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The Funding Dilemma of Hardware Focus Startups

Panel Discussion with Juan Barraza, Cheryl Campos and Ken Vaughn

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Cheryl Campos

Head of Venture Growth & Partnerships


Cheryl is passionate about the intersection of finance, technology, and social impact. She is the Head of Venture Growth and Partnerships at Republic, a one-stop-shop for founders to raise capital from both accredited and non-accredited investors. She is focused on introducing underrepresented founders to both traditional and alternative funding sources in order to help their startups thrive. In other direct investing roles, she is a scout for Lightspeed and an investment partner at The Community Fund. Cheryl is also one of the founders of VCFamilia, a community of Latinx VCs supporting current & emerging investors through collaboration.

Previously she worked as an analyst in a Connecticut-based private debt & equity firm with an emphasis on minority and women entrepreneurs. She started her career in Investment Banking at Barclays, working in the Financial Institutions Group and Structured Finance. She holds a BA in Economics with honors from Harvard University.

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Ken Vaughn

Director of Impact Investment

Ken Vaughn is the Director of Impact Investments at VertueLab and manager of the VertueLab Climate Impact Fund. At VertueLab, he manages their investment activities focused on innovations that address the root causes of climate change. He led VertueLab’s investment in 26 cleantech startup companies since 2014. He also collaborates with other impact investors to grow the capital base available for
cleantech innovation. He is responsible for capital formation, development of impact investing vehicles, evaluation of investment opportunities, investment transactions, and management of the VertueLab investment portfolio. Ken has extensive experience in managing innovation, starting companies, advising early-stage companies, and investing in early-stage ventures. Before joining VertueLab, he held senior management positions in technology strategy, engineering, product management and marketing in a wide range of industries and served as a venture partner and limited partner in multiple venture capital firms.

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