Melissa Widner



Lighter Capital

Melissa Widner is the CEO of Lighter Capital, the pioneer and leader in revenue based financing for tech start ups and scales ups. Lighter Capital is backed by National Australia Bank, Silicon Valley Bank and Voyager Capital. Melissa has a deep understanding of both the entrepreneur’s journey and the role a funding partner can provide. AS CEO, Melissa led two companies to successful exits returning over a 10x return to her investors. She was the founder and CEO of Silicon Valley based 7Software (acquired by CNQR, acquired by SAP). She was the Managing Director of NAB Ventures, the VC arm of the National Australia Bank where she led the bank’s investments into high growth fintechs, including Lighter Capital.

Melissa is also the co-founder and Chairperson of Sydney based Heads Over Heels, an organization that supports women entrepreneurs running companies with high growth potential.

Melissa served as a lecturer at the University of Washington's Graduate School of Business where she taught courses on venture capital and entrepreneurship. She was previously on the board of the AIC (AVCAL) and has served on the boards of several venture backed technology companies in both the US and Australia.

Melissa holds a Masters degree from Stanford University and a Bachelors degree from the University of Washington.

2:40 PM - 3:10 PM

Friday March 31, 2023

Alternative Financing for Venture Debt

  • Overview: Slowdown in VC capital opens path to alternative financing
  • Best practices and capital strategies for financing venture debt businesses
  • Operating and institutional capital perspectives on obstacles & opportunities
  • Why lending decisions should be data-driven to increase speed to funding
  • Managing rising risk in a rising rate environment