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Venture Capital for Early Stage Founders

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Ana Cristina Gadala-Maria
QED Investors, Principal

Ana Cristina is a Principal at QED, where she focuses on international investments, particularly in Latin America. Ana Cristina is also the head of Fontes, QED’s $12 million fund for seed-stage companies in Latin America.

Prior to QED, Ana Cristina founded Mosaico, a content platform for Latin America entrepreneurs, and spent time looking into starting her own fund focused on financial inclusion in the region. Prior to that, Ana Cristina spent four years in strategy consulting, where she helped companies better serve multicultural consumers in the U.S. Ana Cristina is passionate about democratizing access to financial services, supporting female and diverse founders, and a big believer in business as a force for good. Ana Cristina holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University. Ana Cristina is originally from Guatemala City and currently lives in Washington DC.

Eric Dobosh
Route 66 Ventures, Investor

Eric is an investor at Route 66 Ventures where he focuses on identifying and evaluating new companies in the digital health & wellness space. Prior to joining Route 66, Eric worked as a Consultant at Bain & Company. At Bain, he advised corporate and private equity clients on M&A, growth strategy, and performance improvement. He previously worked at Accion Venture Lab, a global seed-stage fintech fund. After college, he spent a year serving as an AmeriCorps member with City Year New York. Eric graduated from Princeton with a BA in Politics.

Matt Andrulot
Verdence, Director, Due Diligence

Matt oversees the development, sourcing, selection, due diligence, and execution for Verdence Capital Advisors’ $3.3 billion discretionary portfolio. As Executive Director, Matt formulates the firm’s overall investment philosophy, process, and execution of their globally-diverse portfolio of equities, fixed income, and private investment strategies—providing Verdence clients unique access to direct private investments. His team at Verdence Capital Advisors advises ultra-high net worth families, entrepreneurs, executives, and professional athletes on an array of complex and custom financial solutions.

Kristine Harjes
Motley Fool Ventures, Vice President

Kristine is a Vice President at Motley Fool Ventures. The three-year-old venture capital fund invests in early-stage tech companies creating a world that reflects their best vision for our future. Kristine played a key role in the fund’s 2018 launch, helping to secure $150M in assets for the inaugural fund. With Kristine’s help, the team successfully executed a digital-first fundraising strategy almost two years before the wave of technology adoption necessitated by the pandemic. The effort resulted in roughly 800 limited partners (LPs) and a community that has helped the fund find and support its portfolio.

Hired as an analyst during the launch of Motley Fool Ventures, Kristine was quickly promoted to Investment Officer and then Vice President. Kristine led MFV’s investments in MotoRefi and Nickson, and she serves as a board observer for StreetShares, Nickson, and Hungry Marketplace.

Kristine is a champion of community and plays an important role in the Venture Capital and tech ecosystems, most notably as a board member of the VC in DC networking group. She has served as an advisor to The Vinetta Project and mentors young women studying STEM through Girls in Technology. Kristine was been recognized as a 2018 DC Inno Power Woman in Tech, and she is part of the 2020 Venture Deal Team of the Year, awarded by the National Capital Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth.

Prior to joining Motley Fool Ventures, Kristine worked for The Motley Fool’s publishing business as a content strategist, financial editor, and marketing manager. She cut her investing chops through hosting the “Industry Focus” podcast, and her analysis was featured on, Motley Fool premium services, and at subscriber events.

Kristine graduated summa cum laude from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland, with a major in math and economics and minors in business and art. A penchant for digging deep led to the publication of several co-authored research articles in peer-reviewed finance and mathematics academic journals.

Most weekends, Kristine can be found playing sand volleyball or nerding out over crossword puzzles (usually not at the same time).

Join us for an in-depth conversation led by Verdance Capital on how to engage, pitch and obtain venture capital as an early-stage startup from leading venture capitalists from QED Ventures, Route 66, and Motley Fool Ventures.