Fundamentals for Startups
FUNDAMENTALS
FOR STARTUPS

Powered by CoMotion Labs

Overview

Fundamentals for Startups is our popular lecture series open to anyone interested in learning about entrepreneurship and building a startup. From raising capital to scaling to exit strategies, these presentations feature experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts who share startup-related information, experience, and insights. The sessions take place weekly during the academic year over the lunch hour and are open to the general public as well as the UW community. All sessions are recorded, archived and searchable on CoMotion’s website.

We are fully remote for the winter quarter. RSVP using the links below.

Winter lineup

  • 1/07 | Gilad Berenstein, founder, Brook Bay Capital, LLC
  • 1/14 | Hope Cochran, managing director, Madrona Venture Group, and Elisa La Cava, investor, Madrona Venture Group
  • 1/21 | Nat Cartwright, co-founder and COO, Finn AI
  • 1/28 | Matt Oppenheimer, co-founder and CEO, Remitly
  • 2/04 | Jane Park, CEO and founder of Tokki
  • 2/11 | Tim Porter, managing director, Madrona Venture Group
  • 2/18 | Shirish Nadkarni, board member at TiE Seattle, author, and serial entrepreneur
  • 2/25 | Jessica Klepper, co-Founder and COO, Society of Saleswomen
  • 3/04 | Renato Agrella
  • 3/11 | Dave Wong

1/21 | Nat Cartwright, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Finn AI

12-1 pm

Speaker

Nat Cartwright Portrait

Nat Cartwright

Nat Cartwright is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Finn AI, a financial technology company that assists banks and credit unions in developing AI-powered personal banking assistants. She holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from McGill University, a master of public health from Lund University in Sweden, and a master of business administration from IE Business School in Spain. Prior to founding Finn AI, Natalie worked at the Global Fund in Geneva where she served as a program officer managing a $250 million dollar health investment portfolio. She serves on the AI advisory council of Canada, is the chair of AInBC, a member of the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) Advisory Board and an adjunct professor at UBC’s Sauder School of Business.

Topic

Just Do It: Launch Your Product Now

When is the right time to launch your product? Now, at least according to Nat Cartwright. Come and listen to her journey bringing Finn AI to life over the past seven years. She’ll speak about her experience navigating major company pivots, failures, and successes, all while having fun (most of the time).

Link to come after registration.

1/28 | Matt Oppenheimer, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Remitly

12-1 pm

Speaker

Matt Oppenheimer Portrait

Matt Oppenheimer

Matt Oppenheimer co-founded Remitly in 2011 and serves as chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors. Prior to co-founding Remitly, Matt worked for Barclays plc, a multinational bank and financial services company, from August 2009 to May 2011. He has served on the board of directors of BECU since 2018. Matt was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 in the Pacific Northwest and has been recognized as a Puget Sound Business Journal “40 Under 40” honoree for his work with Remitly. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. in psychology from Dartmouth College.

Topic

Customer-Centricity: The Cornerstone of Culture

In this talk, we will be joined by Matt Oppenheimer, co-founder & CEO of Remitly, a leading digital financial services provider for immigrants and their families in over 135 countries around the world. Matt will share his experience building a mission-driven business over the past ten years. He will delve into the early days of the company and the decision to prioritize creating a culture built on customer-centricity in order to transform an industry. In addition, Matt will discuss some of the lessons he learned while growing Remitly from an inspired idea to a global business that reached public company status in 2021.

Link to come after registration.

2/4 | Jane Park, CEO and Founder of Tokki

12-1 pm

Jane Park

Topic

Failing into Entrepreneurship

We often hear that failure can be an important part of the startup journey. But turning a “failure” into a “lesson” doesn’t happen automatically just by renaming the experience. Ms. Park, who is a nationally recognized expert in consumer brand building and social commerce, explains.

Link to come after registration.

2/11 | Tim Porter, Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group

12-1 pm

Tim Porter

Topic

Venture Capital Due Diligence: A Look Inside the Investment Memo

Learn about the key elements and thought process of VC due diligence, including a walk-through of the investment memo that Madrona (and most VCs) write before every investment.

Link to come after registration.

2/18 | Shirish Nadkarni, Board Member at TiE Seattle, author, and serial entrepreneur

12-1 pm

Shirish Nadkarni

Topic

The Art & Science of Achieving Product Market Fit

The primary reason startups don’t succeed is that they fail to achieve product-market fit. In this talk, you’ll hear about the importance of riding technology or global macro trends to displace incumbents.

Link to come after registration.

2/25 | Jessica Klepper, Co-Founder and COO, Society of Saleswomen

12-1 pm

Topic

B2B Sales for Entrepreneurs and Startups

What is it about sales that scares off even the best entrepreneur or business owner? Learn the basics of selling B2B and gain the confidence to go out and price, sell, and negotiate your product or service.

Link to come after registration.

3/4 | Renato Agrella

12-1 pm

Renato Agrella

Topic

Building High Functioning Teams

Learn how to build teams that work efficiently and harmoniously while accelerating the growth of your company.

Link to come after registration.

3/11 | Dave Wong

12-1 pm

Dave Wong

Topic

Building Enterprise Fintech Startups

Wong shares his experience working in the fintech industry over the past two decades, focusing on a lesser-known area called “enterprise fintech,” which serves banks and other financial institutions to help them navigate the ever-changing financial services industry landscape.

Link to come after registration.

Sign up for mailing list

Anyone interested in startup creation is encouraged to attend our Fundamentals for Startups lecture series. It occurs on Fridays over lunch during the school year and features experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts who help close the gap in startup knowledge. It is open to the general public so go ahead and sign up below to get notified about the next series.