Elevate Capital Newsletter

March 2020

At Elevate Capital, we believe there is tremendous opportunity to invest early and offer mentorship to entrepreneurs. We provide the venture capital and guidance they need to turn their startups into great companies.

Elevate Capital is Raising a $40 Million Second Fund

Elevate Capital is pleased to announce an Elevate Fund that’s targeting a $40 million fund size, as reported in the Portland Business Journal. This fund will inject four times the amount of capital into regional and national startups to dramatically increase access to very early-stage capital for underserved founders that include women and minority founders startups, including founders of color, LGBTQ, immigrants, and veterans.

To make this happen, we’re announcing a new general partner team of three entrepreneurs and highly seasoned operators, in addition to founder and managing director Nitin Rai, to help founders build generational wealth, provide mentorship, a network, and education. Elevate Capital is honored to welcome Jill Nelson (Ruby founder), Raghu Raghavan (Act-on Software founder), and Kumar Sripadam (Redback Networks founder). 

Nelson, who is developing the mentorship program, will work closely with five general partners: Nat Parker (Moovel founder), Ana Chaud (Garden Bar founder), Michael Choi (Axiom founder and CTO), Ketan Sampat (CafeGive founder), and Chris Bright (Zapproved co-founder and CMO).

Read PBJ Article

Portfolio Spotlight: Frontdesk.Ai Rebrands Company as True Lark

True Lark is a remarkably human-like business assistant—a true extension of your front desk. The technology is artificial intelligence (AI), but conversations are human-led. With True Lark, you can grow, retain, and engage your customer base instantly with 24/7 coverage. The best part, it is fully automated so you can get back to what matters most.

Earlier this year, True Lark (formerly Frontdesk.Ai) rebranded with a new name that better aligns the company’s long term vision and mission, and its expanded product offerings and services.   

Why True Lark? “Larks are songbirds that sing while in-flight, which makes them care-free in some sense. This is how we want our customers to feel about adopting our product, hence the name,” said Srivatsan Laxman, Co-Founder and CEO. 

The image above was provided by True Lark. 

See True Lark’s Technology

Elevate Capital Featured in Times of Entrepreneurship

Raising an Inclusive Fund was the hardest thing Nitin Rai, Managing Director and Founder of Elevate Capital ever did, reports Times of Entrepreneurship. In the hot area of inclusive investing, Elevate Capital has two exits and 80% invested in women and minorities, including people of color.

Read Article
The Times of Entrepreneurship was founded by Elizabeth MacBride, a journalist in residence at the Legatum Center at MIT. If you have a story to share, pitch it to Elizabeth at

Going to TechfestNW 2020? Elevate Capital Will Be There

If you haven’t registered to attend TechfestNW (April 2-3) in Portland, Oregon, reserve your spot now. Hear from thought leaders, attend interactive workshops and live demos, visit vendor booth displays, and join in the excitement of seeing Pitchfest competitors pitch their companies. Take advantage of networking opportunities with other entrepreneurs, investors, and industry executives. 

It's an honor to be part of TechfestNW. Elevate Capital is thrilled to sponsor the Techfest NW Opening Night Party on April 1 (location and time coming soon from TechfestNW), where ticket holders and Pitchfest competitors can register and pick up badges the day before the event kicks off on April 2. 

Say informed and follow TechfestNW on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or visit their website

Business for a Better Portland Appoints Chris Bright as Interim Board Chair

Congratulations to Chris Bright, Co-Founder of the market-leading legal software company Zapproved, and an Elevate Capital advisor and mentor, on his appointment as Interim Board Chair to Business for a Better Portland (BBPDX). 

Chris has dedicated his career to working with emerging growth companies and high-tech startups for more than 20 years. In December 2019, Chris stepped down as Vice President of Marketing at Zapproved to focus on his passion: addressing the homeless crisis through homeless advocacy. 

The Portland Business Journal (PBJ) featured Chris last month in “Portland entrepreneur lands interim business group post.” Chris said, “Portland is growing, and BBPDX members share a vision that keeps our community advancing in a way that creates greater shared prosperity.”

Read PBJ Article

Portfolio Spotlight: Bumped Hires New Chief Technology Officer

Bumped, a financial technology startup, recently hired Portland engineering executive, Erik Onnen, as its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Check out the article, “Startup exec who helped build Airship and Cloudability lands as Bumped CTO,” that was featured in the Portland Business Journal. 

Bumped is a no-fee investment app that gives users a fractional share in stock for every purchase they make with participating brands. With Bumped, you get stock even if your credit or debit card already earns you air miles, cash-back, or points.

Know someone who is looking for a job? Bumped is hiring several engineering and product manager/designer positions.

Portfolio Guest Blog: Your Complete Guide to Free Camping

“Free camping might seem as elusive as Big Foot these days,” says The Dyrt. “With more and more people heading outside in search of fresh air and dark skies, both the crowds and the rates have been increasing. But free camping is out there.” 

If you like to hike and camp, explore The Dyrt’s “Your Complete Guide to Free Camping Across the Country.” Download their camping app (App Store and Google Play) and search 500,000+ campsites, reviews, and tips across the U.S.

Portfolio Companies Are Hiring

Celebrate International Women’s Day

On March 8, celebrate the achievements of women throughout the world on International Women’s Day. “An equal world is an enabled world.” #EachforEqual #IWD2020

Upcoming Events

March 11 (3:00 pm, Hillsboro) – TiE Oregon: Mentor Connect Hillsboro with Doug de Weese

March 11 (5:30 pm, Portland) – TiE Oregon Pitch Club Hillsboro

March 19 (2:00 to 5:00 pm, Portland) – PIE Demo Day 2020

April 2-3 (9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Portland State University’s Viking Pavilion) – TechfestNW

Elevate Capital Sponsors

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