Monique Woodard is a seasoned venture capitalist and former operator at the intersection of technology and newly powerful consumer groups.
In 2021, Monique founded Cake Ventures and serves as Managing Director. Cake Ventures is a seed-stage venture capital firm with a specific focus on investing in the future of technology being driven by major demographic changes including: aging and longevity, the increased spending power of women, and the shift to majority-minority. To date, Cake has backed companies at the seed and pre-seed stage including Guaranteed, Pamper, Bright, and Rares.
Monique invests in companies with global ambitions that are creating technology products that meet the needs of tomorrow’s internet users.
Before starting Cake Ventures, Monique was an angel investor backing companies like Mented Cosmetics, and a venture investor investing in the startup ecosystems across the U.S. and Africa. As Venture Partner at 500 Global (a venture capital firm with $2.7B AUM), she invested in early stage companies like Silvernest and Blavity between 2016 to 2018. She also led 500’s investing and deal flow pipeline in sub-Saharan Africa and led a group of investors, tech executives, and founders on Geeks on a Plane, a tour of Africa’s most thriving startup ecosystems.
Following her time at 500 Startups, Monique continued her investing as a Venture Scout at Lightspeed Venture Partners. She also became a trusted advisor to foundations interested in increasing capital allocation to diverse fund managers and entrepreneurs; as well as venture capital firms like SoftBank where she is an Advisor on Emerge, its early stage pipeline program focused on companies led by underrepresented entrepreneurs.
Before moving to the investor side of the table, Monique spent 15+ years in the tech industry and she has been an entrepreneur, product-focused operator, the founder of a national community of tech entrepreneurs, and advisor to cities on innovation and entrepreneurship.
Monique was also the co-founder of Black Founders -- a community of tech founders started by four friends in a San Francisco restaurant over shrimp and grits and jazz music. Their hackathons at historically black colleges and universities and workshops and conferences for founders are designed to move entrepreneurs from idea to execution. With a mission to increase the number of successful Black entrepreneurs in tech, the organization cultivated a new generation of tech founders from Silicon Valley to New York City, Atlanta, Austin, and several HBCU campuses.