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Venture Capital
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  • Washington DC VC & Angel Event Jan 16
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  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out Phoenix Investor Roundtable, sponsored by Grow Southwest, FP Angels, Black Dog Promotions. This event was in AZ on Thursday, June 25, 2015.

    Photo of Welcome Address: Scott Kelly, Regional Director of FundingPost Scott Kelly
    Black Dog Venture Partners
    Read the full profile for Scott here!
    Black Dog Venture Partners
    Scott Kelly Founder and CEO of Black Dog Venture Partners, is a 25 year fundraising, marketing, sales, training and publicity veteran. Scott has raised millions of dollars in capital for disruptive companies, garnered national media coverage for hundreds of regional and national brands and generated millions of dollars in revenues for the companies he has represented.

    He has also trained over 1,000 sales people and has taught marketing at the university level in the United States and Europe.

    When not making his clients famous, Scott spends his time in countless sporting events with his wife and two boys. He loves a good craft beer and playing with his “Black Dog” Shamus.

    Photo of Amir Banifatemi, Tech Coast Angels Amir Banifatemi
    Angel Investor
    Tech Coast Angels
    Read the full profile for Amir here!
    Tech Coast Angels
    Amir is a successful entrepreneur whose work experience includes more than 14 years of advising startups. His focus has always been identifying and developing future and emerging technologies that can impact society with special emphasis on predictive business intelligence, knowledge sharing & education, and real-time technologies. Amir likes to work with startups on their product strategy, pricing, business model, go-to-market, and fund raising.

    Amir is currently a member and President of the Tech Coast Angels Orange County and actively involved with venture funds and angel investors to help continuous and sustained funding of startups. My constant focus has always been on identifying and developing future and emerging technologies that can impact society with special emphasis on predictive business intelligence, knowledge sharing & education, and real-time technologies.

    I work with startups and growth oriented companies on initiatives that could trigger significant technological breakthrough with strong economic and societal impact.

    Photo of Peter Weiss, Angel Investor from Seattle Peter Weiss

    Angel Investor
    Read the full profile for Peter here!
    Angel Investor
    Peter Weiss's career includes more than thirty years of finance and managerial experience; a dozen years consulting on corporate finance and general management issues for early stage companies; and twenty-five years as an early stage investor.

    Mr. Weiss’s consulting practice centers on tailoring capital structures and financing plans to match a business’s capital needs, economics and long-term goals. His experience as a manager and an arms-length investor provides a context for understanding the goals of different stakeholders and has led him to think carefully about how to foster alignment between and among disparate parties. His wide-ranging background has allowed him to develop a variety of tools and techniques to help attract capital and return cash and profits to investors and owners.

    Mr. Weiss’s business principles are rooted in his family’s specialty food company where he worked while growing up. His professional career began on Wall Street with mergers and acquisitions and leveraged buy-outs. His consulting clients include technology, retail, service and manufacturing companies. Mr. Weiss has owned and operated businesses, served on multiple Boards of Directors and been active in a variety of community service organizations.

    Photo of Vadim Tarasov, Altpoint Ventures Vadim Tarasov
    Venture Partner
    Target Ventures
    Read the full profile for Vadim here!
    Target Ventures
    Prior to joining Altpoint Ventures, Vadim was a Partner at Bright Capital, a VC firm with investments in the ICT sector. From 2009 to 2011 Vadim was the International Business Development Director at IQ One, an investment company focusing on IT, Internet & New Media projects in Russia. He was also a Board Member at the leading Spanish Seed Investment Company, DAD from 2010 to 2011. Before IQ One, Vadim worked as a Managing Partner at CB Invest, an Investment Brokerage company focusing on cross-border transactions in the VC sector.

    Vadim is currently employed as a Venture Partner at Target Ventures, and as a Digital Strategy Advisor at Media3, an investment firm owned by PromSvyazCapital that focuses on digital media and e-commerce. He currently serves as a Board Member at CIAN Group, the leading vertical classified in real estate in Russia.

    Vadim received a M.Sc. in Applied Mathematics from Moscow State University and a Masters degree in E-Business from Universitat Ramon Llull.

    Photo of Ryan Edwards, Silicon Valley Bank Ryan Edwards
    Silicon Valley Bank
    Read the full profile for Ryan here!
    Silicon Valley Bank
    Ryan Edwards is the Director of Technology Banking for Silicon Valley Bank, covering Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. Providing opportunities for technology companies to raise capital and elevate their business through the use of SVB's network and decades of time in the industry. Through 10+ years in the banking industry and 6 years with SVB, Ryan has helped early stage through public companies in the hardware, software and medical device markets. Ryan works closely with entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses.

    Photo of Ben Dahl, Pelion Venture Partners Ben Dahl
    Pelion Venture Partners
    Read the full profile for Ben here!
    Pelion Venture Partners
    Our founding partner Jim Dreyfous once gave me a hat with the moniker permanent student as a Christmas present. While he meant to highlight (read: tease me about) the amount of time I spent in graduate and post-graduate study (read: harass me about my office wallpaper of diplomas from august institutions), the broader point is true. It is not just the years of study toward a JD and an MBA, but also the desire and commitment every day to learn from entrepreneurs, my partners and co-investors, not to mention my friends and my family.

    My parents taught me to always approach life with a curious mind as well as the determination to be successful. My dad grew up on a dairy farm during the depression / World War II, rising early to milk the cows and working farm machinery well before he should have. My mom went to medical school well before women were particularly plentiful or welcome in the halls of the hospital as anything more than a nurse. My grandfather, also a doctor, brought home phlebotomy kits for her and her sister to practice drawing blood before matriculation so that they would be ready to compete.

    During my career, I have been a co-founder, COO & General Counsel of a startup, Unspam Technologies, where I co-created Project Honey Pot, a distributed honey pot network designed to identify, track and correlate spammers, email address harvesters and the like. I have also re-capped Echo Networks, a flagging dot-com, with strategic investments from massive music retailers to compete with the likes of iTunes. I also practiced law at Cooley LLP.

    When I am away from the office, I enjoy my time with my wife and kids, traveling, skiing, cooking and eating a great meal.

    As an investor at Pelion since 2007, Through the various stages of my stages of my career and education whether that be entrepreneur, attorney, undergrad, grad student or investor, I have counted myself lucky to continue to learn; to work hard for our entrepreneurs, our companies and our limited partners; and, above all, to continue to form and foster the friendships that form close friendships that serve as both the cornerstone and the capstone of success.

    Photo of David Koehn, Sand Hill Angels David Koehn
    Sand Hill Angels
    Silicon Valley Open Doors
    Read the full profile for David here!
    Silicon Valley Open Doors
    David has over 15 years of experience in mobile and cloud product strategy. Currently David is the Chief Evangelist for Oracle. As a member of Sand Hill Angels, David invests in Cloud-based businesses particularly B2B Enterprise, Mobile, EdTech, HCM, SMB and some Consumer. He also speaks frequently at leading innovation events including events at Grow Southwest, Pitchcrawl, Global Startup Centre(Born2global), Plug-N-Play, F50 Angel Investing Forum, Funding Post, Founders Den, Draper University, CINA, NPR Radio, Start-up Weekend, I-Gate, NestGSV, VC Taskforce, and many others. David is often the lead investor in priced seed rounds. As a senior advisor and board observer/member for many of his investments, David is known for insight, reliable guidance, and for streamlining business models and developing successful market approaches. David participates in many Sand Hill deals and is the lead Sand Hill Angels investor in UpOut, NoWait, Spinnakr, Perkville and CrowdMics. David is an advisor to Imperative, VenYoo, and Lucolo. David is also a mentor at Stanford Graduate School of Business and at the Integrated Innovation Institute at Carnegie Mellon, at Start-up Den and at the UC Berkeley Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (CET).

    Photo of Michael Hool, Hool Coury Law Michael Hool
    Managing Partner
    Hool Coury Law
    Read the full profile for Michael here!
    Hool Coury Law
    Michael Hool is our founding Partner. Michael works with select companies as an advisor, legal counsel and periodically serves in executive and board capacities. Michael practice is focused primarily on corporate and commercial representation, securities, finance and venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance matters, and all aspects of counseling emerging companies. He represents both issuing companies and investors in a large variety of financing transactions.

    Michael broad merger and acquisition experience ranges from very large transactions such as the acquisition and financing of an NHL hockey franchise, several roll-up acquisitions combined with a public offering of the acquirer, the sale of health care systems, consolidation of 71 franchise operations, to acquisition and sale of a variety of closely-held and emerging enterprises. Michael has assisted clients in structuring many different types of venture relationships, including: (i) a joint venture of seven health care systems; (ii) creating an intellectual property consortium whose members included the U.S. Army, universities and fortune 500 companies, and (iii) creating manufacturing and research joint ventures between U.S. companies and those in Mexico and India.

    Michael acts as general counsel to private equity funds, high net-worth investors and emerging companies. Michael represents or advises accelerators, incubators, and has formed angel investment groups. Michael has chaired or served on the board of Arizona Venture Capital Conference, BioAccel, AzTech Investors, and the Indus Entrepreneurs. Mr. Hool is highly sought after as a speaker, blogger and author of papers on a broad variety of topics. Michael is active as an investor in a growing portfolio of emerging companies.

    Photo of Dan Creed, FocalPoint Coaching Dan Creed
    ‎Elite Master Business Coach
    FocalPoint Coaching
    Read the full profile for Dan here!
    FocalPoint Coaching
    Danny P. (Dan) Creed is an award winning international business and executive coach, entrepreneur, best-selling author, world class keynote & workshop speaker, trusted advisor and (COO) Chief Operating Officer and (CCO) Chief Coaching officer of Grow Southwest. Coach Dan is based in Phoenix, but works with a worldwide customer base. He is a recognized expert in sales, management, marketing, business development and business growth strategies. Dan is an elite Brian Tracy International Certified Sales Trainer and a Founding Member Trainer and Facilitator of the Brian Tracy Sales Success Intensive course and a licensed facilitator for Navigational Coaching Conversations, Strategic Coaching Skills for Leaders.

    Dan is the unprecedented five time, winner of the Brian Tracy Award of Excellence/Coach of The Year for FocalPoint Coaching International and the 2010 winner of FocalPoint Coaching Practice of the Year.

    Coach Dan clients thrive in strengthening and growing their business using his unique experience to quickly take them to that challenging, next level of success. He is a business development expert that focuses clients to improve profitability, enhance productivity and improve their quality of life.

    Photo of Tray Goodman, Crushing Your Box Tray Goodman
    Crushing Your Box
    Read the full profile for Tray here!
    Crushing Your Box
    Tray Goodman is a visionary who provides practical, inspirational and often times satirical commentary on enlightened ways to see yourself and those around you. His common sense approach, for the common man, is both refreshing and rewarding.

    Author of the 2015 ground breaking rebooting of your mind, Crushing Your Box A Modern Guide to Finding and Improving Your Creative Positive Energy Force. As an expert in team building, Tray has been the winner of numerous awards including: Regional Emmys, National Beacon Award and Cable Ace Awards.

    Tray Goodman has traveled to more than 40 countries working on documentaries like Footprints of God and other creative media projects. He has produced two full-length Independent Feature Films with worldwide distribution, and has worked with numerous national networks such as ABC, CNN, MSNBC, HBO, NFL Network, History Channel, A&E, ESPN and E!Television.

    Tray has proven himself to be a leader with expertise in the issues and personalities of the media/entertainment field, government and business.

    Photo of Gelie Akhenblit, NetworkingPhoenix Gelie Akhenblit
    Founder & CEO
    Read the full profile for Gelie here!
    Gelie Akhenblit, CEO / Founder of, has singlehandedly changed Arizona's business networking landscape by launching and successfully executing her vision with her tech-startup. Founded in October 2008, by a then 27-year-old entrepreneur who quit her corporate job to pursue her dream of creating a platform for local networkers to connect, today is Arizona's leading online resource for business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals.

    Since its inception, has skyrocketed in popularity quickly becoming one of the most visited websites in Arizona; and with nearly 27,000 members the website's growth still shows no signs of slowing down.

    In December of 2013, NetworkedLocal LLC was formed as the parent company for the new nationally focused business, with Chicago being the first market outside of Arizona, making Gelie the CEO of the new national company.

    Growing a successful company and expanding nationally in five years is quite a feat, but the drive for Gelie is in helping others meet their goals and building relationships. Her motivation is to create something that improves people's lives daily whether it's helping them find that perfect job or making connections with the right people who can help them grow their own business venture.

    Tim Kelley, EEOP Fund Tim Kelley, EEOP Fund

    Angel Investors