Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

12:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Track III: The Women's Creativity Workshops Admiralty Room

The Women's VC Funding Roundtable: From Private Equity to Crowdfunding

Renata RA Akhunova, Partner, Formula VC, Venture Fund, Moderator

George Stephan, Shareholder and Chair, Buchalter Nemer

Leslie Fishlock, CEO & Founder of Geek Girl Corporation

Silvia Mah, CEO, Hera-Labs

Julia Neznanova, Entrepreneur, journalist, cofounder, Hakka Labs

Alyssa Bereznak, National Correspondent, Yahoo News

Leslie Fishlock, CEo& Founder of Geek Girl Corporation: Geek Girl Boot Camps are technology “unconferences” for women of all ages and knowledge levels where you can go to take classes on everything to do with computers, PC and Mac, the Internet, marketing, consumer electronics, software, social media, Photoshop, blogging, podcasting, digital photography, and more. Here efforts were honored to become winners of San Diego Startup Diversity Award 2015 and San Diego Startup Rockstar 2014. Leslie herself has been a finalist for many awards: San Diego Magazine’s Woman of the Year award, Women of Influence Award, Women Who Mean Business Award 2013&2014, Most Admired CEO 2013, Women Who Move the City Award 2013. As well as was she a nominee for Individual in Technology and Educator by Athena Pinnacle Awards.


Alyssa Bereznak is a National Correspondent at Yahoo News, where she covers the intersection of technology, culture, and politics. Her work has appeared on, Salon, The Hairpin, Gizmodo, and Femsplain. She lives in Brooklyn Heights with her beloved cat Chloe.


Julia Neznanova comes with over 15 years experience as an executive and founder in the consumer and media industries with vast expertise in digital marketing. Her main focus is helping companies improve the product and marketing strategies and launch on international markets. Her work has consisted of various roles, including Head of Product at Tupperware, Head of editorial at Look at Media NYC, and Head of Marketing Strategy at various ad agencies, responsible for creating award-winning digital campaigns for P&G, Kraft, McDonalds, Danone, etc. In 2013 Julia co-founded Hakka Labs, community and media platform for software engineers that reaches more than half a million developers worldwide through an innovative model of exposing company's engineering talent and connecting developers with each other.


Silvia Mah, CEO of Hera-Labs, a business accelerator for women-owned small businesses, co-founder of Hera Fund, an angel fund for female angels investing in female founders, and an angel investor in female-focused endeavors: Hera Hub, a spa-inspired co-working space for female entrepreneurs, The Sash Bag and Hera Therapeutics. Her primary focus is in on (1) empowering, nurturing, and launching women-owned businesses globally, (2) investing in socially relevant new ventures that will allow women to break through barriers in order to excel and for the next generation of women entrepreneurs to have excellent examples of success, and (3) help accelerate university discoveries through the commercialization pipeline.


George Stephan is a Shareholder and Chair of the Firm’s Litigation Practice Group. He specializes in business litigation, product liability, real estate disputes and general civil litigation matters. • Selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation by American Lawyer Media in conjunction with Martindale Hubbell • Selected as one of Southern California’s Super Lawyers twelve times from 2004 to 2015 • Selected as a Southern California Super Lawyer, Corporate Counsel Edition from 2008 to 2010 • Keynote Speaker, University of San Diego School of Law, Sports and Entertainment Law Symposium at the International Center for Peace and Justice •  “Mediation’s Confidentiality Laws Come Under Scrutiny,” Daily Journal, August 10, 2007 • “2006 Top Defense Verdicts,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, February 9, 200 •  “City Loses 2 Players, But Big News is Courtside,” Orange County Register, January 26, 2006



Renata RA Akhunova, Partner, Formula VC, Venture Fund:  An entrepreneur - turned angel investor - turned VC.  Partner at FormulaVC Venture Fund Advisory Board Member at 500 Startups Fund Seen on Forbes USA "The Top Women in Venture Capital and Angel Investing"   Invited as an Expert of Analytic Center under The Government of Russian on issues: National innovation system design, Integration of the Eurasian economic system, Russian international financial center, Development of competitive markets.  More than 20 technology early stage companies mentored by Renata received more than $30M of external funding from such state institutions, as well as fundraised private $20M in addition to that.  Having personal experience in entrepreneurship, Renata built one of the most successful franchise networks.