Assure is pleased to welcome executives from Bonfire Ventures, Hannah Grey, and Brilliant Friends for an hour-long virtual panel session for investors and entrepreneurs everywhere. The topic is “Women in Venture: Benefits of Diverse Leadership on Investment Performance”, discussing how new faces and new perspectives are impacting capital investment. What are the effects of having a stronger representation of women investors? How do diverse perspectives affect portfolio performance? Leading women in venture capital will join us to discuss this and more.



Jeremy Neilson
Jeremy Neilson, an Inc. 5000 entrepreneur, is a founder and a co-CEO of Assure. Prior to Assure, Mr. Neilson launched and managed Utah’s $300M private equity program, the Utah Fund of Funds, which invested in 28 funds and across most of the private equity spectrum. Before the Utah Fund of Funds, Jeremy was an associate with the University Venture Fund where he spent time working closely with local and national venture capitalists on company due diligence. Jeremy has served as a venture capital fund advisory board member and investment committee member for various foundations.
Jeremy hosts a podcast “The Assure Podcast with Jeremy Neilson” and does weekly video interviews with leaders in venture capital in a series called “What’s Going on in Venture”. Watch it here.



Benefits of Diverse Leadership on Investment Performance


Jennifer Richard, Bonfire Ventures

Jennifer Richard is a Principal at Bonfire Ventures. Prior to Bonfire, Jen sourced and executed seed stage investments at Vitalize VC and Cross Culture Ventures. Before beginning her career in venture, Jen was a founding member of three venture-backed startups and saw two of them through successful acquisitions. She has been responsible for building e-commerce platforms from the ground up and has scaled online commerce to reach over 30 countries worldwide. Her expertise revolves around technical product management, global supply chain, and (most importantly) a deep understanding of customers across a variety of verticals and geographies. She has a BA from Emory University and an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. She is based out of her hometown of Los Angeles.
About Bonfire ventures:
Bonfire Ventures, the Santa Monica seed-stage venture fund that has carved a niche focusing exclusively on unsexy but potentially lucrative business-to-business (B2B) software, recently closed its second fund, with $100 million in dry powder, up from the $63 million fund it closed in 2017. Adopting an "if ain't broke, don't fix it" ethos, little will change with the latest fund, except initial check sizes will be larger, though not dramatically so, averaging $1.75 million versus $1.25 million for Bonfire I. 60% will be set aside for follow-up investment.
Bonfire is relatively new to the Los Angeles VC scene but before coming together, its partners were successful investors and operators for decades. The firm was founded three years ago when Andelman, a managing partner at Rincon Venture Partners, joined forces with Mark Mullen, an angel investor who previously worked in private equity and was running Double M Partners. Mullen is also an investor in dot.LA.
Kate Shillo Beardsley, Founding Partner, Hannah Grey

Kate Shillo Beardsley is a Founding Partner at Hannah Grey, an early-stage venture capital firm investing at the intersection of human behavior and technology. At her previous fund Upslope Ventures, she invested in Billie, Airhelp, Eight, Chowbotics, Rachio, Self, Stream, Parcel (acquired by Walmart), PureWow (acquired by Gallery Media Group), and Vida (acquired by Compress USA). Prior to Upslope, she was a Founding Member of Lerer Hippeau (Funds I, II & III) in NYC, investing in 200+ companies. Kate is Co-Chair of The Rocky Mountain Venture Capital Association and is based in Denver, Colorado.
joy marcus headshot
Joy Marcus, Co-Founder, Brilliant Friends Investing 
Joy Marcus is an astute catalyst for trend-setting business ideas and investments and female founders. From venture capital and board leadership to nurturing entrepreneurs as a full-time Princeton faculty member and investor, Joy is committed to connecting the minds and deals that create positive change. She co-founded Brilliant Friends, a C-Suite women’s investing group focused on seed and Early-A investments in companies founded by women. A thread that runs through everything she does is proving that true diversity yields better economic outcomes. Joy brings two decades of notable experience as a digital media trailblazer to her current board and investment roles. She’s on the boards of Perion, Anyclip, and Qwire and has previously served on and advised a number of startups, associations, and nonprofit boards. While a Venture Partner at Gotham Ventures, Joy led their investment in DailyWorth, a digital media company targeting professional women that exited to a prominent female-led media company.
About Brilliant friends investing:
A C-Suite women’s investing group focused on seed and Early-A investments in companies founded by women.  Invested in Sarah Flint (DTC women’s shoes), Sawyer (software ecosystem in education space), KitSplit (a one-stop production gear rental company), and Supernatural (a sugar substitute distributed in Whole Foods).


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