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Venture Capital Update 2017: Market Outlook and Strategies for Getting to a...

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In February, the NY Tech Alliance Legal Track will be presenting the 2017 edition of our annual update on the venture capital financing market for early-stage companies. The panel will feature VCs from some of the top funds, both large and small, including Armory Square Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, Pritzker Group andRRE Ventures. Together, they will be addressing the outlook for early-stage VC financing for the coming year, as well as providing attendees with practical advice on engaging with VCs. Topics to be addressed include the following:

  • The current state of the VC financing market for early-stage companies and trends to look for
  • Strategies for identifying and connecting with the right VC for your company
  • Advice for preparing pitch materials and navigating through the first meetings with interested VCs
  • Common mistakes in the VC financing process and how to avoid them

With attendees to include principals of startup to mid-size technology companies as well as investors, and with ample time for Q&A and networking, this session will be an outstanding source of practical, real-world guidance and useful contacts.


Somak Chattopadhyay, Managing Partner, Armory Square Ventures

Somak Chattopadhyay has been operating, advising or investing in technology companies in New York since 1999. Most recently, he was a Partner at Tribeca Venture Partners, an early stage venture fund in NYC with over $160M under management. Somak was responsible for sourcing, leading, or managing numerous investments across TVP’s two funds before launching Armory Square Ventures in 2014.

Prior thereto, Somak sourced and evaluated investments across the Mid-Atlantic for Edison Ventures, an expansion stage fund with over $700M under management. At Edison, Somak launched the NYC office and also worked with M5 Networks, a VoIP software company that was acquired by ShoreTel in 2012.

Spencer Lazar, Partner, General Catalyst Partners

Spencer Lazar is a Partner at General Catalyst. He joined the firm in 2013 to help launch its office in New York City. He focuses on marketplace and network-based approaches to transforming new industries from finance to fitness. He helped lead GC’s investments in ClassPass, FundBox, WayUp, Giphy, and L2. He also spearheads the firm’s involvement with Major League Hacking, the largest organizing body of student hackathons in the world. Prior to GC, Spencer spent time as a venture-backed entrepreneur and investor between NYC & London.

Sonia Nagar, Vice President, Pritzker Group Venture Capital

Sonia Nagar is a Vice President with Pritzker Group Venture Capital. She is responsible for sourcing, diligence and oversight for the firm’s investments in consumer, enterprise and emerging technologies. She currently serves on the boards of and Sittercity.

Most recently, Sonia was vice president of product and head of mobile apps for RetailMeNot (NASDAQ: SALE), responsible for cross-platform strategy and leading an app redesign that earned a 2015 People’s Voice Webby Award for Best Shopping App. Sonia joined RetailMeNot in 2014 following its acquisition of Pickie, the venture-backed mobile shopping start-up she co-founded in 2011.

Prior to Pickie, Sonia was a senior associate for Booz & Company leading post-merger integration and growth strategy projects for digital media and retail clients. Previously she worked in product management, investment banking, and engineering roles with Amazon, Goldman Sachs and General Motors.

Sonia holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Raju Rishi, General Partner, RRE Ventures

Raju is an Enterprise, SaaS, and deep tech investor. He is responsible for RRE’s investments in Imgix, Hyla, DataDog, Sailthru, YieldBot,, and Base. Before joining RRE as a General Partner, Raju was a Venture Partner at Sigma Prime Ventures, where he led investments in Ceros, NSONE, and several other startups. Raju is also a co-Founder of Rave Mobile Safety, one of RRE’s portfolio companies.

Before becoming a venture capitalist, Raju held executive roles at AT&T and Lucent. He continues to serve as a strategic advisor to a great many venture-backed startups. Raju is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Materials Science and Engineering. Outside of the office, Raju can be found spending time with his wife, kids, and dogs of various sizes. He has been known to entertain discussions ranging from spirituality to the future of cybersecurity, often while sipping a fine Single Malt.


Paul Ellis, Managing Member, Paul Ellis Law Group

Paul Ellis practices in the areas of corporate and securities law, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, angel and venture capital finance, general business advising and the representation of emerging growth companies. He has represented companies ranging from start-ups to multinationals, as well as funds, investment banks and individual investors. Paul counsels on issues including corporate and LLC structuring and formation, early-stage company financing strategies, securities offerings and securities laws compliance, joint venture and strategic partnering relationships, employment and consulting arrangements, option plans and mergers and acquisitions. He has practiced in industries including software/IT, internet/new media, telecommunications, healthcare, manufacturing, banking and financial services, retail and consumer products, apparel and entertainment, and is regularly involved in cross-border matters. His mergers and acquisitions expertise ranges from smaller transactions in the software/internet space to major transactions involving companies in the technology, international money transmission, entertainment and consumer products industries.

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