1st Annual KINETIC Conference “Funding Matters” Announces Renowned Speakers and Full Agenda

Over 1,000 Aspiring and Seasoned Entrepreneurs, Industry Professionals, Academics, and Students Come Together to Learn about Entrepreneurial Funding, from Early-Stage Bootstrapping to Late-Stage Venture Capital on April 10

BOSTON — KINETIC, a new online platform that brings together funders, entrepreneurs, and related stakeholders, will hold its 1st annual KINETIC Conference (KINETIC-CON) on Saturday, April 10, 2021. The free conference will take place virtually this year and last a full day. The event will host more than 1,000 professionals and students to have educational discussions about funding to create a better and more efficient entrepreneurial ecosystem, especially for entrepreneurs of color. Sponsors and supporters include Microsoft, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Experian, Valence, the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, and the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund Program.

Research recently published by the Kauffman Foundation states that for aspiring entrepreneurs, “nine in ten (92%) reported that funds to start the business was challenging and close to the same share (86%) reported that funds to grow the business was challenging.” The percentages are higher for diverse entrepreneurs. More promising research recently published by the Kauffman Foundation and MaC Venture Capital highlights the tremendous value of funding diverse companies: “Diverse founding teams have higher returns when cash is returned to investors. Historically, they have earned a 3.26x median realized multiple on IPOs and acquisitions, compared to a 2.50x realized multiple for white founding teams, a 30% increase.” KINETIC’s goal is to catalyze funding for more diverse founders and broaden these successful returns through its platform and supportive events like KINETIC-CON.

Topics for the conference’s panels, firesides, and workshops were determined by the KINETIC team with input from members of the platform.

Panel topics include:

  • How I Funded My Company: From Bootstrapping to Pursuing Venture Capital
  • Where to Find Funding: Creative Options
  • Allies and Advocates Who Get It (A Candid Ask Me Anything Session)
  • Generational Wealth through Entrepreneurship, Investing, and Financial Literacy

Fireside topics include:

  • Progress Made in Deployment of Funds: What the Research Tells Us
  • Economic Progress through Entrepreneurship and the Importance of Funding
  • Where Do We Go From Here? How to Ensure that Capitalism Works for Everyone

Workshop topics include:

  • An Overview of KINETIC: What the Platform Offers and How It Works
  • Angel/Seed Investing 101
  • The Do’s and Don’ts of Securing Funding from Investors. (Topics include networking, etiquette for introductions, decks, how to know you are ready for funding, searching for firms with the right thesis, etc.)

Over 30 esteemed speakers from leading companies, venture capital firms, academic institutions, foundations, and nonprofits will participate in the conference. The conference team is excited to have confirmed an exceptional roster of speakers, including:

  • Philip Gaskin – Vice President of Entrepreneurship, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
  • Kobie Fuller  – General Partner, Upfront Ventures and Co-Founder, Valence
  • Brad Feld – Co-Founder and Partner, Foundry Group and Co-Founder, Techstars
  • Melissa Bradley – Founder, 1863 Ventures and Co-Founder, Ureeka
  • Andrew J. Young – Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, U.S. Congressman, Mayor, and Civil Rights Activist
  • Dawn Dickson-Akpoghene – Founder and CEO, PopCom
  • Bill Aulet – Managing Director, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and Professor of the Practice, Sloan School of Management
  • Brittany Davis – General Partner, Backstage Capital
  • Abir Liben – Senior Associate, Serena Ventures
  • Cheryl Campos – Head of Venture Growth & Partnerships, Republic
  • Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson – Founder and CEO, VC Include

“We are so delighted and proud to bring together such a variety of experts for our 1st Annual KINETIC-CON,” said Morgan Franklin, marketing for KINETIC and graduating MBA student at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. “The energetic and supportive response to KINETIC and its mission has helped validate that we are solving the right problem.”

“When asked to be a speaker for KINETIC-CON, I accepted with great enthusiasm,” stated Kobie Fuller, General Partner, Upfront Ventures and Co-Founder, Valence.  “The creation of many new funds and programs that focus on funding historically overlooked entrepreneurs is promising, but there is a need for initiatives like KINETIC to make it all work through building community, matching the right funders with entrepreneurs, and providing other support. Ultimately, I, as an investor and entrepreneur, want to see more capable businesses receive and use funds successfully, and KINETIC is an integral part to achieving this goal.”

To view the full schedule of speakers and events, and to register to attend the conference, please visit: or


Founded at and affiliated with the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, KINETIC is an online platform that brings together entrepreneurs, funders, and other related stakeholders to engage with one another. Using artificial intelligence, KINETIC helps solve the biggest and most pervasive problem that entrepreneurs, especially at the early stage, have: finding and accessing funds. KINETIC envisions a world where funding is available, accessible, and adequate for all people to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.  KINETIC also provides opportunities such as its annual conference, KINETIC-CON, for the entrepreneurial community to come together and learn about all things related to funding. The platform is open to everyone, but its focus is on and most beneficial to entrepreneurs of color. The KINETIC team comprises students, recent alumni, and academics from MIT, Morehouse, Spelman, Stanford, Harvard, Howard, and other top colleges and universities. KINETIC advisory board members include John Thompson (Chairman, Microsoft), Ambassador Andrew Young (Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Civil Rights Activist), Bill Aulet (Managing Director, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and Professor of the Practice, Sloan School of Management), and Hakeem “Chamillionaire” Seriki (Entrepreneur, Investor, and Former EIR at Upfront Ventures).

Additional Information

  • The conference hashtag is #FundingMatters.  
  • Photos of KINETIC-CON speakers and the KINETIC team are available upon request.


Media Contact

Jennifer Silverman
Johnson Media Inc. 
(404) 487-6010

Conference Contact
Morgan Franklin
Marketing, KINETIC
(561) 756-6002

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enter your keyword