Louis A. Wharton

More Info Coming Soon.

Erin Shipley

Erin Shipley is the co-founder and Managing Partner of The Helm, a venture fund and investment community that rethinks how people invest in female entrepreneurs. With offices in New York and Los Angeles, The Helm invests in high-growth technology companies with female CEOs, primarily at the seed stage. Before The Helm, she was an investor at Karlin Ventures, an LA-based seed and Series A stage fund that invested across marketplaces, enterprise, and commerce technologies, backing companies including Laurel & Wolf, ChowNow, Verge Genomics, and Policy Genius. Before Karlin, she held a variety of investment and innovation roles at the Weinstein Company and Deutsche Bank. She graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Demarcus Williams

Based in our Santa Monica office, DeMarcus Williams is the Director of SVB’s Early Stage Practice, joining by way of Zealot Networks a LA based VC backed digital media company, where he served as Vice President of Business Strategy. DeMarcus’s work at Zealot, including strategic planning, corporate development, and business development, is directly relevant to his current role at SVB, where he is focused on fostering collaboration within LA’s early stage technology/innovation ecosystem and leveraging SVB’s brand to add value to early stage entrepreneurs. Prior to joining Zealot Networks, DeMarcus was a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch’s Private Bank and Investment Group, where he focused on cultivating relationships within LA’s entertainment and technology communities.

A scholar-athlete, DeMarcus played basketball at the University of Washington. His playing days were unexpectedly cut short by a career-ending injury, which ultimately led DeMarcus to transfer and complete his bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Irvine. His experience as a student-athlete gave him first-hand insight into the importance of securing a future beyond sports, initiating his curiosity with technology
and finance.

Passionate about charitable causes, DeMarcus has been recognized by the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office for his contributions to the community and, since 2006, has served as an Athlete Ambassador and Steering Committee Member at Cedars-Sinai’s Sports Spectacular. In addition, he has worked with the Challengers Boys and Girls Club, the Brotherhood Crusade and numerous schools in underserved communities.

Currently residing in Los Angeles with his family, DeMarcus is a loyal Philadelphia Eagles fan and student of Capoeira, the Brazilian martial arts form. With his passion for startup life, DeMarcus is also actively engaged with a sports technology startup ranked by Fast Company as one of the “Most Innovative Companies of 2016.”

Austin Clements

Austin Clements is a venture capitalist with TenOneTen Ventures, a seed stage fund base in LA. Prior to TenOneTen, Austin worked at Sony Pictures, licensing film and TV content to emerging video platforms. He began his career in investment management working with AllianceBernstein and has since held roles evaluating early stage tech investments at Creative Artists Agency, Digital Entertainment Ventures, and NY Angels.

Austin is also committed to encouraging underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in tech and entrepreneurship. He is an active volunteer in various local youth entrepreneurship programs. Austin received his MBA from NYU Stern with a specialization in Media, Entertainment, and Technology and his BA from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA.

Anna Barber

Anna Barber is the Managing Director of Techstars LA, an accelerator program that invests in ten local startups each year. Early in her career she worked as a corporate lawyer, strategy consultant and employee at several tech companies in San Francisco. In 2006 Anna sat next to a woman on an airplane who had a great idea for a business and they became business partners in a startup, Scribble Press. During the past decade she has served as an advisor, strategy consultant and coach to many other entrepreneurs, with a focus on product roadmap, commercialization, business development and raising money.

Anna believes in the ability of small groups of people to change things, the power of storytelling, the business case for diversity and inclusion, and creating harmony between personal and work goals. Find her @annawbarber.

Trevor Wilkins

Trevor Wilkins has experience in developing strong go-to-market strategies and scaling mobile platforms. In his last role as Co-Founder of KÜDZOO – a students rewards app – Trevor helped manage day-to-day operations and grow the app’s user base to over half a million students world-wide. In 2016 Trevor and his partner were recognized by Forbes Magazine and named to the 30 Under 30 list in Education for their work with KÜDZOO.

As a Principal at Quake, Trevor helps manage cohort operations, assists in sourcing potential portfolio investments and expanding Quake’s presence on the West Coast.

Shamin Walsh

Shamin Walsh has over 10+ years as an active angel investor who gained experience in the consumer space through her early investments in companies such as Sweetgreen, Flexport, Outdoor Voices, and Sir Kensington’s.

Prior to joining BAM Ventures as a managing director, she was a consumer-focused partner at an early-stage generalist firm with tangible assets in 3PL/fulfillment, cold storage/co-packing, and manufacturing, giving her a holistic perspective through which to evaluate emerging consumer businesses. She managed the investment portfolio and served on several boards, such as Alchemy 43. She also leveraged her experience as a transactional attorney to assist in contract negotiations, fund formation, and fund construction.

Shamin received her B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, and a J.D. from Loyola Law School. Shamin is passionate about education and dedicates her free time to creating access for others. She previously served as an adjunct professor of Entrepreneurial Finance at Loyola Marymount University. She currently serves as the Head of Engagement and Advocacy on the Teach for America Associates Board and as an active mentor with the Fulfillment Fund.

Jonathan Shieber

More info coming soon.

Anthony Kelani

“Anthony Kelani is a technologist and businessman with over 13 year of experience in the tech industry as a software engineer, data scientist, startup CEO and CTO. His background includes expertise in executing projects in software development and architecture, distributed computing, SaaS, real-time video streaming, data science, and web and mobile applications.

Anthony launched his career with the premier defense contractor, Northrop Grumman, where we was honored for his work in designing and developing life-saving situational awareness software for the United States military. He then became Head of Engineering at one of the first venture studios in Los Angeles, Curious Minds, which created and exited several companies, with the most notable being Telesign. In 2013, he founded ShowKit, which was a TechCrunch Disrupt finalist in 2014 and exited a year later.

After ShowKit, Anthony served as Head of Microsoft for Startups Los Angeles, where he worked closely with startup founders and the leading accelerators and VCs in the L.A. ecosystem. He is on the advisory board of several L.A.-based startups and continues to mentor founders at the preeminent accelerator programs in the nation. He also led software and data science projects for some of Microsoft’s largest retail customers.

Anthony has a unique synthesis of engineering, product and business experience, which enables him to effectively evaluate and mentor entire early stage startup teams. His skills and ability to identify great teams catalyze his acumen for advising and providing quality deal flow to investors.

As Managing Partner of the Los Angeles office, Anthony will focus his efforts on working closely with Quake’s accelerator founders in the areas of engineering and operations, expanding Quake’s investor and partner network, and assisting with fundraising and strategy. Due to his astute technical background, he will also serve as the CIO of the fund by architecting Quake’s data platform.

Anthony holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Southern California and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He is a strong advocate for the inclusion of minorities and women in tech, and has met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to spur support for diversity and entrepreneurial success.”

Carmen Palofox

“Carmen is a Partner at MiLA.vc, venture capital fund that invests in pre-seed and seed-stage hardware startups across industries including Food & AgTech, Cleantech & New Materials, Biotech & Medical Devices, and Mobility & Aerospace. Carmen’s focus at MiLA is coaching entrepreneurs on finance and strategic planning, and managing venture fund operations. She was formerly VP at Dimensional Fund Advisors, where she scaled operations into new markets including Latin America, Canada, and Europe

Carmen has an MBA from Berkeley-Haas, an MA in sports management from USF, and a BA in economics from USC. She is on the advisory board at Santa Monica City College’s Business Department, Aura; a venture capital-backed Fintech startup, and PledgeLA. Carmen is also an Aspen Institute Ricardo Salinas Scholar.

Alex Rubalcava

“Alex is a General Partner and Co-Founder of Stage Venture Partners. With experience in both public equity and venture capital investing, Alex has been a professional investor since 2002. He started his career as an analyst at Anthem Venture Partners, a leading venture capital firm in Santa Monica. While Alex worked at Anthem, the firm backed startups including TrueCar, Myspace, and Android.

After Anthem, Alex launched a long/short equity fund, which he ran for nearly ten years. In addition to his investing work, Alex was an active board member at several nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles. He was appointed by Mayor James Hahn to the Los Angeles Animal Services Commision. Later, he served on the board of KIPP LA Schools and South Central Scholars.

Alex serves on the board of Stage portfolio companies Sightline Maps, Balto Software, SPIDR Tech, and WhiteFox Defense Technologies. Previously, he served on the board of WhereTo.

Alex is a 2002 graduate of Harvard University.”

Shane Kelly

More info coming soon.

Reagan Sirengo

I am re-imagining the future of internal tools that help people work effectively at Zillow group. I am determined to have a positive impact by transforming how people use and measure tools to effectively increase operational excellency and increase delight by creating meaningful experiences through design thinking. I consider design thinking to be my weapon of choice in thinking through interaction models and new possibilities.

Previously, I helped IBM’s hybrid cloud team ship amazing experiences; I co-led the design and launch of Johnsons & Johnson’s Acuvue web and mobile apps digital experiences for Japan, Russia and Hong Kong markets; I led the design, User research, and launch of the UNICEF’s children ad Aids web and mobile experiences; and I led the design of the US #1 fasted growing company, Loot Crate’s end to end digital experience for pop culture subscription box.

I thrive on learning new things — I enjoy exploring new paths to familiar places, seeing things from a fresh perspective, and talking to people.

Greer Engonga

Greer is an Analyst at Backstage Capital and Director of Backstage Los Angeles, the local cohort of the Backstage Accelerator. She has a passion for the LA tech ecosystem and working with underrepresented entrepreneurs. She is very hands on with founders going through the program and helps these companies with their storytelling, business model and fundraising. Prior to joining Backstage, Greer worked in the legal industry for 8 years, most recently focused on emerging growth companies and venture capital. She holds a BA in Journalism from California State University Northridge.

Kelly Perdew

Kelly is the Managing General Partner of Moonshots Capital – an early stage VC fund that invests in early stage technology companies and leans in heavily in veteran founded companies. He is a co-founder & Managing Partner at DuMont Project – a consultative agency that helps accelerate the growth of direct to consumer brands. Prior to DuMont Project he was the CEO of Fastpoint Games, a venture-backed leading developer of live data-driven games for the fortune 500 brand set.

After winning the Season 2 of the NBC hit show, The Apprentice, Kelly served as an Executive Vice President in the Trump Organization in New York, where he managed several real estate projects and worked directly for Donald Trump for the year following the show.

Kelly is a nationally recognized speaker on leadership, technology, career development and entrepreneurship. He earned a BS from the US Military Academy, West Point, a JD from the UCLA School of Law, and an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA. Kelly served in the US Army as a Military Intelligence Officer and completed Airborne and Ranger training. Kelly is author of “Take Command: 10 Leadership Principles I Learned in the Military and Put to Work for Donald Trump,” that provides guidance on how anyone can develop their leadership capabilities and he donates a percentage of the royalties to the USO and was host of GI Factory on the Military Channel. He has also served as a national celebrity spokesperson for Big Brothers/Sisters and The National Guard Youth Challenge Program. Kelly received a Presidential Appointment from President Bush to the President’s Council on Civic Participation and Service in 2006 and was re-appointed in 2008.

Kelly also serves as an investor, advisor and/or Board member for Scopely, Bitium, ID.me, Arx Pax, Thrively, Lettrs, DuMont Project and a dozen others and was previously an advisor or board member for LinkedIn (LNKD), eteamz (ACTV), Pandora (P), Ustream (IBM), and Harvest.ai (AMZN). He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Dawn, stepson Hunter, and twins – Grant and Grace.

Miki Reynolds

Miki Reynolds is the Executive Director of Grid110, an early stage startup accelerator and community development non-profit she co-founded in 2014. She has 15 years of experience working in tech, ranging from digital marketing and creative services to software development and e-commerce. After managing digital projects at global entertainment corporations like MGM Studios and 20th Century Fox, and heading up operations/product for a software development startup, she launched the Downtown LA location for tech education company General Assembly. Miki’s current role at Grid110 focuses on activating the startup ecosystem in Downtown Los Angeles, fostering community, and connecting the dots for entrepreneurs through access to mentoring and critical resources.

Travis Williams

Travis Williams is a senior enterprise solutions architect with Amazon Web Services. Travis has a background in all aspects of technical business strategy and technical architecture and development. Travis has worked with companies in industries ranging from media and gaming to bio-pharma and automotive and beyond to drive technology solutions that deliver game changing business value.

Alexandra Freyer

Alexandra Freyer is a senior associate in SVB’s Santa Monica office, where she works on the Early Stage Practice team to provide the personalized service that positions LA-area technology and innovation entrepreneurs to meet and exceed their goals.

Alex’s knack for business development and passion for adventure make her a perfect fit for SVB. As a Tanzanian safari consultant in 2010, she increased her employer’s revenue by $1.2 million within her first 10 months on the job. She also developed the Boston office of LivingSocial Adventures from its inception. From there, she took on a position as an account executive for the New York–based Clinton Global Initiative, where she brokered worldwide partnerships for socially responsible initiatives and secured millions of dollars in memberships and sales to Fortune 100 corporations, celebrities, social impact companies and NGOs.

Alex also worked as manager of executive operations for online advertising technology company true[X] Media, where she participated in the rebranding and restructuring that preceded its successful $200 million acquisition by 21st Century Fox in 2014. The innovation-driven startup mentality at true[X] served as the ideal training grounds for the SVB Santa Monica office, which she joined in 2016.

Alex earned her bachelor’s degree in government with a minor in theater and dance from Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Through its semester abroad program, she studied world politics at the University of Cape Town and volunteered at a refugee center in South Africa. Shortly after graduating in 2009, she completed the rigorous certification process at the India-based Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre. She has taught private and group classes in Newport Beach since 2014.

When she’s not working in the fast-paced world of tech startups or leading students into the reflective universe of yoga, you’ll likely find her pedaling a bike, playing a piano or dancing.

Nate Moyer
Nate Moyer is a finance professional at J.P. Morgan with over 12 years of experience in the financial services industry. In his current role, Nate focuses on high-growth, high-potential business in the technology and consumer sectors and brings the depth and breadth of products and services that J.P. Morgan offers. Throughout his career, he has advised businesses at all stages of business lifecycle from mature Fortune 500 companies to innovative start-ups.

Previous to his role at J.P. Morgan, Nate worked at Bank of America as a client manager for public and private companies in Los Angeles. Before that, he was an Investment Banking Senior Associate at Wells Fargo Securities, and a Director at FTI Consulting, a public, global financial consulting firm.

Nate received his B.S. in Accounting at Arizona State University where he graduated with honors within the Barret Honors Program and an M.B.A from UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Nate lives in Santa Monica with his wife Erica. He is an outdoor enthusiast and spends most of his time outside of client meetings playing squash, skiing, hiking and enjoying Santa Monica beaches with his wife. Nate volunteers his time for the Santa Barbara School of Squash, a sports and education non-profit serving youth in need.

Summer Watson

Summer Watson is co-founder of Heir, alongside Pusha-T. Summer has led product, content and growth/marketing at top consumer startups including Playdom (acquired by Disney), TuneIn and Episode (Pocket Gems).
Keith Coleman
Keith Coleman is Co-President of Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs of Southern California, a university alumni angel investment group. As Chief Strategy Officer of the Tesla Foundation, a science + technology think tank, Keith drives strategy, policy, technology commercialization and economic development. He shapes innovative solutions to complex legislative + business issues in Automation, Robotics, STEM, Education, Workforce Development, Equity and Inclusion. Keith also serves as the LA County representative on the Executive Council for the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership of Southern California (AMP SoCal): a federal U.S. Department of Commerce/EDA initiative co-led by the City of Los Angeles and USC. He is a speaker to government agencies, private industry, academia, startups and non-profits. Mr. Coleman received a BA in Economics from Stanford University + studied at Stanford-in-Oxford/Magdalen College. Keith also completed graduate level studies at USC: Lusk Center for Real Estate (SPIRE Program) in the School of Policy, Planning and Development + Marshall School of Business. Mr. Coleman resides in Santa Monica with his wife and two sons.

Bassanio Peters

As a Venture Partner at MultiPass and the founder of Assist 2 Develop, I wear a couple of different hats, but everything I do is in the pursuit of the democratization of innovation. My team and I are working to achieve this by helping anyone, anywhere, create anything.
Shanita Nicholas
Shanita Nicholas is an associate at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP, with a focus on corporate transactions, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions matters and other general corporate and business matters for private and public middle-market and emerging growth companies. Shanita’s practice also includes representation of emerging growth companies from inception through various tiers of venture capital financing and corporate finance transactions. She also works on private equity deals with emphasis on strategic acquisitions and private equity exits.

Shanita is co-founder of the Los Angeles Black Investors Club (LABIC) and Sip & Sonder. LABIC is a 501(c)(3) with a mission to inform, exchange, and foster the development of entrepreneurial ventures through serving as a conduit to venture creation, capitalization, and capacity building for diverse communities. Sip and Sonder is an entrepreneurial and creative hub and coffee shop located Downtown Inglewood.

Shanita obtained her JD/MBA from Columbia Law School and Columbia Business School, and her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science.

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.

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