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By Finclusive Ventures
The Finclusive Podcast: sharing stories in entrepreneurship and venture capital
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EP 13: Garry Cooper (CEO of Rheaply and GP of LongJump VC) | Creating Circularity Solutions
Garry Cooper is the CEO of Rheaply, a Series-A Climate Tech company in Chicago, and one of six GPs at Longjump VC, a first-check, founder-led fund investing in the next generation of Chicagoland founders. Garry shares his fundraising journey for Rheaply and for Longjump, and ideation process behind the two ventures. LongJump VC had been an idea for Garry and his network of Chicago founders, until George Floyd's death last summer solidified the formation of the fund. The GPs successfully raised over $4 million by the time the fund was announced in March 2021.  As a Black founder, Garry constantly asks himself, "What more can I do for Black, brown and underserved communities?" He draws parallels between Rheaply's mission of advancing the Circular Economy and LongJump's mission of giving voice to underfunded and unconnected founders. Garry shares his goals for the next ten years, and how he strives to broaden the economy to let more people in. 
November 29, 2021
EP 12: Fion Lee-Madan (Fairly AI) | Building Fair and Responsible AI Solutions
Fion is the co-founder and COO of Fairly AI, an AI Governance, Risk, and Control (GRC) solution that keeps organizations' AI responsible and regulated. She discusses her career as a technical and business leader at ATG before, during, and after its Oracle acquisition, her experience with late-stage investing, followed by her interest in early-stage venture investing. She joined Founder Institute, where she met her co-founder and together they launched Fairly AI in April 2020. Fion shares how Fairly AI closes the gap between technical data scientists and non-technical decision makers, and reduces high-velocity financial and ethical AI risk. 
October 23, 2021
EP 11: Nicole Ward (Watermark Women of the C-Suite) | The Joy of Supporting Others
A C-suite executive connector and facilitator, Nicole Ward is the National Director of Sales at Moss Adams LLP, and Podcast host of Watermark Women of the C-Suite. In her conversation with Kelly, she shares her journey in angel investing, her appetite for risk, and the joy she finds in supporting those building something they are passionate about. She shares her journey of making one of her first investments in Porfolia, where women can learn about venture investing from other women. Nicole appreciates the American philanthropic culture and enjoys sharing her time and network with entrepreneurs and new investors. She's also very interested in biohacking and cites her endless energy as one of her sources of power. 
September 29, 2021
EP 10: Leigh-Ann Buchanan (aīre ventures): Using Ecosystems to Close Opportunity Gaps
Leigh-Ann Buchanan is the President of aīre ventures, a venture studio scaling technology, entrepreneurial and innovative solutions to systemic gaps in access, opportunity and racial equity. Leigh discusses the Miami Venture Capital ecosystem, her REDI (Racial Equity Diversity and Inclusion) framework for closing opportunity gaps in investing, and why people, purpose and impact are core to everything she does.
July 30, 2021
EP 09: Judith Levey (The Desire Company) | Closing the Trust Gap
Judith Levey is the co-founder and COO of The Desire Company, a content and media platform that helps customers learn new skills from professionals and introduces them to the best products available. Judith shares how her previous corporate PR career at The Coca-Cola Company taught her the skills she needed to found and lead DesireCo, including the lessons she learned from a PR stunt gone horribly wrong. She identifies the “trust gap” between retailers and consumers on ecommerce platforms such as Amazon, and shares how DesireCo aims to close that gap. She reflects on how the company took a hard pivot during the pandemic to scale their online video streaming platform, and how it taught her to embrace speed over perfection when making decisions to save and scale the business. 
July 06, 2021
EP 08 Aihui Ong (X Factor Ventures) | Founder vs CEO vs VC
Excited to have interviewed Aihui Ong, exited founder turned VC and hired, to learn about her lessons as a female solo founder who Immigrated to the US post-college. She shared her experiences on how was overlooked as a founder because of her gender and background and how she was able to use those experiences to support the founders that she invests in now. She also shared the difference of being a CEO vs a founder and how having a CEO coach really helped her to scale her companies.  As an entrepreneur and executive, Aihui has built innovative products and a company that ranked as one of the TOP 50 fastest-growing female-led companies in America by Inc. She is an active speaker at tech conferences globally and has been interviewed by Inc, CNBC, Today Show, Fast Company, TechCrunch, and others. As founder & CEO of EdgiLife (acquired), she’s built a pioneering platform that helped CPG companies rapidly perform A/B test their products, concepts, messaging by leveraging a large nationwide health and wellness community called (acquired), one of the nation’s fastest-growing snack subscription business. She built the company from the ground up, from writing the initial software on Ruby on Rails to growing sales from zero to multi-million dollar in revenues to raising millions in venture capital and acquiring 4 other subscription companies since its founding in 2012. Her company was also accepted by 500 Startups accelerator program which has a ~2% acceptance rate. EdgiLife and LoveWithFood were acquired by SnackNation in June 2018.
June 29, 2021
EP 07: Earl Valencia & Kevin Gabayan | Plentina - Unlocking Financial Services for the Emerging Middle Class
Plentina is the buy now pay later fintech startup building a new digital-first experience for financial services leveraging artificial intelligence. Earl is an aerospace engineer by training, and Kevin was a computer vision researcher at NASA Ames. The two met as graduate students at Stanford, where they bonded over dinner discussions on how to best serve their shared Filipino community. Realizing that credit card penetration in most Southeast countries (except Singapore) fell below ten percent, the two decided to use machine learning and data science to unlock financial services for emerging markets. Kevin recalls doing research on the ground by approaching street merchants in Manilla and accessing their financial challenges and aspirations. Plentina has launched an initial partnership with 7-Eleven in the Philippines, where they leverage loyalty programs and co-marketing strategies with merchants to increase sales and generate credit scores for their customers. Plentina has raised an initial seed funding of $2.2M and is actively hiring. Check out their open roles here. 
June 14, 2021
EP 06: Elle Bruno (Techstars MD) | Investing in Female-Led Companies as a Female Investor
What was your introduction to investing? For Elle Bruno, the Managing Director of the Techstars Western Union Accelerator Program, it was when her father helped her invest her babysitting money in Target - her favorite place to shop as a teenager. Today, with 18 years of startup operator experience under her belt, Elle runs the Techstars Western Union Accelerator Program. The program just closed its third round of applications with applicants from 50 countries. Elle is also an active Angel Investor in female founded/co-founded start-ups. In our conversation, Elle shares the jaw-dropping instances of gender discrimination she faced as a female founder and how that fueled her to become a professional investor in female and underrepresented founders. 
May 28, 2021
Ep 05: Sajid Rahman (MyAsiaVC) | Becoming an "Accidental Investor"
Sajid Rahman is the General Partner at MyAsiaVC. He has been a prolific investor at tech companies ranging from Silicon Valley, Asia, Latin America, and Africa and has managed over 700 syndicates. He shares his experience of becoming an “accidental investor” when he was running a bank in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is attracted to startup investing because it gives him a frontrow seat in the tech and innovation world, and provides a “crash course on business building.” He discusses why he rarely writes the first check, and how he has built and maintained his strong network of global investors.
May 26, 2021
Ep 04: Carmelle Cadet (EMTECH) | Modernizing Central Banking
We share an inspiring conversation with Carmelle Cadet, Founder and CEO of EMTECH, a Fintech company on a mission to create financial inclusion for all, especially those who are underbanked, unbanked and deemed "unbankable." She shares her personal story of growing up in Haiti, gaining access to financial services when her family moved to the US, and going on to have a 10-year career at IBM working in blockchain technology. She describes her lightbulb moment of deciding to quit her 6-figure salary job to work on an issue that was deeply personal to her. Carmelle walks us through the grueling process of raising her first million, pitching to central banks and investors such as a16z, and all the lessons she's learned along the way. 
May 21, 2021
Ep 03: Manan Mehta | How Unshackled Ventures Invests
A conversation with Manan Mehta, Founding Partner at Unshackled Ventures. Unshackled Ventures was founded in 2014 with the mission to help immigrant founders succeed. The firm invests in immigrant entrepreneurs at the ideation stage (60% of commits made before incorporation), sponsors visas, and provides full immigration support for immigrant founders who often do not have the support network of native-born founders. Unshackled has made 55 investments to date, backing founders from 6 different continents. Manan shares his experience building a company with an immigrant founder and learning the pain points of visa issues facing immigrant entrepreneurs. He highlights that the main challenge facing immigrant founders is not what they know, but who they know. Manan discusses how Unshackled has found its niche market in the VC space through its expansive access to a fast-growing network of immigrant entrepreneurs.

May 11, 2021
Ep 02: Arlan Hamilton | How Backstage Capital Invests
Arlan Hamilton is an investor and the founder and managing partner of Backstage Capital. She's also one of our advisors at Finclusive Ventures! In May 2020, Hamilton released her first book from Penguin Random House entitled "It's About Damn Time", which is based on her personal journey into entrepreneurship and venture capital.  Listen to our interview with Arlan Hamilton by Lauren Nham and Kelly Lei on how Arlan spot founders and people that she would want to work with.  What she defined as underestimated and overlooked Does she think she's overhyped?  How she's scaling Backstage Capital How she invests now and trends that she sees How she plans to make a difference What would she would be doing if she was  She even shared her email address with us.  Arlan Hamilton is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a venture capital firm dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT. Started from scratch in 2015, Backstage has now raised more than $15 million and invested in more than 175 startup companies led by underestimated founders. In 2018, they launched a four-city accelerator program in Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia, and London. Arlan has been featured on the cover of Fast Company magazine as the first Black woman non-celebrity to do so, and is the author of “It’s About Damn Time” and host of the weekly podcast “Your First Million”. Arlan and her mother, Mrs. Earline Butler-Sims, announced their scholarship program which kicked-off with scholarships for Black students at Oxford University and HBCU Dillard University.
April 27, 2021
Ep 01: Elizabeth Yin | How Hustle Fund Invests
Founder and investor Elizabeth Yin shares how Hustle Fund is democratizing wealth through entrepreneurship. Elizabeth shares strategies behind how Hustle Fund is able to write the earliest checks for new startups based on thoughtful evaluations of the founding team and the existence of “market pull.” For new VC firms, Elizabeth offers advice on portfolio construction. She highlights the importance of building a unique brand and leveraging other investors in the ecosystem. Through Hustle Fund and her personal investments, Elizabeth hopes to generate a vibrant startup ecosystem by creating more programs and funds for founders, as well as opportunities for new funders.
April 27, 2021
What is the Finclusive Podcast?
Ali and Kelly founded Finclusive Ventures and we are here to tell you why we are doing the Finclusive podcast. 
April 23, 2021