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Women in Tech $100,000 Investment Challenge

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Leigh Christie (She/Her)
Beam Angel Network, CEO & Executive Director
Samina Farid (She/Her)
Farid Ventures and Golden Seeds, Managing Director

Samina Farid is an experienced leader with a unique background that includes both a successful corporate career and entrepreneurial success in building a global energy technology firm. After 15 years of progressive experience serving oil & gas companies internationally and domestically, and as one of the top women in the industry, she founded her own company, Merrick Systems, and grew it to be the leader in oil & gas production software before selling it in 2014.  Merrick software products for production field data capture and hydrocarbon accounting software are used by almost 50% of oil & gas wells in the US, and internationally.


Samina mentors entrepreneurs and young business talent, advises startup and growing companies, and continues to serve the community on not-for-profit boards, especially those focused on education and women’s issues. Samina has received numerous awards and recognitions and, in 2018, was inducted into the Greater Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame for her business and community leadership. Samina earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Houston and is a 2018 Harvard University Advanced Leadership Fellow.


She holds the title of Managing Director of Farid Ventures and also runs the Houston Chapter of Golden Seeds, an organization formed in 2005 in New York with over 300 members and 8 chapters in the US to pursue investment returns through the empowerment of women entrepreneurs and the people who invest in them.

Lisa Besserman (She/Her)
expa, Managing Director

Lisa Besserman, Founder of Startup Buenos Aires accelerator, has been named as Business Insider’s “Top 100 Most Influential Women in Tech”, and the “Business Innovator of Latin America” by the Council of the Americas. She has also been credited as “The Woman Behind Argentina’s Startup Revolution”.

Currently, Lisa serves as the Managing Director at Expa VC a $350m fund led by Garrett Camp (founder of Uber & StumbleUpon), investing between $250k to $3m in pre-seed to series A startups.

Prior to Expa, she was the Head of Program at Indeed’s global corporate Incubator in Austin, Texas.

Lisa is a Google Mentor and has been a judge for dozens of startup competitions around the world.

She was recognized as a successful entrepreneur in Forbes magazine and an International spotlight entrepreneur from the U.S Department of State.

Lisa has been featured by CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Reuters, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fortune, and CNN. She has guest lectured on entrepreneurship and innovation to prominent universities such as NYU, MIT, Northwestern, Berkeley, and University of Pennsylvania.

She finds it awkward to write about herself in the third person.

Lissie Garvin (She/Her)
Seven Seven Six, Founding Team, Chief of Staff

As Founding Chief of Staff at Seven Seven Six, Lissie works directly with Alexis Ohanian to ensure all aspects of the firm are running effectively.  A multifarious operator, she manages the firm’s communications teams and guides the social media and public relations strategy.  In her role, Lissie works closely with the Seven Seven Six portfolio companies as a trusted advisor and supports the founders by helping to develop their brand storytelling.  Lissie is also the Producer of the top-rated ‘Business Dad’ podcast. Prior to Seven Seven Six, Lissie served as Chief of Staff to Alexis both at Reddit and Initialized Capital.


Capital Factory’s Texas Fund, in partnership with Beam Angel Network, Seven Seven Six Fund, and Golden Seeds (Houston), is excited to announce the next $100,000 Investment Challenge at our 4th Annual Women In Tech Summit. The winner will also be awarded $10,000 in legal fee credits from Baker Botts. We are dedicated to increasing diversity in the tech community and making Capital Factory an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and identities.On October 4th, five technology startup finalists will pitch to a panel of advisors and judges made up of successful investors, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders. One will walk away with a $100,000 cash investment and a fast-track into Capital Factory.

Judging panel includes: Leigh Christie, Samina Farid, Lisa Besserman, and Lissie Garvin