All Posts

This was our first expansion of our Investor Chats series into the Legal environment. This is a great start to understand the legal basics within the ecosystem. The conversation kicks off with an introduction to who Tom is and what his experiences are like.

Check out the latest installation in our Investor Chats series. This session, we had the pleasure of talking with Jay Patel, an investor with a global education and work experience.

A native of France, Fabien moved 14 years ago to the US to pursue his career as an e-commerce program manager. As a product leader, Fabien conceptualized & scaled several market-leading platforms such as Atmosphere®, acommunications platform, Odigo™, an enterprise contact center, and Digicare, a digital health solution for patients with chronic diseases. While Fabien worked in multiple industries, he stayed passionate about personal finance, and ultimately gained a core expertise in innovation & digital banking while working for Capgemini as a Fintech & Product Strategist. 

A combination of loving products and wanting more from them. Spree is a P2P crypto and content exchange platform. P2P apps like Venmo, Cashapp, and Zelle have become essential apps in our life- many Gen-Z/ Millennials pay rent, phone bills, utilities with P2P exchanges. I love the social aspect of Venmo- but the ability to only send an emoji/short comment feels so outdated. The most popular social platforms are video based right now. In addition, I recently have been able to understand the importance of cryptocurrency moving into the future. I’ve always been excited about something like Bitcoin being used as casual as the dollar. It just felt like there’s a road block between Bitcoin/ other cryptos being considered something you can spend/exchange rather than invest/flip like gold or stocks. Right now there’s awesome apps like Coinbase to purchase and track your Bitcoin, but I wish there was a way to casually send a friend, family, partner some Bitcoin- it feels like such a good faith gift right now.

Sip & Share Wines is a boutique winery producing a diversity of handcrafted vegan wines. We're passionate about creating community with wine, especially for wine lovers often overlooked and underrepresented by the wine industry. Our wines are approachable to all palates, fun and made to sip and share.

We had a productive evening on 2/9/21 when Forest Richter, CEO of Uncrowd, interviewed Grady Buchanan of Omnivalley and NVNG. This was a unique session as Grady has a background as both an investor and a founder. Grady Buchanan is an institutional investor and risk-based asset allocation professional. His focuses include venture capital fund investments as well connecting startup ecosystems across the globe.

Whether you’re a young professional or a college student new to the city, chances are you’ve been left high and dry on a weekend when your party plans got cancelled. Typically in the past, you’d be left scrambling trying to text your buddies to figure out what the next move is going to be-- sometimes with no such luck. Fortunately, this is a thing of the past with whosCROWDED. whosCROWDED is an app that allows you to instantly locate nearby events and parties so you’ll never have to spend another Friday night disappointed at home or in your dorm room.

Orion has spent most of her career working in corporate America. Like many of her peers, this often required frequent traveling across the world meeting with clients. Orion worked in corporate America for nearly 15 years prior to making her debut to being a full-time entrepreneur at the end of 2018. Making the decision to move away from the tech space to the travel industry was one that simply made sense.

Activism Always’ AI platform produces analytics and recommendations to support the social media engagement of mission driven organizations. This sector understands the value of data in operations, but the majority of organizations lack resources to perform data analytics. Activism Always’ hybrid service combines an internal AI platform with strategy analytics, maximizing organizations' data capabilities and impact. Activism Always was founded by four students: Mikayla O’Reggio, Chelsie Lui, Hoa Nguyen, and Jin Pu.

Andi Sciacca is an advocate for access, education, and equity – and a proud #MKEpreneur. She is currently leading the development of The MKE FoodSchool – a center for learning, innovation, community-building, and resource-sharing, working to create the space for an inspired and inclusive conversation around Milwaukee's community table. She also teaches for the Milwaukee Institute of Art + Design and is program designer and capstone faculty for the graduate division of The Culinary Institute of America– where she develops and leads courses on innovation and entrepreneurship. She believes technology has the power to bring people together – rather than isolate – and she enjoys helping others leverage those opportunities to connect and to flourish.

We had a great conversation the other night to learn more about Ashley Flucas and her thoughts about investing. We got to know about Ashley’s personal life as she grew up in a small town in Florida. Ashley’s parents were pretty hands-off as a child and allowed her to tune in her ability to be a self-starter.

Those of you who follow me on twitter know that I tweet erratically, and I primarily use social media to amplify the endeavors and thought leadership of those who are working directly or indirectly to foster peace, justice, sustainability, and equity, and/or to reframe our existing social constructs to be more inclusive, humane, and creative. And I have been musing for some time now about how the hockey stick or unicorn model with its ethos of move fast and break things is so often extractive and (not creatively) destructive, minting a tiny class of nouveau robber barons at the expense of many other individuals and communities; that dynamic has been exacerbated by the pandemic (among other causal factors).

Heather is a self-proclaimed "recovering channel professional." She is passionate about enabling manufacturers and their Channel Partners to drive business through their Channel Partners. Having led Channel Programs for companies like EMC, EqualLogic and Dell, Heather helps Channel organizations of all sizes drive channel enablement, build relationships to find added value, drive demand and engage their audiences through social and traditional media.

Vontélle, LLC was incorporated last year with a clear vision and ironic symbolism of “2020”. The company is producing high-end eyewear that has unique African, Caribbean and Latin print designs targeting the general market ages 25-65. The company launched their website in October 2020. Vontélle was created by Tracy Vontélle Green and Nancey Harris, both women of color and very highly accomplished. Vontélle is committed to celebratory cultural designs that represent global textiles, boldness and beauty.

I was born in Mexico City, Mexico, but raised in Salt Lake City, Utah; I spent over a decade leading in educational justice issues across the country. I am currently the youngest elected official in Utah serving as a School Board Member in the Salt Lake School District and have been named as one of Utah’s 20 in their 20s by Utah Business.

Aureal Ojeda is a heavy-machine operator in Milwaukee, WI who’s worked on a variety of different projects ranging from buildings, infrastructure, demolition, as well as the newly opened Hop streetcar. Over the years, she’s witnessed many errors made from working in the field and felt inspired to offset some of the damage she’s seen. After seeing the atrocities that were being done to the planet, she made a promise to give back in hopes of offsetting some of the damage done by launching an environmentally friendly tea company called Outwoken Tea. 

I am a Product Manager and love solving customer problems. I wanted to bring my experience in remote work to a product that could bring remote workers closer together through conversation.I love coffee, especially Cafecito, and being from Miami, FL (where Cuban culture is strong) coffee always brought me together with amazing mentors, friends, and clients. I am hoping Cafecito does the same for you.

I have been working in the hospitality space (a sommelier too!) for over20 years while founding MARLABS in 2011. MARLABS offers innovative solutions for hospitality services and recruitment. The main project at MARLABS, Agaru, offers anonymous, transparent evaluations of service staff that can be used to support their customer-oriented track record in the tough world of hospitality. Enterprises will gain better insight of the performance of their teams with more granular data and customers will be rewarded for sharing their views in a simple way, where they can help others help themselves through their talent.

Forest Richter’s first introduction to the venture funding process came when he started raising funds for a startup in Boston. Not knowing where else to start, he Googled “venture capital Boston,” and started building a spreadsheet of all of the investors he could find in the area. He looked them up on LinkedIn and tried to find a way to get a warm introduction. And all the while, he thought he was doing it wrong. He thought there had to be a better way to find investors.

I hate to make the dating/marriage analogy but finding the right technical co-founder is about being the right non-technical co-founder.I have always been bad at math. I see numbers, ratios and my brain sends an <<ERROR>> message. I quickly decided that I would double down on what I was good at: words, writing and speaking, while avoiding maths like a the plague. I chose a career where knowledge of Excel was not mandatory and my phone calculate was sufficient: Law. As a second generation lawyer, I think my aversion to numbers is genetic!

In this release, Jerry sits down with Forest Richter, Co-founder and CEO of, a software platform that serves to connect underrepresented startup founders with investors. In this conversation, Forest shares how his ongoing battle with imposter syndrome has undermined his self-confidence and has called forward deeper questions around whether he, as a cis-gendered white man, can effective execute the company’s mission.

Eli Rivera and Ruben Gaona share a similar story with the millions of Americans who made decisions in their young adulthood that unfortunately impacted the remainder of their lives. After both served their time for drug trafficking and other criminal activities, they were released and faced a similar issue: trying to find a meaningful career and re-enter society. 

Airtable was founded on the belief that software shouldn’t dictate how you work—you should dictate how it works. Our mission is to democratize software creation by enabling anyone to build the tools that meet their needs. Here is an example of how Airtable was used to create a valuable resource for founders, and we want to share that specific example with you, as it quickly categorizes resources for fundraising and educational tools for founders. Refer to the link here to get access to a list of resources for you!

My name is Arlando Monk-Walls and I'm the CEO of the Visionary League. Arlando Monk-Walls, CEO of the Visionary LeagueVisionary League connects diverse talent in the tech and creative industries to foster opportunities and highlight issues in an effort to impact change related to Diversity & Inclusion, or D&I, in workplaces across Southeastern Wisconsin....

Women are underrepresented in venture capital, in terms of the number of women-led companies invested in and those in senior positions. Men make up 91% of the venture capitalist industry’s executive ranks. To close this gap, banks and investment firms are putting in place strategies to help identify innovative, high-growth female-led companies

As two strong, independent women that met with the common love of riding their own Harley Davidsons, the friendship between Karen Renee and Judy Gerulat has grown to a successful business partnership....

My journey is complex. I lived in two worlds growing up. My mother is a Christian evangelist for a well known church in Milwaukee, WI and my father (who wasn’t a father at all) was a drug dealer who was entrapped by his own trauma. Growing up, Sundays were strange. I would mingle with self made millionaires, lawyers, politicians and clergy in the morning due to going to church with my mother. By the evening when I went to see my father....

First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times? Forest Richter: Thank you for thinking of us. All things considered, we’re fine. It’s certainly been a challenge, and there is a heightened sense of anxiety, but we have stayed safe and healthy.

We were lucky enough to have Garnet Heraman, a social impact investor, to join us on Wednesday, October 28th to have a discussion on the current state of venture capital and what that means for underrepresented founders. Garnet Heraman is a man of many accolades ....

Forest Richter, CEO and Co-Founder of Uncrowd, presents an Intro to Pitching. Forest opens the conversation with an overview of how to build an effective pitch deck and how to engage investors.

Forest Richter, CEO and Co-Founder of Uncrowd, presents an Intro to Venture Funding. Forest opens the conversation on Venture Funding with a basic definition of what Venture Funding is and who is involved in the process...

Rider Calls for Venture Capital Firms to Bring in Black and Underrepresented Check Writers as Co-Investors, Thereby Bringing Diversity Directly into the Cap Table. Greycroft Partners, First Round Capital, Maveron and Harlem Capital Partners Among the First Firms to Commit to Including the Rider in Their Term Sheets. Will Compile List of Diverse Check Writers In Collaboration with Crunchbase's Diversity Spotlight Initiative

Startups are constantly in the race for funding to propel their expansion. Benzinga spoke to Kate Hernandez, principal at Detroit Venture Partners, for insight on future trends for startups as well as challenges for those looking to enter the VC world as a career.

Forest Richter, CEO and Co-Founder of Uncrowd, had the opportunity to talk with Ishu Singh on his podcast, Starting to know - Business. Forest gave a high level overview of the platform and why the platform was put together. is trying to overcome the pipeline problem for investors by providing a platform of underrepresented founders to better diversify their portfolios. Forest also discusses some hurdles Uncrowd faced as a startup and getting clients.

Dear Progressive White People... What started as me being angry on behalf of a friend, turned into a 5,000 word essay. If you (like me) consider yourself a progressive white person, I hope you will give this a read with an open mind.

There has recently been a lot of necessary attention on the lack of venture funding for founders of color. We have seen a lot of positive messaging around this, but not as much action as is necessary. I laid out a plan for a $3M fund that I think can make a tremendous impact. I don't have access to $3M, but if you do, here is a roadmap.

We're tired of holding back anger and sadness as we talk about these issues, knowing our industry isn't even doing the bare minimum to support Black investors.

Get some insight into what makes Forest Richter, Uncrowd CEO, so passionate about helping underrepresented founders.