Meet the judges for the Minneapolis TechCrunch Live pitch-off

TechCrunch Live is hosting a special, extended event focused on the great city of Minneapolis, Minnesota on September 7. I hope you can join us. We have an agenda packed with insiders who can speak to the growing startup ecosystem in the Twin Cities. But for the pitch-off, we’ve recruited two outsiders to judge the local startups: Mahati Sridhar, vice president, Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and Sarah Hinkfuss, partner, Bain Capital Ventures.

Both Mahati and Sarah offer considerable investment and startup experience. We’re thrilled to have their participation.

To help highlight what the city has to offer, we’re enlisting the help of local startups! Like past City Spotlights, this one will feature a pitch-off with local Minneapolis startups pitching to VCs. The winner gets fast-tracked into Startup Battlefield 200, which includes free exhibition space at TechCrunch Disrupt 2022. Applications are closed, but everyone can register for the event here.

Mahati Sridhar, vice president, Rise of the Rest Seed Fund

Mahati is a vice president on the investment team at Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. She joined the firm in 2021 and focuses on sourcing, due diligence and supporting existing portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Revolution, Mahati was an associate at Bull City Venture Partners, a Durham-based venture capital fund where she worked on seed and Series A software and internet investments in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Mahati is also a Venture for America Fellow and served her fellowship in Charlotte where she helped launch CFV Ventures, an early-stage fintech-focused venture fund. She started her career in Investment Banking at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey where she worked on the healthcare coverage team.

Mahati received a B.S. in Business Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MBA from Columbia Business School. Mahati originally hails from Raleigh but currently calls New York City home.

Sarah Hinkfuss, partner, Bain Capital Ventures

Sarah Hinkfuss works with growth-stage founders across both application software and fintech. She is particularly interested in backing founders who have personal experience in the market they are creating.

Ms. Hinkfuss joined Bain Capital in 2020 as a vice president on the Tech Opportunities team. Prior to joining Bain Capital, Ms. Hinkfuss worked as an associate in KKR’s Growth Equity group in San Francisco. Prior to that she was a senior vice president at Applied Predictive Technologies, an enterprise SaaS company acquired by Mastercard in 2015.

Ms. Hinkfuss received an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she was an Arjay Miller Scholar and Siebel Scholar. She graduated cum laude with a BA in Economics and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, where she was a Hoopes Prize recipient and Weatherhead Research Fellow.


TechCrunch Live in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Raising capital outside of the coasts with Anna Mason (Rise of the Rest Seed Fund) + Andrew Leone (Dispatch)

Andrew Leone’s Dispatch provides businesses with an on-demand courier delivery service. Headquartered in the greater Minneapolis, Minnesota area, the startup is quickly becoming a shining star in the area’s exploding startup ecosystem. It’s the type of startup that captures the attention of local investors, but outsiders as well including Anna Mason, managing partner at Revolution’s Rise of the Rest fund.

Who’s writing checks in MSP with Mary Grove (Bread & Butter Fund) and Justin Kaufenberg (Rally Ventures)

A panel on the growth opportunities for Minnesota from the perspective of VC funds – what’s needed in the market, what are they funding right, where startups should look for funding.

Building a fintech company with Atif Siddiqi (Branch) and Ryan Broshar (Matchstick Ventures)

Minneapolis has a growing number of fintech companies, and Branch is among the best positioned. Hear from its CEO and founder Atif Siddiqi and one of the company’s early investors, Ryan Broshar, managing director and partner at Matchstick Ventures.


Judges: Mahati Sridhar and Sarah Hinkfuss