In our second series focused on founders, allocators and investors on the Frontier – we hear from a diverse group of professionals who share their vision for investing, impact and change. From venture capitalists focused on the burgeoning world of Prop-Tech, to investing with a gender lens, developing a network to change the black narrative in the professional world, to harnassing the power of music royalties, to payment platforms – we share insights from the coalface.
Ahryun Moon is Founder and Head of Company Strategy at GoodTime.io a company designed to boost employee productivity by making scheduling meetings easier. This is not her first time founding a company – she also founded Etch Keyboard and previously worked as a financial accountant and financial analyst.
Connie Teska is principal and co-founder of Pluscios Management, a fund of hedge funds manager based in the Chicago area. Pluscios is a Greek term meaning wealth, abundance, and riches, and the firm, founded in 2006, has two female founders. She has a long history in investment management, particularly in the area of alternative investments.
Our conversation returns to Connie’s Greek roots, and what growing in a family of entrepreneurs and small business owners taught her about work ethic, resilience, and respect for knowing what goes on “in the weeds.” We move to her banking career, and what inspired her to start a firm.
James Norman is CEO at Pilotly, a market research platform for creative content, based in the Bay Area. He is a Partner at Transparent Collective, a group of founders dedicated to increasing exposure and access to Silicon Valley for African-American and Latino/Hispanic men and women. He is a serial entrepreneur, who built his first company at the age of 16.
Shalom Lloyd had a career of over 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry and then went on to found two businesses. She is the founder of Naturally Tribal skincare and the co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of eMQT. She has been a keynote speaker on the topic of innovation and was a fellow of the Start-Up Leadership Program in London until 2020.
A serial entrepreneur, Shalom studied pharmacy in Russia from the age of 15 and there followed a passion for the pharma industry, which sparked her two start-ups – in beauty and the field of medical research. Each venture is focused also on creating impact and employment in the Kingdom of Esan. This podcast also features in our Diverse Founders series.
Bonus Episode – Adam Demuyakor of Wilshire Lane Capital – On Ghost Kitchens, Self Storage and other Prop Tech Opportunities
Adam Demuyakor is the founder and managing partner at Wilshire Lane Capital, a venture capital and private equity firm that focuses on PropTech solutions based in Los Angeles California. Born in the US to a family originally from Ghana, Adam started out on Wall Street in investment banking and held a number of private equity and venture capital roles before found in Wilshire Lane. He also holds a number of Board roles and is a Board of Trustee of the education nonprofit 9 Dots.Our conversation starts with his family roots, and the expectations that accompanied his schooling and career choices. We hear how he came to be interested in real estate and how he gained experience in both the private and public side of the business, and ultimately the vision with which he launched his own firm. This is an opportunity for our discussion to dive into PropTech and discuss what the technology that is transforming real estate looks like, and how these theses are playing out. Among some of the concepts discussed are Ghost Kitchens and the new look Self Storage outfits, and we discuss some of the business models that are exciting him most at this juncture.As an early stage venture capital firm, Wilshire Lane Capital, is highly focused on the entrepreneurs and their vision that they support, and many of them are diverse founders themselves. In fact in an industry in which female and black and brown founders are poorly represented, Wilshire Lane is breaking the mould – 36% of their companies are led by women outright, 29% of their companies have a black founder on them, and 79% of their companies have an underrepresented minority or a female in the C suite. Wilshire Lane Capital recently entered into a strategic partnership with Nile Capital which sponsored our original diverse founders and VCs series, and we speak about how these ideas came together. We speak about 9 Dots, a nonprofit, based in Los Angeles, that focuses on providing subsidized computer science courses for the poorest students in the city. Adam shares why this is one of the most fulfilling of all of his roles. Finally, we discuss some highs and lows of his career so far, what Adam looks for in a founder and what it means to pass the “Shower Test”. This podcast will feature in our mini-series featuring professionals from the Ghanaian diaspora as well as our second diverse founders and venture capitalist series.
Caroline Lovelace is Founding Partner at Rose Hill Park Alternative Asset Managers, as well as Preserver Partners as CIO and Co-Portfolio Manager. Preserver is diverse-owned and Memphis-based. It runs a multi-strategy fund that invests through external managers. She has had an extensive career in researching and investing in hedge funds and in promoting emerging private equity and hedge fund investment programs.
Isabella Mandis has just finished her freshman year at Harvard College and the founder of “Girls who VC” an industry affinity group which offers resources, content and community to women interested in pursuing careers in Venture Capital.
Adam Demuyakor of Wilshire Lane Capital – On Ghost Kitchens, Self Storage and other PropTech opportunities
Adam Demuyakor is the founder and managing partner at Wilshire Lane Capital, a venture capital and private equity firm that focuses on PropTech solutions based in Los Angeles California. Born in the US to a family originally from Ghana, Adam started out on Wall Street in investment banking and held a number of private equity and venture capital roles before found in Wilshire Lane. He also holds a number of Board roles and is a Board of Trustee of the education nonprofit 9 Dots.
10. Sherrese Clark Soares of HarbourView Equity Partners: Keeping a Steady Beat in Private Markets and Life
Sherrese Clarke Soares is the founder and CEO of HarbourView Equity Partners, a global investment firm focused on niche markets and esoteric investments in the media and entertainment space. She previously was the founder CEO and Board Directly of Tempo Music.