Behind the Scenes: Building an Angel Experience You Will Never Forget

By: Sarah Dickey, ACA Membership Director

The programming team for ACA 2021 - The Summit of Angel Investing is full of experienced, respected angel investors and ecosystem providers, and they are hard at work creating a virtual experience that will change the way you think about angel investing.  

Programming teams must make difficult choices about which topics matter most, identify speakers that effectively communicate key learning objectives, and figure out new and exciting ways to connect with attendees in today’s virtual environment. The experiences and knowledge of the programming team comes through in every conference session, so it is imperative to gather the right people to serve in this important role. 

ACA has attracted some of the world’s most successful angels and ecosystem thought leaders to its volunteer ranks – and many of those bright minds are on the programming team for ACA 2021 - The Summit of Angel Investing. The conference also includes multiple networking opportunities each day for you to meet and engage with these influential leaders, so be sure to register and mark your calendar for the angel event of the year. 

ACA 2021 - The Summit of Angel Investing: Say Hello to Your Programming Team

Event Chair

Angela Jackson, Portland Seed Fund

Angela has 15 years of experience as a venture capitalist, angel investor, and as an advisor to startups in the technology, consumer products, cleantech, and mobile service industries. She co-founded the Portland Seed Fund in 2011, but also serves as the Director of Portland State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and manager of the Portland State University Business Accelerator, allowing her to monitor prospective and existing portfolio companies that originate from the university. Angela sits on the boards of the Angel Capital Association, Crowd Supply and TIE Oregon. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History from Boston University, and an M.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon.

Event Vice Chair

Marcia Dawood, Mindshift Capital

As a passionate board member of ACA and a venture partner within Mindshift Capital, Marcia evaluates and mentors startup companies with a clear emphasis on women-led businesses. She is an experienced entrepreneur, having founded a company and served as its legal/compliance/financial director as well as holding a position on its board of directors. Marcia spent 16+ years of her career with Kaplan Higher Education Campuses (KHEC), serving as Vice President of Career Services, along with various roles in sales and marketing, operations, and compliance. She is a graduate of the Global Executive MBA program at UNC’s Kenan Flagler’s School of Business and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business and psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Sarah Biber, OSHU Invent-a-thon Founder and Team Lead

Dr. Biber leads the Surgical Innovation Program at Oregon Health and Science University. Prior to joining OHSU, she was the Assistant Director for NIH’s National Center for Data to Health (CD2H), where she played a critical role in launching the center and co-led initiatives to facilitate informatics innovation, data sharing, software development, and collaboration. Prior to her CD2H role, she was the Entrepreneurial Program Director at the Oregon Bioscience Incubator, where she helped grow the incubator three-fold and spearheaded statewide programs and partnerships to support entrepreneurs and startups. Dr. Biber enjoys working with early-stage entrepreneurs to help them successfully launch, develop, and raise funds for technologies. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Earlham College, and a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Brandeis University.

Elaine Bolle, Portfolia and RTP Capital

Elaine is an active angel investor, board director, and advisor leading domestic and global organizations from start-ups to $750M+ enterprises. She has built and successfully exited several early-stage venture backed companies, including Achex, a payment processor, sold to First Data Corp. She is an Entrepreneur in Residence at First Flight Venture Center, one of the nation’s largest high science incubators. Throughout her career, she has held management roles in strategic marketing and brand management, including a leadership role at Quaker Oats, where she conceived and built the new wholesome snack business known today as “Quaker Chewy Granola Bars.” Elaine has also served as the Senior Vice President and General Manager for Western Union, leading the consumer payments businesses worldwide, and as a Vice President and Senior Director of Citicorp Global Payments. She holds an MBA in international business and marketing, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Spanish from the University of Michigan. Elaine serves on the boards of directors for ACA and RTP Capital Association.

Suse Reynolds, Angel Association New Zealand

Suse is the founder of Angel HQ, the Wellington, New Zealand region’s angel network. She currently sits on the Board of Angel HQ and is an enthusiastic believer in the ability of angel investment to make the world a better place. During her successful career, Suse served as the Chief Operating Officer and GM of Investment at Grow Wellington and the Executive Director of The Trade Liberalisation Network. She also spent ten years with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which included working for the Foreign Minister and a posting in London representing New Zealand’s trade and economic interests. Suze holds a degree in Law and Commerce with a focus in International Trade from Victoria University of Wellington.

Dr. Vivek Soni, TiE Boston Angels

Dr. Soni has over 30 years of global leadership experience as a senior executive, board member, investor, and advisor. He has a comprehensive technical and operations background in clean technology, including polymers, chemicals, materials, R&D, and manufacturing processes. Dr. Soni is deeply engaged in the entrepreneurial community in Boston and manages TiE Boston Angels. He is on the Advisory Board for Massachusetts’ largest municipal electric utility and serves as a board member of the holding company for the A.T.E. Group in India, helping to establish their clean energy and water technology businesses. Dr. Soni was a Venture Adviser to Nomura International's New Energy and Clean Technology Fund, which was run from London and focused on expansion-stage venture capital deals for cleantech companies. He received his Ph.D. in Polymer Science & Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi.

Dr. Richard Sudek, Tech Coast Angels and Golden Seeds

Dr. Sudek is an active investor in Golden Seeds, an investment firm dedicated to pursuing market returns through the empowerment of women entrepreneurs and the people who invest in them. He is the Chairman Emeritus of Tech Coast Angels and an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University. An active angel investor with over 20 investments in startup companies, Dr. Sudek and the team at Tech Coast Angels have screened more than four hundred start-up companies. Dr. Sudek has taught courses on entrepreneurial finance and leadership at INSEAD in France, the Rotterdam School of Management in Holland, and at the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management of Claremont Graduate University. In 1982, he founded Nadek Computer Systems, a computer consulting firm, and in 1999, sold the company to SAIC. He has served on advisory committees for Microsoft, IBM, Novell, and Cisco. He received his Ph.D. in Management from Claremont Graduate University and his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from UC Irvine.

Eli Velasquez, Investors of Color Network

Eli is the co-founder of the Investors of Color Network, a national network of Black and Latinx accredited investors across the U.S. focused on closing the racial funding gap in early-stage capital. He is also supporting the NIH RADx initiative with the commercialization of COVID diagnostics technologies. In his prior role at VentureWell, he oversaw the U.S. State Department Global Investors Program, supporting and launching new angel networks in Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt, Vietnam, Mexico, and Colombia. He currently serves as an ACA Board Member and Capital Advisor to the Stanford Latino Business Action Network. He is an investor in the Portfolia Rising America Fund, and founding Board Advisor to AccelHub Venture Partners and the Business Angel Minority Association. Prior, he was the Associate Vice Chancellor at Texas Tech University where he co-founded the Lubbock Angel Network, a group that has invested over $4M and seen four exits since its founding in 2015. His efforts in Texas led to over $20M in funding for startups, entrepreneurship programs, and proof of concept funds. Before that, Mr. Velasquez worked for The Boeing Company in southern California, initially within Boeing's Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) group where he was assigned to develop the Delta Rockets. Eli obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, and his J.D. degree with an Intellectual Property Certificate from Whittier Law School.

Nicole Washington, Ohio TechAngel Funds

Nicole Washington, M.S., has nearly 20 years of systems integration experience, including systems implementation, design, and programming from her previous career with Ernst & Young, Whittman Hart and MarchFirst management consulting firms. She is the founder and owner of Micro Biz Coach®, a firm that focuses on educating business owners to leverage various aspects of internet technology in their operations to maximize efficiency and to effectively compete with larger businesses. Its clients have been featured on CNBC, Fox Business News, and a host of Clear Channel radio stations.

Most recently, Nicole held senior level positions with Octane, a non-profit organization supported by partners that have a combined revenue of almost $200 billion. In her roles at Octane, Nicole has focused on creating an ecosystem to help high-growth companies scale and leading philanthropic initiatives to make the Octane network more accessible to underrepresented groups. She is a member of ACA and a leader within the Ohio TechAngel Fund, the 2nd largest Angel Investor Network in the United States, where she served as the due diligence team technology lead for several years. Nicole has served on several boards, including the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute and the Samueli Academy Board of Trustees. She holds a master’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University.

Wouldn’t you like to network with this group of all-stars and learn from their experiences? Register for ACA 2021 – The Summit of Angel Investing!