Northwestern Events Calendar


FoundHer Series | Demystifying Venture Capital: Tips and Best Practices for Getting Funded for Academic Entrepreneurs

When: Wednesday, February 8, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CT

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Sonia Kim   (847) 467-0446

Group: Innovation and New Ventures Office

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Northwestern University's Querrey InQbation Lab is hosting the FoundHer Series to amplify women academic innovators & entrepreneurs.

During this moderated panel discussion, four investors from different venture firms will describe their respective investment theses, provide an insider's perspective on how venture capital works, and share advice to first-time founders for successful fundraising.

Our panelists include: Mitra Miri, PhD (Osage University Partners), Dana Watt, PhD (Breakout Ventures), Rima Chakrabarti, MD (KdT Ventures), and Jennifer Uhrig, MBA (Fine Structure Ventures). The panel will be moderated by Alexandra de Paz, PhD (INVO, Northwestern).

While the FoundHer Series is focused on supporting women innovators, all are welcome to register.

Please register in advance.


Mitra Miri is a Principal on the life sciences team at Osage University Partners focusing on evaluating therapeutic investment opportunities. Previously, Mitra was an investor at Connecticut Innovations (CI), responsible for sourcing, diligencing and supporting opportunities across digital health, devices, diagnostics and therapeutics. Prior to CI, she was a Life Sciences Consultant in the healthcare practice at L.E.K. in NYC, where she worked with a range of biopharma companies from startups to large pharma across project types and therapeutic areas. She was also a Company Creation Fellow at Flagship Pioneering. Mitra also worked as a Strategy Analyst in Yale’s Office of the Provost. Additionally, she is an alumnus of Yale’s Office of Cooperative Research, where she was a Venture Fellow for Canaan Partners, and a Blavatnik Associate. Prior to Yale, Mitra was a Rotary Ambassadorial Fellow in Kampala, Uganda, where she worked with the Infectious Diseases Institute’s Director of Research. Mitra received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Yale University, where she was a Ford Foundation Fellow, Pfizer Endowed Fellow, and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.

Dana Watt is a neuroscientist by training, earning her doctorate in cellular and molecular neurosciences at Washington University in St. Louis, where her research focused on axon growth and regeneration. While a graduate student, she was deeply involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in St. Louis, co-founding Pro-Arc Diagnostics, a molecular diagnostics company. She then worked at the University's entrepreneurship center, where she institutionalized support for SBIR/STTR-supported spinouts. Before joining Breakout in 2021, Dana served as a Senior Investment Associate for Ascension Ventures, a strategic healthcare venture fund. Dana is a Principal at Breakout Ventures, where she supports all phases of the deal making process and assists in managing portfolio companies.

Rima Chakrabarti is a partner at KdT Ventures, the standard for early-stage frontier science investing, where she partners with scientific founders engineering the world at the molecular level. She studied biology and neuroscience at Brown University and earned her MD from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. While in medical school, she was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) research fellow in the lab of Dr. Helen Hobbs, where she created bio-tools for measuring lipid activity in the body. She attended the University of Pennsylvania for her clinical residency in neurology, after which she jumped to the Fannin Innovation Studio, a human-health focused venture creation firm in Houston, TX, where she directed the development of a portfolio of preclinical assets, three of which are now in clinical trials. She joined KdT in 2020 and her investments to date span the fields of material science, cell immunotherapy, cancer metabolism and surgical robotics. She currently sits on the boards of Dimension Inx, Cypris Materials, and Modulus Therapeutics.

Jennifer Uhrig is Senior Managing Director at Fine Structure Ventures. Previously, Ms. Uhrig worked for over two decades in the Fidelity Growth Group as an equity analyst and fund manager. In her portfolio manager assignments, Ms. Uhrig managed start-up product including the Fidelity Mid-Cap Stock Fund and larger funds including the Blue Chip Growth Fund with assets of up to $38 billion. She has more than 35 years of investment experience and has heard over 20,000 company pitches. In addition to her current role, Ms. Uhrig is a Senior Advisor to Fidelity Management & Research Company. In this capacity, she serves on the Board of Directors of COLT Technology Services, where she chairs the Audit Committee, on the Board of Directors of Geode Capital Management, and on the Board of Advisors of eMoney Advisor. Prior to joining Fidelity, Ms. Uhrig was a research associate for Fred Alger Management. Ms. Uhrig holds an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College and a B.A. in Government cum laude from Harvard College. 

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