Lisa Calhoun is a venture capital visionary who created the Inclusion Premium investing philosophy. She founded the South’s first woman-led institutional venture capital firm, Valor Ventures, which has an inclusive portfolio full of fast-growth software companies with diverse teams.
Before Valor, Lisa founded a digital marketing agency recognized by Hubspot as one of the “Top 10 Agencies for Tech Startups.” There she supported hundreds of high-growth tech startups in early scale through their exit to public markets and acquisitions. In her early career, Lisa worked in IT consulting, helping large organizations solve complex problems with code.
With her passion for the premium returns possible through inclusion, Lisa founded the Startup Runway Foundation, a nonprofit which has grown into the largest platform connecting underrepresented founders to their first investor in the country.
Catch up with Lisa on the Atlanta Startup Podcast, where she hosts weekly episodes from the Atlanta VC scene.
Lisa earned her MBA from the University of Texas with a concentration in management science and quantitative methods. She credits her graduate stat professor Raydell Tullous for opening her mind to the beauty of finance. Lisa earned her undergraduate degree with honors on a National Merit Scholarship at Baylor University.
Education, Personal, and Fellowship
Lisa earned her MBA from the University of Texas with a concentration in management science and quantitative methods. She credits her graduate stat professor, who previously calculated global production models for Bell Helicopter, with opening her mind to the beauty of math as-applied-to finance. The first in her family to complete a degree, Lisa earned her BA, with Honors, on a National Merit Scholarship at Baylor.
Lisa is Chair of the Startup Runway Foundation and sits on several private company boards, including Sho.AI, SmartCommerce, and Goodfynd. She is a Trustee of the Woodruff Performing Arts Center, the fourth largest in the country.
Lisa is mentored by Michael Kim, founder of Cendana Capital, and Michael Mansfield of Mansfield Oil, ranked #46 in Forbes private companies. She is "benevolent dictator" of Class 23, serving her fellowship at Valor VC. She sponsored Peter Teneriello into Class 22.