Inclusivity in Funding & Access to Capital

Wednesday, September 30
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM

Panel Sponsor

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Dr. Veronica Hunnicutt

Powerful Women
International Connections
Born in Sacramento, California, Dr. Veronica Hunnicutt began her teaching career with the San Francisco Unified School District.

After working with S.F.U.S.D. for three years, she joined City College of San Francisco (CCSF) in 1972 and has served in a number of positions, including Dean of the Southeast Campus, Acting Dean of the Southeast Campus, Acting Dean of Students, Dean of the Office of Student Affairs, Chair of the African American American Studies Department, Diversity Calendar Coordinator, Coordinator of the Partnerships to Achieve Academic Success Program (PAAS) and Instructor in both the English and Engineering Departments.

She also served as Chair of the Sustainability Subcommittee, a Shared Governance entity, for the college.

Namrata Banerjee

VentureBridge at
Carnegie Mellon University
Namrata is Director of VentureBridge and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. She is a Venture Partner with Republic focused on early stage investments and also serves as a startup advisor. Prior to Republic, she was a Venture Associate with AVG Basecamp Fund, an early stage industry-agnostic fund.

Before Venture Capital, Namrata worked at an incubator in Zimbabwe supporting entrepreneurs in Southern Africa. Prior to that, she worked in startups, two of which she took from idea to revenue, and worked in Industrial Automation where she worked on a range of software and firmware products.

Namrata has an interdisciplinary background - a BS in Biology & Software Engineering from India, an MA from the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Carnegie Mellon, and an MBA from the Haas School of Business, Berkeley.

Amy Francetic

Buoyant Ventures
Business executive and entrepreneur with 25 years experience in the energy and high technology sectors. Founded two companies, sold one, advised a founder on the creation of another and served on his board of directors.

Strong management skills having hired dozens of employees. Successful fundraiser for private and nonprofit companies.

Experience investor with venture and private equity experience. Extensive national network, with particular strength in Chicago and Silicon Valley. Board management experience having served on private company and nonprofit boards.

Paula Groves

Impact X Capital
Paula has over 20 years of private equity and investment experience with early stage companies and is an expert in developing and deploying targeted investment funds including: Oakland California’s equity fund, Axxon Capital’s $54 million fund for women/minorities business and Triumph Capital’s $800 million in economically targeted and other funds.


Carrie Nikitin

Powerful Women International Connections
Carrie is currently CEO of Avatekh, Inc., a high tech company developing and monetizing Intellectual property in noise filtering and power management industries. With strong skills in constructing, and negotiating licensing agreements, joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions, raising capital and collaborative development and research agreements, in both domestic and foreign markets in various industries.

She is an expert on working with companies in various stages, such as start-up, expansion, downsizing, turnaround, branding and rebranding phases. She has written federal SBIR, NIH and NSF grants, state economic development grants and not for profit grants.