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UNMET Conferences to Host First Investor Conference Focused on Women and Diverse Founders

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Virtual conference seeks to connect traditionally underrepresented founders with venture funding

UNMET Conferences, a mission-driven company determined to attract venture capital investment to underserved regions within the United States, has announced its first UNMET Founders conference to take place between November 16 and December 7, 2020. The conference will create a venue for traditionally underrepresented founders, specifically women and diverse founders to raise venture funding.

UNMET Founders will connect participating startups to more than 150 venture capital funds from across the country. Founders will also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with VCs, network with peers and attend two live panels using the video pitching app Thumbraise. Applications are welcome from companies with diverse leadership seeking seed and Series A investments to join the event.

Applications from founders will be accepted until November 9. Registration for investors is open until November 15.

"We've founded UNMET Conferences upon the idea that there are successful companies with massive growth potential everywhere, not just in Silicon Valley," said John Francis, co-founder of the organization. "For too long, investors have missed opportunities to invest in companies with diverse and female founders due in part to outmoded, insular networks. This is doubly true of diverse founders who are not based on either coast. COVID-19 has normalized remote work and accelerated talent flows and investments inland. We are excited to see this shift in real-time and the role UNMET plays in enabling it."

Organizers will look to build on the success of UNMET Conferences' events in Denver and Arizona over the last year, which together have facilitated nearly $100 million in seed and Series A investments.

"Connecting diverse founders with top VC firms is a huge step in the right direction," said UNMET Conference participant Jaime Martinez, founder and CEO of Schola. "Startup CEOs have to keep funding at the front of their minds at all times, and thanks to events like UNMET Founders, innovative companies that could've previously fallen through the cracks are being given a real shot."

Stout Street Capital, Powderkeg, and BLASTmedia will support the event as partners, with B2B SaaS public relations firm, BLASTmedia to offer pro bono assistance announcing a select company's funding secured throughout the UNMET Founders conference. TriNet, Holland and Hart, RWO Law and SOTOIP will serve as sponsors of the event.

Rounding out conference programming are two panel discussions on November 16 addressing: gender and racial equality in venture ecosystems and why investors are missing opportunities with companies in the middle of the country.

Panelists include:

Severina Kraner - Jobs Ohio

Sandra Watson - Arizona Commerce Authority

James Norman - Pilotly

Kate Shillo Beardsley - Hannah Grey

Sean Green - Arternal

Jaclyn Hester - Foundry Group

Clay Gordon - Stout Street Capital

Matt Hunckler - Powderkeg (panel moderator)

Phillip Alvarado - TriNet (panel moderator)

The UNMET Conferences series will continue into 2021 with UNMET Ohio to take place in Cincinnati this coming June. UNMET Arizona and UNMET Colorado conferences are also being planned for 2021. For more information about UNMET Conferences, including how to join UNMET Founders, please visit www.UNMETconference.com.

About UNMET Conferences

UNMET Conferences organizes conferences aimed at fulfilling an unmet need for venture capital investments in early stage companies across North America, particularly in underserved regions outside of the coasts. UNMET allows early-stage VCs operating in underserved regions to showcase their portfolio companies that are poised to raise additional financing. The core focus of UNMET Conferences is to foster collaboration and exposure to startups located in these regions.

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