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Creating Momentum for Houston’s Diverse Startup Founders

June 22, 2021 @ 15:00 - 16:00 CDT

Learn the best ways to impress investors, accelerators, and pitch competition producers, and increase your likelihood of getting selected.

Roughly just 1% of venture-backed founders are black, 9% are women, and 2% are latino. There is a massive gap and we want to change that by spending time assisting you craft your story and make your applications for funding opportunities standout.

Our goal through Creating Momentum is to help you drive the most impact by capturing the audience’s attention, building meaningful relationships with investors and securing funding opportunities.

We’re calling for all diverse founders in Houston to join us for an interactive session to learn about:

  • The mindset investors, accelerators, and pitch competition organizers are looking for when selecting startups
  • Examples of how good founders describe their startup’s opportunity, winning applications, etc.
  • General information on Venture Atlanta such as application deadline, things they look for, etc.


+Juliana Garaizar (Greentown Labs): A Kauffman Fellow and Board Member of the Angel Capital Association, Juliana is a Lead Investor of the Portfolia Rising America Fund, Consumer Fund and Rising Tide Fund. Juliana is also the Launch Director of Greentown Labs Houston and the President of the Business Angel Minority Association, an Advisory Board Member of the Cougar Venture Fund and the Houston Diversity Fund. Juliana was the Director of the Texas Medical Center Venture Fund and the Managing Director of the Houston Angel Network. She was the Manager of the Sophia Business Angels network in the French Riviera and of Antipolis Innovation Campus, as well as Project Manager of several International Projects funded by the European Commission. Previously, Juliana worked for 5 years in Singapore: first as an International Trade Consultant for the Trade Commission of Spain in a broad range of industry sectors and then as a Project Manager for the Asia Technology Office of Citigroup, leading projects at international level. Juliana obtained an MBA at the London Business School, specializing in Entrepreneurship.

+Jason Norman (Concrete Rose): Jason is a co-founding Partner of Concrete Rose. He is CEO of The Concrete Rose Community Foundation and Entrepreneur in Residence at Tipping Point Community in San Francisco. Prior to Concrete Rose, Jason ran college access Programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula then launched the Lazarus Energy Empowerment Program, a program expanding the pipeline of underrepresented talent into the Energy Industry in Houston, TX. Jason is a Rochester, NY native and a graduate of Harvard University. At Harvard he studied African American Studies and was a two-year captain of the Harvard Basketball team.

+Richard Fraim (Knoll Ventures): Rich is a General Partner of Knoll Ventures Fund I LP. Prior to establishing Knoll Ventures Fund I LP, Rich was President of Ellis Capital, a family-office that invests across a wide-range of technology-enabled businesses across the seed, post-seed, and Series A stages. At Ellis Capital, Rich oversaw all aspects of the investment process. Previously, Rich served as a Hedge Fund analyst at Private Advisors, a multi-billion dollar alternative asset management firm specialized in alternative investment strategies.

Moderated By: Venture Atlanta’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Local Partners//

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About The Creating Momentum Initiative//

Venture Atlanta’s Creating Momentum Initiative powered by Metro ATL Chamber and Goodie Nation consists of a multi- city virtual tour to help diverse founders in Tampa/Orlando, Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Birmingham, Nashville, New Orleans, Charlotte and Washington DC learn about how to best describe themselves in the way that gets accepted in accelerators, pitch competitions and funding opportunities.

About the Presenting Organizations//

+Venture Atlanta is the region’s largest annual venture conference gathering together more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, investors, leaders and students for a high-caliber, 2-day conference.

+Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) is a 160-year-old organization that represents businesses, colleges and universities, and nonprofits across Atlanta’s 29-county region transforming it into a top tech market that is attracting next-generation talent.

+Goodie Nation is a nationwide support nonprofit for tech-focused social entrepreneurs and diverse founders.