Project W relies on the support and contributions of a network of advisors, mentors, and investors who support the women in our community who are working to build great companies and advance their careers. Many of these supporters are men, and we asked some of our most devoted male allies why they believe it is important to help female founders build great companies and professional women build successful careers.
David True is a self-proclaimed "fintech geek and payments guy" who consults with companies of all sizes to unravel the complexity of payments, solve problems, and help them benefit from new technologies. David has also been a regular faculty member at numerous Project W programs sharing his experience and insights with female founders building fintech and other tech solutions.
"Inclusive systems are better for all parties, but making a system more inclusive requires effort, something I know from experience. The startup world exemplifies this challenge, and Project W provides me the opportunity to make that world more inclusive by leveraging my experience and network."
Claude Goetz is a member of DWT's Executive Committee and the immediate past chair of the firm's Banking and Financial Services Group. Since day one, Claude has been an evangelist for Project W's FinTech Women, a community of women entrepreneurs, investors, executives, and attorneys who are innovating in financial services.
"I support FinTech Women and Project W with time and resources for a lot of reasons. I see my wife, a lawyer, and my daughter, a college student, overcome all the same challenges their male counterparts do. And then they face all the additional challenges that only women do: biases, expectations, even biology. The playing field is NOT level. This is personal to me.
It's also professional. Women are too scarce at the top of both professions in which I work, law and finance. And yet women make up approximately half of the consumers of products and services in each. How are we supposed to anticipate and meet the needs of clients and customers with a misalignment like that? If we want to sell to women, we need the thinking OF women."
Jeff Seltzer is the managing partner at Pierce Yates Ventures and is an early stage investor in fintech and sportstech. He served as chairman of two governmental economic development agencies in the New York area and was an advisor for many years to the Federal government on both small business and trade. For years, Jeff has participated in Project W programming, mentored female founders, and shared his expertise in fintech, gaming, and sports with female founders in our community.
"Having spent my career on Wall Street with a focus on the intersection of economic development and public policy, I know that a key driver of sustainable economic growth is diversity and inclusion. Project W gives me a platform to mentor and network with exceptional female founders out to change the world. By sharing insights and my network with these founders, I hope to provide them with access and encouragement to help them achieve their goals in an accelerated manner."
Jake Dunlap helps operationalize sales and marketing efforts. With 30+ employees and a network of hundreds of top experts, Jake's firm Skaled helps companies build sustainable sales strategies. Jake is a prolific presence on social media, particularly LinkedIn, and has generously shared his knowledge of sales and marketing with hundreds of founders in the Project W community.
Check out what Jake had to say in this VentureBeat article about being "the only guy in the room" at our inaugural Women Entrepreneurs Boot Camp in 2016.