Entrepreneurship Summit March 31 - April 1, 2022

2022 Peachtree Minority Venture Fund Panelists

A MILLION-DOLLAR VENTURE CAPITAL FUND FOCUSED EXCLUSIVELY ON BLACK, LATINX, AND NATIVE AMERICAN FOUNDERS Underrepresented minority founders receive less than 3% of US venture capital investment. A large part of that issue is that typical venture capital investors are White/Asian and have very little exposure to underrepresented minority markets. Peachtree seeks to play a role in changing these narratives.

General Partner Zabe Venture Fund 

Shila Nieves Burney

Shila Nieves Burney, an award-winning project manager, is the Founding and Managing Partner of Zane Venture Fund. Shila spent her 20+ year career advocating for marginalized groups. She has worked closely with leading organizations and exceptional talent to create solutions that address disparities through investment in human capital.

Shila founded ZANE Venture Fund, a seed fund that invests in underrepresented founders with the goal of closing the funding gap while generating high returns for investors. Shila also founded Zane Access which provides early-stage companies led by diverse teams access to cross-functional experts, resources, best practices and customized content critical to accelerating growth. Shila is an Executive in Residence at Harvard Ventures and VC-mentor for Pipeline Angels.

Shila is also the recipient Atlanta Inno's 2021 Fire Awards and the winner of the 2020 Unsung Heroes' Champion Award by the Female Founders Alliance. Shila is a sought after speaker who has been called on to speak across the world about the changing dynamics of venture capital and the missed $4T opportunity of investing in diverse founder and teams.

The objective of the Pitch the Summit competition is to provide Emory undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to learn how to effectively pitch an idea for a new venture. Winning individuals and teams will receive guidance, financial support, and in-kind contributions in order to move the venture forward.

An elevator pitch verbally outlines an entrepreneurial concept or idea in a short period of time. Participating individuals or teams will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to panels of judges, with the most successful pitches advancing through three rounds of competition.

The first round of the 2022 Pitch the Summit Competition is now closed. 



Co-Founder, President and CTO at Plaid

William Hockey is the co-Founder, President and CTO at Plaid, the technology company providing the tools and access needed for the development of a fully modern, and digitally-enabled financial system. Plaid powers the financial experiences for a quarter of the US population and tens of thousands of developers across North America and Europe. After learning firsthand how difficult it was to build and scale a secure finance software, William and his co-founder Zach Perret started Plaid in 2012, creating a toolkit to encourage an inclusive and competitive ecosystem that drives innovation while protecting consumers’ financial data.

Plaid has raised over $300M in fundraising at over a $2.5b valuation and has witnessed exponential growth since its founding - today, one in four people in the US with bank accounts use Plaid. Prior to starting Plaid, William studied computer science and business at Emory University and worked as a consultant at Bain.


Founder, CEO BetterCloud

David Politis is the founder and CEO of BetterCloud, the first SaaS Management and Security platform, where he oversees the day-to-day activities of the company and is responsible for the overall product vision and business strategy. Over 2,500 companies in 60+ countries rely on BetterCloud for continuous event monitoring, threat remediation, and fully automated policy enforcement across their digital workplace. With 250+ employees in Atlanta, New York City, and San Francisco, BetterCloud has raised over $100 million to date from investors including Bain Capital Ventures and Accel. As a pioneer in the cloud services industry, David has vast experience launching and building high growth technology companies and an immense passion for enterprise cloud technology.

Before founding BetterCloud, David was an early employee of Cloud Sherpas (acquired by Accenture [NYSE: ACN]), a preeminent leader in cloud advisory and technology services. As the VP of SMB Solutions, David led Cloud Sherpas to become the leading cloud services partner to small and medium sized businesses worldwide. Prior to Cloud Sherpas, David was the founding employee and General Manager of Vocalocity (acquired by Vonage [NYSE: VG]), which he grew into one of the top providers of cloud PBX technology. As General Manager, David ran day to day operations and led the company’s product strategy.

David is a native of New York City and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Emory University. He has contributed to TechCrunch, Mashable, VentureBeat, Forbes, The New York Times and others.

Support the Summit

If you're interested in speaking, sponsoring, judging, participating, or finding another way to get involved with the Summit, let us know!