The Speakers

George Azih

LeaseQuery, Founder & CEO

A financial authority specializing in technical accounting and accounting research, George has served as an auditor for banks, insurance companies, and brokerage firms. Prior to LeaseQuery, he performed Accounting Research and Technical Accounting for a Fortune 500 company, where he specialized in lease accounting, sale-leaseback transactions, build-to-suit arrangements, debt restructurings (modifications and extinguishments), asset retirement obligations and purchase accounting. His previous experience also includes working as a Senior Auditor at a CPA firm, where he specialized in audits for financial institutions.

George is a leading expert on lease accounting. He has been quoted in Bloomberg multiple times and has spoken about lease accounting for numerous groups, including Georgia Society of CPAs, Institute of Managerial Accountants (IMA), Financial Executives International (FEI), Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), Corenet Global Summit, and the National Conference for the Accounting and Finance Women’s Association (AFWA).

A member of the American Institute of CPAs and Georgia Society of CPAs, George graduated from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia with a BS in Accounting.

 

Cassie Betts

VSEDC, Lead Tech Consultant & South LA Best Buy Teen Tech Center

Cassie Betts, a leading advocate for women- and minority-owned businesses, was homeless at the age of 19. Through several resources and local organizations, she was able to go from sleeping on bus stop benches and cardboard boxes to acting and modeling in Coca-Cola® commercials as well as TV & film. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and maintained a lucrative career in the fashion industry. Cassie founded a fashion-tech company called District2.co in 2013 out of the South LA Incubator through Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC) as well as Silicon Beach’s Stubbs Alderton & Markiles Preccelerator. District2 helps to connect fashion designers with local apparel manufacturers. She is also a founding member of Black Women in Tech, co-produces Urban Tech Connect – an annual tech conference headed by Plugin South LA, and is a volunteer pitch coach and Lead Consultant for the Vermont Slauson Economic Development (VSEDC) YEC- Youth Entrepreneurial Challenge. Forbes dubbed her “The Woman Turning South LA into Startup Land”. She is the catalyst and visionary behind the South LA Best Buy Teen Tech Center opening Summer 2020 with VSEDC in partnership with Annenberg Tech, and PledgeLA. Cassie is dedicated to increasing diversity in tech and utilizing high-level t

Austin Clements

OPV, Managing Director

Austin Clements is Managing Director of OPV, an early stage venture capital firm created to address the unmet investment needs of small business owners and the technologies that support them. He was previously a Principal at TenOneTen Ventures and began his career in investment management with AllianceBernstein. He also founded Pi Digital Media, an LA based firm which developed web and mobile applications for SMBs.

Austin serves as the Chair of PledgeLA, an initiative created by the Annenberg Foundation and the Mayor of Los Angeles to promote civic engagement and diversity within the tech community. He also serves on the board of HBCU.vc and the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Austin received his MBA from NYU Stern and his BA from Morehouse College.

Travis Holoway

Solo Funds, Co-Founder & CEO

Travis Holoway is the Co-Founder and CEO of SoLo Funds, a mobile lending exchange that connects lenders and borrowers for the purpose of providing more affordable access to loans under $1,000. SoLo was created to disintermediate the predatory payday lending system. Today, SoLo is one of the fastest-growing fintech companies in the country. Prior to founding his company, Travis built his career in the financial services industry as a financial advisor. It was then that he discovered a major disconnect between the wealthy clients he met with daily in comparison to the 78% of Americans that live paycheck to paycheck. He felt that there were many pain points being experienced by individuals in the middle and lower ends of the financial spectrum that were being ignored and desperately needed to be addressed. Travis has been quoted in various publications and websites, including Forbes, American Banker, Black Enterprise, PYMNTS, and the LA Business Journal. Travis resides in Los Angeles, CA. In his free time, you can find him at brunch, sneaker shopping, or listening to podcasts about business and popular culture.

Jonathan Shieber

Tech Crunch, Senior Editor

Jonathan Shieber is a writer and editor at TechCrunch. 

Rodney Williams

Lisnr, Co-Founder & CCO

Isa Watson

Squad, CEO & Founder

Isa Watson is the Founder and CEO of Squad, an app that helps people build their offline and IRL community. Using a proprietary algorithm, the app forms ‘squads’ of people and facilitates their in real life meets. Squad was an Inc 30 under 30 company and has also been featured in TechCrunch, Forbes, Bloomberg, Fast Company, Bustle, Crunchbase, and Entrepreneur. The company is backed by notable Silicon Valley VC firms and has raised upwards of $4mm. Prior to founding Squad, Isa was a VP of Digital Strategy at JPMorgan Chase in New York and Hong Kong. Before joining JPMorgan Chase, Isa worked at Pfizer both as a research chemist and as a data scientist.

Isa earned an MBA from MIT Sloan, a MS in Pharmacology from Cornell University and a BS in Chemistry from Hampton University where she was an American Chemical Society and National Science Foundation Scholar. For 3 years, Isa was the youngest appointed member of the MIT Sloan Executive Alumni Board, where she helped advise MIT administration on key strategic priorities for the school.

Melissa Hanna

Mahmee, CEO & Founder

Brentt Baltimore

Greycroft, Senior Associate

Based in the Los Angeles office, Brentt’s responsibilities include sourcing, evaluating, and executing venture stage investment opportunities.

Prior to joining Greycroft, Brentt led business development at Operator Inc., a venture stage company in the conversational commerce space and worked on technology commercialization at Numenta Inc., an artificial intelligence research company. Brentt also worked at Detroit Venture Partners, where he led investment diligence and supported portfolio companies. Brentt started his career in investment banking at Credit Suisse in Los Angeles, focusing on leveraged buyouts and debt financing transactions.

Brentt received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA from Claremont McKenna College.

About Plug IN South LA

Plug In brings together entrepreneurs, founders, VCs, innovators and emerging talent for conversations and networking focused on creating a community and hub for innovation in South LA. Come join our kick off Tech Summit & Digital Media program in our movement to identify and accelerate the beautiful in tech and digital media.

© 2020 Plug IN

FOLLOW US