Building a diverse and inclusive startup is the right thing to do, both ethnically and economically. If you’re a founder who cares about equity, it begins with choosing co-founders and employees who don’t all look or think like you. But that’s just the starting point. It also means diversifying the investors in your cap table so that you spread the wealth you create fairly.
That requires intentionality, and it’s why we’re excited that Ashley Mayer, co-founder and general partner at Coalition Operators; Amanda Robson, partner at Cowboy Ventures; and Richie Serna, CEO at Finix will tackle this important topic on the Builder Stage at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023, which runs September 19–21 in San Francisco.
In a session called “How to Construct an Equitable Cap Table,” Mayer, Robson and Serna will share their insight on issues like making room for diverse investors and how to land a diverse lead investor rather than the usual suspects. We also look forward to hearing about ways to protect early investor pro rata rights to ensure that early and diverse investors can retain their overall stake in the business.
Diversifying startups and VC investment is an important issue, and we’re bound to touch on many other aspects. Don’t miss this essential conversation.
Learn more about our speakers — and their qualifications for tackling this challenging topic — below.
Ashley Mayer: Coalition Operators co-founder and general partner
Prior to co-founding Coalition Operators — an early-stage venture fund that has pioneered a new model to bring top women operators onto cap tables at scale — Ashley Mayer was VP of comms at Glossier, a New York–based beauty startup.
In Mayer’s first startup job at Box, the enterprise software company, she led communications as the company grew from a 50-person team through IPO. She then joined venture capital firm Social Capital, where she led comms and marketing, launched new capital products and helped founders tell their stories.
Mayer also serves on the board of Climate Draft, a coalition of climate tech startups and VCs, along with Mixing Board, a community of comms and marketing leaders. She lives in Brooklyn and tweets too much.
Amanda Robson: Cowboy Ventures partner
A seed investor at Cowboy Ventures, Amanda Robson focuses on software infrastructure investments. She works with companies such as Drata, Elementary Data, SVT Robotics, Mobile.dev, Mutiny and Byteboard.
Robson also co-hosts the Open Source Startup Podcast, where she’s conducted over 70 interviews with open source founders from companies like HashiCorp, Vercel, MongoDB, Kong, Chronosphere and Starburst Data. She’s also an active member of All Raise and founded the Modern Angels community of more than 250 female and nonbinary angel investors.
Richie Serna: Finix CEO
Richie Serna co-founded Finix, a startup aiming to create the most accessible financial services ecosystem in history by building the global operating system for fintech, starting with payments.
Prior to Finix, Serna served as an engineer at Balanced, the first developer-friendly payment API for online marketplaces and other P2P services. He also worked as a consultant at Booz & Company. Serna earned his BA in government at Harvard University.
You’ll find more conversations with leading experts on the Builders Stage, which features topics like operations, hiring, fundraising and more. Don’t forget to check out our six new stages for six breakthrough sectors at Disrupt.
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