Oakland's values of justice and inclusion will be reflected in the way we innovate. By serving as the connective tissue of Oakland tech entrepreneurship, Oakland Startup Network will help create opportunities for local founders to navigate the range of resources available towards their business development and attraction of investment.
OSN will primarily serve early stage tech entrepreneurs with an emphasis on serving founders from underrepresented groups. We are aligning all of Oakland's tech stakeholders to create and activate an ecosystem focused on supporting homegrown entrepreneurs. Together, we can activate a thriving ecosystem and reduce the barriers underrepresented entrepreneurs face in the critical early years.
Chris McLemore, Manager
Chris McLemore is the Oakland Startup Network Program Manager at the Kapor Center for Social Impact. His focus is to build community and both identify & assess early stage tech startups from idea to pre-seed.
Prior to joining Kapor Center, Chris spent a few years working in Finance and Product for companies like Nestlé and Gap, while also bootstrapping a startup of his own. In 2017, Chris helped launch the Kapor Center Innovation Lab and now serves as an advisor. Chris also is an experienced entrepreneur and an advocate for the Black & Brown tech community by helping disrupt bias throughout the tech ecosystem.
Jose Corona, Advisor
Jose Corona is the Director of Equity and Strategic Partnerships under Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. In this role, Jose serves as senior advisor to the Mayor, with the responsibility of creating, coordinating, and facilitating public/private/ philanthropic partnerships that foster equitable opportunities and benefits for the people of Oakland.
Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Jose served as Chief Executive Officer of Inner City Advisors (ICA) from 2004 to 2015. He led ICA to becoming a nationally recognized, award-winning organization for its work on scaling small businesses and entrepreneurs. In the ten years with ICA, he oversaw a portfolio of companies that created over 5,000 jobs, creating over $150 million in wealth for local residents and collectively generating over $200 million in revenue. He also created a platform for hundreds of professionals to participate by contributing over $25 million of total pro bono investments into the ICA mission. His innovative thinking led ICA to launch Fund Good Jobs (now merged with ICA) – an investment fund focused on using capital to influence the creation and retention of quality jobs.
Jose serves on the Board of several organizations including ICA/Fund Good Jobs, BALLE and YMCA of The East Bay. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from UC Davis, and Entrepreneur Management Development Certification from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Lili Gangas is the Chief Technology Community Officer at the Kapor Center for Social Impact. In this role, Lili helps catalyze Oakland’s emergence as a social impact hub of tech done right – where tech, diverse talent, and action driven partnerships can tackle pressing social and economic inequities of our communities head-on.
Lili is a proud immigrant from Bolivia who believes in fostering inclusive tech ecosystems for all. She’s been an active Startup Weekend organizer – helping launch Women’s Edition, Impact Edition, and Latinx in Tech Editions. She is an advisor to tech focused nonprofits such as AI-4-All.org, 1Degree.org, Dreamwakers.org, as well as an East Bay College Fund Mentor.
Marisa Raya, Advisor
Marisa Raya works for the Economic and Workforce Development Department at the City of Oakland, where she helps startups, nonprofits, and established companies navigate public regulations, find space, and understand the Oakland market. She leads digital business service development as well as the creation, adoption and implementation of Oakland’s first Economic Development Strategy in 20 years.
As a former Regional Planner with the Association of Bay Area Governments, she helped to create Plan Bay Area, the Bay Area’s first long-range plan integrating land use and transportation, and led the Development Without Displacement project. Marisa was the founding administrator for the Program on Human Rights and Justice at MIT, an interdisciplinary program that promotes a human rights-based approach to international development. She has a Masters in Spatial Planning from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, and a BA with honors from Columbia University.