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Raising Capital Via Accelerators: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

A panel of VC, startup founders, and program directors will tell the stories of good and bad experiences raising capital through accelerator programs. We will be sure to cover advice on fundraising strategies for startup founders and debate the perfect formula/best practices for incorporating investment practices into an innovation program. Don’t miss the opportunity to get feedback on your investment strategy and meet other like-minded entrepreneurs evaluating and researching the investment landscape in NYC.


Sallie Jian, Program Manager of SAP.iO

Sallie Jian manages SAP.iO Foundry New York which is the corporate venture arm of SAP, a publicly traded enterprise software company. Prior to SAP, Sallie led the VC team at SeedInvest and served as CFO and Head of Business Development at Savile Row Society, a men’s e-commerce startup, where she led firm initiatives around financing, revenue generation, customer acquisition, and business development.

Sallie began her career at Morgan Stanley Technology Investment Banking in Silicon Valley and General Atlantic in NYC. She graduated from the Haas Business Program at UC Berkeley and is a recipient of the 2018 Innovators & Disruptors Award as an emerging technology leader in Venture Capital.

D.K. Smith, Founding Member of Brooklyn Angels

D.K. Smith is a founding member of the Brooklyn Angels, a member-based angel investment group focused on funding startups in Brooklyn and surrounding boroughs. D.K. is also managing director at the Brooklyn Innovation Center accelerator and incubator. As an advisor on distributed-ledger strategy and ICOs for numerous founders and investors, he helps blockchain innovators think strategically about their ventures.

D.K. is a serial entrepreneur who founded and sold two marketing communications firms. Deeply committed to organizations that support young entrepreneurs, D.K. serves as an advisor to Student Dream (; and has served as a mentor to student founders in Columbia’s Almaworks accelerator and the Real Estate Venture Competition at Harvard Business School.

Carol Barash, Founder of Story2

Since 2008 I’ve been obsessed with the power of storytelling to transform opportunity for individuals and communities. I’m especially attracted to story as a technology to break down geographic, linguistic, and cultural boundaries. I founded Story2 to teach people around the world how to tap into the science of storytelling to advocate for themselves and their communities. 150K+ people have used our Moments Method® to tell their stories and achieve their goals.

Nina Stephanov, Investment Associate and NYC Program Manager of Acceleprise

Nina Stepanov runs Acceleprise NYC, the pre-seed B2B SaaS accelerator operating in SF, NYC, and Melbourne. Before joining Acceleprise, Nina was on the team at Techstars IoT. She found her way into Venture Capital after earning her SaaS stripes in marketing and project management roles at companies like Embedly (acquired by Medium), Intuit, and HubSpot. Nina is a tech enthusiast, supporter and advisor to female, minority and immigrant founders, and an active connector in the NYC startup ecosystem. She advises both D2C and B2B startups outside of Acceleprise and spends time mentoring young women through Built By Girls.

Our Moderator:

Denisha Kuhlor, Early Stage Tech, Silicon Valley Bank

Denisha is based in New York and covers early stage tech at Silicon Valley Bank. In the early stage practice she covers marketplaces, music tech, and travel tech. Denisha also spearheads Silicon Valley Bank’s Safe Space initiative which is a stakes free practice pitch session designed to help founders improve their fundraising outcomes. Prior to joining the early stage practice at Silicon Valley Bank Denisha founded an ed-tech startup in college designed to help colleges meet their enrollment goals as students applied for free.


  • 6:30pm to 7:00pm - Mixer

  • 7:00pm to 8:00pm - Panel

  • 8:00pm to 8:30pm - After Drinks

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