Viaka Newsletter - Highlighting a superstar Viaka Network member: a VC investor with a STEM background!
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The digital destination for startup professionals in the West to connect with each other & promising mentorship and investment opportunities from MENA.
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Our weekly newsletter shines a spotlight on members of our Viaka Network, our MENA partners, and the MENA startup ecosystem.
Hi everyone! This week, we’re beginning our new series of interviews and network highlights. We’re now featuring members of the Viaka community who are based in North America and Europe.
Our first feature is Sujude Dalieh. Sujude currently works at JAZZ Venture Partners and is involved with the Women in Women’s Health Coalition and TechWadi. Sujude has amazing experiences and is a great Network member. Read more about Sujude below!
Interview with Sujude Dalieh
What do you currently do?
Investing at JAZZ Venture Partners in breakthroughs at the convergence of technology, science, and humanity — improving how we work, live, and experience the world. Also, I work as a functional member of Women in Women’s Health Coalition and TechWadi (bridging Silicon Valley and MENA).
What prompted you to go down this career path and how did you get into this field?
My background started in physical chemistry at UC Berkeley before seeing the connections across new computational and data science tools across nanocatalysis and biomaterials. That opened my mind to the technology sector– dabbing in design and accepting a position in product management. Always at the intersection of business, science, and creative thinking, I started to have an identity crisis around long-term occupations that would allow me to context switch. I chose a graduate program that combined academics and professionals of all backgrounds, with the main purpose of simply designing and building new innovations at Stanford. During graduate school, VC became such a common word thrown around, that I decided to try an MBA internship at K50 Ventures, focusing on preseed/seed companies targeting the 99%. That led me to a fulfilling position at Lux Capital in deeptech, where I was mentored by Deena Shakir. I fell in love and VC finally felt like a true personality and intellectual fit. My days are spent jumping from techbio to consumer social, from supporting portfolio founders to finding the next big thing. JAZZ is a home where I can explore all my interests and grow.
What originally got you interested in connecting with the MENA startup ecosystem and other like-minded folks here in North America?
I grew up in a small town south of Cleveland, Ohio with very few members of the MENA community. When I went to UC Berkeley, I became friends with students of similar backgrounds, building programs to support like-minded academics, and debating policies that affect our families here and abroad. Since college, I have tried to stay connected to the region through TechWadi, MENA-focused founder events, graduate associations, and community iftars.
What types of connections are you looking to make through Viaka? This can be from the MENA side, as well as with other MENA-connected folks in the Viaka Network
Founders! If you are building something, please reach out on LinkedIn or Twitter.
Where will that take you?
I hope to have a foot in both the United States and the MENA region. Any support translating my investment areas overseas would be very helpful.
Bonus: favorite dish from the MENA world?
Promising Opportunities from Our MENA Partners
Below are a list of opportunities curated from the Viaka’s MENA partners.
If you would like to get involved with any of the opportunities above, please fill out the form below and indicate what opportunity you are interested in in the “Which of Viaka's startup and venture opportunities are you interested in?” section.
Exciting Announcements From Our Network
Below is a list of updates, wins, and asks emanating from members of the Viaka Network in the “West.”
Startup Boston has launched the registration of its five-day Startup Boston Week. The program will be held from September 19-23rd, 2022, and will have over 80 events and 250 speakers. The week is geared towards anyone with an interest in startups, with resources to connect, scale, and celebrate the community. Sessions featured include topics geared towards first-time founders, startup employees, advisors, and more. Sign up here!
That’s it for this week. Thank you!
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