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 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 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 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.
Deirdre Cooper is Co-Head of Thematic Equity at Ninety One, with a particular focus on sustainable investing. She is an Advisory Board Member at the Imperial College Centre for Climate Finance and an Advisory Board Member of Girls Who Invest. She previously founded the Clean Tech group in Morgan Stanley where she worked in M&A in London and Menlo Park
LaRoy Brantley is a managing principal at Meketa Investment Group. He has over 20 years experience in an investment consulting capacity. We first met when we joined Cambridge associates earlier in our careers. He has had multiple public fund board positions and has a particular focus on raising awareness of diverse investment managers.
John Robinson, who is Chief Executive Officer at Bridge Capital Advisors, a firm he founded in mid 2021. He previously was Chief Executive Officer at Consequent Capital Management and is a Board Member of Mifugo Hela, a fintech company based in Kenya.
Our conversation starts with John’s childhood where he was born into a family of entrepreneurs, restaurant and business owners. The lessons learned there in terms of hard work, risk and resilience stayed with him throughout his life.
Ghanaian Voices – Dawid Konotey-Ahulu – Removing the “Kinks in the Hosepipe of Life” for a New Generation
Our first Ghanaian voice in this series is a legend on the London-based investment management scene.
Dawid Konotey-Ahulu is an entrepreneur in financial services, technology and elderly care and the co-founder of Redington, the London-based independent pensions and insurance advisory group with $500 bn in assets under advisement, as well as mallowstreet.com, a social media platform connecting the pensions and insurance industry.
Diana Kiluta Amoa, is Chief Investment Officer of Kirkoswald, a US based hedge fund, and she formerly spent over a decade in financial services in a range of roles including fixed income and rates trading, with a focus on Emerging Markets. She is a Board Member of the Global Nomads Group among other roles.
Our conversation starts with her upbringing in Kenya