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Underestimated Founder

Pitch Competition Finalists!

Presented by: VC OpenDoor

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(scroll down to meet our panelists)


Thank you to our amazing panelists:

Amelia Gandara headshot.jpeg

Amelia joined Nationwide Ventures in 2018 where she is both managing the fund’s operations and investing alongside the team. Her main focus is on Nationwide’s early-stage investments with a passion for insurtech. Amelia has additional experience in investing, operations, strategy and partnerships with stints at GE and a pre-seed funding program. As a former professional ballet dancer, Amelia continues to explore all types of movement and is an avid advocate for the performing arts.

Amelia Gandara

Principal @ Nationwide Ventures

Rohini headshot.jpeg

Rohini brings over 15 years of experience and an impressive technology background to NGP Capital. As a general partner, she leads the intelligent enterprise investment area. Previously, Rohini was an investing partner at New Enterprise Associate (NEA), where she led software, systems, and technology investments. She sat on 13 boards, and nurtured several companies to successful exits. She has also held investment and corporate development leadership roles at Intel Capital and Cisco. Prior to that she co founded Inksedge, an e-commerce platform that offers customized cards suited to specific occasions.

Rohini Chakravarthy

Partner @ NGP Capital

Chip is a General Partner at Flybridge whose investment interests and experience broadly cover companies and technologies in the information technology sector.  His investments include MongoDB, Firebase (acquired by Google), Stackdriver (acquired by Google), Aiera, Datalogue, Dough Collective, Looka, Lorem, Nasuni, Parachute, Proscia and Redox. Before joining the firm in 2002, Chip was a General Partner with Greylock Partners, a leading venture capital firm. While at Greylock, Chip led or participated in numerous successful investments in the enterprise information technology field.

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Chip Hazard

General Partner @ Flybridge & XFactor Ventures

Demi Obayomi headshot.jpeg

New to Sapphire Ventures, Demi focuses on growth-stage investments in high potential software and internet companies. Previously, Demi was a venture capital investor in both San Francisco and New York City where he made investments across stages and in various sectors including B2B software, marketplaces, and healthcare. Prior to his investing career, Demi was a member of the investment banking team at Goldman Sachs. Demi studied Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University where he graduated with Honors. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and continues to support the university’s ecosystem through various initiatives such as A-Level Capital, an angel investment group he co-founded.

Demi Obayomi

Vice President @ Sapphire Ventures

cheryl headshot.jpeg

Cheryl is passionate about the intersection of finance, technology, and social impact. She is the Head of Venture Growth and Partnerships at Republic, a one-stop-shop for founders to raise capital from both accredited and non-accredited investors. She is focused on introducing underrepresented founders to both traditional and alternative funding sources in order to help their startups thrive. In other direct investing roles, she is a scout for Lightspeed and an investment partner at The Community Fund. Cheryl is also one of the founders of VCFamilia, a community of Latinx VCs supporting current & emerging investors through collaboration.

Cheryl Campos

Head of Venture Growth & Partnerships @ Republic

Prizes for finalists:

Live pitch our amazing group of panelists

Exposure to network of +300 investors

30min feedback sessions with 2 investors of your choice


March 10th - Application Deadline

March 24th - Finalists Announced

March 31st - Finalists Pitch Live


1. Active team must contain at least one active

underrepresented minority founder.

Defined in this case as: African American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander, Female, or LGTBQ

2. Must be over 18 years old

3. Must be a founding member of the startup

4. Must be an active startup (not just an idea)


Please don't hesitate to reach out!

Danielle Sheridan

Adam Hardej

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