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Venture Capital in the Pacific Northwest
Law Offices of K&L Gates
925 4th Ave #2900
Seattle, WA 98104
Thursday, July 11, 2019, 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM PST
Category: Past Events


We have seen tremendous growth in our region over the last decade. Although the Pacific Northwest boasts a strong history of diverse industry, much of this growth is driven by innovation in the tech sector. While Silicon Valley still sits in the epicenter of venture capital investing, the Northwest offers a less-hyped opportunity to benefit from the surge of tech talent that’s flocked to the region. SAIA will bring to the stage a number of experienced investors representing venture capital firms or business accelerators who focus on NW companies. Our goal is to learn more about these funds, the early stage investing landscape, and what makes the PNW a unique opportunity for this stage of investing. We hope you’ll join us for an intimate look into this elusive market!


Sajan Thomas

Founder - Thomas Capital Group 

Sajan founded TCG in 1997. He leads the firm’s fund placement business, including new business development, sales, and strategic initiatives, and is responsible for overall firm management. Before forming TCG, Sajan was a Managing Director at Frank Russell Capital (now Russell Investment Group). Prior to Russell, Sajan spent seven years at The Prudential, where he had investment, portfolio, and strategic responsibilities at various merchant banking and investment units. A Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst, Sajan earned an M.B.A. in Finance from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a B.B.A. magna cum laude from James Madison University. He holds series 7, 63, 79, and 24 registrations.


Aviel Ginzburg 

General Partner - Founders' Co-op

Managing Director - Alexa Accelerator

Aviel Ginzburg is a General Partner at Founders' Co-op and Managing Director of the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars, which is backed by Amazon's Alexa Fund. In 2010 Aviel co-founded Simply Measured, one of Founders' Co-op's first investments and was later backed by Bessemer Venture Partners, Trinity Ventures, and MHS capital. When Simply Measured sold to Sprout Social at the end of 2017, Aviel transitioned from his role as Venture Partner into a full time General Partner. Aviel got his start as one of the first software engineers at Appature (acquired by IMS Health), which was also backed by Founders' Co-op in 2009. Though a new addition to the partnership, Aviel knows the Founders' Co-op ecosystem well, and has played every role from portfolio founder, to company employee, to partner over a 10 year period. Aviel holds a BS from Vanderbilt University.

Martina Welkhoff

Founding Partner - WXR Fund

Martina Welkhoff is a Founding Partner at the WXR Fund, a venture fund focused on women-led spatial computing companies.  Prior to starting WXR, Martina founded Zealyst, a corporate gaming platform whose customers included Amazon, eBay, P&G, and Expedia. After exiting Zealyst, Martina founded ConveneVR, a social VR production company. She is on the advisory board of the Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking at the University of Washington and serves on the Washington Technology Industry Association XR Innovation Council.  Previously, Martina was the President of Seattle Women in Tech, served on the board of Seattle Angel, and was a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. 

Jim Huston

Founder and Managing Director - Portland Seed Fund

Jim Huston is a Founder and Managing Director of Portland Seed Fund. PSF is an early stage venture firm focused on diverse and impact-oriented seed stage investments across the greater Northwest region.  Jim has led or co-led investments in more than 95 companies for Portland Seed Fund. Jim brings more than 25 years of technology industry experience, having worked with and invested in early stage technology companies throughout the world.  Previously Jim was a Managing Director with Blueprint Ventures, a Bay Area technology growth capital firm.  Prior to Blueprint, Jim served in numerous positions within Intel Capital from 1995-2004, the world’s largest corporate venture organization.  Jim has an MBA from Kellogg, Northwestern University, and an chemical engineering from Rose Hulman.   Jim is an Oregon Venture Fund investor member and past chairperson of Angel Oregon.   Since 2012 he has taught a popular MBA “Venture Finance” class at Portland State University. He is the past Chairman of the Board of Oregon Public Broadcasting and served on the OPB Board from 2007 - 2018.   He is currently on the boards of Onboard Dynamics, and has been on more than a dozen corporate boards over his career.

Michael Self

General Partner - StagedotO

Michael Self, is the General Partner of StagedotO, founded in 2016, an early stage venture fund providing expertise, capital, and services to entrepreneurs.  SDO focuses on assisting entrepreneurs from ideation/MVP/commercialization to Series A financings. Michael previously founded Lake Union Capital Management, a long short small cap hedge fund achieving top quartile returns for 12 years. Prior, he was a Managing Director of trading and risk for JPMorgan (previously Hambrecht and Quist) bringing IPO’s including Amazon, F5 Networks, Wynn Resorts, and Siebel Systems public. Michael was appointed to the Global Technology Committee for JPMorgan. Mr. Self received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington in 1992 and is registered investment advisor (RIA)


July 11, 2019

5:00 - 6:15pm



6:15 - 7:30pm





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