Graham & Walker is a venture firm that activates the potential of all women in business – not just founders – through programs, community, and capital investments from its debut fund.
SEATTLE, Washington, October 14th 2021 — Female Founders Alliance – the largest US-based network of women and non-binary founders, investors and startup advocates – today unveiled a $10 million venture fund that will invest in technology companies led by women. The company also announced it has rebranded to “Graham & Walker” effective immediately. Founder and Managing Director Leslie Feinzaig announced the new fund and name during her keynote at Graham & Walker’s inaugural Women’s Leadership Summit.
Investors in the new venture capital fund include Bank of America; Carta Inc.; leadership coach and former VC Jerry Colonna; Docusign founder Court Lorenzini; American Airlines and eBay Inc. board director Adriane Brown; and renowned expert and author Ruchika Tulshyan. The fund has 105 investors: two thirds of whom are women, one third are people of color, and 40% are first-time fund investors.
“This fund is at the vanguard of a necessary evolution of the capital markets, and I am proud to be part of that journey,” said Lorenzini. “Graham & Walker is leading by doing, and we need more investors to follow their example.”
The fund started investing in early 2021. Early investments include:
- Pair Tree – software facilitating the process of adoption
- Health in Her Hue – a telehealth platform centering Black women
- Datacy – a pioneer in data privacy
- Brightly – a leading community for eco friendly living and shopping
In an interview during the Women’s Leadership Summit with Forbes reporter Rebecca Szkutak, Feinzaig explained the fund and its new name were two years in the making. “Our roots are a community of women startup founders. But being a founder is just one part of your career. You have more options – you can invest, you can advise, you can serve on a board. We wanted our new name to reflect the depth of potential that is just waiting to be activated. The name is a nod to all pioneering business women, inspired by the first woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and the first woman to become a self-made millionaire. It’s a brand that makes you question your assumptions about who is behind a venture capital fund with two common last names.”
In addition to its annual summit, Graham & Walker will offer educational programs and training for rising leaders, founders and would-be investors. The company will continue to operate its popular startup accelerator, Ready Set Raise, as well as its private community for startup founders.
For more information please visit www.grahamwalker.com
Link to press images here.
Supporting quotes from Limited Partners in Graham & Walker Venture Fund
“You won’t find a more efficacious advocate for the women and non-binary founder community than Leslie Feinzaig, and the very same holds true for her talents as an investor. It is a joy to get to be a part of her story, and the story of the community emboldened by her vision and leadership.”
- Julie Sandler, Cofounder and Managing Director of Pioneer Square Labs
“I could not be more proud and excited to be an investor in Graham & Walker’s innovative fund! Venture capital—who we bet on and the companies we elevate—will shape the public markets and societies of the coming decades. I believe this team led by Leslie Feinzaig is the best one to build a portfolio of mighty companies that the world actually needs.”
- Ruchika Tulshyan, founder, Candour, author and early-stage investor
“I have known Leslie Feinzaig for years and have been impressed by her tenacity and authenticity. She’s a business builder, knows the entrepreneur journey first hand, and easily attracts expert talent to join her. The mission is important and I’m proud to support it as an LP, but this isn’t altruism. Graham & Walker have quality deal flow, a seasoned operator as GP, and a reputation for drive and determination. I’m excited to be on board.”
- Michael Schutzler, CEO Washington Technology Industry Association
“Graham & Walker has a bold vision for the kind of future I want to see, a team that executes like no other, and a visionary leader. I am proud to be an investor in this fund that will change the financial markets for the better.”
- Joe Landon, Vice President, Advanced Programs Development at Lockheed Martin
“As a long-time angel and VC, I understand that the best way to win deals and provide out-sized returns is to see deals early, optimally before anyone else does. Graham & Walker’s tight relationship with the community does just that, providing the fund with early access to the best startups coming out of the most selective accelerator for women in the country. This early access has me incredibly excited to be a part of this first Graham & Walker fund.“
- Geoff Entress, Cofounder and Managing Director of Pioneer Square Labs
“Throughout all of my interactions with Leslie and her team, I have been consistently impressed with their ability to identify and support strong, seed and early-stage company leaders focused on addressing large, pesky problems sometimes hiding in plain sight. Their network of engaged experts, mentors and talent is well positioned to help source and support promising entrepreneurs in order to achieve success rapidly while building tremendous direct and indirect value in the process.”
- Enrique Godreau III, entrepreneur and investor, cofounder of Voyager Capital
“I am always seeking ways to amplify my impact at work, in my community and in particular where people have been overlooked, under-represented, or just unable to connect to opportunity. Women representing only 2.3% of VC funding means there is a whole lot of opportunity and potential. These leaders need to be unleashed in the hard local and global problems and shape a new generation of entrepreneurs. My participation in this fund is in part a nod to all women and their potential, but also specifically to the leadership team of Graham & Walker who have a great holistic strategy to make entrepreneurs successful.”
- Merrie Williamson, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Azure Apps, Infrastructure & IOT
“Capital is a commodity, but communities are unique. Graham & Walker has spent years building community around an undeniable shift in the startup economy. The fund is a natural next step in that flywheel. The combination will make G&W a go-to partner for the next generation of founders.”
- Adam Schoenfeld, 3-time entrepreneur, podcaster and angel investor
“While it’s painfully apparent how much untapped upside there is in women-founded companies, not every investor has the access, team and reputation to fully realize that potential. I’ve known Leslie and her team for several years and have seen the transformation they’ve been able to make in this space. I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to invest in Graham & Walker’s first fund, from both a financial and impact standpoint.”
- Rebekah Bastian, CEO & co-founder of OwnTrail
“Research has shown again and again that women leaders are responsible for radical innovation, as well as increased productivity and profits. Yet female entrepreneurs receive only a fraction of the funding enjoyed by their male counterparts. As a woman business owner and mother of a teenage daughter, I can think of no better way to positively impact our future than by investing in Graham & Walker. Not only will these founders deliver incredible results, they’ll show women and girls everywhere what’s possible.”
- Mikaela Kiner, Founder & CEO of Reverb People
“The facts are clear: women-founded companies outperform the norm. I have long admired and appreciated Leslie Feinzaig, the Female Founders Alliance team, and their important work. The Graham & Walker fund is special. I’m grateful for the opportunity to participate.”
- Will Daugherty, CEO Pacific Science Center