Upon reading Joey Mak's recent post about the new attack on women and BIPOC entrepreneurs in the venture capital space, I knew that I wanted to spotlight Tessa Flippin as this week's Fierce Woman. I don't know Tessa personally but she participated in a panel hosted by ChicagoBlend about Women and VC in March. Tessa, along with other stellar women in VC, shared their stories and unfiltered perspectives on the state of venture capital for women. With just 3% of VC going to women owned businesses, Tessa serves as Managing Director for Capitalize VC and one of the few black women in this critical role. Tessa Flippin is the Founder and Managing Partner of Capitalize VC, working to reduce the racial wealth gap by investing in early-stage Black and Latinx founders, while simultaneously creating access for diverse LPs.
Tessa began her career in venture capital as a venture investor at TechNexus, a Chicago-based fund, where she invested in enterprise SaaS technologies at the seed stage. She went on to join Genius Guild Greenhouse Fund as a Venture Capitalist in Residence, investing in Black founders in fintech, health tech and connectivity. Prior to venture capital, Tessa founded La Plataforma, a fintech payments platform, sending international money transfers throughout Latin America.
Hailing from Stanford undergrad and Columbia Business School for her MBA, Tessa brings not only smarts and savvy but her funding thesis is daring and unique. Her firm prioritizes investment into teams with diverse founders who will lead the next generation of innovation in commerce infrastructure and consumer brands. Tess and her team believe that "when you change the people who write the checks, you change the founders who get them."
If that isn't fierce, I don't know what is. Take that #SCOTUS!," Candance Chow, NextGroup co-founder