In 2016 I started VentureFWD with my former partners with the intention to break down barriers in seeking investment capital for women and minorities. We hosted an incredible summit together on September 23, 2016, with over 280 attendees, 48 speakers, and 37 investors connected with entrepreneurs on-site for 1-on-1 meetings. As we turned the corner into 2017, I took a step out on my own, bought out my partners and expanded the conference to San Francisco March 11, 2017. Entering into a new, crowded market, we were honored to host over 110 attendees, 31 speakers, with 12 investors in attendance.
A few incredible things that happened at our first two events:Genevieve Thiers met Ellie Bahrmasel and started the RISE Movement, now known as New Founders.
Desmond Clark (Former Chicago Bear) shared with us his '6 Principles of Winning' and won himself by connecting with Manuel Amezcua at FWD. From there they began their journey of creating One Life Advisory.
Jotaka Eaddy dove into the intersection of Tech & Politics on stage in SF. She resonated with our mission so much so that she has partnered with us to help expand the event, community, and mission to D.C.
We connected with over 1/2 million people digitally through our live broadcasts, interviews, and amazing partnership with Entrepreneur.
Mandela Schumacher-Hodge Dixon preached about the most underrated secret to success...effective communication and left us with our most tweeted quote while we were trending on Twitter, "it's ok to have a knock-off bag, but don't be a knock-off person."
AND Shaherose Charania shared with us the statistic from company's on Republic's platform that still has us with our hands up in excitement "80% of successfully funded founders are female."
We started to see the bigger picture.