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

About this event

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 South Florida to join us for an interactive session with Florida Funders, Women in Miami Tech, and Black Men Talk Tech 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.


+Ana Paula Gonzalez is the Director of the Miami Initiative at SoftBank, where she leads all investment and ecosystem development activities in the city. Previously to joining SoftBank, Ana spent over 4 years at 500 Startups, where she first launched the 500 Startups Miami office.

+Maria Derchi Russo is the Director of Community for Florida Funders, a hybrid venture capital fund and angel investor network focused on helping discover, fund and build early-stage technology companies in Florida and beyond. She is also the Executive Director of Refresh Miami, the hub of South Florida’s tech and startup ecosystem, and the founder of Women in Miami Tech, a group dedicated to supporting and advancing women in technology in South Florida.

+Ryan Whittemore is the Chief Investment Officer for Florida Funders. He oversees a team reviewing 2,000+ deals per year across 3 managed funds, and the due diligence process that leads to approximately 20 investments per year. Ryan also sits on the Florida Funders Investment Committee and serves as its Co-Chairman, having led Florida Funder’s investment in 46 companies.

+Evan Leaphart is the founder of Kiddie Kredit, a mobile chore tracking app that teaches kids about credit. He combines a passion for financial literacy and innovation with a commitment to solving real problems that help the community around him. He has lived in Miami the past 17 years and is also co-founder of the Black Men Talk Tech conference.

Moderated By: Venture Atlanta's Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Local Partners//

+Black Men Talk Tech: Entrepreneurship collective which promotes collaboration between Black men and other members of the tech ecosystem

+Women in Miami Tech: Supporting and advancing women in technology roles and in technology companies in South Florida. We host monthly happy hours to get to know each other better.

+Florida Funders: a hybrid between a venture capital fund and an angel investor network.


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.