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Mission & Team

Our Mission:

Our mission is not only to drive returns and create jobs in Tulsa, but also to be an example to the world of inclusion, equality, and equity across all races, genders, educational backgrounds, and socioeconomic statuses. We believe in leading by example and are proud of the diversity of our team and our portfolio.

Our Team:
43% Underrepresented
Minorities

Our Team:
43% Women

Intern Cohort:
57% Underrepresented
Minorities

Intern Cohort:
57% Women

University Investment Fellowship:
55% Underrepresented
Minorities

University Investment Fellowship:
55% Women

Our Founders:
43% Underrepresented
Minorities

Our Founders:
17% Women

Our Founders:
57% Immigrants

Our Team:

The team at Atento Capital shares a common goal of doing both good and well. We want to deliver for our shareholders, but we have an equal focus on doing good by our stakeholders. Each team member has a passion for making the world a better place, and we subscribe to the notion that social change can be driven through economic opportunity. We also believe in an inclusive universe of entrepreneurs that reflects the broader diversity of humanity. And we work with passion each day to achieve our goals and turn our dreams into reality.

The founding team has a very diverse background, but we are all generalist investors. Our team is a combination of successful entrepreneurs and traditional finance analysts. All of us are competitive and thrive on the process of improvement.

We are honored to work at Atento and feel incredibly grateful to work at the crossroads of entrepreneurship, economic development, finance, and social improvement. For us, work is not a chore, it is a passion, and that is the same mindset we look for in all of our partners.

Deji Abe

Searcher in Residence

Coming soon.

Michael Basch

Managing Partner

Mike on LinkedIn

Originally from California, I was born in San Francisco, and raised in Los Angeles. From 2010 to 2018, I lived primarily in New York with 2 years in London and a splash of Tel Aviv before moving to Tulsa at the beginning of 2018. Raised by two parents working in the non-profit space, I have always been torn by my inner struggle for doing good vs. doing well. During my summers as a kid, I remember volunteering at my mom's non-profit (The Shoah Foundation) in the mornings, and selling lemonade on my street corner in the afternoons. But my love for business largely prevailed, leading me to pursue a BA in Business at USC in Los Angeles, as well as an MBA there a few years later. My passions outside of work include running (I have run 5 marathons), volunteering, traveling, seeing friends, introducing strangers, and spending as much time as possible with my amazing wife, Romi and our son, Leo.

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved to work, and loved to immerse myself within different kinds of businesses, both as an operator and as an investor. I started working full time in high school as a barista at a coffee shop in LA, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Seven years later, I was operating 22 stores, overseeing nearly 400 people, and managing a $19 million revenue operation. I was in the coffee space through undergrad and business school. During that time, two close friends of mine started a t-shirt company out of our fraternity. I joined as the 5th partner, and the 5 of us bootstrapped the business to 150+ people across 6+ countries and $30 million+ revenue before selling to the publicly traded Superior Uniform Group. Prior to that sale, I had already begun angel investing, and eventually joined one of my portfolio companies, Spotad, as President.  Within two years there, we built the company to 45 people across 4 countries and $15 million+ in revenue. But then the 2016 election happened, and I felt compelled to follow my heart into the Clinton Campaign--initially as a volunteer and eventually helping to organize Madison, Wisconsin. When we lost the race, I was looking for ways to make an impact given the current American political climate, which led me to Tulsa. More on that here.

For the past two years, I have had the privilege of working closely with the George Kaiser Family Foundation in Tulsa, in a role that straddles both investment and economic development.  Some of the questions we were looking to address in the work we were doing were: “Can you be intentional about how you deploy capital that not only drives return but has a local economic impact as well?”  “What are the right economic incentives needed to attract and retain talent in Tulsa?”  “Can you make large-scale social change through economic opportunity?”  While many of these questions have yet to be answered, the initial work was compelling enough that it led to the birth of Atento Capital.  Now, with a committed team behind our work, we are looking to shift our efforts into turbo drive and really catalyze growth for 21st century jobs in Tulsa.  I couldn’t be more excited and grateful to be on a team undertaking this challenge.

Marcos Bazzana

Investment Associate

Marcos on LinkedIn

When I turned 18, after living in a very small city, I started travelling around the world, I have eagerly embarked on a 16-year journey: From Córdoba to Buenos Aires, from Israel to Paris, to Argentina again and from Israel ready for the next adventure, Tulsa, USA.

After graduating from the National University of Córdoba as a public accountant in 2011, I worked at PWC (Price Waterhouse Cooper) as an Auditor. This allowed me to be able to work with large, important and world-class Argentinian companies such as Arcor, Swiss Medical, Cargo Transportes and others.

At the same time, I put my knowledge to the test as an Ontological Coach, NLP, and financial advisor in the Simja Group consultancy where my job was to help and give advice to company directors and middle managers to achieve their economic and organizational objectives.

Working and travelling filled me with a feeling of fulfilment because these activities presented me with a unique opportunity to experience different work perspectives. I’m always on the hunt for the best company opportunities to invest and that led me to make the decision to go overseas and start afresh in Israel where I’m studying the vast investment world and also the stock market.

In 2018 I opened a technical investment analysis website where I shared information daily about the stock market. My articles were also published on prominent Spanish-speaking pages like Investing.com. Web clients, the famous word to mouth and some more years of constant study and perseverance, gave me the opportunity to start a fund management with well-regarded clients who remain satisfied by learning about the financial market and expanding their portfolios thanks to the investment strategies that I endow them with constantly.

I found my passion in market research and generating opportunities for investors. Undoubtedly, this is the work realm that I belong to, where I find personal and professional success.

Also, I find it fascinating to research where and how to invest. I’m prone to help others meet their goals, and I rejoice to see results that the entire team is proud of. That fosters me to continue working hard, learning and enriching myself.

And speaking of opportunities, I find in Tulsa all the factors that indicate an opportunity-filled city! Family friendly, community, workforce, excellent job options with the possibility of growth, a flourishing city that envision a lot of progress.

What better way to venture?

Christie Brannon

Investment Analyst

Chritie on LinkedIn

A passionate Houston native, with a commitment to impact and a love of the entrepreneurial world. My earliest entrepreneurial endeavors were in the classical music world, though I didn’t know to call it that at the time. I am a flutist of over 15 years and thought for sure that music was the career for me. I was fortunate to perform and compete all over the country, and coordinated a variety of musical programs. Though I loved the arts, I felt that there was a greater impact I could make if I put my time and energy toward something else. I will be forever grateful for the grit, creativity, and hustle I bring from the musical world to my career.

While I didn’t know exactly where to go from music, I knew that I would have the flexibility that I craved through a business degree. Fortunately, I stumbled into a Women in Entrepreneurship class at University of Houston, which had a greater impact on my life than I could’ve imagined. I went through the RED Labs accelerator as a result of that class, and I learned the ropes of the startup world. This is ultimately how I joined  the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, where I learned the ins and outs of running any kind of business. I was fortunate enough to begin an Amazon store, found a medtech startup, compete at pitch competitions, and run the largest competition / food festival / fundraiser on campus, raising over $250,000 annually and serving 40,000 guests.

Following graduation, I joined the family business in general contracting. I split my time between managing budgets, leading teams, creating supply chains, and even painting a few decks, all while working at a social good startup, Umanity. Umanity has created a philanthropic marketplace to improve resource distribution during disasters. Both of these companies helped me understand the pivotal role that businesses play in building sustainable communities. My passion for transformative entrepreneurship led me to apply to Venture for America, and ultimately, Atento, where the mission of helpfulness and community building aligned with my desire to create change.

Graham Cohen

412 Angels Team

Graham on LinkedIn

As part of my role with Atento, I am thrilled to be heading up the NWA expansion for our fund, where I will be leading a new venture between the George Kaiser Family Foundation and Walton Family Foundation to encourage and educate our region's leaders, corporate executives, and stakeholders about startup investing as an asset class. More simply put: we are building an incredible angel group, with members from Tulsa and NWA, to start investing in startups! I love building community and investing, and being able to combine the two to create socio-economic benefit for the entire region makes this job a perfect fit for me.

Roxanne Friedland

People & Culture Manager

Roxanne on LinkedIn

I’ve had a somewhat unconventional journey to arriving in Tulsa. I grew up living off the grid in Northern Idaho and so have an eye for all things related to agricultural sustainability. I also grew up as one of the only multi-cultural households in our area am highly sensitive to how communities define and expect conformity and “normalness”. In the wake of civil unrest in Albuquerque while I was attending the University of New Mexico, I changed my entire career path and accepted an offer to join Teach For America, Greater Tulsa in 2014.

My two years in the corps made me a life-long advocate of education and taught me just how interconnected the systems impacting education and educational success truly are. Since then, I’ve dedicated myself to working in roles and responsibilities I know have a direct impact on growth – educational, social, environmental, and economical – for Tulsa and its community members.

I’m an active participant in my faith community, I’ve made close friendships with people here, volunteer with regularity, spend my money at locally owned vendors, restaurants, and service providers, and bought my first home here. I believe Tulsa is an optimal place to put forth efforts for both personal and professional growth and that while I can see success for myself I can also do the same for the broader community.  Here, we can be professionally ambitious without sacrificing personal connections and familial pursuits; we take the time to enjoy life’s pursuits without losing touch with our professional goals. The balance possible here, isn’t available in most places.

Caleb Gayle

Venture Partner

Caleb on LinkedIn

Coming soon.

Will Gray

Managing Director, of Atento Tulsa

Will on LinkedIn

Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I spent the majority of my life playing tennis. By the time I was 18 years old, I had competed from coast to coast against all the best US players my age. Most of the other top junior players were from big coastal cities, but I took pride in being a tennis player from Tulsa, and I have that same passion for my hometown today. I later played for the University of Tulsa, where I played on a team represented by eight different nationalities, and it was that immersive experience which gave me an appreciation for other languages, cultures, and people. After playing at TU, I tried my luck on the ATP tour. But as it turns out, it’s tough to make a living playing professional tennis, so I went back to school to complete my Spanish degree and pursue my MBA.

I first realized that I enjoyed business when I helped organize one of the largest tennis events in state history. The exhibition featured several of the highest ranked professional players in the world and served as a benefit for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Oklahoma. Having volunteered as a Big Brother for several years, I wanted to help the organization at scale, and the best way I knew how was through tennis. The event raised funds and gained several new volunteers for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters. I've always had a passion for helping others, and through that event, I got my first business experience.

After completing my MBA at The University of Tulsa, I took a job at BOK Financial, where I always felt gratified working because of the incredible impact our chairman, Mr. George Kaiser, was making in the community. I spent the majority of my career as a fundamental equity analyst for the internal mutual fund company Cavanal Hill Investment Management, where I covered the Consumer Discretionary, Energy, REITs, and Communication Services sectors. While working on the buy-side, I became a CFA charter holder, and gained a strong interest in tech related businesses. I still love tennis and occasionally get to hit balls with my wife, Michelle (who played for the women's team at TU) but today I also enjoy riding bikes, doing yoga, and walking our dog. Michelle and I also love hanging out with friends and introducing others to the city of Tulsa!


Rosa Hathaway

Senior Investment Associate

I was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela and lived there until I was 12 years old. My father worked in the oil industry and accepted a job that moved my family to Oklahoma. You could say that engineering is my family’s trade as my father, brother, and many others in my extensive Latin family are engineers. I studied mechanical engineering at Oral Roberts University and, following in my father’s footsteps, began my career in the oil and gas industry. However, it was brief as I was offered a career-changing internship at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center with the Propulsion Test Team. The incredible excitement of testing a rocket engine was something I wanted more of and that’s how I landed at SpaceX.

During my 10 years at SpaceX as a propulsion engineer, I was able to complete my master’s in aerospace engineering at University of Southern California while working hands-on on the rocket engines that power the Falcon 9 and Starship vehicles. I will forever consider myself blessed to be part of a team that truly revolutionized and disrupted the aerospace industry with so many accomplishments: first private company to successfully launch and send spacecraft to the ISS, first landing of an orbital-class rocket on land, unlocking rocket reusability, first flight of a full-flow staged combustion cycle engine, reopening US capability to launch astronauts to space, among many others. In between all those milestones, some of my fondest memories were development engine anomalies (read: blowing up engines). Each anomaly meant we were pushing the limits that would lead to innovation and learning. In other words, it taught me to not be afraid to try the hard things, fail and learn fast.

In late 2020, my life-long engineering study buddy, Josh (aka my husband), our two energetic kids and I moved back to Tulsa after 10 years in Los Angeles. The Tulsa that we moved back to is not the same city we left and I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the Atento Capital team driving innovation and accelerating economic development in Tulsa. My hope is to continue trying the hard things and create a positive impact in my community while doing it.

Francis Jee

Entrepreneurial Engagement Integrator

Francis on LinkedIn

My focus is sourcing local deals, entrepreneur integration and strategy for local startups. I hope to make an impact by de-risking the entrepreneurial journey and diversifying the profile of those starting/owning businesses. My journey into entrepreneurship and philanthropy has been a global adventure; however, my early childhood in Zimbabwe is what made the work of Atento, GKFF and economic development in Tulsa resonate.

I attended a majority black early childhood education institute, then a Jewish primary school , a British style boarding school, and went to university in post- Mandela South Africa. These experiences gave me perspectives on diversity, inclusion and authentic, sustainable socio-economic empowerment that has influenced changes in my career.

My career started at Morgan Stanley and continued with Deloitte Consulting. I spent 8 years in 18 financial services transformation programs from $1 million to $80 million in value at leading institutions across the globe. My aptitude for “connecting the dots” led to a technology collaboration effort across 15 countries. I realized my passion for technologies and initiatives that promote inclusion and socio-economic empowerment, especially Blockchain as a modality for trust and transparency. This led to a DeFi project setting up an MVP factory for blockchain use cases culminating in a fellowship with the World Economic Forum.  

After an intense decade, I went to Hawaii and Colorado to recalibrate; I learned to ski and surf, played polo, and got a career coach! I started working with west coast founders on startup ideas including inventory management solutions, Art and Tech innovation academy and 3D printed prosthetics. I could also be found white boarding use cases for my own ideas in the sand between surf sessions (ranging from dating and relationship optimisation, digital nomad housing solutions and inclusion to equestrian sports). A fortuitous mention of an Israeli accelerator led me to discover Atento and the hidden gem that is Tulsa.

Nikiel Kim

Investment Associate

Nikiel on LinkedIn

Originally from Oklahoma City, I studied Finance and Economics at the University of Oklahoma. While there, I was a Board Participant for the Norman Public School Foundation, focused on educational outcomes for K-12 students. Additionally, I joined a City of Norman-sponsored working group that successfully proposed a framework to deploy municipally-owned fiber broadband in underserved communities. the ongoing pilot program is estimated to expand high-speed coverage for nearly 1,000 households.

Upon graduating, I became the finance lead for Volt, the telecommunications middleware solution to maximizing SMS throughput while maintaining network compliance. We raised a Series Seed in August 2021.

As an Analyst on the Investments Team at Atento, I am engaged in business diligence efforts and researching emerging industries.

In the evenings, I am building Debt DAO, a Web3-based marketplace that enables the buying, selling, underwriting, & management of debt on blockchains for the crypto economy. I Co-Founded the project alongside four other Founding members. We will have completed our Seed raise at the end of March 2022.

Anita Ly

Entrepreneur Engagement Manager

Anita on LinkedIn

Before I start my story of how I ended up in Oklahoma, take a moment and grab your beverage of choice! Depending on the time of day, mine is either black coffee or a nice pinot noir. Born in Minnesota, my family moved to Silicon Valley by the time I was four where I grew up and developed my excitement for STEM and new technologies. By the time I graduated from Santa Clara University with my B.Sc. in Biochemistry, I took on an Associate Scientist role at AbbVie Biotherapeutics in Redwood City. A little over two years later, with a thirst for new experiences and need for a cultural change, I moved to Oklahoma in summer of 2017 to pursue higher education.

During my time in Oklahoma as a graduate student, I joined the OK Catalyst team as one of the first hires and quickly became the Oklahoma Women Impacting STEM & Entrepreneurship Conference (OK-WISE) coordinator, overseeing the development and growth of the events. I helped raise over $20,000 in sponsorships, invited 62 local and national speakers, and successfully executed two 350+ attendee conferences in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Our team also helped 13 startups secure $13M in SBIR/STTR and $6M+ in private funding. With my background in scientific research, I sought out ways to contribute to our programs by starting the NIH SBIR Accelerator program designed to help faculty and graduate students win NIH SIBR funding. It was through these experiences that I realized a passion for the startup culture and desire to continue my journey in improving the technology and startup landscape of Oklahoma. All this work ultimately culminated in the honor as a 2020 NextGen Under 30 awardee in the Science and Technology category.

From my time planning the OK-WISE conference, I learned about the bustling developments in Tulsa and as I finished my MBA at the University of Oklahoma, I yearned to be involved. Atento means “helpful” in Spanish, and this truly speaks to the person that I am. From working in the lab at a pharmaceutical, to planning a conference for women to build their networks and to be showcased, or to starting a program dedicated to helping commercialize research discoveries, my mission has always been to create better opportunities for future generations by being helpful in any way I can. I truly believe that when you allow yourself to be open to new prospects, life gets more interesting.

Hugh Martin

Principal

Hugh on LinkedIn

I am a native of Anderson, SC who is passionate about technology, business, and community development. During my youth, I was an avid basketball player, which taught me teamwork, discipline and competitive grace, and led me to play on the varsity basketball team at Harvard College. There, I took advantage of as many opportunities as I could to broaden my interests, enhance my perspective and experience different walks of life.

This unlocked a lifelong obsession for Social Entrepreneurship within me, and in 2013, inspired me to co-found CommunityCode, an EdTech company that has taught computer science principles to thousands of diverse K-12 students, as well as educators and schools across the Southeastern US.

After participating in my own entrepreneurial journey, I knew that I also wanted to help other driven entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. To this end, I spent time at Plexo Capital, a global venture capital fund that invests in woman- and minority-led startups and seed funds; in Tanzania at ZOLA Electric, a late-stage solar technology company that provides more than a million people across Africa with access to affordable solar energy; and in management consulting in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I completed my JD at Columbia Law School in New York, NY, earned my MBA at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in Berkeley, CA and have had the honor of being recognized as a 2015 Hive Global Leader, a 107.3 JAMZ 2015 Upstate Black History Maker, a 2016 Management Leadership for Tomorrow Fellow, a 2017 Consortium Fellow, a 2018 Forbes Fellow by Forbes Under 30, a 2018 Haas Social Impact Fund Award Winner, a 2018-2019 Rankin Fellowship Recipient, and a 2019 Beyond Yourself Fellow.

In my spare time, I’m a fitness enthusiast and licensed private pilot who loves to travel. I’m looking forward to becoming a part of the Tulsa community and am excited to play a role in driving economic impact, community development, financial returns and large-scale social change through my work at Atento Capital.

Camille McCraw

Talent Recruitment Specialist

Camille McCraw has called NW Arkansas home for just a few years, but already she’s passionate about making a big impact in the heartland of Oklahoma and Arkansas. Working with people and new talent are her specialty—especially recruiting diverse transplants to the area. Initially called by the rich, vast amount of outdoor activities in this area, Camille quickly saw the opportunity and the strong sense of community in the area while visiting almost four years ago with her partner. It was an instant, “Yes!”, when Camille thought about the next steps in her life, both professionally and personally.

Undeterred by the pandemic that started less than a year after her move, Camille previously worked as the Human Resources Director for NW Arkansas’ leading regional professional live theater, Theatre Squared, from 2020 to mid 2022. The organization brought her on with the special focus on equity, diversity, inclusion, and access.  New to both the arts industry and local community, Camille was inspired to offer fresh ideas in people management all while keeping the culture of the organization true to its roots. Fruits of her labor resulted in unprecedented growth for the organization in a short amount of time, growing the company over 200% in just over a year.

Always thrilled by challenge and change, Camille has joined Atento Capital in the newly created Talent Recruitment Specialist role in the summer of 2022. Partnering with high-growth startups and organizations based out of Tulsa and now Northwest Arkansas, Camille considers herself an “HR swiss army knife”, leading the charge in increasing a healthy pipeline of high quality candidates to the area.

Camille also serves as the Emerging Professionals Chair for the Northwest Arkansas Human Resources Association (NOARK) and the Emerging Professionals Director for the Arkansas Society for Human Resource Management (ARSHRM) board. She looks forward to the next step in her journey of making a real difference by helping new talent achieve upward mobility in the local tech world.

Josephine Nelms

Director of Operations

Josephine on LinkedIn

I am a Tulsa native who comes from humble beginnings. The youngest of five siblings and daughter of an African American mother and a Ghanaian father, I was raised in a single-parent home. My mom worked in non-profit as a recreation director for low-income housing. Watching her drive inspired me to work hard at an early age and taught me the importance of having a variety of skillsets. At the age of 10, I was folding “The Chronicle” (a neighborhood newsletter) to earn income. By 12, I was charging girls to style their hair during lunch at school and had convinced my aerobics and weightlifting teacher to let me use the locker room as my salon. By the time I graduated from high school, I was a licensed cosmetologist. I used that license to work my way through college, while also maintaining a work study in media relations. At the close of my post-secondary education from the University of Tulsa, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and a minor in Chemistry. Outside of work, I love spending time with my husband Courtney, our daughters JoAnna and Allena, painting, and watching a lot of HGTV. 

Post-graduation, I followed in my mom’s footsteps and entered the non-profit sector for a span of 10 years. I worked as a Mentor Coordinator and a Director of Community Outreach. It was during that tenure that I discovered my strength in identifying gaps in compliance, developing processes, and finding ways to make processes more efficient. I am a proud alumna of Leadership Tulsa’s New Voices Class 11, the 2019 recipient of the Youth at Heart Alumnus Achievement Award, and the 2018 recipient of the Youth Work Professional Supervisor of the Year Award.

Atento’s mission falls in line with my personal mission. The word literally means “helpful” in Spanish. I am passionate about ending the generational cycle of poverty in my community. Our Atento team has been given the great gift of being at the forefront of nurturing and developing entrepreneurial talent, creating business sustainability, and in turn creating jobs in Tulsa. I am so honored to be a part of a team that is intelligent beyond measure and hungry for change.

Kumbaya Okorie

Platform/Investment Analyst

Coming soon.

Lasawni Reynolds

Investment Associate

I was born in Jamaica, and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. I graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelors in Finance and then moved to Houston Texas during the summer of 2018 where I worked as a Management Consultant across several industries. I’ve always been active in my community through mentorship and hosting events to connect new friends. My passions outside of work include working out, cooking, and reading. I moved to Tulsa because I feel like I’ve been called here to impact the community and support local entrepreneurs. Atento is a perfect fit for me based on their desire to give back to the community, bring talent to Tulsa, and develop talent. I feel blessed to be in my position and look forward to the journey.

Je’Angelle Smith

Operations Administrator

I am a Tulsa native born and raised, committed to being part of the force that propels others forward into their callings and passions however I can. I have been many versions of myself, however during my childhood the only thing that could pull me out of my shell was the arts, specifically dance. If I wasn't buried behind a book, the only other place you could find me was the studio, and that has been the story of my life since. I have been fortunate enough to make this passion of mine a career, being able to travel around the country to compete as well as perform in festivals and other events of the like. This led to my hobby becoming my main source of income  and when I am not at Atento I live the best of both worlds as a professional dancer, dance teacher, and choreographer.  This creative background is part of what fuels my desire to do everything in excellence and efficiency, which in turn developed other skills in me such as organization and administration! I first dove into this side of myself when I was a receptionist and admin for Southern Hills Country Club during undergrad.

After receiving a BA in Dance Performance from Oral Roberts University in 2021, I was very unsure of what my future would look like moving forward. I knew I wanted to continue to keep this large part of me alive because it is something I am so passionate about, but I also knew there was more beyond it. Especially staring down the barrel of student loans. In walks Atento Capital, whose values centered around helping others mirrors my own and is focused on my incredible home town.  I heard about the "Atenternship" program and the rest is history!  While I am new to the world of Venture Capital, I look forward to being the best version of Atento I can and assist wherever help is needed to ensure my fellow Atentans have all that they need to succeed as the Operations Administrator.

Sterling Smith

MD, Northwest Arkansas

Sterling is an investment professional with Atento Capital, leading the fund's expansion to Northwest Arkansas. His primary responsibilities include meeting with local investors, stakeholders, and portfolio companies while evaluating early-stage businesses for investment.

Sterling is passionate about leveraging technology, network, and access to capital to identify the next generation of diverse high-growth startups. Sterling began his career as a Computer Programmer Analyst at Walmart in Bentonville, Arkansas. He continued working in the industry for Lockheed Martin in Doha, Qatar, and Booz Allen Hamilton, in Washington, DC. In 2013, Sterling relocated to Austin, Texas, to co-found LaunchPartner, a startup studio focused on helping nontechnical founders develop scalable software solutions. He then founded Sandbox Commerce, a no-code mobile App Builder for brands and retailers featured in Shopify and BigCommerce app stores. Most recently, he co-founded Black Freelancer, a future-of-work marketplace helping Fortune 1000 businesses hire diverse talent.

Susan Spears

Investment Partner

Susan on LinkedIn

Susan is an investment professional with Atento Capital where she supports strategic management of the portfolio. Her primary responsibilities include sourcing and underwriting commitments into venture fund managers and reviewing coinvestment opportunities alongside those fund managers. Susan is passionate about bridging the gap between investing and economic development and looks to support mission-driven investments that drive impact for women and underrepresented populations.

Susan began her career as a CPA with Ernst and Young where she served enterprise clients operating in energy, consumer, and telecommunications. More recently, Mrs. Spears worked as an Associate with Argonaut Private Equity, a middle market buyout fund investing in the Industrial, Manufacturing, and Energy Services verticals across the Central United States.

Susan received an MS in Accountancy and BS in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame.

Brentom Todd

Community Outreach Manager

Brentom on LinkedIn

I am a newlywed husband to Zoe, a father to Nova, a son of Brenda and Tommy, a brother and friend to many.  I am a graduate of The University of Tulsa with a Business Management degree and a specialization in Entrepreneurship and Family-Owned Business. While being a full-time student-athlete, I gained invaluable leadership experience as part of the TU Football team, as well as strategic involvement in organizations such as the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, Team Leadership Council, and the FCA Leadership Board. Ultimately, I returned to work for TU after my football career ended to mentor upcoming student-athletes as well. In my time at Transformation Church, I have held a variety of leadership roles including: Project Manager in the Office of the Pastor, Human Resources Recruiter, Executive Assistant to Lead Pastor, and Facilities & Building Assistant. More than any of the titles, I felt my role was to be a vision cultivator and help propel the organization through its exponential growth in the last three years.

Alongside my roles, I have continually worked with entrepreneurs and organizations in their development from ideation and strategic planning to marketing implementation. For me Tulsa is home. I am born and raised here and although I am well-traveled, I can not see myself calling anywhere else home (although a beach house in Miami for vacations will be nice one day). I know I am called to Tulsa and I am excited to be able to add to the economic growth of the city through walking with entrepreneurs and helping to cultivate their visions.

Lawrence Watkins

Investor

Lawrence on LinkedIn

Lawrence Watkins’s life mission is to organize and facilitate the flow of resources to entities that will ultimately improve the state of the Black community worldwide. He is the Managing Partner of Malcolm Garvey Capital, an impact-focused holding company that strategically acquires assets to benefit all of its stakeholders, from investors to consumer.

A recovering entrepreneur, Lawrence has helped bootstrapped multiple 7-figure businesses serving a majority Black customer base. In 2007 he started Great Black Speakers, an organization that facilitates speaking opportunities to top through leaders. In 2016 Lawrence co-founded The Black Business School, a hybrid education platform that helps Black people to obtain a culturally relevant and practical education in all things wealth building at an affordable cost.

Lawrence earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Louisville in 2006 and an MBA in entrepreneurship from Cornell University in 2010.

Adele Weaver

412 Angels Team

Adele is a partner focused on investments and community at Atento Capital. Adele works at the intersection of entrepreneurship, investing, and social impact, where she focuses on opportunities that deliver meaningful returns, while also generating value for the world.Her career started with her first business in Tulsa, OK at age 11, an impact bakery, which she grew over the span of 10 years. With a passion for entrepreneurship, she then left her hometown of Tulsa to study business at New York University in NYC. After moving away, she quickly recognized the unique advantages Tulsa offers entrepreneurs. Seeing the potential, she returned to Tulsa to lead the opening of a business incubator, where she supported 100+ new founders. From there, she began investing and formed an angel syndicate on a mission to both back founders and to mobilize other investors.Today, she is grateful for the opportunity to work with the Atento team to continue to unlock potential in Tulsa.

TY Wong

Senior Investment Associate

TY on LinkedIn

I was born in Taiwan and moved to Shanghai when I was 11. Then I came to the US for high school in Cherry Hill New Jersey, college in Boston, and graduate school in New York. The experience of living in many different cities and stepping out of my comfort zone shaped my personality of being independent, autonomous, and open to new and exciting challenges.

Before Atento Capital, I worked at EduLab Capital Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm that focuses exclusively on the education market, investing in business models that transcend the traditional education landscape. I worked at Bank of Shanghai’s Investment Banking Division where I supported a $300M commercial mortgage-backed securities deal. During my time at Deloitte’s Financial Advisory team, I conducted financial due diligence for a $1.7B foreign acquisition deal in the energy sector. I also worked for an employee training SaaS startup and helped the founders to expand sales to vocational schools. I earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Boston University with magna cum laude. In my senior year, I represented Boston University and achieved 1st place in the New England Finals of Venture Capital Investment Competition held by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, and currently serving as a judge on the competition. I also earned a master’s in applied analytics at Columbia University.

I'm passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and creating positive impacts on people. Through Atento, I’m able to drive innovation, economic development, financial return, and large-scale social change through investments. My passions outside of work include traveling, music, basketball, video games, poker, and walking dog.

We’re always looking for great people and organizations to work with. We’d love to chat.

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