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Investing and raising capital like a pro – Presented by MaRS

Start Date: 5/13/2021

Start Time:6:30 PM EDT

Duration:90 minutes


    For any entrepreneur, pitching their ideas and innovation for capital investment is arguably the most challenging aspect of founding a business. In a world with many “pitch-gurus” how can you convince Venture Capitalists to buy into your idea?

What are the dos and don’ts of a successful startup pitch? How can you negotiate the best deal that sets you up for success today and future raises?

In a fireside chat & a panel discussion BPTN will host seasoned entrepreneurs & investing experts to discuss how you can raise investment and capital as an entrepreneur and a brief discussion on investing for impact.

This is an event for entrepreneurs looking to hone their pitching skills in securing capital and focus on impact investment.

Are you:
  • A startup struggling to raise funds to finance your ideas?
  • An entrepreneur seeking to convince Venture Capitalists for investment?
  • A Black professional looking to meet and network with like-minded entrepreneurs?

Join us for this week’s event as we tap into the experience of successful entrepreneurs and venture leaders with proven portfolios in raising capital.

About BPTN
Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN) bridges the talent gap in the tech industry by providing Black technical and business professionals with access to senior executive sponsorship, skill development and a strong peer network to support their career growth

About MaRS
MaRS is a launchpad for startups, a platform for researchers and a home to innovators.
They support over 1,400 Canadian science and tech companies that are tackling some of society’s greatest challenges, providing them with tailored resources at every stage of their growth, from startup to scale-up. They focus on the four sectors — cleantech, health, fintech and enterprise software — where the potential is greatest to build high-impact companies that strengthen the economy.


If you're already registered for the Investing and raising capital like a pro – Presented by MaRS webcast, click below:



Ray Newal

Managing Director, Ecosystem & Capital


Ray is a globally inspired entrepreneur, and early-stage tech investor. He spent the first decade of his career as a business developer, helping to establish DoubleClick, MSN, and Yahoo as key players in digital advertising. In 2008, Ray left the corporate world to start Jigsee, a venture-backed startup focused on bringing mobile video content to low income and rural populations in India and South-East Asia. Since exiting Jigsee in 2015, Ray has been advising, mentoring, and investing in founders from across the globe. Recently, Ray was the Managing Director of the Techstars Bangalore Accelerator and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the DMZ in Toronto, Canada. At present, Ray is the Managing Director of Ecosystem and Capital at MaRS Discovery District, North America's largest innovation hub. Linkedin Profile -

Melissa Allen


Bay Mills Investment Group

With an award-winning career in wealth management, Melissa Allen began her professional career as a digital marketing expert, first interning at Foreign Affairs Canada in Paris, France, and then working with major technology brands, such as Torstar Digital and Google. Combining her passions for tech and finance, Melissa entered the Venture Capital space in 2018, graduating from the Female Funder’s Angel Academy accelerator program. After becoming a first-time VC investor and Limited Partner in 2019, Melissa began lending her expertise as an advisor to FinTech start ups. Melissa is fluent in French and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. Linkedin Profile-

Jason Sukhram

Sr Manager, Capital Advisory

Centre for Impact Investing, MaRS

Jason Sukhram is a Senior Manager with the Centre for Impact Investing Capital Advisory team, advising clients across sectors on how to develop strategies to either deploy or attract capital in the impact investing market. He is also leading MaRS’ efforts to help ventures and partners develop impact measurement and management strategies to optimize their performance on improving social and environmental outcomes. Prior to joining MaRS, Jason worked in international development, building and financing social enterprises with the Clinton Foundation while living in Colombia and New York. He has a BASc and an MBA from the University of Toronto. Linkedin Profile-

Yaa Priscilla Birago

Co-Founder & CEO


Yaa Birago is an tech entrepreneur, philanthropist, mentor, Co-founder and CEO of FemmeBnB Inc.; the first social networking vacation and short-term rental platform that allows women to rent their spaces to other women in hopes of maximizing safety, peace of mind and comfort, along with AI- Powered Travel Companion to help women plan their trip from start to end. She started the company to provide safe space and peace of mind for women travelers after she had a terrifying experience as a solo traveler in Rome. Yaa holds a B.A degree in Criminology and Sociology from the University of Windsor but her passion for tech, women and children advancement led her into the Information Technology and Non-Profit sector for the past 11 years. Yaa is also the Co-Founder and President of Hands of a Hero Foundation (HOHF), a non-profit organization that provides mentorship, leadership, and career development programs for youth and children in Canada and Ghana. Yaa was a recipient of Global Impact Award and Women's Courage International Award in 2016. She was named as a Black Canadian Role Model and Top 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada in 2017. In addition, she was selected as Top30 under30 Pioneers by FOG in 2017 and in March 2020, she was recognized as WOCStar Woman to Watch. Moreover, Yaa was recently recognized as the TOP 20 Women CEOs in Vacation Rental Tech by VR Tech, the Top 20 Women in the Travel Industry by TravelPulse and T0p 4 Women Leaders defining the Rental Industry. Yaa is passionate and enthusiastic about travel technology, women travel safety, sustainable travel, and she is on a mission to reshape women’s travel and hosting experience across the globe. Linkedin profile-

Aisha Addo


Power To Girls Foundation | My Power App

I’m Aisha Addo and I thrive on working to make the world a better place for women. Although I’m a graduate in Business Administration-Accounting, my true passion and dedication lie in ensuring girls around the world are provided with the guidance and resources that help them identify their true purpose and calling to reach their full potential. I founded Power To Girls Foundation, a non-profit organization to offer young girls the mentors and role models that were absent during my own youth. As an award-winning entrepreneur - MY Power App - the first social connection app for girls to access mentorship and a safe online space is my latest initiative and next steps in empowering girls and women around the world Linkedin profile-

Danielle Graham


Fierce Founders

Venture Growth Advisor at ventureLAB, Danielle is the Founder of Fierce Founders, first female-focused tech accelerator in Canada. She was part of the founding team of Sonnet for Economical as a consultant with Deloitte, prev. Manager of the Market Readiness fund, Principal at Dream Maker and Sandpiper and currently Venture Partner with Archangel, unlocking capital for the earliest stage startups in the tech ecosystem. Linkedin profile-

Cher Jones

Social Media Trainer & Personal Branding Strategist

Socially Active

Cher Jones is a Corporate Social Media Trainer & Personal Branding Coach with the love of technology hardwired into her personality. As the founder of Socially Active Training, she leverages over 20 years of PR, marketing and broadcasting experience to help professionals, leaders and consultants develop a credible and strategic online presence while teaching them how to use social media at work for work. Her passion, knowledge and expertise have many referring to her as one of North America's leading experts in online personal branding for professionals. She has worked internationally with a wide variety of organizations including Rogers, Hong Kong Police, PokerStars, BlackBerry, Industrial Alliance, The City of Toronto, MPI, The UK Trade and Investment, The Ontario Ministry of Education and CBC to name a few. Cher is also the host of a weekly LinkedIn livestream called #JustAskCher LIVE where she offers tips and advice to help you develop a powerful and professional brand online! Linkedin profile-
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