venture capital

Episode 88-The benefits of a customer and patient centric approach in women's health care innovation with Kerry Rupp of True Wealth Ventures

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Terri talks with Kerry Rupp of True Wealth Ventures about how True Wealth Ventures views women’s health, the opportunities and challenges in the space, and how innovators need to have a more customer-centric approach earlier in the innovation cycle.

Who is Kerry Rupp?


Kerry Rupp is General Partner at True Wealth Ventures, an early-stage VC fund investing in women-led businesses in consumer health and sustainability. She teaches for the NSF I-Corps program, mentors startups, and consults on innovation and strategy. Kerry was previously CEO at DreamIt, a Top Ten US startup accelerator and VC fund. She founded Holiday Golightly, a group travel service for women.  Kerry holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Duke.

Show Highlights

·      Kerry shares why women’s health is interesting to her from an innovation and a funding perspective, her path into venture capital, and what True Wealth Ventures is all about

·      Kerry talks about True Wealth Venture’s focus on the broad definition of women’s health and how little research and emphasis has been on women and women’s bodies and brains

·      Kerry and Terri share the view that awareness, research and innovation in women’s health are critical right now

·      Kerry shares what she is excited about in women’s health and both Terri and Kerry talk about the difficulty in choosing the ones to invest in

·      Terri and Kerry talk about the gap between the startup innovation and the healthcare providers and how to bridge the gap

·      Kerry shares how to connect with her and Sara at True Wealth Ventures if you have a startup within their investment thesis


Terri’s Key Takeaway

We need to be doing more to bring together the healthcare providers and healthcare innovators earlier in the process. 


References in the Podcast

·      DreamIt Ventures:

·      True Wealth Ventures:

·      Sara Brand:

·      Lisa Health:

·      Genneve:

·      Mighty Menopause:

·      Pandia:

·      Lemonaid Health:

·      Braincheck:

·      Katie McMillan:

·      Springboard:



Kerry can be reached through LinkedIn or her website   

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at or on Medium: 

Feel free to email Terri at

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife.

Episode 82-Educating and inspiring Angel Investors through OSEA Angels in Orange County with Xandra Laskowski

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Terri talks to Xandra Laskowski about her own angel investing journey which has led to her desire to inspire and educate more female investors through OSEA Angels in Orange County.

Who is Xandra Laskowski?

Xandra Laskowski is a startup consultant with over 25 years of entrepreneurial experience with large multinational tech companies as well as startups as founder, investor, advisor and board member. She has held positions as Worldwide Commodity Manager and National Major Accounts Managerial roles before moving into the angel investment and startup worlds.   She founded OSEA Angel Investors in 2017, a women focused angel investment group based at the UC Irvine Cove, UCI Applied Innovation.  OSEA Angel Investors is a partner angel group with Tech Coast Angels and Angel Syndication Network.

Show Highlights

·      Xandra shares her journey into investing beginning in 2012 including some of her favorite investments and how they are faring.

·      Xandra talks about her investment philosophy which has evolved since she started investing.  She makes sure they are in revenue and that she is strategically aligned to be able to provide support before she writes her first, small check. 

·      Xandra’s leverages her professional experience and network in addition to her experience managing her family’s asset as an angel investor. 

·      She created Osea Angels to help other women in her community learn about investing in startups and get access to deals to make those investments. She is bringing education, inspiration, and connections to her members for startup opportunities. 

·      Xandra saw a need to support small businesses in Orange County that need access to resources to build and grow their businesses and she partnered up with someone to provide these services. 

·      Xandra most felt like the pilot in her own life when she took over her family’s finances to better manage her family’s wealth.    

Terri’s Key Takeaway

It’s time for women who are building the female founder / female investor ecosystem begin to benefit financially. 

References in the Podcast

·      Hera Venture Summit:

·      Osea Angels:

·      Liquid Biosciences:

·      Tech Coast Angels:

·      UC Irvine Cove:

·      First Republic Bank:

·      Changing Tides:

·      AngelList:

·      Jane VC:


Xandra can be reached by email at

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at or on Medium: 

Feel free to email Terri at

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife.

Episode 81-Finding Tailored Funding strategies for Female Founders and Business Owners with Jenny Kassan

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Terri talks to Jenny Kassan about alternative funding mechanisms for female founders and small business owners and how she works with them to provide tailored fundraising strategies.

Terri talks to Jenny Kassan about alternative funding mechanisms for female founders and small business owners and how she works with them to provide tailored fundraising strategies. 

Who is Jenny Kassan?  

Jenny Kassan has over two decades of experience as an attorney and advisor for mission-driven enterprises and is a certified coach.  She has helped her clients raise millions of dollars from values-aligned investors.  She is the author of Raise Capital on Your Own Terms: How to Fund Your Business without Selling Your Soul (Berrett-Koehler, October 2017). 

She served on the SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies and submitted the petition to the SEC that led to the passage of the 2012 JOBS Act

Before becoming a securities lawyer, Jenny worked for eleven years at a nonprofit community development corporation in Oakland, where she served as staff attorney and managed community economic development projects including the formation and management of several social ventures designed to employ and create business ownership opportunities for low-income community residents. 

Jenny is a fellow at Democracy Collaborative and the co-founder of the Force for Good Fund, is the President of Community Ventures, and co-founded the Sustainable Economies Law Center.  She was a director of Berrett-Koehler Publishers and is a member of the Content Advisory Panel of Conscious Company Magazine and serves on the advisory boards of Lioness Magazine and Investibule

Jenny earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley.     

Show Highlights 

  • Jenny talks about her journey into working with startups and businesses on tailored fundraising strategies and the importance of Title III of the JOBS Act.   

  • Jenny talks about how her frustration with fundraising options and meeting Michelle Thimesch led to the recent launch of CrowdFund Main Street to take advantage of Title III of the JOBS Act.   

  • Terri and Jenny talk about how crowdfunding can fit into a startup’s fundraising strategy and how the definition of success for a startup is not based on funding rounds. 

  • Jenny is now focusing on the investor side and educating a lot of Americans on investing opportunities through her new organization called Angels of Main Street.   

  • Terri talks about how important it is for some us to see the direct impact of their investments and/or time.     

  • Jenny talks about how she works with her clients to structure their financing strategies in alignment with their goals, values, and short/long term strategies.  She also talks about the various options available to founders.  

  • Jenny felt most like the pilot in her own life when she went out on her own with her own firm.  She now has the business of dreams.   


Terri’s Key Takeaway 

Taking the first step is important to opening up new opportunity paths.   


References in the Podcast 


Jenny can be reached through her website 

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at or on Medium:  

Feel free to email Terri at 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife. 

Episode 80-Supporting an Ecosystem for Women of Color to be Startup Founders and Investors by leveraging Angel Investing

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Terri talks to Tawana Murphy Burnett about how joining and getting active with Pipeline Angels has led to her becoming an active leader in the startup ecosystem for women of color.   

Who is Tawana Murphy Burnett?  

Tawana Murphy Burnett, former consultant turned startup employee and entrepreneur, is now a global marketing leader at Facebook helping the top 30 Global Advertisers like Estée Lauder and Johnson & Johnson become the best mobile marketers. Prior to Facebook, Tawana led brand and product teams at Intuit, LeapFrog, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, leading P&L, Brand Growth, integrated marketing strategies and new product innovation for brands like Listerine, Advil, and ChapStick.  

Since 2017 Tawana has become an active investor in women and women of color owned businesses primarily through Portfolia and as a Member and Due Diligence Lead with Pipeline Angels. She has served on numerous Diversity and Inclusion councils, most recently joining Digital Undivided as an Advisory Board Member for StartUp Newark. 


Show Highlights 

  • Tawana talks about being inspired to get involved in angel investing because of what Terri shared with her about her desire to get more capital into the hands of female founders when they met in the Lufthansa lounge in Frankfurt. 

  • Tawana joined Pipeline Angels and shares her experience learning about angel investing, leading a deal, and getting more involved to invest in more women of color.   

  • Tawana has made 9 investments since she started less than two years ago.  She talks about being excited about the community building piece, hosting more events, and getting involved with Digital Undivided in Atlanta and Startup Newark.   

  • Terri talks about leveraging AngelList as a ‘poor woman’s VC’ to be able to bring deals together and give women who are leading these deals some sort of compensation for the work associated with this.  She also talks about the importance of building the ecosystem but also finding ways for women to get compensated for all the work we are doing for free.   

  • If Tawana could wave a magic wand, she would improve the public education system in the US and make sure it is financially supported.   

Terri’s Key Takeaway 

Be open to conversations with people; be open to new ideas; be open to education.   

References in the Podcast 


Tawana can be reached through LinkedIn: 

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at or on Medium:  

Feel free to email Terri at 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife. . 

Episode 79-Transparency in the venture funding process with Jane VC founder Maren Bannon

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Terri talks to Maren Bannon about what drove her to launch Jane VC, a fund focused on investing in female founders in the US and Europe along with a fellow Stanford grad, Jennifer Neundorfer. 

Who is Maren Bannon?  

Maren is Co-Founder and Partner at Jane VC, a venture fund to invest in female-led technology startups.  Maren is an entrepreneur at heart who has been building tech businesses for the past 15 years. Previously, she was CEO and Cofounder of LittleLane. Her operating experience also includes leadership roles at health tech startups as well as leading consumer marketing for a $1B product at Genentech. She is the mother to three young daughters and feels energized each day by her vision of creating a different world for them. She has an MBA from Stanford and an Engineering degree from Dartmouth.  

Show Highlights 

  • Maren talks about joining forces with one of her fellow Stanford grads, Jennifer Neundorfer, to create a new fund, Jane VC, to not only get more capital into the hands of female founders, but to activate more female investors. 

  • Maren shares the journey from reconnecting with her partner Jenn in January 2018 and leveraging AngelList to quickly create and raise the fund by bringing on supportive people in their network.   

  • Terri asked Maren about Jane VCs plan to get access to deal flow, being open to anyone, and their plan to provide transparency to the VC process to work towards leveling the playing field.  

  • Maren shares their plans for Jane VC in providing transparency, investing in women, and actively looking for investing opportunities outside of the Silicon Valley.  

  • With Jane VC, they are focused on investing in pre-seed and seed stage rounds, but they will also invest in Series A. With Maren based in London, they will have the opportunity to focus on startups not only in the US, but also in Europe including London, Berlin, Paris, and the Nordics.   

  • If Maren could wave a magic wand, she would shift the power dynamic to make it more equitable for women.   

 Terri’s Key Takeaway 

To shift the power dynamic and improve the world, we need to activate more female investors and invest in more female founders.  

References in the Podcast 


Maren can be reached by email at   

Founders interested in pitching to Jane VC can do so here: 

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at or on Medium:  

Feel free to email Terri at 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife.