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Expanding programming for entrepreneurs and investors through the Startup Ladies Fund

PRESS RELEASE - August 28, 2017

The Startup Ladies is offering a series of new membership programs for entrepreneurs, investors and support service vendors committed to starting up and scaling businesses. Kristen Cooper, CEO and Founder of The Startup Ladies, reports that “Over the last three years, we’ve hosted more than 80 educational events, filled more than 1,500 seats and are supporting more than 50 entrepreneurs. We needed to grow our infrastructure to support more first-time entrepreneurs and investors so they have the skills, connections and funding necessary to startup sustainable, scalable companies.”

The organization is doing some heavy lifting in the startup space. It provides year-round education and access to funding to entrepreneurs as well as training to first-time investors. Access to the speakers alone has opened doors to clients and investors for several attendees. “We’re spending more time than ever helping founders develop the skills and networks necessary to startup and scale,” said Cooper.

The Startup Ladies’ signature program is Startup Study Hall. Hundreds of people have attended while working on concepts for product, service, and tech companies. The program provides the structure, consistency, and accountability founders need to develop competencies such as: business model selection, product validation, prototyping, process for developing a minimum viable product (MVP), financial forecasting, pitching, fundraising, marketing, sales, and scaling.

Startup Study Hall will continue to take place the first and third Wednesday of each month from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. Locations rotate between The Hatch, Level Office, The Speak Easy, and speakers’ corporate offices. Admission is free for members. Non-members may purchase a ticket to an individual Startup Study Hall for $25 through Eventbrite.

In fall 2017, The Startup Ladies will launch two new educational programs - Startup Investing 101 and She-Suite (a play off of C-Suite).

Startup Investing 101 is an educational program for individuals who have the financial capacity to invest $5,000+ in a startup. Educational workshops will take place monthly and will cover the following topics: the process of investing in startups, how equity works, how to evaluate business plans and risk, what is an exit strategy, how to support founders, and legal and tax responsibilities for investors. Participation in the Startup Investing 101 program will prepare first-time investors to invest in scalable startups.

She-Suite is another educational program for members addressing mental health issues that entrepreneurs encounter, but, are often too busy to address. Licensed therapists will lead monthly discussions and cover problems women founders and leaders face regularly while providing actionable steps to make positive changes. The goal of this program is to promote emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Both women and men are invited to attend these events, however, the focus will be on female experiences and perspectives.

In fall 2017, The Startup Ladies will launch a new grant program for members.

The Startup Ladies have learned that one of the most significant barriers for women founders launching a company is due to the lack of funding at the very beginning of the startup process. Despite the fact that 38 percent of U.S. businesses are owned by women,only 2 percent of the money invested by venture capital firms goes to women-owned firms.

The Startup Ladies Fund will now provide seed grants to members proving out a scalable business concepts in order to address the lack of funding for female founders. Applications are rolling. Grants will be made twice a year. Awards may be applied to: product prototyping, wire-framing, technology design and development, and manufacturing a first run of a product to collect feedback from customers.

The Startup Ladies are based in Indianapolis and operate a chapter in Terre Haute led by Shelley Klingerman. The company is making plans to launch new chapters in 2018.

The new programming and fund will be formally rolled out at The Startup Ladies third anniversary luncheon on August 29, 2017 at Tilly’s in Saks Fifth Avenue at Keystone at the Crossing. The event is sold out.

Charter membership for entrepreneurs is half off through September 30, 2017. Entrepreneurs, investors and support service vendors may purchase annual memberships and register for events at

About The Startup Ladies

Founded in August 2014, The Startup Ladies is a membership organization that identifies, educates, connects, and increases investment in women entrepreneurs starting up and scaling businesses. The three-year old company educates first-time founders through "Startup Study Halls" and first-time funders through "Startup Investing 101" programming. The organization increases investment in women-owned companies by hosting pitch events, educating new investors, and making connections between founders and angel investors. The Startup Ladies believe that diversity is a competitive advantage. Anyone (men included) who has a passion for startups and investing is invited to become a member and participate in programs and events.


Kristen Cooper, CEO & Founder

The Startup Ladies


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