Back to events

TechWeek NZ US Investors

Raising from US VCs: Insights from the other side of the table

Dip into the mindset of American VC and angel investors in 2021--and leave with tactics to engage more effectively from abroad.


Tuesday 25 May
11:00am - 12:00pm


Free event
Remove Save event
TechWeek NZ US Investors

What's it all about?

Fundraising from American investors can be a tremendous catalyst in launching and growing your company abroad. But it can also be a lot like exploring a cave with a candlestick: dark, quiet, and better with a map. 

In this event we'll talk about what we see prioritized in successful rounds and we'll walk through specific elements that separate your business pitch from your investment narrative. You'll learn tactics to reframe your go-to-market strategy to align with fund theses and strategies, techniques for getting useful feedback from investors and moving conversations forward, and early steps you can take to improve your leverage.


Who should attend? 

This event will be applicable to all startups and entrepreneurs of all sizes and industries seeking both angel and VC rounds (primarily seed through Series B). Come with questions--and join us afterward on LinkedIn for more conversation, anecdotes, and support. 


➩11:00 AM - 11:30 AM: Keynote with straightforward answers and insights

➩11:30 AM - 12:00 PM: Roundtable featuring seasoned US investment leaders


Who's there?

◈ Elizabeth Jennings | Principal, Venture Atlas Labs & Board of Directors, SWAN Impact Network

◈ Heather Gilker | Principal, Tokalon Advisors & Executive Director, SWAN Impact Network

◈ Derek Mazur | Director of Portfolio Management, Paragon Biosciences

◈ Omar Zaki | Venture Partner, TechRanch


Want to submit a question?

✉ Drop the host an email at --or join the live chat for Q&A.

View the event website for more information.


Speech bubble icon

Heather Gilker

Executive Director, North Texas & Board of Directors | SWAN Impact Network

Having spent 25+ years focused in financial services, including working inside a single family office on portfolio management and investments, Heather has developed a deep understanding of the complexities family offices and ultra-wealthy families face. Tokalon Advisors provides consultative services to ultra-high net worth families and non-profit organizations with a focus on sustainability. Services offered for families of wealth include investment allocation and due diligence, family office formation and best practices, succession planning, philanthropic strategy, and next generation education. Services for non-profits included strategic planning and business development.

Ms. Gilker is an investment executive with a proven track record of success in the ultra-high net worth and family office market. Heather is recognized as a consultative, solutions-oriented professional, who builds relationships and helps to solve problems. She is a seasoned investment professional, having worked as a portfolio manager for a family office, an allocator of institutional funds and a commercial banker. Heather is known as a strategic thinker, investor, and relationship builder.

From 2011 until 2018, she served as the first regional executive for the Southwest Region of Fidelity Family Office Services developing a strong network and foundation for the Southwest family office community.

Speech bubble icon

Elizabeth Jennings

Principal, Intl Commercialization; Board of Directors, SWAN Impact Network

Elizabeth Jennings leads US-based Venture Atlas Labs for healthcare commercialization and serves on the Board of Directors for SWAN Impact Network and the Texas Global Health Security Innovation Consortium. She is a frequent global speaker, practical advisor, and renowned palliative gardener.

Speech bubble icon

Derek Mazur

Director, Portfolio Management at Paragon Biosciences

Derek Mazur is a Director of Portfolio Management at Paragon Biosciences, a future focused firm that acquires, invests, operates, and manages a portfolio of companies across biopharma, cell & gene therapy, and artificial intelligence enhanced life science verticals. Paragon aims to deploy up to $500M per year across its portfolio. Prior to joining Paragon, he was with Sante Ventures, a top quartile life science venture capital and machine learning hedge fund with $1BN in assets under management. Prior to Sante, Derek was an investment banker at a number of firms. Derek received a Master of Science in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Emory University.

Speech bubble icon

Omar Zaki

Venture Partner at TechRanch

Omar has been building and managing international ventures and projects for the past 20 years. By age 25 he pioneered an international Telehealth and EdTech startup connecting thousands of physicians across the MENA region in real-time, disrupting the traditional Continuous Medical Education industry. After completing his Thunderbird MBA in 2008, he became active in cross-border private equity, M&A and special situations advisory with a diverse base of client engagements and transactions. Pivoting into e-commerce after the Arab Spring, he worked for LivingSocial’s executive team and gained tremendous insight and experience with high-growth venture backed online businesses. With a variety of his own bootstrapped ventures and his most recent exit in a family-owned group of anti-aging medical centers in Dubai, Omar brings tremendous versatility and utility across different sectors, both an investor and operator lens across each stage of business, in addition to strategic global relationships across various levels of public and private sector constituents. He currently works as a Venture Partner with TechRanch supporting startups in Digital Health and MedTech, in addition to enabling venture and innovation ecosystems and programs internationally, while he resides in Austin, TX with his wife and two sons.


Keynote and Q&A

Book now

Brought to you by
Venture Atlas Labs logo
  • Agritech
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • AR/VR
  • Biotech
  • Blockchain
  • CleanTech
  • Energy
  • Education Technology
  • Financial Technology
  • Food Technology
  • Health Technology
Back to all events
Top →