AI is everywhere these days, finding its way to every startup’s pitch, making it even harder to stand out from the crowd. Does your startup leverage AI? Do you know how to talk about it? Do you even need to? We’ve heard firsthand how confusing this seems to founders. The goal of this conversation has been to demystify how founders should speak about AI when pitching to investors. Watch the replay to hear Martina Welkhoff from Goldenrod Ventures and G&W’s Leslie Feinzaig cover this and more below.
Martina Welkhoff is a Founding Partner at Goldenrod Ventures and the WXR Fund, early-stage venture funds investing in women-led emerging tech companies. Prior to launching her first fund, she started an accelerator from which 26 companies graduated. Before shifting her full time focus to investing, Martina was an entrepreneur who founded her first company, Zealyst, in 2010. Zealyst was a corporate gaming platform that strategically helped employees to build their professional network and in turn collected data for their employer on culture, morale, and engagement. After 6 years of building Zealyst, Martina founded a virtual reality company called ConveneVR that was focused on pushing the boundaries of social VR. She was inspired to transition into the VR industry after recognizing the unique opportunity the creation of a new computing platform provided for women and underrepresented minorities.
Martina is an advisor to the Center for Leadership & Strategic Thinking at the Foster School of Business. From 2013-2017, she served as the board president of Seattle Women in Tech before transitioning the nonprofit to a for-profit company that is scaling the model globally. Martina has been recognized as a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, a Lumiere Award recipient for Distinguished Leadership from the Advanced Imaging Society, and a 2021 Puget Sound Business Journal 40 Under 40 Honoree. Martina received a BA in English with a minor in Chemistry from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.
Leslie Feinzaig is the founder and Managing Director of Graham & Walker, an early stage venture capital fund and community on a mission to reshape the Nasdaq by investing in tech companies founded and led by women. In 5 years, she turned a 25-person Facebook group into the most prominent and tightly engaged community for women-founded startups and aligned investors in America, and raised a venture capital fund to invest in (and with) the best of them.
Born and raised in Costa Rica, Leslie was named one of Forbes Magazine’s Most Powerful Women from Central America, Worth Magazine’s Worthy 100, Puget Sound Business Journal 40 Under 40, and Seattle Magazine’s Most Influential People. Leslie serves on the Boards of the Washington Technology Industry Association, the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, and the HBS Equity and Entrepreneurship Initiative Alumni Advisory Board. She has a Bachelor’s degree from the London School of Economics and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is a contributing writer for Fortune, Fast Company, and Techcrunch.
About Graham & Walker
Graham & Walker is a venture firm that activates the potential of all women in business through programs, community, and direct investments. We are on a mission to reshape the Nasdaq by investing in tech companies founded and led by women. For more information, please visit https://grahamwalker.com