We’ve been rapidly growing our team as we roll out Fund 2, invest in the best startups in the world, and continue to ensure our portfolio companies are successful for our investors and founders. 

Our two most recent hires are supporting our operations and deal teams. On the operations side of the house, Kristen Akel joins us as a Senior Accountant and CPA. Chelsea Oppenheim is our newest Investment Associate on the Deal team. 

Read on to learn more about their journeys to Florida Funders. 

Meet Kristen Akel, Senior Accountant

Connect with Kristen here  

Prior to joining Florida Funders, Kristen worked as a public accountant for a regional firm in their audit practice. During her time in audit, she was constantly rotating around different types and sizes of clients. We know from firsthand experience that CPAs get a unique look and understanding as to how companies operate at a financial level, and when they apply that to the startup world, they’re often wildly successful. Her work there helped her develop a learner’s mentality that is both analytical and adaptable. 

When we asked her why she joined Florida Funders, she had this to say: 

“I loved the team. Everyone is clearly excited and passionate about the work they’re doing. There’s also something different going on every day – from figuring out how to best structure our latest fund to working with startups on their term sheets. And I love the mission of changing Florida from the “sunshine state to startup state”. There is so much potential here. While Florida is already a pretty amazing place, we have the chance to make an outsized impact on the regional and national economy.

Furthermore, I’m really excited about working with and investing in companies creating products I use all the time. Startups like Homee, Pickup, and 2ULaundry are creating better user experiences for annoying or challenging day-to-day errands. When you can be an investor and a user, you win at least 2X.” 

Meet Chelsea Oppenheim, Investment Associate 

Connect with Chelsea here 

Prior to Joining Florida Funders as our newest Investment Associate, Chelsea worked in Syndicated Corporate Banking at Raymond James. Her experience there helped her to develop a deep understanding of the fundamentals of analyzing financials and how to identify some of the key characteristics of a great investment opportunity: team strength, key risk assessments, and understanding the intricacies of various industries. 

When we asked her why she joined Florida Funders, she had this to say: 

“I was initially intrigued by Florida Funders’ mission to shape the tech landscape here in Florida.  When I met the team and got a better understanding of their combined tech and venture capital experience, I realized that this would be a great place to impact the community and advance my understanding of high-growth companies. 

I’ve always had an interest in venture capital, but COVID really pushed me to move into the space. History has shown us that innovation comes out of periods of adversity, so I’m excited to be starting at Florida Funders during this turbulent period, while at the forefront of the next wave of tech disruption. I’m excited about companies with passionate founders, and from my background at a financial services firm, I am particularly excited about FinTech.”

Other New Hires

Please join us in welcoming Kristen and Chelsea to the team. In addition to these great hires, we recently hired a Director of Investor Relations, Christian Leon, to support our growth in South Florida, and we added Rachel Sapoznik to our board of directors.