program HelloWorld;

begin

       writeln('Hello World');

end. 

Those were my first few lines of code I wrote in Pascal, in my very first computer programming class at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada in 1984. It was an unexpected turn in my life, for as long as I could remember as a child growing up in India -  I always wanted to be a medical doctor!  Little did I know how those four lines of code would completely change the course of my life. Sounds nerdy - but its the truth. Life is just a box of "most unexpected gifts."

For over 30 years, my life journey has been a series of unexpected twists and turns. From Canada, to Silicon Valley to Portland, Oregon to Seattle, to quitting my job to start First Insight and finally the most unexpected turn of all – launch of Elevate Capital. This is perhaps the most important turn in my professional career. I hope this very unexpected turn will transform the lives of the next generation of entrepreneurs. 

So, Hello World! “Elevate Capital” just came to life today - yes my next startup, 22 years after my first startup, First Insight. I knew there would more insights -  so here is the second one in Elevate Capital.  I am over the moon to launch it with three amazing team members, Stephen Green, Eric Boothe and Robin Jones. Together we bring diversity and experience to transform the launch and early stage of startups in Oregon and the Northwest region at large. And together,

  • We will invest in a broad range of startups from tech to apparel, to food and beverage, to bioscience.

  • We will tap into regions like the Willamette Valley, Central Oregon, SW Washington and Southern Oregon, where there has been traditionally less flow of capital.

  • We will invest “Mentor Capital” – money and mentoring, from launch to series A, so you as a founder/entrepreneur can focus on building your business, while we become your partner in helping you be successful.

  • We will be intentional about investments in under-represented entrepreneurs such as women and communities of color so our investments reflect the diversity we bring in our own team (East Indian, Hispanic, Black/Latino and women).

That’s a promise!

Namaste and Sincerely,

Nitin Rai with Stephen Green, Eric Boothe and Robin Jones

@NitinrRai