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Melissa Withers

Good with a microphone, terrible on roller skates

    THINGS TO KNOW: 

    • Experienced fund manager and business builder with 100+ investments under management 
    • Supported 70+ pre-seed / seed stage equity investments between 2011-2014, 8 exits and $75M in follow-on funding raised 
    • Launched one of the world’s first revenue-based funds for early stage companies, deployed into 30+ companies to produce average IRR of +20%
    • Founder of  Operation Athena, a support resource and investment vehicle for female founders and black and brown entrepreneurs
    • Background in life sciences, started career at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT,  working at the intersection of basic research, communication and public policy.
    • First person in my family to graduate college

    GIGS & THINGS:

    Founding Partner, RevUp Capital (May 2015 - Present)

    Designed new structure for deploying capital and generating investor returns into fast growing B2B and B2C companies. As one of the first in the world to bring revenue-based funding to early stage companies, RevUp has demonstrated its position as leader in capital innovation while producing superior returns for investors.

    Mentor-in-Residence, Tech Stars Boston (2018 - Present)

    While working holistically across cohorts, my focus is on company storytelling, business model / value mapping,  capital strategy and C-Suite coaching for women and founders from outside networks of privilege. 

    Managing Director, Betaspring (2011 - 2015)

    Supported 70+ pre-seed investments for an early stage accelerator and investment platform. Ran operations, directed founder  training programs and coordinated mentor networks in a high-capacity investment model. Supported portfolio companies across the full lifecycle, from fundraising to exit and beyond. 

    Co-Founder, Business Innovation Factory (2006-2010)

    Co-founded platform to support  the development and testing of new business models in areas of high social impact. Took the company from inception to profitability, and then to  national scale. Exited to partner in 2010. 

    Assistant Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (1999-2005)

    Managed translation of basic research into public-facing programs, narratives and experiences. Monitored trends and supported the commercialization of basic research. Participated in legislative advocacy at state and federal level. Led work to bring broader visibility to basic research and its impact on human health.  

    Talking & Squawking: 

    BONUS MATERIAL:

    • Host and creator of  (Un)Founded, a podcast exploring startup culture and business building
    • 2019 Boston Marathon finisher; 2018 Chicago Marathon finisher; 2018 Philadelphia Marathon finisher; 2017 Narragansett Bay Marathon Finisher; #AllDoneWithThat 
    • Spent several years working in government; sucked at politics but knowing how the public sector works has proven invaluable (if not disturbing) 
    • Once served a bowl of soup to Harrison Ford in Aspen, Colorado  

    EDUCATION:

    Northeastern University — M.A.  Scientific and Technical Communication

    Masters Degree focused on methods in the communication of complex scientific and technological information. What works, what doesn’t, and the impact these methods have on public policy,  science funding, commercialization, and government regulations.

    Rhode Island College — B.A. English Literature and Critical Theory 

    Liberal arts study, with a focus on literature and critical theory. 

    ASK ME ABOUT:

    • Innovation in startup capital
    • Founders who learn by effort versus osmosis 
    • Solo hiking
    • The Sawtooth mountains
    • Gin drinks & Burrata cheese 

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