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208. Betsy Cohen of Cohen Circle: Creating Impact through Fintech and Beyond – a Life of Seizing Opportunities

Betsy Cohen has built financial businesses for her whole career. She is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Cohen Circle, a growth stage investment firm focused on the fintech and impact spaces.  She was previously CEO at The Bancorp Bank, which she founded in 2000 and previously worked at Jefferson Bank for 26 years. She sits on numerous boards and has received several awards being named a Forbes 2022 Most Powerful Self-Made Woman, 25 outstanding women bankers and many more.

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.

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.

Merav Oren – A Serial Entrepreneur Talks Food Tech, Co-Working and Making the Ask

Merav Oren is a serial entrepreneur, most recently of the ACT Foodtech Innovation Hub, which connects the culinary and foodTech worlds, as well as the founder of WMN, a co-working space and ecosystem for female entrepreneurs in Tel Aviv, and the first of its kind in the area. She is passionate about working with the public sector towards sustainability and impact and also founded Urban Playground, which provides solutions to effectively manage public spaces.

Our wide-ranging conversation covers her earliest inroads into being an entrepreneur, and some negotiating skills learned on the job that taught her how to properly assess her worth and, more importantly, ask for it.

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.

Georgy Egorov – From Banking to Biotech – A Journey of Discovery

Georgy Egorov is Chief Financial Officer of Vaccitech, a firm that develops vaccines and T cell immunotherapies to treat and prevent cancer and infectious diseases. It was one of the firms behind the recently launched Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. He has held a series of executive roles in fintech and biotech firms, and prior to that worked in finance both at the EBRD and investment banking.

An inspiring story of coming out in Russia in the 1990s, the changing experience of LGBT inclusion in investment banking and why the flat structure of biotech offers such a different set of opportunities not just for professional growth but also for inclusion.

Pippa Gawley of Zero Carbon Capital – Deep Science, Hard Tech, Big Impact

Pippa Gawley invests in what she describes as deep science hard tech innovations to accelerate the zero-carbon transition. She is the founder and director of Zero Carbon Capital, a fund she founded in April 2019, and holds various non-executive director and mentor roles. She has extensive experience in tech, and, latterly, in climate-tech in particular.

An angel investor opens the kimono as to some of the huge potential of climate tech and how starting her own venture capital fund has come with its own adventures.

259. Anna McDonald of Moneta: Going for Gold – Coaching Athletes on their Financial Game

Anna McDonald has a dual role at Moneta, a St. Louis based RIA with over $32 billion in assets under management. She supports athletes in all aspects of their financial lives, preparing them for sustained success beyond their athletic careers. She knows this segment well as she previously spent six years as an ESPN reporter, covering Major League Baseball and the National Football League. During this time she was a spokesperson around health and safety concerns of the NFL.  In addition to her work with athletes, she also serves as Moneta’s Director of Family Learning. In this capacity, she works at the net as client facing teams to facilitate learning programs for families to transfer wealth to younger generations.

245. Randy Cohen, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School – Dangerous Vision in Stock Markets and Venture Capital

Randy Cohen, is a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business school.  His main research focus is the interface between the actions of institutional investors and price levels in the stock market and has helped to start and grow a number of investment management firms.  He is a partner at Exsight Capital, a venture capital firm specializing in early-stage impact investments in innovative ophthalmic diagnostic and treatment solutions. This has particular resonance for Randy, who is blind from retinitis pigmentosa.