Avant-Garde Network’s

Venture Capital & ANGEL INVESTING Forum

Avant-Garde Network's Venture Capital and Angel Investing Forum is connecting black entrepreneurs, and professionals and those interested in breaking into the Venture Capital and Angel investing space! This forum will also provide information to entrepreneurs that are seeking angel investment and venture capital to understand how to position themselves for financing. 

This event is ideal for professionals who are looking to connect with venture capital experts, and like-minded, ambitious professionals. We will convene professionals across multiple industries and businesses.





special Thanks to our sponsor



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Co-Founder and General Partner at 645 Ventures

645 Ventures is a NYC based early-stage venture capital firm that applies a data-intensive approach, leveraging proprietary software, to deal sourcing, due diligence, and value creation. Aaron Holiday is a venture capitalist and technologist with over 15 years of software experience and 5 years of early stage investing experience. Aaron oversees the fund’s investment strategy, software platform, fundraising, and core operations. Aaron has led investments in companies such as Fly Labs (acquired by Google), Source 3 (acquired by Facebook), Abacus (acquired by Certify), Fiscal Note, Merge VR, Goldbely, Iterable, Nanit, Beauty Bakerie, Fat Lama, and BetterView.

Aaron has also been instrumental in pioneering Cornell Tech’s Studio and Startup Spinout culture as its first Managing Entrepreneurial Officer. Cornell Tech is a billion dollar tech campus in New York City, originally envisioned by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Aaron has been responsible for spinning up the entrepreneurial culture at Cornell Tech, where faculty, staff, and students start and spinout startup companies. Cornell Tech is advancing the NYC tech ecosystem just as Stanford did for Silicon Valley and MIT did for the Boston ecosystem.

Aaron has a computer science background, and began his career on Wall Street building advanced financial trading technology for Goldman Sachs and GFI Group. Aaron is frequently sought after as a contributing writer and speaker on topics related to venture capital and technology entrepreneurship. He has been published in TechCrunch and created/taught classes at Cornell Tech and General Assembly on startup formation.

Aaron received a BS in Computer Science (Cum Laude Honors) from Morehouse College and an MBA from Cornell University.

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Chief Executive Officer, Founder, iNTENT Manifesto

After 20+ years of wall street, technology, philanthropy and policy, Gayle (Gay-lä) is embracing her female superpowers to amplify social change. Her boldest endeavor to date is a social campaign and venture capital fund launched in 2018 to move $1Billion in capital to support women of color globally. iNTENT Manifesto, is a social movement and  investment education platform focused on women of color (WOC) tech startups. She is transforming how local people, communities and public and private partners can support, invest, and celebrate WOC tech startups.

Inspired by the many women along her journey and the glaring financial market gaps, she is addressing wealth building in communities of color and access to capital for the fastest growing entrepreneurial sector – women of color.

Gayle is channeling wisdom from her investment banking, philanthropy, lobbying and marketing roles at JPMorgan Chase and Sun Microsystems. She is tapping into her learnings as a graduate of Wharton School of Business and University of Michigan, plus participation in 500VC Unlocked/Stanford University, the National University of Singapore and City of London Polytechnic programs.

She’s been responsible for developing and managing investment strategy, valuation, modeling and due diligence. She’s an active angel investor with investments in several women led startups.

Advisory boards have included Ghetto Film School, Cinema High School, Eagle Academy, Scholastic, the ClimateDonor.org and MindMeet. She is proud to be a Nantucket Project Scholar and Board Member; speaker at SOCAP, Aspen Ideas Festival; as well as a Tribeca Disruptor Fellow, an Investments & Wealth Monitor Magazine columnist and most recently named a Nazarian Social Innovator in Residence at Wharton Social Impact Initiative.

She resides in New York City, where she bikes, sails, plays golf and supports the arts and emerging artists along with her husband David O’Byrne.



Director, Strategic Initiatives & Impact Investments

Gerald (Gerry) Pambo-Awich is a Director of Strategic Initiatives & Impact Investments at Prudential Financial. In this dual role, he focuses on initiatives to influence the future of Prudential’s International Insurance business, and leads the Education & Africa strategies for Prudential Impact Investments with responsibility for sourcing, underwriting and managing investments that meet Prudential’s social value criteria while providing risk-adjusted financial returns. Prudential Impact Investments manages a portfolio of more than $700 million in investments and has a goal of building a $1 billion portfolio by 2020.

Prior to this role, Mr. Pambo-Awich worked in Prudential’s Corporate Development team, which is responsible for all acquisitions and divestitures in the company. Mr. Pambo-Awich began his career at Goldman Sachs & Co, followed by investment roles at early stage venture capital and growth equity firms including Bridges Ventures, and Kapor Capital. In all these roles, he was focused on creating and analyzing risk/return profiles so at to recommend or advise senior management on proposed investments.

Mr. Pambo-Awich received his MBA from Harvard Business School and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science from Bard College, where he was a Distinguished Scientist Scholar.

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Managing Partner at 1000 Angels at 1000 Angels and Venture Partner at Intent Manifesto

Erica Duignan Minnihan is Founder and Managing Partner at 1000 Angels, a private venture investment network for select accredited investors, family offices, and venture funds. She is also Founding Partner of Reign Ventures, a Seed Stage Venture fund that invests in scalable technology and tech-enabled businesses.

Erica has been an active investor and advisor to early stage companies for over 12 years, and was an investment banker for 8 years prior to that. Before launching Reign and 1000 Angels, Erica was a Managing Director at DreamIt Ventures in NYC. She also has served as a founding Executive Director at both STAR Angel Network and Golden Seeds. Prior to beginning a career in venture, she practiced Investment Banking at Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Cantor Fitzgerald.

Erica earned her BA in Business Economics from UCLA and an MBA in Finance with honors from Columbia Business School.  She has also made regular appearances on network television for MSNBC and CNBC on “App Wars”, "Your Business" and "Crowd Rules" as a startup business expert.


Marie T. DeFalco

Partner Vice Chair, Investment Management Group

Marie is vice chair of the firm's Investment Management group, which has been selected as one of the preeminent practices in the United States for its representation of hedge funds and other private funds and derivatives/private equity work.

Marie represents investment management clients throughout the United States and internationally. She specializes in structuring business transactions to maximize the achievement of clients' goals from both a business and tax perspective, particularly transactions involving limited liability companies and partnerships. Marie assists clients with the formation and operation of hedge funds and private equity funds, in the organization of joint ventures, and in the negotiation of shareholder and limited liability company agreements.










ATTIRE: Business/Business Casual *Tickets are not available onsite

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EVENT LOCATION: Lowenstein Sandler LLP

1251 6th Ave 17th floor, New York, NY 10020