$0 – $500

Venture Capital Speaker Series and Networking Event

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Refund Policy

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

Event description


DownToDash and New York Entrepreneurs Startup and Business Coalition presents a night of networking & learning from Venture Capitalists.


We have four speakers that will be sharing tactics and strategies for startups and raising VC money.

6:00 - 7:00 pm- Meet & Greet
7:00 - 8:30 pm- Speaker Address + Q&A
8:30 - 9:00 pm- Networking


1. Del Johnson - Principal, Backstage Capital


Del Johnson is a venture capital investor, tech writer, and keynote speaker who builds organizations that identify outlier talent beyond the reach of traditional networks and signals. A graduate of Columbia Law School, Del declined his big law firm offer to join Backstage Capital, a VC fund dedicated to eliminating tech disparities through investing in high-potential underrepresented founders.

As an investment Principal, Del leads the fund’s scouting, diligence, and operations in New York. To date, his fund has invested over $7 million into over 100 startups led by founders from groups traditionally overlooked by venture capitalists.

Del honed his skill for talent identification working with the People Operations team at Google, where he was recognized for developing the first internal initiative to source and hire women software engineers from coding bootcamps. As an award-winning business development and account management professional at Oracle, he perfected the art of negotiating and closing complex deals with senior executives.

In addition to his Columbia law JD, Del holds a Bachelors from the University of California, Berkeley.

2. Diana Melencio - VC at WISE Ventures

Venture investor focused on early and growth stage investment opportunities in tech-enabled B2B & DTC companies across sports & entertainment, media, consumer, real estate, and adjacent industries.

Previously built and scaled two technology companies in retail and consumer tech: securing funding and successfully leading major partnerships; most notably with the Hudson's Bay Company, Neiman Marcus, MasterCard, and Hearst Media. Prior to starting her companies, Diana spent close to a decade investing and consulting for reputable $12B+ funds in San Francisco and New York. During her time on Wall Street, she was a top ranking analyst in the Specialty Retail sector, as named by the Financial Times.

Diana has appeared on the Today Show, quoted in CNN, US News, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glossy.co, Bustle, MarketWatch, and Monster.com related to start-ups, fundraising, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Diana is a founding board member of the Ascend Educational Fund, a 501c3 focused on enabling and encouraging higher education and professional achievement for New York's immigrant community.

3. Mat Kaliski – Principal at Rubicon Venture Capital

Mat is a Principal at Rubicon Venture Capital where he focuses on sourcing, evaluating and supporting portfolio companies. Mat is passionate about building a diverse and inclusive tech community and is a co-organizer of Founders Friday and started FirstGeneration VC.

Rubicon Venture Capital is a generalist fund that invests in Late Seed and Series A rounds of enterprise and omni-channel consumer companies. Rubicon was an early investor in Daily Harvest, Domio, SuperCoffee, EasyKnock, Superhuman and others.

4. Nicole Shimer - Senior Investment Associate Insight

Nicole Shimer joined Insight in 2016, where she focuses on enterprise SaaS investments across verticals. Prior to Insight, Nicole worked in Morgan Stanley’s Investment Banking Technology Group in NYC.

Nicole graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi from Brown University. She is active in the alumni community by sitting on the University’s Advisory Council on Entrepreneurship and leading Digital Brown, an NYC-based and tech-focused alumni group with 600+ members.

Outside of work, Nicole is a Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher and enjoys traveling.


Share with friends

Date and Time

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

Save This Event

Event Saved