Welcome to our 2019-2020 Fellows!
Vera Bersudskaya, California
Vera has 10 years of experience in the social sector designing and executing research to inform policy, strategy and operations of for-profit and nonprofit clients. Her work spans digital financial services, financial inclusion policy, impact monitoring and assessment, women’s rights, economic development, education, and good governance. She grew up in Russia and has lived and worked in the U.S., Africa, and Asia. Vera holds a Master in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and a Bachelor’s with Highest Honors in Political Economy and French from University of California, Berkeley.
Michelle Nacouzi, NYC and SF
Michelle is an investment associate at Northzone, an early-stage venture firm with offices across the Nordics, London, and NYC. Prior to Northzone, Michelle was an investment associate at Indicator Ventures where she sourced, led diligence on, and provided portfolio support to seed-stage startups. Before her transition into venture capital, Michelle was a management consultant with A.T. Kearney where she worked alongside CXOs from Fortune 500 and private-equity owned companies on initiatives spanning go-to-market design, supply chain & logistics optimization, pre- & post-M&A strategy, and most things in between. Michelle holds two Bachelor’s degrees from the University of California, Berkeley in Economics and Environmental Sciences. While at Berkeley, she ran an $11M housing non-profit, worked in research & taught herself to code, and became a published author on the topic of sustainable consumerism. Outside of the office, Michelle is hopefully either backpacking a national scenic trail, Citi Biking her way to the rock climbing gym, or galavanting around a soccer field. She has six siblings and is a dual citizen of Lebanon.
Lily Bailey, Massachusetts
Lily is a senior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology majoring in Computer Science with an interest in social impact measurement. She has most recently completed an internship with the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah on the Data and Policy team using data to both identify opportunities for new social sector programs and analyze the impact and value of those already in operation. She previously interned for NeedsList, a company focused on supply chain optimization for delivering goods to communities in crisis. She is thrilled to learn from some of the most knowledgeable women in the venture capital world as she begins her own career.
Christa Freeland, Austin
Christa is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Powershift Group, a startup studio in downtown Austin, where she has worked for seven years on the early operations team to launch early-stage technology companies. Her past endeavors include starting a young professionals’ networking app called The Dime Club, as well as cofounding Switch Cowork, a startup that turns under-utilized restaurants into shared work spaces. In 2019, Christa was part of the first graduating class of Venture Capital School, a National Venture Capital Association and BerkleyLaw partnership. Her work also expands into government innovation, and she was named a World Economic Forum (“Davos”) Global Shaper, an exclusive program for young leaders. She was also tapped to help Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s re-election team, and created a successful and award-winning campaign that encouraged and educated millennials to engage with local government.
Audrey Gaydu, Montréal, Canada
Audrey is a consultant in Scientific Research and Experimental Development specialized in Information Technology and Electronics at Leyton Canada. Her mission is to advise companies by investigating their latest R&D projects for financing and tax credit purposes. She previously worked at a consulting firm with entrepreneurs advising them on financing and introducing them to the startup ecosystem. Her drive for participating in a female-oriented initiative came from her earlier internship experience with the Rising Tide Europe program at Go Beyond Investing. Audrey joined the Malta team of GB working on deal screening, due diligence process and creating a reporting tool for investment follow-up. She also coordinated pitch session between startups and investors in Paris. Besides, she interned as a quantitative analyst at Amundi asset management and at Icra ltd in Bangalore for a non-performing asset study. Audrey holds a MS in Bank, Finance, Insurance Engineering and in Information Technology from HEI School of Engineering in France. Now, she resides in Montréal, Canada.
Carine Wete, NYC and Massachusetts
Carine is a Fulbright Binational Business Scholar for Mexico City who recently returned to the United States. She is currently in New York City working in Operations at Orbis International, an international non-profit focused on the prevention of blindness worldwide. Her current role allows her to dive into her interests in health, technology, and education. While in Mexico City as a Fulbright Scholar, Carine worked at a venture capital firm, and at an e-commerce start-up focused on health products. Additionally, Carine is a Madeleine Albright for Global Affairs Fellow and was a summer Consultant at ManattJones Global Strategies. While in college she held a long term internship at the Massachusetts Division of Banks as a Regulatory Compliance and License Examiner where she also reviewed Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering policies. In 2015, Carine had the opportunity to travel to El Salvador to implement a sanitation project benefiting rural farmers, with a team of MIT engineers as part of a Development-Lab initiative. While in El Salvador, Carine redesigned a toilet prototype to make it cost-efficient and sustainable and built the newly redesigned toilets. In 2013, Carine was awarded a Global Engagement grant to research various public health factors affecting women such as domestic violence and the role of entrepreneurship in improving health, and wellbeing in the island of Fogo, Cape Verde in Africa. Carine graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Wellesley College in 2016.
Women’s Fellowship Program
The purpose of the NWIF Fellowship program is to provide additional human capital resources for the due diligence efforts of the NWIF Investment Committee and Limited Partner teams to ensure proper analysis for all companies in NWIF is considering for investment as well as improve processes, communications, marketing and education of the Next Wave Impact Movement. Additionally, it provides a learning experience for women who still in graduate school or are early in their career and would like to gain experience in early stage investing with other female investors.
The expectation is that each fellow will commit 10-30 hours per month for one year. Fellows also agree to treat all investor, entrepreneur, due diligence, and company information as confidential. Responsibilities include:
Our 2019-2020 Fellowship is closed. To apply for 2020-2021, please send cover letter and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org in June 2020.
One year commitment required.