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Coalition Partnerships and Building Beyond Borders

Beyond Borders:

Roundtable With Dr.Sunny Zhang, Preeti Adhikhary, and Sofia Corcho. Moderated By Marisa Nieves.


Dr.Sunny Zhang

Dr. Sunny Zhang is a founding partner at Born Global Ventures, an early-stage venture investment firm focused on globally scalable tech startups led by resilient immigrant entrepreneurs. She is also a tenured marketing professor at the Cameron School of Business, University of St. Thomas-Houston. Her recent accolades include Outstanding Professor for 2021-2022 in the Cameron School of Business and the 2021 Small Business Champion of the Year at the U.S. Small Business Administration Houston District.

Dr. Zhang specializes in venture investing and venture building with 20 years of experience in behavioral science, digital marketing, social networks, and international business. Zhang’s publications on her academic research have appeared in premium scholarly journals. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at business schools for the past 19 years, including the University of Alabama, Indiana University, and Colorado State University, prior to joining the University of St. Thomas in 2012.


Preeti Adhikhary

I am the Founder of the Great Nepali Diaspora, a community of global Nepali professionals.

I have over 15 years of experience in various sectors such as tech startups, banking, and non-profits. Most recently, I completed a degree in advanced management from Yale School of Management and worked at a research-based global non-profit called Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), where I helped scale a mask project to Nepal and various Asian countries to reach 100 million people.


Sofia Corcho

As an exceptional project manager, I have natural leadership qualities. I can create a clear project vision, align team objectives, and employ innovative problem-solving techniques to anticipate and mitigate risks. I foster a positive team environment that encourages curiosity, confidence-building, and a culture of learning and growth.

I believe that individuals can achieve great things when they are part of a larger purpose, as reflected in my motto: "Be creative, be a leader, be a navigator, and above all, be a part of something bigger."


Marisa Nieves

Doer | Strategist | People-focused and data-driven leader

Keeping community, equity, and justice at the center of all I do.

Working to coin the term "anthro-policy" by using programs as a vehicle to affect policy and systemic change.

Lead and manage the strategy and execution of Innovation Studio’s entrepreneurial programs within the Greater Boston ecosystem. Cultivate and maintain relationships with partners and work with the surrounding areas to learn about the community's need's and best serve them by providing a community space offering workshops, programs, and workspace, and more.

The Power Of Good Leadership & Strong Partnerships

Roundtable With Ashley Meideiros, Zehra Naqvi, Ariela Bitansky-Shai, moderated by Parna Sarkar Basu 4PM

Ashley Meideiros

Experienced Business Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the Program Development industry. Skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Event Management, Public Speaking, Organizational Leadership, and Fundraising. Strong consulting professional with a Continuing Education focused in Business Administration and Management.

Zehra Naqvi

Head of Founder Community at Republic, Venture at Gold House, Angel Investor, & Columbia University Alumna B.A. in financial economics and art history.

Ariela Bitansky-Shai

An accomplished professional with 10+ years of experience as a Strategic Partnerships Expert and a Community Manager with a proven record of providing value, and helping startups scale.

Ariela is a creative and innovative thinker. A self-starter, with strong communication skills and the ability to create strong business relationships and collaborations.

She is the Program Director at Cela Innovation and the Element 46 Accelerator, where she supports early-stage startups, and cultivates a network of mentors (industry professionals, investors, entrepreneurs, and advisors). Ariela is also the leader of a NY Tech community of businesswomen, with over 900 members supporting one another's professional growth.

Ariela's skills and experience include -

✦ Identifying growth opportunities for tech companies.

✦ Establishing and leading communities of Entrepreneurs, Startups, and Tech companies.

✦ Creating valuable relationships and partnerships with members from the startup ecosystem - Venture Capital funds, Investors, Mentors, and Tech companies, which results in growth opportunities.

✦ Adding value to entrepreneurs and community members by initiating business and networking events, and bringing her network together by curating valuable connections.

Parna Sarkar-Basu

A tech evangelist, Parna Sarkar-Basu serves as a strategic advisor to transformational leaders and tech pioneers, and helps them launch and reinvent companies. A brand architect, Parna designs powerful programs to build and boost brands – corporate and individual. She also spotlights entrepreneurs and innovators and elevates them to industry thought leaders.

Her expertise include changing industry perception, building market relevance, corporate (re)-positioning and new market entry as well as supporting fund raising activities. Recipient of multiple awards, she has propelled tech companies into innovation leaders in highly competitive markets – artificial intelligence and enterprise software to robots and consulting services.

She frequently speaks and writes on a range of topics, including cognitive robotics, innovation for social good, digital transformation, tech trends and automation’s impact on the workforce.

A STEM champion, Parna builds and supports programs to inspire women in technology and future innovators. She empowers women entrepreneurs by expanding their digital footprint so they can enhance their personal brand and grow the business.

Arriving early? Check out Born Global - Boston - Meet & Greet at 2PM EDT

55% of US unicorns have at least one foreign-born founder. Join us if you are building, funding, and/or supporting immigrant-led startups.

Coalition Partnerships & Leaders Building Beyond Borders 

April 21 at 3 PM EST at Venture Cafe and streamed below

Join us in person at District Hall Boston

In addition to the virtual event streamed above, we will be hosting this session live at District Hall in Boston for all attendees to come out and watch the panel and network with each other.

A Startup Spring Event

Startup Spring summit surrounding TechCrunch Early Stage

This is a Startup Spring event powered by Prepare 4 VC, in partnership with Boston New Technology, Startup Grind Boston and the TechCrunch Early Stage conference. Check out all of the weeks featured events at

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