Events Calendar

VC Roundtable: The Do’s and Don’ts for Entrepreneurs - February 6, 2019 - San Francisco, CA
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VC Roundtable:

The Do’s and Don’ts for Entrepreneurs




February 6, 2019

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM PST



Hosted by: Propel Venture Partners



Propel Venture Partners, 201 Mission St. 25th Floor,

San Francisco, CA 94105, USA



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Funding is the life blood of startups. Entrepreneurs are eager to secure it, but not always sure how to navigate this world. Propel Venture Partners has pulled together a panel of investors who will layout the basics, demystify the process, and provide guidance on how to best approach VCs. Bring your co-founders and your questions.

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Becoming a startup is easy. In fact, anyone can start a startup. Sometimes I think everyone is starting one as there are so many. Resources are easily available, too. With the cloud, you don't even need to invest a lot of money in software or hardware to run your business.

In the fintech and payment industry, however, it is important to know that you’re starting on the right track. There are additional constraints because of the heavy regulation of the industry. You can always bootstrap your idea with hard work and sweat equity but at some point, you may need to show that you are here to stay. Getting funded and knowing how to get the right resources are at that point crucial things to consider before taking the startup to the next level.

I remember a remark from Sasha Orloff, the CEO of Lendup who shared his thoughts in one of our Fireside Chats. He had worked at Citi Ventures and went through the YCombinator accelerator program. The remark stuck with me as I didn't realize the difference before. There is a big difference between a small business and a startup. You can raise money for a startup but not for a small business. One may ask, "So how do we know if your startup is really a startup or just a small business?". And it is just one in many questions associated with raising money for a startup.

When you don't have the answers to important questions, it is nice to have a large network to get the answers from. So I went to people smarter than me and very knowledgeable on the topic. VCs. I met with Ryan Gilbert and David Mort at Propel Venture Partners and we decided that it would be great to organize a discussion around early stage fundraising in 2019 between entrepreneurs and VCs. As you know by now, one of BayPay’s missions is to bridge the gap between startups and large companies by creating events that would gather them in one room to share ideas, learn from each other, and build the industry together.

I want to thank the team here at Propel Venture Partners to help us in our mission. Instead of the traditional what were the trends in 2018 and what to expect in 2019, we wanted to do something different, something useful to entrepreneurs. We wanted to give them information that they can use and not general concepts. We wanted also to give them the opportunity to ask questions directly in a very interactive session like we do often.

On February 6, 2019, we will be having this special event which aims to help entrepreneurs understand the importance of preparing how to raise money and know the Do's and Don'ts of this important phase in the history of their company. To make it more interesting also, we will have Courtney Guertin, the CEO of EaseCentral to do the moderation. It is always good to have someone who went through the process already. We want also to give ample time for network for entrepreneurs to meet with VCs and other founders, to share experiences to learn from, and hopefully build strong business relationships.

We understand that we’re living in different time zones so we will be live streaming the event from San Francisco right through where you are. An edited video will also be available soon after the event. We are charging a small amount to cover our production and operation costs, and to allow us to continue producing valuable contents such as this in the future.

If, as an entrepreneur, you are cash tight and are unable to pay the fee, no worry, just ask us in the chat on our website at, we are here to help. We don't want this little detail to be a barrier to learn. We will try to organize more events to help startups this year and if you want to help or get involved, let us know. We can always use additional resources.

Daniel Chatelain, Managing Director, BayPay Forum.


If you're a startup, entrepreneur, or an executive who wants to start a career in business, this event is made just for you.


We hope you can make it to this event and feel free to spread the word.


This event is FREE for BayPay Premium Members. Think of becoming a Premium Member to access all our events for free including online.




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5:00 PM Registration
5:30 PM Announcement
5:40 PM Panel Discussion
  David Mort, Vice President, and Founding Investor at Propel Venture Partners
  Alex Davidov, General Partner at Abstract Ventures
  Ben Malka, Partner at F-Prime Capital
  Sheel Mohnot, Partner at 500 Startups
  Seema Amble, VC & Growth Equity Investor at Goldman Sachs
  Panel moderated by Courtney Guertin, Founder & CTO at EaseCentral
7:00 PM End of session


David Mort

Vice President and Founding Investor at Propel Venture Partners

David is a Vice President and founding investor at Propel Venture Partners, an early stage venture capital fund based in San Francisco. His professional experience includes working at leading retail and commercial banks, BBVA and Silicon Valley Bank.

At BBVA, David focused on venture capital investments, corporate development, strategy, and M&A. He was involved in BBVA’s acquisition of Simple and investments in companies such as DocuSign, Coinbase, Earnest, and Personal Capital. At Silicon Valley Bank, David worked with hundreds of startups for valuation and advisory engagements, in addition to leading data efforts to help the bank identify high-performing companies.


Alex Davidov

General Partner at Abstract Ventures

Alex is a General Partner with Abstract Ventures, a seed-stage VC fund backed by a growing network of top VCs, successful entrepreneurs, and a diverse group of industry leaders. Prior to Abstract, Alex was an investor at Core Innovation Capital and Founder Collective. Alex co-founded two companies, Intellitoys (an interactive children’s toy) and SkillSlate (a labor marketplace that was acquired by TaskRabbit). He spent six years in financial services, working to scale a wealth manager and leading a team to inform trading strategies for Bridgewater Associates. Alex earned a computer science degree and an MBA from Columbia University.

Alex Davidov

Ben Malka

Partner at F-Prime Capital

Ben is a partner at F-Prime Capital and invests our early-stage tech fund focused on Enterprise IT and FinTech. Ben joined the firm in 2015, and has led investments in Blispay, Snapsheet, Toast and Vestwell. Most recently, Ben was a General Partner with Capital One/North Hill Ventures, where he led investments in Compete (acquired by WPP), Paychoice (acquired by Sage Software), Placemark Investments (acquired by Envestnet), and FSV Payments (acquired by US Bank). Prior to working in venture capital, Ben was at the Boston Consulting Group, where he focused on advising consumer brands, financial institutions and software vendors to the financial services industry. Early in his career, Ben worked as a consultant at McKinsey and Company and a risk analyst at Bank of America.

Ben graduated with an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago and earned degrees in Quantitative Economics and Political Science from Stanford University. Except when skiing during mid-winter breaks, Ben serves as a co-chairman of the Financial Services Venture Capital Association and has previously been President of the Stanford Alumni Association of New England.


Sheel Mohnot

Partner at 500 Startups

Sheel is Managing Partner of 500 FinTech, a seed stage VC firm investing in Fintech companies globally. His own startup experience includes 2 successful FinTech exits – a payments company (FeeFighters) and a high-stakes auction company (Innovative Auctions). He formerly worked as a financial services consultant at BCG and started his FinTech career at the non-profit p2p lender Kiva. Sheel holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a BS from Carnegie Mellon.

sheel mohnot1

Seema Amble

VC & Growth Equity Investor at Goldman Sachs

Seema Amble is a venture capital and growth equity investor with Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and is based in San Francisco. She previously held roles at Blackstone, Altamont Capital Partners, and LeapFrog Investments, focusing on the financial services sector. She has a JD/MBA and a BA from Harvard University.

Seema Amble


Courtney Guertin

Founder & CTO at EaseCentral

Courtney Guertin has over 15 years of extensive web and engineering experience and a passionate commitment for building and leading highly talented teams to discover new and innovative ways to empower others through technology.

Mr.Guertin started his career as a Lead DeveloperforArchemedia Inc.developing customized Internet applications for companies such as Lucent Technologies, Sistina/Red-Hat and the health, real estate, and financial industries.

He then set out to start his first company, Courtstarr, a web development consulting firm. Here he worked with a large variety of e-commerce, educational platforms, and manufacturing companies such as SoftBrands.

The fast paced world of Silicon Valley then drew him to, where he worked on analytics, one of the first Facebook Connect integrations, and the new Digg Ads platform.

He left in Spring 2010 and eventually co-foundedKiip, a category-creating mobile rewards network. He also helped found and En Masse where he was CTO and led a team that built 7x7, a puzzle game that boasts millions of downloads.

Most recently, in 2012, Mr. Guertin co-founded EaseCentral (, which in three short years has expanded to the West Coast and become one of the most widely adopted, fastest growing solutions for brokers and employers in the area.

Alongside his co-founder Mr. David Reid, Mr. Guertin has developed a broker-centric, small group solution, offering robust eligibility management features once limited to large employers. EaseCentral is among the first enrollment solution programs that provides direct ‘real time’carrier connectivity for groups as small as two employees.

Mr. Guertin graduated from the University of Minnesota -Institute of Technology with a degree in Computer Science and a minor in Japanese. He is dedicated to finding innovative ways to revolutionize ideas that help connect millions of people all over the world and is passionate about traveling in his free time.

Courtney Guertin




Location Propel Venture Partners, 201 Mission St. 25th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA

Additional Information about this event:

Wednesday 06 February 2019, 05:00pm - 07:00pm
Official Event Website: more info
Number of expected attendees: Not defined
This event has an exhibit: Not defined
YouTube Video for this event:
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