Astra Global present a series of educational webinars.


During the investors panel Ben Narasin, Venture Partner at NEA - New Enterprise Associates, Alexander Saunders, Investor at Simple Tones Ventures, Nina Gerson, Investor at CapitalG, Julio Marquez, Managing Partner at New York Bay Capital, Olga Shikhantsova, Investment Manager at Target Global, Gabriel Zanko, Venture Partner at Urano Capital and Gary Fowler, CEO, President and Co-Founder at GSD Venture Studios, Teemu Seppälä, Helsinki Business Hub shared their thoughts on the latest trends and challenges the industry faces today, due to COVID situation, how has their deal with flow recently changed? How has the ratio of seed, series A versus series B + investments has changed, what changes in portfolio companies are being implemented.


Ben Narasin, Venture Partner at NEA - New Enterprise Associates

Ben Narasin is a prolific entrepreneur and early-stage investor with three decades of company-building expertise. His portfolio comprises of key early successes in fintech, digital marketplaces, mobile and connected devices. His seed investments include Dropcam, Lending Club, TellApart, Kabbage and Zenefits. Before NEA, Narasin most recently served as a General Partner at Canvas Ventures, and was previously with TriplePoint Capital, where he oversaw the firm's seed funding investment activities. He founded several consumer companies before launching his investing career, including which led to a successful IPO. He holds a B.A. in Entrepreneurial Studies from Babson College.

Alexander Saunders, Investor at Simple Tones Ventures

Simple Tones Ventures, a venture capital group with investments focused in real estate, hospitality and technology, was founded upon the belief and desire to create unprecedented investor returns through the synergies of passion, people and place. The values of STV are instilled in each project undertaken, knowing that the individual pieces are paramount in working towards a greater whole..

Nina Gerson, Investor at CapitalG

Nina joined CapitalG in 2019 and is an Investment Associate. Prior to CapitalG, Nina worked as an investment banking analyst at Union Square Advisors in San Francisco and New York City, where she covered Technology M&A and Private Capital Raising advisory. Nina graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, where she earned a B.S.B.A in Finance at Olin Business School. While at WashU, Nina competed as a goalkeeper on the Women's soccer team. Nina hails from Berkeley, CA.

Julio Marquez, Managing Partner at New York Bay Capital

Julio is Managing Partner of New York Bay Capital, a cross-border advisory and investment firm based in New York City. He has 25+ years of experience in cross-border principal investments and M&A, having previously worked at institutions such as Wasserstein Perella, Citibank and Morgan Stanley. Julio is also a Director at Wyndham Global Partners (a PE fund), Young America Capital (a US broker-dealer specializing in emerging technologies) and Socius Global (an international advisory network). Julio holds an MBA from Harvard Business School (1990), a master's degree with honors in systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania (1985) and a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1984). He holds FINRA licenses Series 7, 24, 27, 63. He was born and raised in Mexico City and is a dual US-Mexico citizen.

Olga Shikhantsova, Investment Manager at Target Global

Olga is a Berlin-based Fintech Investor leading FinTech investments across early and growth stages in Europe and Israel. Before joining Target Global, Olga worked for the funds Finsight Ventures and Binomial Ventures investing in FinTech and supporting actively the business development and fundraising for MedTech companies. Olga has gained a solid VC track already of 15 investments and 3 exists in 4 years. She closed remarkable deals including Raisin, Rapyd, and Zego. Earlier speaker at FinanceFWD, German FintechWeek, 0100 Conferences, Startup Banking by Amsterdam Venture Partners, StartupGrind Berlin events.

Gabriel Zanko, Venture Partner at Mobile Your Life

An advisor and investor in technology and renewable energy companies. CEO/Founder of MobileyourLife & Urano Capital.

Gary Fowler, CEO, President and Co-Founder at GSD Venture Studios

Award-winning Senior level executive with 30+ years of success in global strategic innovation leadership, sales, marketing, operational and investment management. CEO and Co-Founder of the award-winning growth stage AI venture studio, GSD Venture Studios. Co-Founder of the award-winning AI startup as well as the investment firm, DY Investments. Gary was involved in the management team of ClickSoftware that was recently sold for $1.35 billion dollars to SalesForce. Gary raised several rounds of funding to position as a leading AI employee engagement company. Gary is a recognized expert in entrepreneurship (including entrepreneurial education), lean startup methods, innovation management, and technology development. Consultant to numerous international companies and startups. Extensive experience with fund raising and a successful IPO (CKSW). Executive level positions in top tier companies: ClickSoftware, Mirantis, Siemens, HP, etc. Founder of Fowler International, Tecra,, Findo, GSD Venture Studios, GVA LaunchGurus (Co-Founder), Fowler Development, Broadiant, DY Investments, Zemplee (Co-Founder), and more. Gary was recently named "One of the 10 Most Inspiring Global AI Executives in 2020".