How SheTransacts Came to Be: A Founder First Fundraising Collective

February 21, 2019

It began back in 2019 It began back in 2019, a group of AllRaise Seed Boot Camp grads, came together to create another way to raise together vs. competing against one another in the many "winner takes all" scenerios.  While the numbers show clearly that women were continually an over-performing asset class and 100% of VCs say they want to invest in women, the actual % and $ of seed investment was unacceptable.  It just made no business sense on a multitude of levels. There is an obvious systematic failure and ultimately leaving money on the table for investors too!  We needed to identify the levers that were slowing down investments into this over-performing asset class in order to solve it for our own companies.

 “We thought if investors can invest together then what about founders raising together? It was a crazy idea, one so crazy that it may actually work!” says Alexis Snelling CEO of SheTransacts

Fenwick & West quickly came on board as the official host of STA’s monthly masterminds where founders across the country would work together to create a new startup road map of success.   During these Mastermind sessions the first SheTransActs cohort of founders came together to develop a raise process together as an ESG collective or club.  100% of all investments would go directly into the companies of cohort of the directly.  A collective is not another VC fund or 501c3 non-profit.

 “A collective is a group of entities that share or are motivated by at least one common issue or interest, or work together to achieve a common objective.  Collectives can differ from cooperativesin that they are not necessarily focused upon an economic benefit or saving, but can be that as well.” wikipedia

The first step was creating a safe zone where founders could strategize together online.  THe founding members came together each week from accross the country. The founding cohort memebers and pioneers were Brooke Sinclair CEO of Velour Imports in Houston, TX, Alexis Snelling CEO of Life.Cafe in San Francisco, CA, Therese Clark CEO of LadySuiteBeauty in LA, CA, Michelle Zaffino CEO of MyLibrarian, Remote Locations, Aparna Srinivansan CEO of Spoton.pet in NY, NY, and Kristen Carbone CEO of Brilliantly.co in New Hampshire. Together with world class experts they recruited they identified these key areas that founders needed to succeed:

  1. Peer to Peer Accountability Sessions- 90% increase of achieving micro traction goals with regularly scheduled with peer to peer calls.
  2. Fundraising Cohorts- creating an additional way to raise on shared ESG principles.
  3. Strategic Partnerships- expediting more sustainable growth and increase in ARRs.
  4. Asynchronous micro training- learn the same material at different times and locations in bite size pieces.
  5. Online Community- Asks, Offers, Resources + more that relate to the real time needs of all STA members.

STA is a made by founders for founders.  We are turning the valley of death into the valley of opportunity.  We’re putting our oxygen masks on first then helping the founder next to us.  

Timing is everything to a startup.  We have an open door policy for all members.  Founders can come in and out to access what they need, when they need it most.  

Collaboration over competition.  We are like minded founders who believe in the win-win model of success vs. the winner takes all model.  We have shared values of embodied leadership.  A fellow founders success does’t take away from another founders success.   We all level up as we all succeed and support one another.  

Diverse + more prosperous startup ecosystem for all.  We are diverse founders of a variety of industries with a variety of products/services.  We are not defined by our product but rather by how we lead.  We are ESG principled companies with embodied leaders.