Seneca VC


F+F Program



8:00 AM

Doors open + Registration + Networking

8:25 AM

Yoga Like a Boss

  • 20 minute mindfulness and wellness session led by Jennifer Keller

Mystical Intentions

  • For those who believe in the mystical power of the arts and setting intentions, we’re offering 10 minute Mystical Intentions tarot readings. Sign up for your 10-minute tarot readings from 9am - 1pm. First come, first serve.

9:00 AM

Opening Remarks + Lightning Talks

  • Melissa Moore (Founder, Seneca VC) + Kate Brodock (CEO, Women 2.0)

  • Emcee: Corey Ponder (Google + Em|Pact Strategies)

    Lightning Talks

  • Think Cupcakes: A Quick Refresher on Lean Startup

    • Janice Fraser (Partner, Seneca VC)

      Fun Fact: Lean Startup has very little to do with how much money you spend, and the word pivot is completely optional. This quick re-introduction of Lean Startup principles will debunk a few myths and provide you with a useful picture of how to create efficiencies in your startup and your investment portfolios. Whether you’re new to Lean Startup, or an accomplished practitioner, this quick talk will give you new insights into how you can organize your work to maximize efficiency.

  • Why You Don’t Always Need a Technical Co-founder

    • Chantal Emmanuel (CTO + Co-founder, LimeLoop)

      Many non-technical founders get stuck in the process of finding their technical co-founder, delaying or completely derailing the launch of their startup. But do you actually need a technical co-founder? If you do, what's the best way to go about finding one?

  • Achieving Escape Velocity 

    • Asra Nadeem (VP Programs + Partnerships, Draper U Entrepreneurship Programs)

      Startups and rocket launches have the same challenge: limited fuel to takeoff. What are some of the things you can do to keep your burn rate under control? Let’s talk about it! 


9:30 AM

How This Parenting Startup Found Product-Market Fit and Scaled to 2 Million Users

  • Sara Mauskopf (CEO, Winnie)

  • Moderator: Hannah Levy (Dir. of Content, Wealthfront | Tech Ladies)

    Founders often ask about the tactics used to achieve product-market fit. Winnie, a childcare platform, grew to 2 million users across 10K cities in just 2.5 years. Winne co-founder and CEO Sara Mauskopf sits down with Hannah Levy, Tech Ladies’ Head of Community, to discuss the growth tactics her team used to go from thousands of users to millions, the mistakes she’s learned from most, how their team prioritizes product development, and other actionable advice for early-stage founders.

9:50 AM

Building Your Loyal Fanbase

  • Sudeshna Basu (Principal Product Manager, Zendesk)

10:10 AM

Networking Break

10:40 AM

Lessons From Two Fundraising Rounds and $7.3m in Capital Raised

  • Kristina Jones (CEO + Founder, Court Buddy)

  • Karina Cabrera Bell (Co-Founder, OpenAccess)

11:00 AM

The Gap Table: Navigating Your Cap Table and Closing the Gender Gap in Equity Compensation

  • Emily Kramer (VP Marketing, Carta)

    In the startup ecosystem, a lot of the wealth is created through equity ownership. Last year, Carta and investment collective #Angels collaborated on The Gap Table study, which analyzes equity by gender, using aggregated and anonymized cap table data from over 6,000 companies on the Carta platform. Emily Kramer, author of The Gap Table study and VP of Marketing at Carta, will walk you through how to navigate your cap table, understanding financing and liquidation, and share how both founders and investors can work together to close the equity gap.

11:20 AM

Fundraising 101: Creating FOMO with VCs

  • Elizabeth Yin (General Partner + Co-founder, Hustle Fund)

    There is a lot of material on the web about how to create a great pitch deck, but how do you close an investor once you get his/her interest? This talk will discuss tactical tips on running your fundraising process and creating urgency.

11:40 AM

Game Thinking: 3 Powerful Ideas to Help Investors Make Smart Decisions

  • Amy Jo Kim (CEO + Author,

11:50 AM

Backing Immigrants, Minorities, and Underestimated Founders

  • Manan Mehta (Founding Partner, Unshackled Ventures)

  • Moderator: Melissa Moore (Founding Partner, Seneca VC)

    A conversation on investing with a mission-driven thesis and why it’s good business to tap into non-obvious pools of talent.

12:00 PM

Lunch & Roundtable Discussions with Founders + Funders

  • Aly DeNardo (Partner, MaC Venture Capital) — Office Hours

  • Amanda Galton (Partner, Orrick) — Office Hours

  • Cadran Cowansage (CEO + Co-founder, Elpha) — Applying to Y Combinator: How Tos and FAQs

  • Carolyn Wakulchik + Hannah Levy (Tech Ladies; Wealthfront; Uber) — Why Company Culture & Community Should be Part of Your Early-Stage Growth Strategy

  • Emma O’Brien (Founder, Punchy) — Punch up Your Pitch

  • Manan Mehta (Founding Partner, Unshackled Ventures) — Office Hours

  • Michele Perras (COO, Alice) — Startup Sales: From First Close to Traction

  • Sarah Gerber (Founder, Zero Gap) — Flipping the Script: How do we Build a Collaborative Language for Men and Women in the Startup Ecosystem?

  • Stephanie S. Chow (Partner + Mediator, Mediated Negotiations) — How to Win at Startup Negotiations 

  • Susan Liu (Principal, Scale Venture Partners) — Getting to Series A

  • Theron McCollough (Founder + CEO, Fiifi) — Angel Investing: Sourcing Dealflow, Deal Management, and What Keeps You up at Night

1:20 PM

Startup Legal: The Nitty Gritty

  • Debra Vernon (Partner, Zhong Lun Law Firm)

1:40 PM

How to De-risk Your First Investments

  • Trish Costello (CEO, Portfolia)

  • Moderator: Kate Brodock (CEO, Women 2.0)

2:00 PM

AMA (Ask Me Anything) with Eric Ries + Shaherose Charania

  • Eric Ries (Founder, The Lean Startup + LTSE)

  • Shaherose Charania (Founder, Women 2.0; Senior Director, Nike Valiant Labs)

    Bring your hardest startup questions and our experts will do their best to answer them!

2:45 PM

Networking Break

3:15 PM

Angel Investing 101: So you want to be an Angel Investor

  • Brianne Kimmel (Angel investor)

  • Phin Barnes (Partner, First Round)

    So you want to be an angel investor... how do you connect with founders? How do you gain conviction? Brianne Kimmel, an early stage startup investor and advisor in 20+ companies, sits down with Phin Barnes, Partner at First Round Capital, to discuss Angel Investing 101. Drawing from their investing experience, they will cover the basics of angel investing, from what makes a good angel to ways to get started.

3:45 PM

The Art of Venture Capital: Picking and Managing Winning Portfolios

  • Jake Zeller (Partner, AngelList/Spearhead)

  • Shruti Gandhi (General Partner, Array VC)

  • Lan Xuezhao (Founder + Managing Partner, Basis Set Ventures)

  • Moderator:  Vivian Cheng (Senior Associate, Javelin Venture Partners)

    There are many paths to becoming a successful venture capitalist. At an early stage, it can sometimes be more of an art than a science. Our VC panel will share how they evaluate new investments, their secret sauce for choosing winners, and the mistakes they’ve made along the way.

4:15 PM

Next Generation of Investors: Crowdfunding, Syndicates, and New Ways of Raising Money

  • Karen Cahn (CEO + Founder, iFundWomen)

  • Dr. Roshawnna Novellus (CEO + Founder, EnrichHER)

  • Parker Thompson (Partner, AngelList)

  • Moderator: Holly Grant (VP, Operations, LTSE)

    Founders used to face a daunting choice: to bootstrap or to raise venture capital. Now there's a whole new world of options that have emerged. We'll explore the current funding landscape and talk tradeoffs of each path. 

4:45 PM

Startup Showcase — Get tickets for this pitch event only here. (F+F attendees: no need to register twice.)

6:00 PM

Happy Hour

Join us for the ultimate networking with founders + funders.

Questions? Email us at hello [at]