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Venture Capital
** Click Here to Register for our next Early-Stage VC & Angel Investor events:
  • Washington DC VC & Angel Event Jan 16
  • Philly VC & Angel Investor Event Jan 17
  • NYC VC & Angel 2019 Kickoff Event Jan 24

  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out Las Vegas Investor Roundtable, sponsored by UNLV's Center for Entrepreneurship at the Lee Business School, Half Price Lawyers, AA Printing Service, Adam Hodson CPA, Effortless Office, SocialRadius, Affordable Resumes and Business Assistant. This event was in on Wednesday, December 11, 2013.

    Nicola Kerslake, Investment Manager, Battle Born Venture (Nevada's state venture capital program) Nicola Kerslake, Investment Manager, Battle Born Venture (Nevada's state venture capital program)

    Nicola Kerslake is the investment manager for Battle Born Venture, an early stage (pre-seed) venture capital fund that invests in high growth Nevadan startups across ten sectors with an investment range of $50K to $1M. She also has a significant interest in sustainable agriculture investments, especially in controlled environment agriculture.

    During her career, Nicola Kerslake has managed portfolios in excess of $100 million for institutional investment clients as well as working with entrepreneurs to accelerate the development of their businesses.

    Her background is primarily in commodity and energy investments; she has managed private equity, real assets and hedge funds in the US for SEI Investments and the Monitor Group, and was a top three rated oil and chemicals equity analyst in Europe and Asia at subsidiaries of ABN Amro and Credit Agricole. During this time, she conducted due diligence on a wide range of private and public investments, negotiated investments in both direct and fund opportunities and managed complex portfolios.

    From 2009 until early 2013, Nicola worked with a technology commercialization non-profit, eventually being promoted to Vice President leading a team of professionals. She worked with government entities, academic institutions, national labs (LBNL, LANL) and private companies to commercialize their technologies, advance their business plans, and aid them in seeking funding. Notable successes included creating an award-winning business funding program, and participating in the establishment of a Cleantech Open chapter in Nevada.

    She currently sits on the advisory boards of two successful startups; Project Alba, a Cambodian organic farming company, and Pinoccio, a Reno, NV based company that has created an ecosystem for building the Internet of Things.

    Nicola received a BA Hons (Oxon) in Politics, Philosophy & Economics from Magdalen College, Oxford, is a member of the International Association of Energy Economists (IAEE) and holds both Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) qualifications. Her research has been published in academic journals and she has presented to numerous industry, academic and investment conferences.

    Scott Purcell, Angel Investor Scott Purcell, Angel Investor

    Scott Purcell is an accredited investor that is looking to invest up to $50K in a Company. In 2011 Mr. Purcell founded the securities based crowdfunding platform Arctic Island, which will operate pursuant to Title II and Title III of the JOBS Act. He is an active Board member of the Crowdfunding Intermediary Regulatory Association (CFIRA), a founding member of the Crowdfunding Professionals Association, and the author of the “Best Practices for Funding Portals”, which sets policies for operations, fraud and security. He is also the author of CFIRA’s position on “BD and Registered Portal Regulatory Mechanics” and has been an active editor of numerous other industry positions. As the nascent crowdfunding industry takes shape, Mr. Purcell brings considerable experience in both securities and internet technology. In 1988 he founded a trust company that managed fixed income instruments for institutional investors, which he sold to a regional bank. Mr. Purcell also started a bond trading desk, a clearing firm for institutional investors, and published a book "The Guide to Fixed Income Investing". In 1994 he founded Epoch Networks, one of the world's first ISP's, and raised over $60 million in venture capital. As an initial Board member of the Commercial Internet eXchange (CIX), he often represented the nascent industry before Congress and the FCC. In 1999 Mr. Purcell founded OnAir Networks, raised over $40 million in venture capital and built the first music storage, streaming and downloading services for Sony and Universal. During this time he was retained by the Recording Industry Association of America to advise them on internet technology issues and copyright matters, and to represent the industry before Congress. Since selling OnAir in 2001, Mr. Purcell has started several ventures, including a search engine wholesale business, a family tree and journaling website, and a niche social network.

    Scott earned his Bachelor's of Science from the University of Southern California (USC) and his Master's in Entrepreneurship from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Sloan School of Management.

    Don Sorensen, Angel Investor Don Sorensen, Angel Investor

    Don Sorensen is an accredited investor that is looking to invest $25K per Las Vegas Company. He has been involved in technology companies for over 16 years both as an investor and .NET developer. Don has invested both experience and capital into Companies such as World Soft Solution that contracted to Top Rank Boxing, Wells Fargo, and Station Casinos. After the success of World Soft Solution, he turned to diversify his investments and opened SpoxeModel, a corporate modeling agency that was tailored to conventions and corporate events. Don recently opened Prism Empire, a Company directly poised to invest into Las Vegas entrepreneurs looking to design and launch their ideas and who need funding and technology expertise. Since the opening of Prism Empire, Don Sorensen has invested in Rebel Studio Inc., Vegas Mobile VIP, Vegas Spa Resort, and other small ventures.

    Rey Dos Santos, COO, Rebel Venture Fund Rey Dos Santos, COO, Rebel Venture Fund

    The Rebel Venture Fund (RVF) is an early-stage venture capital fund ran by UNLV graduate students in conjunction with the Center for Entrepreneurship at UNLV. Graduate students manage all aspects of the firm from deal flow and due diligence to negotiations and Board seats. The RVF typically makes equity investments in start-ups and early stage companies with strong connections to Nevada. Membership is made of students across all disciplines. Therefore, they have the opportunity and the latitude to consider multiple industries including energy, healthcare, technology and engineering. RVF's investments are between $10,000 and $25,000, although larger investments may also be considered. As an investor, the Rebel Venture Fund offers a unique value proposition for businesses by optimizing UNLV’s extensive network and leveraging the University’s assets.

    After over three years in the making, the Rebel Venture Fund made its inaugural investment this past summer in a local startup company called Walls 360 which makes on-demand premium wall graphics for content and licensing partners. The RVF was a co-investor with the Vegas Valley Angels in a Series B round for Walls 360.

    As COO for the Rebel Venture Fund, Rey has led a number of teams through due diligence. He also serves as the Chair of the RVF’s Deal Screening Committee.

    After starting a B.A. in Tourism and Hospitality at the University of Hawaii, Rey finished the degree and continued on to his M.S. in Management Information Systems at UNLV. A diverse background in resorts, restaurants, cruise ships, and all things service-oriented - he makes people happy. Previously assisted Marketing Partnerships and Event Management at the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). His first successful entrepreneurial venture was Welcome Home Concierge, a timeshare grocery delivery service that served the Las Vegas area. He currently is the Director of Sales and Business Development at Walls 360 (he was so impressed with the company during due diligence that he asked to join).

    Welcome Address: Aaron Sahagun, Southwest Regional Director, FundingPost Welcome Address: Aaron Sahagun, Southwest Regional Director, FundingPost

    Prior to FundingPost, Aaron founded Alumwire, Inc. where he managed corporate networking events during the early days of the Company in Berkeley, CA. He drove the Company's strategic direction, business development, technical activity, and marketing activities as its CEO. Aaron has been named by BusinessWeek as one of "The Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs." Aaron has been also featured on NBC, CBS and CNET. The initial sales of $100K+ from Alumwire's Fortune 500 beta clients led to a $1.4 million dollar financing round. Aaron successfully exited Alumwire in 2011.

    Aaron earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to attending the University of California, Berkeley, Aaron attended a private, technical high school in Los Angeles where he majored in computer science and developed games in Visual C++, C++, Visual Basic and Javascript. He programmed e-commerce web sites for several companies and organizations in the southern California area during his teenage years.

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