Doyenne Group Highlights Women Entrepreneurs

By Judy Newman
The Wisconsin State Journal

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The “Doyenne Group” is a nonprofit established in 2012 to support women entrepreneurs. Heather Wentler, co-founder of the Doyenne Group, says she wants to make the Madison area in Wisconsin an identifiable center for women starting businesses.

The Wisconsin State Journal

It’s Election Day and you don’t know who to vote for. How do you get last-minute information on the candidates?

Emily Kuhn says the app she co-founded, 1myVote, is there to help with names, photos, and in some cases, bio information.

Looking for a way to highlight your business by posting a video on your website? Hinckley Productions has been producing videos for businesses for the past decade, founder and CEO Natalie Hinckley says.

Kuhn and Hinckley were two of the featured entrepreneurs at the Doyenne Group’s Spring Showcase on Wednesday night — the first such event organized by the Madison nonprofit.

Five local businesswomen each had five minutes to give a presentation about their companies.

Kuhn, whose day job has been to develop apps for the U.S. Social Security Administration for the past 15 years, started 1myVote with her husband, Sam Rajkowski, in March 2015 as a free, nonpartisan election information source.

With a smattering of small advertising buys on Facebook and word-of-mouth publicity, 10 percent of all the downloads of 1myVote in 2016 came on the two Election Days, April 5 and Nov. 8, Kuhn said.

“People were downloading (the app), standing in line (to vote),” she said.

Eventually, Kuhn said, a polling feature on the app could become a source of revenue for 1myVote.

Hinckley Productions creates videos and also offers live streaming of events, from concerts to sporting events to award shows. Belleville casual clothing company Duluth Trading Co. and Dodgeville apparel business Lands’ End are listed among Hinckley’s clients.

The other presenters included:

–Taralinda Willis, who co-founded Curate Solutions in the final days of the gener8tor accelerator’s 12-week mentorship program last
year. Curate mines public meeting agendas and minutes for development project information for use by construction companies and other industries.

–Corrina Crade, co-founder of MogaMind, a company that makes voiceover-guided music tracks to ease stress, like “yoga for the mind…with music.”

–Mary Romolino, whose Acme Nerd Games is developing educational online games. The first, “Houston, We Have Spinach!” aims to fight childhood obesity by offering nutrition advice.

The Spring Showcase drew about 75 people to the Yahara Bay Distillery in Fitchburg.

Heather Wentler, co-founder of the Doyenne Group, a nonprofit established in 2012 to support women entrepreneurs, said she wants to make the Madison area an identifiable center for women starting businesses.
“We do know that from 2012-2015, Wisconsin ranked last for women entrepreneurship, (and) last year (2016) Wisconsin rose to 38th ranking, which means programs, organizations and overall community support of women entrepreneurs is on a rise in our state,” Wentler said, referring to figures from American Express OPEN.
She wants Doyenne to help women get the proper resources to start and grow businesses here and for “other organizations from across the nation to look at Doyenne as a model to support women entrepreneurs.
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Doyenne raised $1.2 million in 2016 to help fund its programs.
Doyenne co-founder Amy Gannon said she wants women to come to the organization for help and advice to get through the challenges of creating a business.
“You can’t push hard for a big dream without feeling uncomfortable on the journey there,” said Gannon.
The Doyenne Group will hold a Mentor Match, connecting entrepreneurs with potential mentors, on Thursday.
(c)2017 The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.)
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