It's no secret companies with more diversity are more successful. So why are the venture capital and tech startup sectors lagging behind in funding and hiring? In this panel discussion, we discuss the importance of equal access and the best ways entrepreneurs and VC's can promote diversity.
Diversity in Venture Capital & Entrepreneurship
Josh focuses his efforts primarily on general corporate, fundraising, and international Sports and Entertainment Law. Within Sports Law, he works with major, minor, and collegiate leagues and teams all over the world that are seeking ways to operate more efficiently and effectively, increase league revenue and team valuations, and ultimately, grow through high-level legal counsel. The advice Josh gives his clients is rooted in more than a decade of experience in the sports industry. As Commissioner of the Major Arena Soccer League, Commissioner of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, Co-Founder of Da Beauty League, former CEO/Co-Owner of the Joliet Slammers, and Associate Scout at the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club, Josh brings a wealth of knowledge and experience on all sides of the table to Gutwein Law’s Sports Law practice. Josh earned his J.D. from the William Mitchell College of Law, where he was Co-Chair of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society. Previously, he received his Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Science with an emphasis in Sports Management from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. He has worked as an adjunct professor of Sports Law at Hamline University School of Law and as a guest lecturer for St. Thomas Law and William Mitchell College of Law. Josh currently serves as Co-Vice Chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Sport, Art, and Entertainment Law Section, as well as sits on the American Cancer Society’s Twin Cities leadership board. Josh is admitted to practice in Minnesota and the U.S. Federal Court for the District of Minnesota.
Passionate entrepreneur and investor - Mike is a proud alum of Purdue University, where he started The Anvil as a student, and worked at The Purdue Foundry after some time in startups. Today, Mike spends most of his time investing in startups as a part of M25, but occasionally you’ll find him rooting for Chicago sports, hunting down some great sushi, or making wine with his dad.
As Program Manager, Kelli will help Allos identify and evaluate investment opportunities and enhance its presence in the marketplace. She will also support Allos portfolio companies with activities such as investor and mentor introductions.
Prior to joining Allos, Kelli was the Program Manager for Techstars, where she supported early stage start-ups in the Heritage Group Hardtech Accelerator; and was Director of People, Culture, and Brand for Givelify. Kelli is also a founder of Be Nimble Foundation and Black Hatch Fund, which support tech and tech-enabled start-ups founded by Black and Brown founders in Indiana.
Before relocating to Indianapolis in 2017, Kelli lived in Los Angeles, CA, working as Director of Sales & Marketing for two venture-backed media companies, HipHopDX and Blavity. She spent the majority of her career in New York, running an event and experiential marketing agency working for brands like Google, HP, Microsoft, Lipton/Brisk, Redbull, Samsung, and Akai.
Meghan Sharkus founded ExpressionMed LLC Mid 2016 and has since been highly involved in the entrepreneurial and healthcare sectors.
During her highschool career, she was an state officer for Wisconsin DECA, running advocacy campaigns for chronic disease care and ultimately developing ExpressionMed's first product. In DECA, she was given numerous leadership roles and learning opportunities ranging from managing statewide events to creating and presenting programing to state legislators.
In 2017 Meghan was one of the Lead Coordinators for generation.mn, coordinating and implementing entrepreneurial events around the twin cities. She continues her work with ExpressionMed, constantly improving manufacturing processes and med-device user experience. She has added consulting and public speaking to her portfolio, finding ways to help entrepreneurs at every stage of startup. Her projects have ranged from helping a cleaning service platform develop their initial business plan to a one month excursion to India to help DoorStep Schools map their business processes in order to efficiently grow their program.
The two traits that define Meghan's work is that she is constantly learning and innovating. To supplement her work, Meghan is gaining skills in coding through her google scholarship and mechanical engineering through her studies. With every challenge she is given, she does adequate research to fully understand what the best solution could be and strives to do something no one has done before.