Panel Discussion


About The Event

Embark on a journey of knowledge and insight as we delve into the intricacies of venture capital and its pivotal role in fueling the growth of tech startups.

Why Attend:

* Gain a comprehensive understanding of the venture capital landscape.

* Learn actionable strategies to attract and secure funding for your tech startup.

Don't miss this opportunity to decipher the language of venture capital and unlock the pathways to funding success.




Co-Founding General Partner

Bryan Duarte is a Social Venturist, Impact Investor, Entrepreneur and, a licensed Professional Engineer with over 30 years of experience in the Energy Industry. He is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at BlackTech Capital and the Founder & CEO of Enliten. He has experience in creating, developing, and growing companies in the Energy, CleanTech, and Sustainability sectors with a focus on underrepresented founders.

BlackTech Capital was selected, by the World Economic Forum, as one of the most innovative investment funds that invest in people and planet-focused entrepreneurs.

Helping to develop and grow early-stage companies and their founders is a passion for him; he thinks it is all about helping others to make their dreams come true. Underrepresented founders have an advantage shaped by grit; their experiences give them unique perspectives on the big challenges facing society. In short, they tend to outperform in impact and financial returns.

His core values are Love, Integrity, and Transparency with a focus on ensuring that black and other underrepresented founders get funding, especially at the early stages of their companies’ development. All the while strategically guiding them to create the CleanTech and sustainability solutions needed in the world today.

Sarah Manasevit
Investment Associate

Sarah Manasevit, J.D. is an investment professional with a longstanding commitment to impact. Currently, Sarah serves as an Associate Member of the SWAN Impact Network, a network of impact-focused angel investors. Sarah is also currently pursuing a fellowship for ethical investors at the Venture Institute.

Prior to becoming an investor, Sarah spent many years directing a healthcare non-profit focused on advancing health equity. Her work in the health equity space has spanned operations, research, teaching, and advising. She served as a board advisor for a student-led, medical-legal partnership, co-taught a health equity law school seminar course, and has had her work published online by UCSF, Stanford, and UC Law San Francisco. In 2022, Sarah transitioned to an investing role in private equity commercial real estate, where she established herself as a valuable member of the deal team, sourcing half the firm’s deal volume and leading due diligence. In January, Sarah will start as an Associate on the healthcare team at OCA Ventures.

Sarah is passionate about impact investing, particularly leveraging policy to make better investments in both healthcare and affordable housing. She holds a B.S. from the University of Maryland and a J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law.

Emil Rafael M

Emil Rafael has a decade-long investment career spanning energy, transportation, B2B SaaS, and blockchain. He started his VC career at General Catalyst Partners, a $6B AUM VC fund where he focused on cleantech, and later continued investing as a Principal at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Fund in Boston.

Recently, he's been focused on B2B SaaS and Blockchain software infrastructure investments at Applied Crypto. His notable investments include Algorand, Mythical Games,, and Staked. Emil is also an angel investor in Shardeum, the next generation blockchain protocol.

Prior to his investment career, he spent time within IBM's technology development and delivery practice and earlier within the oil and gas industry. He holds and MBA degree from MIT Sloan.

Ike syed
Senior Vice President

(Panel Moderator)

Ike Syed, works at KiwiTech as Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, where he leads the Enterprise and SaaS engagements within the startup community. Before KiwiTech, Ike served at the U.S. Department of State, where he advised the senior leadership on economic impacts of foreign investments, digital economy and emerging technologies. In that role, Ike liaised closely with other government/international entities (such as the National Security Council, the Departments of Defense and Commerce, other Executive Branch departments, etc.) and the private sector.

Prior to entering public service, Ike worked as a Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Business Development at Connectloud, a next-generation Cloud Computing company. Previously, he was a management consultant at Oliver Wyman and a finance executive at Fidelity Investments, where he advised corporate leaders globally on critical strategic and business issues. As an experienced veteran of the ICT industry, Ike has led product development and technical research initiatives at Cisco Systems in Silicon Valley and Lucent Technologies/Bell Laboratories in the past.

In 2012, Ike was selected to be part of Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Future Leaders program. From 2005 to 2007, he served on the executive committee of the MIT-Stanford Venture Lab, a Silicon Valley non-profit organization dedicated to connecting entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and private investors. Ike received his BASc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo in Canada and a MS in Computer Science from Boston University. A licensed Professional Engineer, he obtained his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.



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