On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Nitin Rai, Founder and Managing Partner at Elevate Capital.
Located in Hillsboro, OR, USA, Elevate Capital is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion focused fund that invests in US-based early-stage startups led by underrepresented entrepreneurs, including women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and veterans. Launched in 2016, it is one of the US’s first institutional inclusive venture funds. It includes three funds: Capital Fund I and II, and an Inclusive Fund, a pre-seed and seed-stage fund that invests in diverse and underserved entrepreneurs nationwide.
Since 2016, Elevate Capital has invested nearly $45 million in 57 startups of which 95% are led by diverse founders. These companies have raised follow-on funding of over $280 Million, with a market cap of more than $1.2 Billion and created more than 1,000 jobs. These companies also report 50% of their employees as diverse.
Nitin is a highly successful software technology leader and entrepreneur turned Venture Capitalist. Nitin is the Founder and Managing Partner of Elevate Capital. Nitin serves as a board member on many of Elevate Capital’s portfolio companies.
Nitin is also a successful entrepreneur. He started his career in Silicon Valley as an engineer at two startups. In 1994, he founded First Insight Corporation, a highly successful electronic health records (EHR), practice management, and ophthalmic image management software company, and a revenue cycle management service (Fast Pay Health) for eye care professionals based in Hillsboro, Oregon, and Pune, India. First Insight is a leader in the optometry, ophthalmology, and optical software industry with its flagship store, MaximEyes.
Nitin shares his background as an immigrant from India and his journey as an entrepreneur before starting Elevate Capital. Nitin highlighted the challenges of starting a VC fund in the current economic climate and the limited availability of institutional capital. He also talked about the opportunity to start a VC fund and Elevate Capital’s hands-on approach in supporting portfolio companies through board seats, advisory roles, fundraising assistance, and strategic guidance in strategy and go-to-market plans.
For a full transcript, click here.
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Hall T Martin is the director of Investor Connect, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the education of investors for early-stage funding. All opinions expressed by Hall and podcast guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of Investor Connect. This podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for the basis of investment decisions.