We’ve seen more startups apply for funding in 2021 than we did through all of 2020. Companies applying for funding get stronger every day.
As such, it’s only fitting that we expand our deal team to help support this growth. One of our differentiators as VCs is that we democratize access to early-stage tech investing while providing the same level of due diligence to our angel network as we do for our own fund deals.
Our level of diligence requires experts in startup operations, finance, tech, accounting, and deal flow to help us source and analyze the best companies to invest in across Florida and beyond. With that in mind, we’ve added Yasmine Morrison as a Deal Associate and Nandini Agarwal as a Deal Flow Analyst. Read on to learn more about why they’re excited about what’s happening in Florida tech.
Yasmine Morrison – from Stockholm to Miami
After stints in Stockholm, Paris, London, Dubai, and New York, and an impressive career as both an entrepreneur and consultant for the likes of Amazon and Toyota, Yasmine came to visit Miami in November 2020. She was in the midst of a full-time Masters in Management at Harvard AND working as an Associate at Antler, an Early Stage VC fund based in NYC. She’d been dreaming about warmer weather and an early-stage startup ecosystem…and she hasn’t left.
“Miami has a bit of every city that I’ve lived in. It has the climate of Dubai, the multiculturalism of Paris and London, and the pinnings of what the tech ecosystem in New York was like in the early 2000s,” said Yasmine. “Coming from these developed cities, places like New York feel like they’ve already happened. In Miami, I feel I can be a part of building something really special.”
Yasmine started her career working with humanitarian organizations like the Red Cross, but quickly realized she felt she could make more of an impact on the world working in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Her first startup was a vintage marketplace comparable to Etsy that eventually led her to open a shop in London and her first exit. From there, she started a skills bartering app. “That one showed me how much of a rollercoaster entrepreneurship can be. Almost anything that could go wrong in a startup went wrong with that company.”
Following that adventure, she spent several years consulting, and eventually founded Svenska Nomader, Scandinavia’s largest community and freelance network focused on the future of work. She then decided to head back for her Masters in Management at Harvard and has been balancing that while working as an Analyst at Antler for the majority of Covid.
Now that she’s in Miami and working with us at Florida Funders, she’s especially excited to help build the Ecosystem in Miami, find great companies in Florida for us to work with, and enjoy all that Florida has to offer.
Nandini Agarwal – from New Delhi to Tampa
At the age of 15, after her family had waited nearly 14 years for Green cards, they picked Tampa on a map and moved from New Delhi, India to Florida. Nandini then spent a couple of years at an American Highschool before matriculating at USF. There she began to thrive, taking full advantage of the opportunities Florida’s University system has to offer.
While completing concurrent degrees in Finance and Accounting in three years, she started two companies. The first was a Medical Device company, named Samagreen and the second, a pro bono consulting firm, Emerging Bulls Consulting to help nonprofits in the Tampa Bay region…all while graduating Magna Cum Laude and being named the Outstanding Graduate at USF commencement. While pursuing her undergraduate education, she completed internships with Goldman Sachs on Wall Street and PwC Tampa and was on the path towards becoming a Certified Public Accountant. Then she discovered venture capital.
“Traditionally, if you study Finance, you go work at Raymond James, Goldman, Citi, or some other corporate Finance job. And if you study accounting, you go and do Tax or Audit at one of the Big Four. I was following those paths but realized I wanted something different out of my career. Someone recommended the book, “Breaking into VC”, and I started reaching out to countless VCs around the country on LinkedIn to learn how I might get my foot in the door.”
Eventually, persistence paid off, and we’re thrilled she’s joining us to help us really dig into the financials and technical aspects of the companies we evaluate for funding.
Keep an eye out for Nandini at startup events around Tampa, and if you’re in Miami and want to talk shop, reach out to Yasmin on twitter.
If you’re interested in joining us at Florida Funders, we’re actively hiring for a Director of Marketing and a VP of Platform. Otherwise, keep an eye on our Social Channels for future opportunities.