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Equals with Trina Van Pelt, Megan Maloney and Ann Lai

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Sway Ventures

325 Pacific Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94111

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Enriching your team with different genders, races, and nationalities is key for boosting your company’s joint intellectual potential. In this months pop-up, we'll explore how creating a more diverse workplace will help to keep your team members’ biases in check and make them question their assumptions. At the same time, we need to make sure the organization has inclusive practices so that everyone feels their voice can be heard. All of this can make your teams smarter and, ultimately, make your organization more successful.

Our fireside chat moderated by Najib Khouri-Haddad and Lani Nguyen, "Equals: A Paradigm of Parity" goes beyond the issues of gender, with an aim to provide a holistic discussion about how we can increase diversity and equal opportunity in the fastest growing sector of our economy. With uncertainty on the horizon, it is vital to be aware of the current economic and political situation and the impact change could have on the tech sector. We will analyze the opportunities available, so you can create a strategy to future proof your company.

Our spotlight guests will take a deep dive into the fundamentals of attracting, hiring, developing and retaining diverse talent. They will talk candidly about their own challenges, failures and successes, so we can accelerate our progression towards adopting the best strategies and technologies available.

As the industry of the future, the tech sector has a duty to ensure that equality and opportunity is available to everyone, regardless of background. Join our community, share best practice and commit to action. Together, we will see the business returns of making our industry accessible to all.




Spotlight Guests


Trina Van Pelt, Intel Capital

Trina Van Pelt is Vice President of Intel Capital and Managing Director of the Internet of Things and Automated Driving Groups at Intel Corporation. She directs the team of equity investment, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and strategic business development professionals who identify, evaluate, lead, and negotiate strategic transactions in businesses focused on the Internet of Things (IoT) and autonomous driving segments. She is responsible for fostering strategic thinking and growth initiatives that link Intel’s business strategy with strategic transactions.

Van Pelt also co-leads Intel Capital’s Diversity Fund, which invests in businesses founded and/or managed by women, under-represented minorities, U.S. military veterans, physically disabled, and the LGBTQ community. Van Pelt has over 20 years of experience in technology M&A, investments, strategic planning and business development. She has led more than 70 technology acquisitions and investments worth >$30B over the course of her career, spanning the computing, communications, software, IoT and mobile industry segments.

She joined Intel Capital in 2004. Before joining Intel, Van Pelt was a director of corporate development at CNET Networks and an investment associate at TA Associates. She began her career in investment banking at Lehman Brothers and Ernst & Young’s financial advisory services group.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan and earned a master’s degree in management from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.


Megan Maloney, General Catalyst

Jumping from a small town to the high-intensity environment of Columbia University in New York, I had to treat my education like a mission: focus my abilities, rise above the competition, and open doors to a bigger future. This was similar to an entrepreneur’s mindset in some ways, because I was raised to challenge the status quo. While studying economics, I was asking how we could make capital work more effectively to create the outcomes we all want as a society. I didn’t want to just study issues. I wanted to fix them.

During my time at Morgan Stanley, I developed a deep passion for technology. I loved working with research analysts to present their strategies to investors because it required fast, accurate synthesis of large amounts of information for a tangible result. Then I moved to the technology investment banking group, where I worked on raising and allocating capital for tech-based companies at critical moments in their evolution. As a result, I can simultaneously understand the motivations of the CEO of a company and its institutional investors – who both want to scale that company 10X.

At General Catalyst, I am excited to work with founders whose companies align with my core values, the most important of which is helping others. As the majority of the world gains access to the Internet, I believe we are at an inflection point in how consumers behave, and how businesses can channel that behavior for economic and social impact. If you have an idea about how to magnify or direct these forces, I would love to explore it with you. If others just aren’t getting it, there’s a chance I will.

Outside of work, I hit the streets in my running shoes and volunteer for organizations that improve the lives of others. My lifelong hobby as a musician also continues, on multiple instruments. I am always looking for new music to listen to, so please send your discoveries and recommendations my way.


Ann Lai, Advisor

Ann Lai is passionate about extracting core understandings and delivering effective results efficiently through innovative methods and interdisciplinary approaches. Enjoy communicating analytically intricate or scientifically dense materials to diverse audiences (from academics to the general public) to maximize interest, comprehension, and utility.

Most recently, Lai was at Binary Capital​ as a Principal, where she was responsible for data-driven sourcing, executing due diligence, and supporting/advising portfolio companies on data analytics and growth initiatives.

Previously, she worked as Head of Strategic Growth at StyleSeat​. She led a team leveraging data analytics as well as rapid-iteration testing to develop key strategies across StyleSeat in its accelerating growth as the preeminent marketplace for beauty and wellness. Lai also served as the Director of Growth at Tapingo​ where she led a core team (7 members) focused on developing and executing strategies to grow the platform in the campus market by using data to focus and optimize marketing and operational strategies.

Lai is a Harvard graduate (A.B. in Chemistry & Physics, S.M. in Applied Mathematics, and Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences) with expertise in applying quantitative methods and data analytics to developing business strategies in what is traditionally considered to be "qualitative" fields. Experienced in leading small but scrappy data-driven growth/business strategy teams.




Sway Ventures Pop-Up Event Series

A chance to learn from the best and the brightest in an open and fun format. These events center on providing actionable information for entrepreneurs to use, to navigate challenges and scale their companies. Through insightful panels and interviews with some of today’s most innovative founders and industry experts, to solutions-focused workshops and demos, Sway Ventures Pop-Up Events are designed to provide actual value to a select group of entrepreneurs and be hands-on with the learning process. Conversations around marketing, operations, talent, culture, and innovation, give founders and entrepreneurs the insight and ideas to win in today’s tech environment.

* Food and drinks will be provided.



  • Ann Lai

    Ann Lai

    Advisor

  • Megan Maloney

    Megan Maloney

    General Catalyst

    Investor

  • Trina Van Pelt

    Trina Van Pelt

    Intel Capital

    Vice President


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Sway Ventures

325 Pacific Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94111

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