WisBusiness: the Podcast with Heather Wentler, executive director and co-founder of Doyenne

This week’s episode of “WisBusiness: the Podcast” is with Heather Wentler, executive director and co-founder of Doyenne. 

This nonprofit group supports and mentors women in the startup space through a variety of programs, including the Investor Accelerator that recently graduated its first cohort in March. Wentler discusses the impact of this program, which launched earlier this year. 

“Only 4 percent of all venture capital investors in the U.S. identify as female or women, so there’s a huge lack of what’s going on here, and also less than 3 percent of all VC investment dollars go to primarily women-led businesses annually,” she said. 

The 12-week program aims to address this disparity, getting more women into decision-making roles in the investment space. She said 60 percent of the first cohort have begun the process of becoming an accredited investor, or have already made their first investment. 

“It’s actually pretty similar to a startup accelerator, except you don’t walk away with an executive summary,” she said. “Instead you walk away with, here are next steps you could take to either participate in a fund that may be looking for new investors to come on board, or also opportunities of how you can leverage your personal wealth into making those decisions for investing in early-stage ventures.”

Listen to the podcast below, sponsored by UW-Madison: