No Longer Overlooked - Issue 33 | Our Big Investment! 🥳
POV: You're a founder building a startup
Hi there 👋 Welcome to No Longer Overlooked, a newsletter, curated by me, Janine Sickmeyer, a tech founder turned investor. Follow me as I share startup tips, industry news, founders you should know, and investors putting their money where their mouth is.
What's In This Issue 🗞
A brief look into what you'll be reading about
A BIG investment from OV & Bank of America
Innovations and news in the startup and VC spaces
Founders you should pay attention to!
What's On My Mind 💭
I’ve been thinking…
You might have seen us on your timeline this week...
Overlooked Ventures announced Bank of America’s investment in our fund. It’s an understatement to say we’re thrilled about Bank of America investing in our $50MM Fund I as our first institutional investor.
Since Brandon and I started Overlooked Ventures in May of 2021, we’ve been upfront and transparent about being first-time fund managers raising our first venture capital fund. Over the last year, Brandon and I have been working to secure commitments from limited partners so we can take that capital and put it back into overlooked and underserved founders in an effort to change the statistics.
In the past, emerging fund managers had a difficult time raising funds from institutions and state and government agencies. Large funds are spinning off a Fund of Funds model, where they set aside a portion of capital to invest in other venture capital funds. Institutions are also starting to take notice of new fund managers where traditionally, only 6% of investors in funds led by first-time fund managers are corporations (Carta).
As a former founder and operator, I didn’t know I’d end up here when I was in the thick of running my startup. After an exit via acquisition, I found my calling: supporting and investing in underestimated founders who are impressive and building great companies.
Now, I can finally say that I’m the founder and partner of a venture capital fund that is backed by an institutional bank. There have been a couple of other milestones in the last day too: Overlooked Ventures reached over 2,000 inbound deal flow applications and I’ve got that check next to my name on Twitter! ✔️
Thank you for all of your support and encouragement as we build our venture capital fund. You’re a huge part of how we’ve gotten here.
What I’ve Been Working On 💁🏻♀️
Things I care about that I want to share
Overlooked Ventures secured investment from Bank of America
We made a big splash yesterday with our Bank of America investment. Naturally, we have to share the news with you! From press coverage to hundreds of tweets & replies, Overlooked Ventures was all over the internet. Read below for coverage of the announcement.
Official Press Release: Check us out on the wire for the official announcement from Bank of America and Overlooked Ventures.
Medium post by me: I got a little personal and shared how Overlooked Ventures got here on my Medium.
Columbus Business First feature by Carrie Ghose: Our friend and excellent reporter Carrie Ghose wrote an article about the Bank of America investment and the progress our fund has made so far.
Yahoo Finance: We made it on Yahoo Finance!
My partner at Overlooked Ventures is speaking at the Small Business Form put on by the SEC! He will be joining fellow emerging fund managers for the panel, New Investor Voices: How Emerging Fund Managers Are Diversifying Capital on Wed. April 6th at 1 pm et. Save the date!
Recently Hit the Stands 📰
Things in the news you should check out
There is an increase in supply when it comes to venture capital dollars. Although the ratio of founders raising and investors was shrinking, we saw a change starting in 2021. Pitchbook predicts that startups will have more leverage when negotiating with investors. Read this report from Pitchbook for trends on capital available and startups who are fundraising.
Lightship Foundation acquired Black Tech Week, a conference for members of the global Black tech community, and is bringing the event to Cincinnati, OH. This year, the conference runs from July 18 through 23. This is a big win for Lightship Foundation and the city of Cincinnati!
Alexis Ohanian, Founder at the 776 venture capital firm, launched the 776 Foundation on the anniversary of his mom’s death to honor her with a legacy of good work. The foundation will fight inequity worldwide and with Alexis’s initial $20M program, the foundation launched the 776 Fellowship to address climate change.
In 2021, VCs invested $10.5 billion across agtech startups in 2021, which increased by over 58% from the previous year. Today’s agtech startups are using technology to provide higher financial, social, and environmental returns. More and more investors, including tech, impact, and nontraditional investors, are taking notice of agtech startups.
Anarghya Vardhana, a venture capitalist at Maveron, was interested in investing in the fertility space after going through IVF herself. She was searching for a company that would advance fertility with technology. Alfie caught her attention, a company that is leveraging artificial intelligence to modernize and personalize the IVF process.
Although there have been hundreds of commitments and pledges to diversify tech, the black tech pipeline is shrinking. Fewer Black students are working towards computer science degrees than they were six years ago. The Kapor Center and the NAACP released a report that suggests changes in the private and public sectors are required to fundamentally change the system and represent Black people in the tech workforce.
Starting a business is no small feat. As a founder, you often have to juggle dozens of things at once and, as a woman founder, handle other challenges like lack of funding access. In this article from the Financial Times, several women founders give their advice on starting a venture from their perspective.
FemTech has exploded over the last few years. Digital health companies that cater to women raised billions in venture capital dollars in 2021. In this Yahoo Finance article, Kasha Global is profiled for distributing women's and reproductive healthcare products in East Africa. Kasha Global hires locals to hires local staff to distribute healthcare info and assist with technology and ordering.
Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Innovation Lab is working to advance women entrepreneurs and their access to funding. In this article, Morgan Stanley highlights 12 women founders who raised $1M+ in venture capital funding.
A Little Birdie Told Me 🐦
Tweet of the moment
Hot Take of the Week 🔥
Somebody had to say it
Founders You Should Follow 👀
Keep an eye on these founders making moves
Annafi Wahed | The Flipside
Annafi Wahed is the Founder and Editor of The Flipside, a platform for news and civic dialogue. Annafi left her corporate job in 2016 to campaign for a democratic candidate and was surprised by the disconnect people can be by the news they read or watch! She created a shared news source in a world of fake news and bubbles. The Flipside is a daily email that provides both sides of important issues.
Kylie Krejmas | Nanny Marlowe
Kylie Krejmas founded Nanny Marlowe, a boutique nanny agency focused on supporting families and empowering caregivers. Kylie currently resides in Boston Massachusetts, where she was named 25 under 25 by Boston Inno. In addition to her work at Nanny Marlow, Kylie is a mental health advocate and started The Inno Crew to support other founders with community and authentic conversations. Check out the Inno Crew website to learn more or become a partner!
New Funds Announced 🚀
Kathryn Haun created one of the government's first crypto task forces before moving into the private sector where she worked in crypto and venture capital. Kathryn launched Haun Ventures, a firm built to uniquely serve the teams building the third generation of the internet, or web3.
Lolita Taub, formerly at The Community Fund and Backstage Capital, recently launched Ganas VC, a $10M early-stage fund investing in Web 2 & 3 community-driven startups in the US & LATAM.
SteelSky Ventures closed its inaugural fund, now managing $72M in total assets. Founded by Maria Toler Velissaris, SteelSky Ventures is the largest fund in the world focused exclusively on improving access, care, and outcomes in women’s health.
Long Time Listener 🎧
Podcasts to tune in
James Oliver Jr. and Mario Armstrong launched their podcast, Parents Making Profits, where they bring on guests and interview them for advice on being a parent and entrepreneur. Their first guest was Daymond John of FUBU and Shark Tank. Daymond John talks to James Oliver Jr. and Mario Armstrong about mental health, entrepreneurship, the metaverse, self-doubt, and his regrets.
What you need to know
Shahed Khan shares one of the biggest lessons in startups: things always take longer than you expect.
Elizabeth Yin created a doc on How to Raise a Seed Round with her tweets and blog posts on fundraising.
Carta launched an Equity 101 Program to help employees understand equity.
Community Asks 💬
Requests from our friends
Overlooked Ventures portfolio company Blooming Health is hiring a Customer Success and Operations Manager! If you know someone who wants to build impactful operations in the Agetech market, please share this role!
Before You Go 🚪
What you might have missed.
Mandela Schumacher-Hodge Dixon is new CEO of AllRaise!
If you’re in your 30’s, here’s some good advice.
Sherrell Dorsey dropped the trailer for her Upper Hand Book short film. Watch it here.
Venture capital is inconsistent. Kyle Harris introduces the renegades of venture capital who are changing the rules.