Celebrating Pride in Venture Capital: LGBTQ+ Investors to Watch

In celebration of Pride Month, Venture Forward is shining a spotlight on a remarkable group of LGBTQ+ investors who are making their mark in the VC industry. From emerging to experienced investors, and across a wide range of sectors, these individuals are fueling innovation and driving returns.  We applaud their accomplishments and continued success in creating a stronger VC ecosystem. Join us in celebrating their achievements, which highlight the important role and impact of LGBTQ+ investors in the venture industry.  

Thank you to our friends at Chasing Rainbows, Gaingels, LGBT+VC, and StartOut for their support in curating this list and their ongoing commitment to empowering LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and investors. Check them out to learn how to support other LGBTQ+ initiatives year-round! 

Shalanda Armstrong (she/her)

Shalanda is the Managing Director of 100KM Ventures, a Washington D.C.-based early-stage VC firm investing in companies with diverse management teams across the future of work and women’s health sectors. 100KM Ventures is backing promising startups from pre-seed through Series A rounds. Prior to 100KM Ventures, Shalanda was Regional Vice President at Salesforce and an angel investor, providing capital and guidance to over 25 startups. She also serves on the board of Girls Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and empowering young women. 

Adam Kiki-Charles (he/him)

Adam Kiki-Charles is a Partner at The Equity Alliance Fund, a fund that invests in diverse, emerging venture capital fund managers, with a focus on managers of color and women. Prior to The Equity Alliance, Adam worked as a Scout for VamosVentures, a Fellow for Alumni Ventures Group, and a Venture Architect Intern at BCG Digital Ventures. He started his career at Epic Systems, the electronic medical records software company. After leaving Epic, he worked as a field organizer on the 2012 Obama campaign and then as special assistant to Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, during her 2013 run for New York City Public Advocate. He then returned to the healthcare industry and worked as a Senior Healthcare IT Consultant, specializing in the implementation and optimization of revenue cycle applications for major healthcare systems across the US. 

Ben Ling (he/him)

Ben is the Founder and General Partner of Bling Capital. Bling Capital is a VC firm based in Miami Beach that invests in consumer tech, internet, mobile, marketplace, data, fintech, SaaS, and automation sectors. Throughout his career, Ben has backed 19 billion-dollar companies. Before founding Bling Capital, Ben was a General Partner at Khosla Ventures, where he focused on consumer, internet, mobile, marketplace, SaaS, and consumer health businesses. There, he led investments in Wattpad, Tapingo, Gitlab, True Accord, and Webflow. Ben has also held senior operating roles at Google, YouTube, and Facebook. Additionally, he is an active angel investor with early stakes in Airtable, Lyft, Square, Palantir, Quora, Gusto, and Udemy. 

Rose Marcario (she/her)

Rose is a Partner at ReGen Ventures, an early-stage venture fund investing in regenerative technologies to tackle the climate crisis. Rose has played a pivotal role in identifying and supporting innovative companies developing sustainable solutions to address environmental challenges. Her extensive experience in sustainable investment and private equity has been instrumental in guiding ReGen Ventures’ investment strategy and portfolio. She is a Board Member and Advisor to two private companies: Meati, which makes plant-based meat substitutes, and Rivian, which produces electric cars. Prior to ReGen Ventures, Rose served as CEO and Board Member of Patagonia, an outdoor clothing company known for its environmental advocacy. Under Rose’s leadership Patagonia experienced unprecedented growth and global expansion, both in traditional business metrics and by deepening the company’s commitment to environmental activism and social responsibility. 

Joshua Pulman (he/him)

Joshua is a SVP and Senior Associate at Truist Ventures, which is the corporate venture group for Truist Bank. Previously, Joshua worked in the transformative Corporate Strategy group at Wells Fargo as well as the Executive Office at Goldman Sachs. Before joining Truist, Joshua led product strategy at an art market focused fintech that was acquired by Masterworks. Joshua is a co-founder of Silver Art Projects, which is a New York Citybased nonprofit that incubates and accelerates diverse and emerging artists, and he serves as the New York City chapter chair for LGBT+ VC, a non-profit dedicated to creating prosperity for diverse communities through venture capital.  

Nitin Rai (he/him)

Nitin is the Founder and Managing Partner of Elevate Capital. Launched in 2016, Elevate Capital is an institutional VC fund that specifically targets investments in underrepresented entrepreneurs, such as women and BIPOCs, or those with limited regional access to capital and opportunities. Elevate Capital includes three funds—Capital Fund I, Capital Fund II, and an Inclusive Fund, a pre-seed and seed-stage fund that invests in diverse and underserved entrepreneurs nationwide. More than 62% of Elevate Capital Fund II investments are in women, 67% in founders of color, and 10% in LGBTQ+ founders. Nitin also serves as a board member on many of Elevate Capital’s portfolio companies. He also founded two startups in Oregon, First Insight Corporation and Fast Pay Health. 

Amy Siskind (she/her)

Amy is the Founder and General Partner at Causeway Investments, a New York-based firm that provides liquidity in the secondary market. Causeway’s Opportunity Fund I purchases early-stage investments at discounts to their last round valuations, while also advising companies on navigating capital markets. Prior to Causeway, Amy served as a Managing Director at Wasserstein Perella & Co. She is the President and Co-founder of The New Agenda, a national women’s organization, and has mentored numerous women. Amy also founded the Venture Out Partnership, a group of LGBTQ+ professionals dedicated to promoting opportunity, visibility and support for the VC community. She also organizes the LGBTQ Infrastructure Group, bringing together allies, LGBTQ+ people, founders, VC firms, and others in the venture ecosystem.  

Abbie Strabala (she/her)

Abbie is an Associate at True Wealth Ventures investing in early-stage, women-led companies improving human and/or environmental health. True Wealth leads seed stage deals with up to $1 million checks, takes board seats, and helps companies grow with an emphasis on capital efficiency and an eye towards an exit via acquisition of ~$100 million. Abbie is also the co-founder of Queer VC, a VC networking group dedicated to fostering connections and uplifting members of the LGBTQIA+ community to increase visibility, representation, and opportunity. Abbie previously helped build one of the largest women’s health funds, RH Capital, where she worked as an Analyst and in finance and operations roles driving innovation, access, and equity across the emerging sector. 

Venture Forward fun fact: Abbie has participated as a VC University mentor. 

Caitlin Strandberg (she/her)

Early-stage Investor & Advisor 

Caitlin is an early-stage investor, leveraging her experience and insights to identify promising startups and support their growth. She invests across all sectors, including healthcare, climate, and consumer. Some of Caitlin’s notable investments include Plantible Foods, Advocate, Topicals, and Cake. Most recently, Caitlin was a Partner at Lerer Hippeau, an early-stage firm based in New York City. She previously worked as a Vice President at FirstMark Capital and as an investor at Flybridge Capital Partners. Prior to venture, she was an early startup employee at LearnVest (acquired by Northwestern Mutual) and Behance (acquired by Adobe). 

Wesley Chan (he/him)

Wesley is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at FPV Ventures. He is an early investor in five $10 billion+ decacorns and 20+ $1 billion+ unicorns, including Canva, Guild, Dialpad, and AngelList. He was the first check into Flexport, Robinhood, Plaid, and Gusto. Founders want to work with Wesley given his product-led growth expertise that he developed when he founded Google Analytics and Google Voice during his 14-year career at Google. He also holds 17 patents for his work on building Google’s early Ads system. 

Tools & Templates Submission Form
Job Listing Submission
Ecosystem Event Submission