At Republic, we believe that in order to close the funding gap for underrepresented founders, the VC industry must also make significant strides in diversifying its decision makers. Techcrunch recently reported that women make up only 8% of VC partners, who are the ones ultimately writing checks and deciding who gets funded. And less than 3% of VC partners are Black or Latinx.
While Republic works to shrink these gaps by letting everyone open their wallets to invest in startups on our platform, we've decided to go a step further. Today we're launching our inaugural Venture Partner Program with a focus on women of color.
We've selected four rising stars in the venture capital industry to benefit from Republic's platform and network, and to partner with us on everything from deal flow to introductions to co-investors to support for their portfolio companies. We're also working on creating opportunities for our Venture Partners to participate in the upside of the deals they bring to our platform. Through supporting the work and stellar careers of our Venture Partners, we're hoping to help the VC industry progress on this front.
We'll feature these Venture Partners and their investment strategies in the coming weeks. Until then, get to know them a bit more here!
Brittany currently leads Deal Flow on the investment team at Backstage Capital, identifying and investing in pre-seed and seed stage companies for the fund and accelerator. She recently led the selection of 24 companies into Backstage Accelerator to receive investment and development resources. Before, she was a Manager at Village Capital, where she analyzed opportunities and created investment recommendations in the fintech, education, health, food/agriculture, and energy sectors. Prior to that, she founded an ecommerce startup, Runway Technologies, while completing an MBA at Harvard Business School. She gained experience supporting entrepreneurs as an Associate at Techstars and as a Mentor at Startup Jamaica, built a solid foundation in finance working at Bank of America Merrill Lynch for 5 years, and received her BS in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Ilse graduated from Stanford in June 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Science, Technology, and Society and a minor in Modern Languages (French & Spanish). At Stanford, she was very involved in the entrepreneurship community and co-founded a social meetup start-up alongside three Stanford Latino peers. Additionally, she co-started a co-ed entrepreneurship fraternity that has chapters throughout the U.S.
After graduating, Ilse worked at Silicon Valley Bank as an associate underwriting new and existing debt deals through credit risk assessments.
She joined OVO Fund nearly two years ago and currently serves as a Senior Associate. At OVO, she spends her time sourcing pre-seed investments in consumer, food marketplaces, and other sectors. OVO Fund is a $35M pre-seed fund that makes $250k to $500k investments in the first round of institutional capital raised.
Ilse is also part of the Advisory Committee for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Bay Area Chapter and is a mentor at Built by Girls, a program that prepares the next generation of female leaders to step into careers powered by technology.
Jaisa is a social impact and technology investor with a focus on supporting female entrepreneurs of color. She is a Jamaican-American raised in Atlanta and takes great pride in her passion for seeing potential in problems and connecting business outcomes with societal change. Her journey into the world of entrepreneurship began with helping small companies revamp their business models and develop streamlined fundraising strategies for seed-stage, angel-backed deals. The success of these projects enabled her to bring her talents to New York in 2016, where she was able to dive deep into the New York startup and investment community.
Jaisa believes that entrepreneurship is a critical element of building generational wealth in underserved communities. She found her purpose in helping underrepresented groups gain access to the resources needed to create and scale their businesses. As a rising New Voices investor under the leadership of SheaMoisture founder Richelieu Dennis, Jaisa is grateful to have the opportunity to continue the work of building companies at the forefront of innovation and opportunity. She also continues to work with Beauty Bakerie, Sweeten, and The Honey Pot Company, among others.
Namrata is a founder, product manager, and investor. She works at Alumni Ventures Group on deal flow, investor outreach, and building a community of experts. Prior to AVG, she co-founded 3 startups, two of which she took from idea to revenue. Before startups, she worked in the industrial automation control systems industry on a range of firmware, middleware, and visualization products. She has an interdisciplinary background in business, humanities, science, and software engineering. In her spare time, she serves as an advisor to multiple startups. She holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business, Berkeley, an MA from the Dietrich College of Humanities, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, and an undergrad in Biology and diploma in Software Engineering from India.