disruptive Names in Business”, Fortune’s “Most Powerful Female Entreprenuers”, “Trailblazers”, “40 under 40” and Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business.” She is also a frequent guest on television, serving as Rent the Runway’s spokesperson on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Fox Business News, Bloomberg and at major industry events.
She received her BA from Harvard University cum laude and MBA from Harvard Business School. In 2015, Jennifer Co-Founded the Rent the Runway Foundation to help female entrepreneurs throughout the U.S. build scalable, high-growth companies. She is an investor in and advisor to a diverse group of startups throughout the U.S. and is passionate about diversifying entrepreneurship. Jenn lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter Aurora.
Jennifer Fleiss, Co-Founder of Rent the Runway
Jenny recently started code eight, the first portfolio company within Walmart’s startup incubator. As CEO and Co-Founder of code eight, she leads a team focused on developing highly-personalized, one-to-one shopping experiences. Jenny Co-Founded Rent the Runway, a business that has transformed the retail industry by making designer clothing rentals a convenient and accessible luxury experience for millions of women. During her time at Rent the Runway, Jenny wore many different hats, serving as President, Head of Logistics, Head of Business Development and Head of Special Projects. Jenny remains a Rent the Runway board member and adviser.
Jenny has been honored with numerous recognitions including: Inc.Magazine’s “30 Under 30”; Fortune Magazine’s “40 Under 40” and “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs”; and Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Technology”. Prior to Rent the Runway, Jenny worked at Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley as part of their Strategic Planning Groups.
She earned her MBA from Harvard Business School and graduated Cum Laude from Yale University. She is Co-founder of the RTR Foundation, a proud advisor to several female-founded start-ups, serves on the advisory board of the HBS Startup Studio and is a guest lecturer at Yale, Princeton, NYU, Columbia and Harvard Business School. She currently resides in New York City with her husband and three children.
Julia Hartz, Co-Founder & CEO of Eventbrite
Julia Hartz is an entrepreneur, investor and the Co-Founder and CEO of Eventbrite, which powers over 2 million events around the world each year. Under her leadership the company has generated billions in gross ticket sales, processes between 2-3 million tickets each week to events and experiences in 180 countries, and is consistently recognized for their award-winning culture and workplace. Julia has been honored as one of Fortune’s 40 Under 40 business leaders (2015 & 2017), Inc.’s 35 under 35 (2014), Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs (2013), and has been profiled for her leadership and impact in top publications around the world. Julia landed in Silicon Valley via Hollywood where she began her career as a development executive at MTV and FX Networks.
Lori Feinsilver, UBS Head of Community Affairs & Corporate Responsibility, Americas
Lori is Head of Community Affairs & Corporate Responsibility and Executive Communications for UBS Group Americas. She also leads the UBS Foundation USA. Since 2011, Lori has led a strategic overhaul of UBS’s philanthropic and corporate giving platform, creating a more cohesive and impact-driven organization while establishing a culture of service among the region’s 20,000 employees.
Nnena Ukuku, Co-Founder Venture Gained Legal and Black Founders Startup Ventures
Legal Speed Dating
During this workshop, Nnena Ukuku, Co-Founder, Venture Gained Legal and Black Founders Startup Ventures, will help you get your house in order for a successful fundraise.
Nnena Ukuku is co-founder of Black Founders Startup Community and co-founder of Venture Gained Legal. She is passionate about seeing minorities and women thrive–not simply survive. Nnena’s other full time job is as an attorney to early stage innovative companies. She works with them because, like her, they believe they can change their world and are driven. Nnena has also spoken on issues regarding tech policy, diversity in the valley, and legal startup issues.
Katherine Rodota, Associate at Top Tier Capital Partners
Katherine is an associate and a member of the Firm’s velocity team which includes the firm’s co-investment and venture secondary investment activity. Prior to joining Top Tier, Katherine was an analyst at Northgate Capital, focusing on venture capital co-investments and venture capital and private equity fund investments. Katherine graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in business administration, international business with a minor in French. While at Cal Poly, she was a member of the Women’s Club Water Polo Team. Katherine is a CFA Charterholder.
Evita Grant, PhD Associate, Intellectual Property at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s Patent and Innovations Group
Dr. Evita Grant is an associate in Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s Patent and Innovations Group. Her practice includes intellectual property development, counseling and monetization for clients in the life sciences, biotechnology, clean energy, and high-tech industries. During her legal education, Evita interned at the Brazilian government’s Institute of Applied Economic Research, where she researched legal and non-legal policies that support technology transfer from academic institutions to private markets in the U.S. and Brazil, and formulated governmental policy recommendations on legal reforms and non-legal infrastructure critical to support and expand local biotechnology industries in emerging markets.
Laura Slezinger, Co-Founder of Venture Gained Legal
Laura counsels startups and tech companies on intellectual property, advertising and corporate law issues. She is a co-founder of Venture Gained Legal and works with companies like Google/Nest Labs., PayPal Inc., Intel Corporation, Solar Mosaic, Numi Organic Tea, Udacity and Betabrand. She has a passion for the intersection of law, technology, and the creative, entrepreneurial spirit.
Laura was Managing Director of Girls in Tech, San Francisco from 2009-2014, where it was her pleasure to promote women’s innovative and entrepreneurial achievements in technology. Laura speaks regularly on legal issues for entrepreneurs; she has been a guest speaker on Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs for Stanford University’s Technology Ventures Program since 2013; she speaks regularly at Silicon Valley Tech events, hackathons, and for organizations like the Kauffman Foundation and Tedx.
Vinella Sido, Managing Associate, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Vinella represents technology and growth companies at all stages of their development, from seed-stage start-ups to early-stage public companies to more mature public companies. She serves as a day-to-day primary support and client contact for most of her clients. She works with private companies on corporate legal matters, from advising at material stages of the corporate life cycle (formation, financing, mergers and acquisitions), to providing tactical guidance and trusted governance advice on board, advisor, employment, separation and other commercial matters.
Anarghya Vardhana, Senior Associate at Maveron
Demonstrating Traction: What Metrics Investors Want To See and How To Get Them
Investors are looking to back companies with high growth potential. Anarghya Vardhana, Senior Associate, Maveron, will share what types of milestones and metrics that signal to investors that your company has what it takes to scale and deliver strong returns.
Always passionate about mathematics, Anarghya published a math theorem at the age of 17 which set her on a lifelong path in STEM. Prior to entering the world of venture capital, Anarghya worked for several startups in the product manager and head of product capacity, including the early founding teams of fintech and healthtech companies. At Maveron, she brings her passion for the intersection of cutting edge technologies like artificial intelligence to existing mass consumer experiences, identifying these opportunities in the Bay Area and beyond. Within the portfolio, Anarghya is a board observer for Booster Fuels and Pluto VR. In 2017, Forbes named Anarghya to its annual list of top “30 under 30” in venture capital.
Christine Moseley, Founder & CEO of Full Harvest
An entrepreneur at heart since the age of 17, I have founded several start-ups throughout my life, starting with a music education non-profit, Musical Empowerment, which is still growing nationally 15 years later. Diverse experience at both Fortune 100 companies and high-growth start-ups across operations, business development and marketing has allowed me to help significantly grow food and beverage-related businesses. Approximately 20 billion pounds of produce go to waste in the U.S. annually simply because they are not perfectly shaped for strict retailer standards. Full Harvest solves this problem and fundamentally changes our food systems for the better. Our mission is to eliminate food waste at the farm level by bringing additional revenue to farmers and lowering the cost of healthy food production. A win-win for everyone.To-date, we have sold over 1.8+ million pounds of produce that would have otherwise gone to waste, which prevented over 115 million gallons of water from being wasted and over 600+ tonnes of CO2 emissions from being created. This number is scaling rapidly as we are rolling out with major national food and beverage brands.
Joanne Yuan, Associate Partner at Cowboy Ventures
The Perfect Verbal Pitch
You’ve spent hours working on creating the perfect deck for your venture. If you got into an elevator with your ideal investor, could you actually communicate a compelling story about yourself and business in a limited amount of time? Joanne Yuan, Associate Partner at Cowboy Ventures, will share the key elements you should be able to effectively and concisely communicate about yourself and your company to leave them wanting more.
Joanne is an investment partner at Cowboy Ventures, a seed stage focused venture fund. At Cowboy she focuses on both enterprise and consumer businesses, such as Guild Education, Branch Metrics and Hooked. She has almost a decade of experience building, advising, acquiring and investing in growing technology businesses. Prior to joining Cowboy, Joanne was on the investment team at private equity firm Hellman & Friedman. She has also been a deal lead on the corporate development team at Google, focused on acquiring start ups. Joanne started her career in mergers and acquisitions at Morgan Stanley.
Sara Deshpande, Partner at Maven Ventures
Sara Thomas Deshpande is a Partner at Maven Ventures, the leading seed venture fund for emerging consumer software startups propelled by network effects and hypergrowth. She invests in seed-stage companies across consumer mobile, marketplaces, digital health, and autonomous vehicles, and is an active advisor to the companies in the Maven portfolio. At Maven, Sara has been part of six exits and over 20 investments including Chariot (acquired by Ford), Eden, Neighborly, Sunshine, Gametime, Embark, Hello Heart, Foodworks, and more.
Linnea Conrad Roberts of GingerBread Capital Roberts Foundation New York and Menlo Park
Linnea is a Retired Partner of Goldman Sachs. Linnea joined Goldman as a partner in 2004 and served as co-head of Technology within the global Technology, Media and Telecom Group through 2011. Most recently, Linnea served as Diversity Ambassador for the Investment Banking Division. Linnea created GingerBread Capital a venture firm focused on investing in women founders and entrepreneurs. She also looks to connect great women-owned and/or operated businesses with women investors.
Cristina Costa of GingerBread Capital
A recent MBA graduate from the University of Chicago Booth, Crissy currently supports Linnea Roberts at GingerBread Capital, a venture firm focused on investing in female entrepreneurs. She’s spent the last few years of her career operating at startups with a focus on B2B software and developer tools, most recently as the Director of Growth at Ionic. There she created the enterprise product line and was deeply involved in go-to-market strategy and product marketing. Last November, Crissy started a podcast series called 52 Founders to uncover the psychology behind entrepreneurship across industries and stages.
Arum Kang, Co-Founder & CEO of Coffee Meets Bagel
Setting the Stage – Building Investor Relationships Before You Pitch
Building relationships with potential investors is crucial to getting funded. It takes time and strategy. Arum and Dawoon Kang, Co-Founders of Coffee Meets Bagel, will share tips and advice on what you can do to prepare yourself before, during and after the pitch.
After completing her BSE in Marketing from the University of Pennsylvania— The Wharton School, Arum Kang has focused in delighting customers in the consumer product space. She has worked with a variety of companies including Amazon and Avon Products. After obtaining her MBA degree from Harvard Business School, Arum co-founded Coffee Meets Bagel with sisters Soo and Dawoon Kang. As the CEO, Arum creates and executes the vision of Coffee Meets Bagel. With her various roles, her overarching goal is always to make sure the customers’ needs are heard and met with a superior product experience.
Eurie Kim, General Partner at Forerunner Ventures
The Perfect Verbal Pitch
You’ve spent hours working on creating the perfect deck for your venture. If you got into an elevator with your ideal investor, could you actually communicate a compelling story about yourself and business in a limited amount of time? Eurie Kim, will share the key elements you should be able to effectively and concisely communicate about yourself and your company to leave them wanting more.
Eurie joined Forerunner Ventures in May 2012. Over the past 15 years, Eurie has evaluated and aided a wide variety of companies in their quest to define business models, identify target markets, understand consumer behavior, and overcome operational and competitive challenges to drive growth. As a management consultant at Bain and Company, Eurie advised large retail and e-commerce clients on strategy, identifying acquisition opportunities, and harnessing consumer insights to drive growth. Prior to Bain, Eurie was an investor at Castanea Partners where she evaluated growth investments in consumer and retail businesses. Eurie also has a personal passion for entrepreneurship, which inspired her to launch an artisanal leather goods brand as well as serve on the founding team of a European luxury brand incubator.
Gwen Cheni, Portfolio Manager, Pier 88 Investments
Gwen is a Portfolio Manager on both the equity and convertible funds at Pier 88, and on the Board of Advisors and mentoring at five early stage accelerators. Prior to joining Pier 88, Gwen was a Senior Equity Analyst at Brown Brothers Harriman, Lord Abbett, and a Research Analyst at Legg Mason Capital Management. She also worked as an Associate Equity Analyst at J.P. Morgan, and started her career as an Analyst at Goldman Sachs. She received her bachelors from Yale University, her MBA from The University of Chicago.
Eva Khoo, Investor at Vertex Ventures & Laura Mathers, Founder & CEO of Talent Sonar
Cultivating High Impact Advisors
Surrounding yourself with formal and informal advisors that can provide you insights from their own expertise is as critical to building a successful venture as raising capital. Come learn about what to look for in advisors and what expectations you should set for them and for yourself.
Eva is an investor at Vertex Ventures, an early-stage venture fund focused on enterprise technology. She has over a decade of experience in helping to build, scale and advise growing technology companies. Most recently, Eva led operations for Luxe Valet, a venture-backed on-demand startup, as a member of the founding team. During her tenure, Eva launched Luxe’s initial market, supported its nationwide expansion — scaling live operations, logistics and customer support, and oversaw the company’s cross-functional strategy as its Chief of Staff.
Laura Mathers, Founder & CEO of Talent Sonar
A Silicon Valley pioneer, Laura Mather, PhD is an expert on unconscious bias and the neuroscience behind decision-making. Known for her calm and focused engineer’s approach to vexing social problems, Mather built her career creating software solutions for organizations like the National Security Agency, eBay, and the two companies she founded, Silver Tail Systems, and Talent Sonar. Mather has been a frequent speaker at events like Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Generation, and was recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Creative People in Business and as a Top Global Thinker by Foreign Policy. In 2017, she was honored with an ABIE Award for Technology Entrepreneurship by The Anita Borg Institute, a nonprofit organization focused on the advancement of women technologists.
Danielle Wen, Founder & CEO of Lace & Liberty
Danielle Wen is the founder of Lace & Liberty. Lace & Liberty is reimagining the wedding dress experience by offering custom designs and tailored dresses at a revolutionary price point with a mission to instill confidence in women regardless of size & shape. Prior to founding Lace & Liberty, Danielle was VP of distribution in fixed income divisions at UBS & Credit Suisse working with global asset managers. Danielle holds a B.Sc degree in Economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).