Melissa L. Bradley,

Chief Curator

Melissa L. Bradley is a tri-sector leader with more than 20 years of entrepreneurship, investment and leadership experience. She is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Sidecar Social Finance, a social impact agency that provides impact investing advisory and capital services to individuals, institutions, and social enterprises. She is also Founder and Curator of Venture DC/Project 500, an initiative that seeks to empower emerging entrepreneurs who are addressing and solving some of DC's most pressing challenges related to health care, education, housing, economic security and access to financial services, specifically in Wards 7 and 8. Launched in 2015, the initiative has collaborated with the public and private sectors to bring human and financial capital to marginalized entrepreneurs across the City.

During the summer of 2016 Melissa was named as a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. In September 2016, Melissa was named Co-Chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) by Secretary Penny Pritzker from the Department of Commerce. In December of 2016 she was named to Mayor Bowser’s Innovation and Technology Inclusion Council (ITIC). 

Since 2012 Melissa has been a Professor of Practice at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University where she serves as an expert lecturer on Impact Investing, Social Entrepreneurship, Peer-to-Peer Economies and Innovation. In 2015 she was awarded the Entrepreneurial Faculty Excellence Award and the Joseph F. LeMoine Award for Undergraduate and Graduate Teaching Excellence and in 2016 she was awarded the MBA Excellence in Teaching Award. 

Melissa holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Finance from the School of Business at Georgetown University, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in Marketing from American University Kogod School of Business. 

adeleke omitowoju,

Program advisor

Adeleke Omitowoju is an early stage venture consultant and advisor based in DC.  He started his career in private equity where he worked as an analyst in New Delhi India for global fund Avenue Capital Group.  He then joined IBM as a Client Executive where he led complex deals in healthcare and energy and utilities.  After leaving IBM, he co-founded Ghost Note, one of DC’s leading integrated marketing agencies.  

He also co-founded Technoir, an annual pitch competition for tech entrepreneurs of color.  He advises DC policymakers and philanthropic organizations on strategies to develop and sustain inclusive communities for innovators and entrepreneurs.  He attended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) where he earned his undergraduate degree and MBA with a concentration in finance.  His core focus now is the development of scalable models that deliver support services to idea-stage and early-stage entrepreneurs of color that de-risk the startup, increase the survival rate and ensure capital readiness.