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Meet the Inaugural Blueprint Investor Track Cohort

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|September 11, 2020
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Breaking into venture is a notoriously difficult feat– and one that Dorm Room Fund has helped 30% our alumni achieve since launching in 2012. Breaking in is even harder for talented Black, Latinx and Indigenous students who don’t see themselves represented at partner tables: according to the National Venture Capital Association, 80% of today’s investment partners at venture capital firms are white.

So we decided to do what Dorm Room Fund does best: help exceptional students build their future.

Working together with HBCUVC, Blck VC, First Round, and over a dozen venture firms and general partners, we designed a 6-week program to help aspiring Black, Latinx, and Indigenous student investors learn the ins-and-outs, players, and contours of the VC industry. We hoped that with some insider knowledge taught to them first hand by some of the best in the business (Freada Kapor Klein, Lo Toni, and Elliott Robinson to name a few), and a 1:1 mentorship with a practicing VC, we could help these incredible students take their first step in their journey to a career in venture. (To learn more about our speakers, click here.) 

After receiving hundreds of applications from incredibly talented students, we selected this extraordinary cohort, made up of aerospace engineers, poets, philosophers, builders, and doers. They hail from all over the globe, and attend programs across the US. We could not be more grateful to have gotten to know them, and couldn’t be more excited to see what they achieve next. 

Blueprint Investor Track stands on the shoulders of our original Blueprint Project, launched in 2019 to empower and support Black, Latinx, and Indigenous founders.

With the help of our amazing speakers, mentors, and the inaugural Blueprint Investor Track cohort, we’re excited to help lay the foundations for a more diverse and equitable future in the venture ecosystem.

Without further ado, please meet Blueprint Investor Track 2020:

Toyin Shodiya | LinkedIn

Toyin’s passion lies at the intersection of AI and robotics while keeping humans at the heart of it all. With a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech (’15) and experience leading product builds for new market opportunities while at Boeing, she has developed expertise in global supply-chain logistics, autonomy, and drone configuration. This fall, she is attending Harvard Business School in the dual degree MS/MBA program to receive her MBA and Engineering Master’s.

Cam Kipper | LinkedIn

Cam is originally from Minneapolis, MN, and is a senior philosophy major at Morehouse College. He has interned at JPMorgan Chase and is currently at Bain & Company, as well as Beyond The Classroom (a pre-seed edtech startup based in Atlanta). He is interested in early stage edtech, professional services tech, proptech, and pretty much anything consumer-facing.

Marinella Pinate | LinkedIn

Marinella attended the University of Florida where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering. She started her career at Goldman Sachs where she held roles in Finance, Strategy, and Customer Acquisition for the digital consumer business. She then transitioned to Fintech where she worked in Product Operations at a B2C startup called Petal Card. Currently, she is the Chief of Staff at a B2B startup called Arcus Financial Intelligence. She starts her MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management this fall. Marinella is passionate about companies that provide access to underserved communities.

Richard Clay | LinkedIn

Richard Clay is a Computer Technology major at Bowie State University, the first HBCU in Maryland. He is a Class 3 Fellow at HBCUvc, a non-profit organization that trains students at HBCUs and HSIs in venture capital and technology entrepreneurship. During Summer 2020, Richard is interning as an analyst at Intel Capital. He is crafting an investment thesis around the defense technology space, while also actively working with the NBA and sports technology start-ups. For fun, you can catch Richard listening to Kanye West, snooping for hip-hop fashion on IG, or swimming laps in the pool.

Vera Barnwell | LinkedIn

Vera is an MBA candidate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. Originally from Detroit, MI, Vera attended the University of Pennsylvania where she received her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. She most recently worked for the Boston Consulting Group, primarily focusing on growth and organizational strategies in healthcare and the public sector.

Carlton Amoo | LinkedIn

Carlton is from Houston, TX and thus a proud member of the BeyHive. He is currently a JD-MBA student at Kellogg and has previously worked in finance. He is excited about adding value within the innovation ecosystem and solutions around mobility, healthtech, and the diffusion of capital within underserved communities domestically and globally.

Chloe Lopez-Lee | LinkedIn

Chloe is currently a Neuroscience PhD student at Cornell. In addition to focusing on science in undergraduate, she also minored in Sociology. She is highly interested in the health/medical tech space and would love to facilitate key advances that benefit the patient community while pushing society forward as a whole.

Andre Mota | LinkedIn

Andre is a 2nd year JD/MBA student at Penn Law and Wharton interested in the intersection of venture capital and the law. Previously, he studied at UCSD and Johns Hopkins and worked in management consulting (healthcare, emerging companies) and early-stage tech investing. He is passionate about healthtech, fintech, and legaltech.

Matthew Kiflu | LinkedIn

Matthew is a sophomore at Harvard College. He has previously interned at C.L. King in debt capital markets, and is interning this summer at Clarion Partners in real estate investment management. He is interested in agtech and retech.

Juliyen Davis | LinkedIn

A native of Portland, Juliyen is a proud 2020 graduate from his home-state University of Oregon, where he studied a combination of Economics, Geography and Art History. Making the recent move from west coast to east coast for graduate school, he is an incoming Impact Entrepreneurship Fellow and MFA in Transdisciplinary Design at the Parsons School of Design. His past includes founding a startup, helping to launch a venture fund, and stints in development finance, the non-profit space, and philanthropy. In his free time, he enjoys reading short essays from his favorite authors and writing similarly short essays, articles and poems.

Rachael Patterson | LinkedIn

Rachael is currently an incoming freshman at the University of Pennsylvania intending to study Finance and Business Analytics. Through the internships she has had in the past, she developed a passion for start-up culture and the intersection of technology and business. She loves meeting entrepreneurs, learning about the different initiatives they are pursuing and looking for ways to get involved. She is interested in venture capital because she aspires to invest in people and their ideas in the future. 

Nava Levene-Harvell | LinkedIn

Nava is an eighteen-year-old computer science major at Spelman College originally from South Orange, NJ. She interned for NBCUniversal for the summer in Operations & Technology.

Gana | LinkedIn

Gana is an MBA candidate at Harvard Business School. Originally from Cameroon, he is passionate about transportation technologies and is currently a product manager within Boeing’s Product Development organization, where he leads a team on a new platform development initiative. Gana graduated with honors from Georgia Tech with a BS in Electrical Engineering and is finishing up his MS in Data Analytics this summer. Outside of work, he co-founded Kebuthreads, an African inspired clothing brand and in his spare time he is a casual bartender, an up and coming home chef, and enjoys running.

Kendall Camp | LinkedIn

Kendall is a rising Junior at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia originally from Modesto, California. He was a summer intern at NBCUniversal, and hosts two podcasts called “College Culture & Creativity” & “Privileged Black Kids.” Both of these podcasts have goals of uplifting and highlighting stories of young people of color but also discuss many of the decisions that young people tend to grapple with. In his free time, he likes to watch some of the hottest topics within media, technology, and sports.

Philippe Griffiths | LinkedIn

Philippe is an Associate at ALX, a growth-stage edtech startup in Nairobi, where he focuses on growth strategy. Prior to ALX, Philippe worked as a Management Consultant in Deloitte’s international development practice, and an Analyst at One Acre Fund. Philippe is a Stanford MBA & Harvard MPP Candidate passionate about increasing access to edtech, fintech and agtech solutions in Africa.

Bethelehem Engeda | LinkedIn

Bethelehem is a sophomore at Stanford University studying Management Science and Engineering with a minor in Data Science. Ever since becoming motivated by shows like Shark Tank growing up, she has hoped to combine my passions in business and technology for the purpose of social good. She looks forward to focusing my efforts on funding ethical startups, and especially those that are minority-owned. From being a part of coding programs and finance internships with companies like Google and Operation HOPE, to working as co-founder and National Diversity and Inclusion team member for Scholars of Finance, she has been able to gain a variety of valuable skills over the years. The cre traits she lives by – empathy, perseverance, and ambition – are not only what she looks for when evaluating startups for their potential, but are also values that she knows will help lead her on the path to success.

Kevin Longoria | LinkedIn

Kevin Longoria is a first generation, low-income Latino student from Chula Vista, CA (10 minutes from international border). He is studying Management Science and Engineering with an interest in entrepreneurship and financial services. He hopes to learn more about fintech, medtech, and social connectivity startups, especially those led by minorities. Kevin is an avid sports fan having played soccer in the past and in his free time he is most likely on ESPN.

Jarrod Barnes | LinkedIn

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Jarrod is a former student-athlete and college football coach at The Ohio State University. From launching his own startup to now as an NFL front office employee, Jarrod has continually looked to challenge the status quo. Jarrod is a current Doctoral Student at the University of Illinois with a research focus in Learning Design. His interests in tech and venture capital consist of educational technology, the future of work, and sports tech ventures.

Alfredo Huitron | LinkedIn

Alfredo is a rising junior at UT Austin studying Advertising and Computer Science. He is currently pursuing a career in product management within the tech startup space. He is excited to take his first step into the venture capital world and get a better understanding of what makes a great startup investment. In addition to this, Alfredo is an advocate for social impact initiatives within education and intends to gain the skills necessary to make great business decisions as he launches his own projects.

Tito Adesanya | LinkedIn

Tito is a Financial Engineering student at Columbia University with work experience in biotech, business, and data science. His interests include impact investing, machine learning, and manufacturing. He will be an Investment Banking intern next year at Goldman Sachs.

Yewande Alade | LinkedIn

Before joining the Blueprint community, Yewande worked on tech transfer at Google AI Research and served as a product excellence advisor at Alphabet’s Interop/Prototyping Lab. In addition to catalyzing innovation through investment, she enjoys writing comedy and exploring the intersections of media and technology.

Adam Saleh | LinkedIn

Adam is a student at UC Berkeley, studying design at the intersection of cognitive science and sustainability. Outside of class he spends his time doing Application Engineering with Carbon3d, while also working on his own project, Presq. He is a huge proponent of Extended Reality, and is always excited to apply it in his own work and learn about its applications in industry.

Chris Quaidoo | LinkedIn

Chris graduated from the University of Rochester in May 2015 with an Economics major and currently attends Berkeley Haas’ FTMBA program. He worked in investment management for the past five years, primarily covering technology stocks. He recently started working remotely for Story Ventures, a NYC-based seed stage venture fund. VC/tech areas of interest include gaming, Autonomous Driving, AR/VR, and SaaS software among others.

Cole Fairchild | LinkedIn

Cole is a dual-degree Business and Engineering student at UPenn. He has an existing interest and experience in technology, specifically in software and data. His interest in VC stems from a curiosity about how finance can empower great ideas and serve to enable disruptive innovation.

Temi Adeyemo | LinkedIn

Temiloluwa, or Temi for short, is a sophomore at Stanford University on the pre-med track and a B.A. candidate for a major in Human Biology. She currently works remotely at the Ashley Lab, a precision medicine lab at Stanford University. She has limited VC experience but is very interested in healthcare and how venture capital can be used as a tool to improve the lives of many, especially marginalized groups.

Devyn Allen | LinkedIn

Devyn is a senior studying computer science at Prairie View A&M University, an Historically Black University in Texas. He was a member of the inaugural Google Tech Exchange cohort where he co-founded gBook.io (https://gBook.io). Devyn is also a two-time Apple HBCU Scholar where he interned as a Software Engineer on the Mail Team. In the future, Devyn aspires to create startup incubators at HBCUs across the nation with the ultimate goal of closing the racial wealth gap by providing resources and opportunities for HBCU students.

Pauline Madriz | LinkedIn

Pauline is currently a Vice President at Societe Generale within the Equity Derivatives space. She has her undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering and masters in Financial Engineering. Pauline will be heading to the Fuqua School of Business this Fall. She is a Forte Fellow as well as a Toigo MBA Affiliate.

Albert Fernandez | LinkedIn

Before becoming the first in his family to graduate from college at NYU, where he is returning to get his MBA, this Fresno native was a child actor, appearing in commercials and stand-up comedy routines. His post-undergraduate career led him first into marketing for major Hollywood studios and later to Washington where he worked for the Obama Administration where he won a speech writing competition to introduce Vice President Joe Biden. Passionate about diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry, Albert has worked alongside Congressman Joaquin Castro on initiatives that increase accurate representation in the media.

Paulina Linares | LinkedIn

Paulina is from the suburbs of Chicago, and is currently a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill double majoring in Statistics & Analytics and Business with a minor in Entrepreneurship. This past semester she was in San Francisco taking classes and interning at a startup called Betabrand. She is really interested in emerging tech such as blockchain, AI, clean tech, and machine learning.

Afua Asantewaa | LinkedIn

Afua is an MBA candidate at Cornell Johnson School of Management. Prior to Cornell, she worked as a consultant and has experience in trade operations, human capital management, and performance improvement financial strategy. Post-MBA, Afua plans to work in VC, focusing on products and companies that specialize in economic development in Africa. Her long-term goal is to found an incubator in Accra, Ghana.

Want to learn more about the Blueprint Investor Track? Check out this link!

For questions about Blueprint Investor Track, please reach out at [email protected].

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