Myth Busting: Startup Capital

Business & Entrepreneurship

Event Details


Day 1 - March 10, 2024

In a market characterized by investor caution, it's more critical than ever for startups to have a realistic understanding of what's required to gain the confidence of investors. Spoiler: it’s much more than a flashy pitch deck.

Representing the investor perspective, our panel will bust common investment myths that stifle a startup’s ability to raise incremental capital early in the commercialization lifecycle. We’ll explore common and current challenges startups face in acquiring capital, discuss what this market correction means for startups, and how founders can weather current market conditions.

Speaker Information

Roberto Rodriguez

Roberto Rodriguez is the Founder of Sequential Ventures, a pre-seed/seed firm investing in SDoH and value-based care innovation. He is also an Investor-In-Residence for UCSC’s Capital Readiness Program. Prior to founding Sequential, Roberto was as a Principal at Health Innovation Capital and also helped launch L’Attitude Ventures’ $101M venture fund backing U.S. Latines. He began his career at Silicon Valley Bank, where he funded venture backed digital health and medtech companies for half a decade.

Roberto is a Board Member at The First Tee and at The Rolf Benirschke Legacy Foundation. He is a first-generation college graduate (Columbia BA, Booth MBA) and formerly undocumented immigrant from Tecate, Mexico.


Archna Sahay

Archna Sahay serves as Head of Venture Platform for Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures (NMFV), NM’s corporate venture capital arm. Archna leads the commercialization efforts for NMFV, connecting NM leadership to strategic opportunities within the portfolio. Previously, Archna served as the Director of Entrepreneurial Investments for the City of Philadelphia and established her own consulting practice delivering strategic insights and operational assets to municipalities, philanthropies and corporations focused on high growth entrepreneurship as a driver of economic development. Archna began her career as an analyst and brings over 20 years of investment, financial services and strategic development experience to her work with NMFV portfolio companies.


Eli Velasquez

Eli is founder & CEO of Capital Stack Investors, a global innovation and venture advisory firm. He is also founder & Managing Partner of the Investors of Color, a U.S. network of Black, Latinx and Asian accredited investors syndicating investments into early stage companies and emerging funds. 


He also serves as Capital Advisor to the Science Center, investing in healthcare innovation with global impact.  He is an angel investor and serves on the Board of the Angel Capital Association, Hispanics in Philanthropy, and Capital Advisor to the Stanford Latino Business Action Network.


In 2023, Eli testified as a Congressional Witness before the House Financial Services Capital Markets Committee on the need for reform to the Accredited Investor Definition. 


Christopher Wink

Christopher Wink is a journalist and entrepreneur who is cofounder and CEO of, the news organization with a community of technologists and entrepreneurs. He specializes in local economic development, including entrepreneurship and tech workforce trends, journalism strategy and building trust online. He is lead organizer of Philly Tech Week, cofounder of Baltimore Innovation Week and is behind other events that bring together smart people. In 2022, Wink was named one of Pennsylvania’s most influential impact leaders, and in 2017 Folio magazine listed him as one of the 100 most innovative media leaders in the country.