GIST TechConnect: Global Investment Trends and Best Practices

When it comes to science and technology startups, innovation knows no boundaries. As trade and technology make the world more interconnected, investors are continually looking to maximize their returns by investing across borders. Investors in early-stage ventures are constantly developing innovative ways to identify, vet, and invest in high-growth, science and technology-based startups across the globe.

Join our expert panel of global investment leaders as they discuss “Global Investment Trends and Best Practices.” Our panelists are investing across the globe and bring diverse experience and knowledge to the subject. 

Why Participate

  • Listen as experts in unique problem solving highlight how to grow with limited resources

  • Ask questions about solutions that can help overcome challenges in your startup ecosystem

  • Learn strategies that you can use on your own startup that will help your business grow


This TechConnect will take place during the GIST Business Incubation Program convening in Washington, D.C. The Business Incubation Program brings together the best international science and tech innovators and American businesses to increase cross-market access, open doors for joint ventures, and gain investor exposure. GIST Business Incubation connects American startup ecosystems and the investment community with the best global innovators to spur economic growth and job creation.

Speaker Biographies

Caroline Bressan, Director of Social Investments,
Open Road

Caroline Bressan is the Director of Social Investments of Open Road Alliance. Prior to Open Road, Caroline was an Investment Principal at D. Capital, the investment advisory wing of Dalberg. There she focused on D. Capital’s impact investment advisory offerings, building a pipeline of investment opportunities in Sub Saharan Africa, specifically in energy and agriculture. Caroline also worked on the design and structuring of innovative financing mechanisms, including impact bonds and social impact insurance.

Previously, Caroline was an Investment Officer at Calvert Foundation, where she managed its $20 million portfolio, which was mainly focused on Latin America. Caroline designed and launched a revolving line of credit product, the first of its kind for Calvert Foundation, and helped launch the international component of the Women Investing in Women Initiative (Win-WIN) She also sat on the investment committee of the Haitian Emergency Liquidity Fund, created to provide funding to microfinance institutions in the aftermath of the 2009 earthquake. Carole has previously worked in Bolivia with Pro Mujer, designing a business education program for clients.

Patrick Gouhin, CEO
Angel Capital Association

Patrick Gouhin is presently serving in his first year as the CEO of the Angel Capital Association. ACA is a collective of accredited angel investors, North America's most prolific early-stage investment class. The association is the largest angel professional development organization in the world. ACA provides an insider perspective that helps angels make smart investment decisions. ACA represents 14,000+ member accredited angel investors, 260 angel groups, accredited platforms and family offices and more than 20,000 entrepreneurial companies that are in ACA member investment portfolios. ACA focuses on knowledge sharing, best practices, and insights from top angels to ensure smarter investment decisions, connections to vetted angels that support deal flow and syndication processes, as well as representation to public policymakers to safeguard angel investor rights.

Tarek El Kady, Founder & Chairman
MED Angels
(Mediterranean Business Angel Investment Networks)

Tarek El Kady is a leading entrepreneur and angel investor in his native Alexandria, Egypt. Tarek is the Executive Chairman of KD Group, a collective of marketing and advertising agencies serving various clients in the Middle East and North Africa. He is the founder and CEO of Techne Inc., as well as the founder and chairman of both the Alexandria Business Angel Network (Alex Angels) and the Mediterranean Business Angel Investment Network.

Tarek is passionate about helping young people start their businesses. As Founding Curator of the Global Shapers Community Alexandria hub, he spends part of his time giving to the next generation of business owners in the region. He was awarded by the American University in Cairo’s Venture Lab in recognition of his efforts as one of the prominent contributors to the entrepreneurial ecosystem for their outstanding support. He was recently appointed as Senator at the Grand Assembly of the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF). Senator Elkady will represent Egypt in the Global Startup Committee of the Grand Assembly in 2020.


Eli Velasquez, Director, Venture Development

Eli Velasquez leads the development of VentureWell’s new and ongoing early-stage innovator programs as innovators prepare for investment. He has deep expertise in commercialization, angel and venture capital, and innovation strategy. His efforts in Texas led to over $20M in funding for startups, entrepreneurship programs, and proof-of-concept funds. He obtained a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University and a JD degree with an Intellectual Property Certificate from Whittier Law School.

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