Why W Fund?

Our team knows two things really well - the tech startup space, and gender equality in the tech startup space. Both of them need changing.

Through directly investing in outstanding companies led by innovative leaders, we invest in the technology of the future.

Our investment strategy

We invest in Pre-Seed through Series B companies. We also reserve a portion of our capital to invest in proven portfolio managers who share our mission and vision, and have a successful track investment track record.

 

At least 70% of our investments will be in women-led startups. At least 50% of those founders will also come from another traditionally underestimated group.

 

The remaining 30% must have one of more of the following characteristics:

-- Founder from a traditionally underestimated group,such as race, ethnicity, LGBTQ+ identity, socioeconomic status, nationality, age, or location.

-- Solution focused on increasing diversity, equity and inclusion.

Investment Team

Founding Partner

Kate Brodock

:: Founding Partner of W
:: CEO of Women 2.0
:: EIR for LaunchNY
:: Mentor for Techstars

Kate is Founding Partner of W Fund and CEO of Women 2.0. She’s lived in the tech startup world for over 15 years, and has played an active leadership role in the women in tech ecosystem for over a decade, having led a global organization focused on women in technology and entrepreneurship as its President for several years.

She’s also COO at Atribute, a corporate EdTech startup based out of San Francisco, an EIR at LaunchNY, and a long-time mentor for Techstars. She enjoys putting her 15-year experience in the tech industry to work advising and mentoring startups.

She was recently CMO of untapt, an AI-driven tech talent marketplace based in NYC and has held the role of Adjunct Professor in PR and Marketing at at Syracuse University.

Kate has spoken at and been featured in numerous places, including SXSWi, Collision Conference, Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored, IBT, MSNBC, TechCrunch and Al Jazeera America and writes for Forbes.

She has a BA from the University of Rochester, an MBA from Goizueta Business School at Emory University and an MA in International Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

When she’s not doing all *that*, she’s a very non-professional (but adventurous!) athlete, an equally as non-professional musician, can be found outdoors in any weather — skiing, biking, hiking, sailing — loves a good meal with bubbly, craft beer and good friends, hilariousness and life. She tries hard to read when she can, non-fiction only. Her husband is a startup-web-developer-turned-beer-guy and they now live on a hops farm in Upstate, NY. She can be found on Twitter at @just_kate.

Founding Partner

Lindsay Karas Stencel

:: Founding Partner of W
:: COO at LaunchNY

Lindsay is Founding Partner of The W Fund. She is a seasoned dealmaker and true venture fund operator, having managed six venture funds during the course of her career. In negotiating and structuring over 1000+ deals in her VC tenure, she now works to ensure that all W Fund deals are tracking to market standards to put the W Fund in the best possible position to have influence over the portfolio companies’ progress and to permit strong participation in future investment rounds.

As a licensed attorney in multiple states, Lindsay began her venture career on the pure deal side working in big law in in New York. After she obtained her MBA from THE Ohio State University, she shifted to a true venture role in 2008 when she joined NCT Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm based out of Columbus, OH. There she worked her way up the ranks from associate and in-house counsel, to become one of the managing partners and chief legal counsel, making her one of the first female venture capital partners in the State of Ohio. There she has worked with the firm to structure 100s of transactions and proudly assisted the firm in being the top performing venture firm in the Midwest for its vintage years (2008 and 2013, respectively), according to PitchBook. 

Then, in 2016, Lindsay, who is born and raised in Buffalo NY, became engaged with Launch New York, Inc., a Buffalo-based 501(c)(3) venture development organization that works to provide mentorship and funding to seed stage businesses, industry agnostic, in the 27 westernmost counties of the State of New York. During Lindsay’s tenure with Launch NY, the firm has become the most active seed fund in the State of New York (and one of the most active in the nation), with over 60 transactions in less than two and a half years, resulting in Lindsay being awarded the Early Stage Dealmaker of the Year by the Upstate Capital Association of New York for 2018. 

Lastly, Lindsay is an Adjunct Professor at THE Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, teaching 2L and 3L students about venture capital and venture deal structuring. Lindsay also is an active speaker nationally, advocating for diversity and inclusion of women and minorities in finance, as well as instructing licensed attorneys and business people across the country on the establishment of venture firms and venture deal structuring.

In her limited spare time, Lindsay enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her husband and slew of rescue dogs, and doing CrossFit at the gym she co-founded and owns with her husband, CrossFit Westerville.

Founding Partner

Allyson Kapin

:: Founding Partner of W
:: Founder and CEO of Women Who Tech
:: Co-Founder of Rad Campaign

Allyson is Founding Partner at W, and Founder of Women Who Tech. She’s been named one of the “Most Influential Women in Tech” by Fast Company, a “Tech Titan” by the Washingtonian, and “one of the top 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter” by Forbes for her leadership roles in technology and social media. Allyson is the Co-Founder of Rad Campaign, and has helped the largest and smallest nonprofits, foundations, and philanthropists build websites, apps, and national campaigns to power fundraising and grassroots movements.

Her campaigns have been recognized with several prestigious web awards and featured on several top media networks ranging from CNN to NPR to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She is passionate about the intersection of social change with online technologies and social communities, a topic she deeply explores in her nonprofit bestselling book Social Change Anytime Everywhere, co-authored by Amy Sample Ward of NTEN. The book is an action-oriented guide that shows nonprofits how to build and mobilize their communities through multifaceted campaigns, and by integrating online channels with offline tactics.

As the Founder of Women Who Tech, she launched one of the largest global programs, the Women Startup Challenge, in partnership with Craig Newmark of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies to disrupt up a culture and economy that has made it exceedingly difficult for women entrepreneurs to raise capital. She’s on a mission to close the funding gap. 

Allyson sits on the Board of Directors for the Women League of Voters. She’s also been on the Advisory Board for the Anita Borg Institute and NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference Planning Committee. She’s a jury member for the Webby Awards and speaks at conferences across the U.S. ranging from SXSW to Personal Democracy Forum, NTEN, and BBCON. Allyson is a contributor to Fast Company and Forbes focusing on trends in technology. 

Advisor

Shaherose Charania

:: Advisor to W
:: Senior Director of Nike’s Valiant Lab
:: Founder and former CEO of Women 2.0 and Founder Labs

Shaherose is an Advisor to W as she holds her role as Senior Director of Nike’s Valiant Lab. She is the Founder and former CEO of Women 2.0 and Founder Labs, and has spent 15 years as an early-stage startup advisor.

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