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EWIB-CT: How to Effectively Manage Relationships With Board, Investors, and Founders

December 7, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Join Executive Women In Bio-Connecticut for a fireside chat between Amanda Castellano from Merrill Lynch and Marie Rocha from Realist Ventures. They will be diving into the dynamics of managing your board, investors, and founders and strategies to get the most out of every stakeholder. Explore the stages of a company and how the relationships evolve from creation to IPO and the evolving needs. Dynamics will be discussed from the finance, venture, and company perspective and how best to leverage these relationships through effective scenario planning, strategic planning, and financing.


12:00 p.m. – 12:05 p.m. Check-in
12:05 p.m. – 12:10 p.m. Introductions
12:10 p.m. – 12:50 p.m. Fireside Chat
12:50 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Q&A

Speaker Bios

Amanda Castellano, Financial Advisor, Senior Portfolio Advisor at Merrill Lynch

Amanda Castellano’s commitment to women in business has been longstanding. As a young entrepreneur, Amanda started her own wellness and fitness company specializing in empowering female clients with the tools necessary to lead a life of health and confidence. While pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree at St. Francis College, Amanda volunteered at the local bereavement center and offered support to women in their time of need.

As a Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch, Amanda is fortunate enough to be able to work with biotech executives and founders, female entrepreneurs, and professional athletes. Having an understanding of the entrepreneurial spirit that drives her clients through her own experience, Amanda is committed to empowering them with the expert guidance and resources they need to succeed financially in their personal and professional pursuits.

Outside of work, Amanda enjoys spending time with family and friends and furthering her passion for volunteerism. Amanda serves on the Board of the Westport Young Woman’s League and is the current Chair of the Minute Man Race, a popular annual event that raises thousands of dollars for various charities throughout Fairfield County. She is also a board member of the Women’s Business Development Council and is a regular supporter of the Bridgeport Rescue Mission and Gillespie Center for those in need.

Amanda’s other passions include education and the arts. She serves on the committee that oversees the Westport Public Arts Collection and is also a supporter of the Westport Country Playhouse. Amanda enjoys volunteering at the local schools as well, volunteering with the ArtSmart program and sustainability initiatives.

Marie Rocha, Co-founder and General Partner at Realist Ventures

Marie Rocha is the founder of Realist Ventures, a venture fund based in Connecticut, funding early-stage biotech and software startups. She has over 20 years of experience in business and technology as a software engineer and serial entrepreneur. Marie’s first startup was a candidates matching platform for staffing agencies. She later co-founded a sustainable e-commerce store in 2010, followed by IMAK software, a startup building software and platforms for small businesses and nonprofits. Marie founded Realist Lab, a tech incubator to support entrepreneurs seeking help with funding, technology, and practical tools to scale their businesses and startups. As a champion for women, she is one of HAYVN Hatch’s founders, a quarterly women-centric pitch event to support women founders seeking funding, exposure, marketing, and growth.

In her spare time, she serves on several boards and mentors underrepresented founders with their businesses and startups.


December 7, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm