MEET OUR TEAM OF INVESTORS
MEET OUR TEAM OF INVESTORS
We are a team of investors who help underserved entrepreneurs in Portland and Greater Oregon reach their highest potential. Our team is exceptionally positioned to execute on Elevate’s investment strategy. We bring:
At Elevate, we provide the venture capital and mentorship needed to build a successful company. Because we believe in the great possibilities of the next entrepreneur.
Nitin Rai is the Founder and Managing Director of Elevate Capital, a venture fund that includes the Elevate Inclusive Fund, a seed stage fund that invests in diverse and underserved entrepreneurs in the Pacific Northwest. Nearly 60% of Elevate investments are in women-led companies and 40% in African American and LatinX founder/CEO-led startups. Since 2016, Elevate Capital has invested in more than $5 million in 24 startups. These companies have raised follow-on funding of more than $80 million, with a market cap of $250 million and created 300 plus jobs. These companies also report 50% of their employees as diverse. Elevate Capital has already had a strong exit, with one of its portfolio companies, Portland-based RFPIO.
Nitin also serves as the Chairman of the TiE Global of Board Trustees. In this role, Nitin leads the Board of Trustees mission to help its 60 plus global chapters ensure entrepreneurs become successful through global programs and initiatives. Nitin also serves as Chair of TiE Global Angels to help entrepreneurs across the globe get funding from TiE Charter Members.
Since 2007, Nitin has been an active angel investor, mentor and is a founding charter member and President of the Board of TiE Oregon. In this role, TiE Oregon has grown to a full-fledged angel investment group with a successful mentoring program. It has launched several education and accelerator programs including TYE and TIE XL. TiE Oregon Angels has invested more than $12 million in 52 startups with six exits that returned over 3X in cash to the angels. TiE Oregon ranks in the top five chapters globally and routinely receives recognition for its angel investment, women, and youth programs. Nitin has invested in more than 50 startups, both personally and through his fund, since 2011.
Nitin is also a successful entrepreneur. He started his career in Silicon Valley an as engineer at two startups. In 1994, he founded First Insight Corporation, a highly successful Electronic medical records and practice management software company based in Hillsboro, Oregon and Pune India. First Insight is a leader in this space with its flagship product MaximEyes.
Robin is a high-tech and software leader who served as the Chief Operating Officer at Public Market (Portland, OR). Prior to this role, Robin served as the Vice President for Strategic Growth at Socrata (Seattle, WA), a cloud-based data-as-a-service platform for government domains. Robin has also built and led the technology and development sector at Esri (Redlands, CA), the world leader in analytical mapping technology. At Esri, Robin grew a product line from $0 to $2.9m in revenue in less than three years. Robin also served as COO at Geoloqi (Portland, OR) prior to being acquired by Esri.
Robin has extensive experience in telecom, mobile, and wireless semiconductor industries. Robin served as RM of Avnera’s (Beaverton, OR) audio segment, an $8M business unit at Avnera. Prior to this role, Robin headed west-coast venture investments for Motorola Ventures with early to mid-stage equity investments in the $1M-5M range.
Robin holds an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business (UC Berkley) and a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Stanford University. She also serves on the board of directors for TiE Oregon.
Mike guides the overall direction for Axiom EPM, including company strategy, business development and international expansion efforts. With over 20 years of experience in the enterprise performance management software industry, he has been instrumental to the company’s rapid growth. He was President & CEO at CPM Systems, Inc before joining Axiom.
Founder of Act-On Software and CEO from 2008 to 2015. Scaled the company up from the proverbial garage to one of the fastest growing private companies in America(Forbes List in 2013, Inc 500 List in 2013, 2014 & 2015, Deloitte Fast500 in 2013, 2014 & 2015).
Previously, co-founder and CTO of Responsys, one of the most successful cloud-based marketing technology companies of the past decade. IPO in 2011 (NASDAQ: MKTG). Acquired by Oracle in 2013 for $1.5B.
Serial Entrepreneur (Act-On Responsys)
Successful Exits (Responsys IPO)
Deal Sourcing and portfolio value-add
TiE Oregon Board Member
MEET THE SUPPORT TEAM
MEET THE SUPPORT TEAM
Ben Nahir, Senior Associate
Ben is passionate about finding new technologies and helping startups succeed. As program manager for TiE Angels Oregon and TiE Global Angels and senior associate at Elevate Capital, Ben works closely with both entrepreneurs and investors. His diligence research and recommendations have helped deploy more than $6M in angel and venture capital. Although interested especially in biotech and life sciences, Ben assists startups from myriad industries, including tech, software, food and beverage, and consumer products, helping refine their business strategies and position themselves for successful angel investment.
Prior to joining TiE Oregon, Ben received his MBA from Portland state after leaving a 12 year career in academic research studying the fundamental nature of neuronal communication in the brain. Ben also holds a PhD in neuroscience from the University of Florida and BS in mathematical biology from Harvey Mudd College.
Scott Laughlin, Junior Associate
Scott earned his Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University–Idaho, his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University alongside an MBA from Oregon State University. During his Master programs at OSU, he worked as a market researcher for the Advantage Accelerator, a project engineer with a company on campus, and a due diligence analyst for the Willamette Angels. It was from both his education and experience in working with startups that Scott’s passion for helping early-stage companies grew.
Chevonne James, Advisor/Mentor
Chevonne earned her Bachelor’s in Mathematics & Event Management and her Master’s in Hospitality & Tourism at Florida State University. While in Portland, Chevonne consulted as a Program Manager for Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE), a Community Manager for TiE Oregon, and Elevate Inclusive Fund. During these roles Chevonne saw the gaps in the ecosystem impacting women and minority founders and small businesses.
After a career change and three years in Portland, Chevonne decided to relocate to the Motor City and join its renaissance. In Detroit, Chevonne will be joining the economic development ecosystem, working to continue the revitalization of the city by supporting entrepreneurs and business development.
Bobbie Stewart, Community Liaison
Bobbie Stewart is a serial entrepreneur whose passion is engaging with and building start-ups. As a former business advisor with the SBDC and TIE XL Bootcamp instructor her equanimity has helped guide entrepreneurs through their most difficult start-up moments. Bobbie believes that entrepreneurs possess strength and tenacity that are the building blocks of leaders.
Bobbie graduated Concordia University with a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) and minors in Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations, Finance.
Anika Rai, Marketing Intern
Anika is currently working through her senior at Catlin Gabel High School. When she’s not studying, Anika writes Elevate Capital’s monthly newsletter and mentors future business leaders with TiE Young Entrepreneurs as a student co-director.