Rochester Women Investors Forum

The Entrepreneurs Network and Chloe Capital share the goal of investing in women, with money and with education. On Dec 3-4, we made history together during the Rochester Women Investors Forum – the first event of its kind for women entrepreneurs in Upstate NY. Congratulations to Christine and Caroline Strzalka, co-founders of It’s By U, for receiving our first investment on the Chloe Capital National Tour!

Our mission is to increase the number of women investors and provide more funding for women-led tech companies. Working together, TEN and Chloe Capital are building a movement that supports women reaching their fullest potential, and having opportunities equal to their male counterparts.

It’s By U delivers DYI flower arrangement kits from the farm to U. The founders are already selling over 400 kits a month, and they’re using blockchain and predictive analysis technology to increase profit margins. Chloe Capital’s investment has already helped It’s By U launch an enterprise division. New clients include WeWork and Primary, as well as several of the most respected nursing homes in the country. Right now the U.S. retail flower market is $16B. Victory smells so sweet.

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The following women-led innovation company will receive a $100,000 investment from Chloe Capital, prizes and the opportunity to pitch our co-funding partner, Astia Angels, for follow-on funding!

It’s By U (New York, NY)
Co-founders Caroline Strzalka; Christine Strzalka

DIY flower arrangement kits delivered from the farm to you. It’s By U sends everything you need to create your own flower arrangements: the farm-fresh flowers, tools, containers, and a streaming video lesson. The easy kits let you make your own gorgeous bouquets and centerpieces for weddings, holidays, and more.


Congratulations to the following women-led companies. Each will receive prizes and benefit from curated introductions to members of Chloe Capital’s national network, including Astia Angels, Portfolia and Next Wave Impact. 

BetterBred (Buffalo, NY)
Founder, Natalie Green Tessier

DNA-based conversation software preserving historic breeds and beloved pets. Betterbred gives the breakdown of a dog’s genetics for purebreds, to predict future illnesses, and non-purebreds, to determine ancestry.


BrandVerge (New York, NY)
Co-founders Mollie Kehoe; Lynn Browne

Marketplace + workflow tool that makes it easy for advertisers to plan premium media partnerships at scale. For media companies, BrandVerge will shorten the sales cycle for ad space, provide qualified leads, and have a higher consideration rate. For advertisers, BrandVerge will increase market transparency, streamline the process for selling ads, and lead to stronger performances for the ads.


Immersed Games (Buffalo, NY)
Co-founders Lindsey Tropf; Caroline Lamarque

Harnessing the engaging power of video games to create a next generation STEM learning platform. Their flagship product, Tyto Online, is a video game for middle school students to learn science content and skills. The company has sold over 26,000 copies of their smaller first product, received grants from the National Science Foundation and Department of Education, and was recently awarded investment from New York State through the 43North business competition.


It’s By U (New York, NY)
Co-founders Caroline Strzalka; Christine Strzalka

DIY flower arrangement kits delivered from the farm to you. It’s By U sends everything you need to create your own flower arrangements: the farm-fresh flowers, tools, containers, and a streaming video lesson. The easy kits let you make your own gorgeous bouquets and centerpieces for weddings, holidays, and more.


Outgift (New York, NY)
Founder Alice Kittrell

A retailTech platform focused on finding the right gift for every occasion and person. We use A.I. against a thoughtfully curated library of brands and products to make recommendations based on each recipient’s unique preferences and interests. The engaging social platform enables users to connect with each other and discover what their loved ones truly want while still allowing them to surprise and delight.


Meet our cast of Super Angels and ecosystem leaders who are committed to advancing solutions to the gender & diversity gap in entrepreneurship and venture capital. 

Dr. Michele Madansky (Keynote & Special Guest)
Dr. Michele Madansky runs a media and market research consultancy specializing in online media and advertising. Her clients have included top digital publishers and e-commerce companies including BuzzFeed, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Chegg and Postmates. She is also the co-author of Elephant In the Valley, a widely cited study on gender bias in Silicon Valley. Dr. Madansky will also be speaking during the Pitch Event. Kate Brodock, Co-founder and CEO of Women 2.0, will conduct the interview. Women 2.0 is a global brand for women in tech and startups. Content focus on gender diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. 


Barrie Grinberg (Finding Winners; Forging Community)
Barrie Grinberg is Head of Community Partnerships at Venture for America – a two-year fellowship program for recent grads who want to work at a startup and create jobs in American cities. Barrie will share insight on how VFA selects winning fellows, and ways to promote inclusivity in hiring. Remember: Companies with diverse leadership teams grow faster and produce more returns for investors. 


Carlos M. Guttierez, Jr (Man-Bassadors Helping Women Leaders)
Carlos Guttierez is an active advisor and investor to early stage and growth companies. He’s a General Partner with Impala Ventures, Founder of High Point Group, LLC and Managing Director of Golden Seeds. Carlos is also an advisory board member to Chloe Capital. He’ll discuss the importance of male allies, and how they can help support and invest in women entrepreneurs. Carlos will be interviewed by Chloe Capital investor and fellow #manbassador Sameer Penakalapati, founder of the multi-million dollar IT firm, Avani Tech Solutions.


David P. Veniskey (Opportunity Zones: Social Value Investing)
David Veniskey, CPA, AEP, is a Partner at EFPR Group, LLC and an investor in Chloe Capital. David has acquired experience in numerous industries including emerging tech and engineering. He assists with business advisory services, investment incentives, and mergers and acquisitions. David also serves as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for NYSERDA. He’ll share the latest details on the new Economic Opportunity Zones, and how investing in real estate and companies within these underrepresented areas will help revitalize our local economies.  


Expert Panel (Term Sheets)
Jean Kase – Executive Director, TEN; Board Member / Investor, Chloe Capital
– Theresa Mazzullo – CEO, Excell Partners, Impact Capital, FLF Fund
– Mary O’Connell – Attorney, Trevett Cristo; Investor, Chloe Capital
– Sharon Samjitsingh – Co-founder, Health Care Originals


Co-investor Panel (Pitch Event)
– Sharon Holliday – RIT Venture Fund
– Miranda Magagnini – Chloe Capital
– Theresa Mazzullo – Excell Partners
Sameer Penakalapati – Chloe Capital


DEC 3, 2018 | Rochester, NY 

Investor Dinner (6-8PM)
This dinner is exclusive to Chloe Capital investors, top sponsors, our pitch finalists and approved accredited investors interested in learning more about our movement to invest in women entrepreneurs and build a community to support their growth.


DEC 4, 2018 @ The Penthouse at One East Avenue

Investing Workshop (11:30AM-4PM)
Connect with our cast of “Super Angels.” Leading women in angel investing and venture capital will share industry insights through inspirational fireside chats, panels and investor talks. This workshop is perfect for accredited individuals interested in startup investing. Founders at the helm of venture-backable companies will also benefit from hearing the investors’ perspectives. Supportive male allies welcome. Speakers bios included below.

11:30AM – Registration / Introductions
12:15PM – Session 1 featuring Dr. Michele Madansky
1PM – Buffet Lunch
2PM – Session 2 – Finding Winners Fireside Chat
2:45PM – Break / Exhibit Tables
3PM – Session 3 – Term Sheet Panel
3:45PM – Session 4- Manbassador Fireside Chat
4PM – Break / Exhibit Tables

Pitch Event (5-8PM)
Five women-led innovation companies from across New York State will pitch their ventures LIVE. One company will receive an investment from Chloe Capital, and the opportunity to pitch our funding partner, Astia Angels, for follow on funding. A panel of experienced investors will help select the winner. These VC’s and angels represent leaders in the movement to invest in women entrepreneurs.

5PM – Registration / Introductions
5:15PM – Startup Pitches
6:15PM – Investor Judging / Exhibit Tables / Reception
7PM – Welcome by Monroe Co Exec Cheryl Dinolfo
7:15PM – Fireside Chat with Dr. Michele Madansky
7:30PM – Awards Ceremony

Rochester City Champions

Chloe Capital has partnered with Imagine Monroe and The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN) to create more opportunities for female leaders, and build a community to support their growth.

Monroe County | Chloe Capital


NYSERDA | Chloe CapitalFuzeHub | Chloe CapitalEFPR Group LLC | Chloe Capital



SUNY RF | Chloe Capital

Chloe Capital National Tour Starts in Rochester, NY

Chloe Capital is a seed-stage venture capital firm that invests in women-led innovation companies. We’re holding investing workshops and pitch events across the U.S. Our initiatives support local women entrepreneurs, and empower local investors to join our movement.

The Entrepreneurs Network and Imagine Monroe were the first Champions to step forward. Leading by example, TEN and Imagine Monroe have committed resources to make the Rochester Women Investors Forum on December 4, 2018 a beacon for other tour cities to follow.

[READ] Upstate NY Investor, Mentor Champions Movement to Advance Women Entrepreneurs

What makes this different?

Chloe Capital works with Event Champions to encourage qualifying women entrepreneurs to apply, and select the best of the best with proper due diligence BEFORE the women pitch. Collaboration continues as Chloe Capital works with Event Champions to open doors, and drive business results after the $100,000 investment. These efforts best position the company for achieving success and delivering a healthy return on investment. Rochester Champions – The Entrepreneurs Network and Imagine Monroe – join Chloe Capital in providing meaningful connections from their extensive business and funding contacts.

Why is this important?

Studies show that diverse teams with women at the helm grow faster and produce higher returns for investors. Women-led tech companies receive less than 5% of all venture capital in the U.S., while just .2% goes to African American female founders. TEN and Chloe Capital will make decisions based on merit, without bias. We call this “Doing Well by Doing Good.”

What is The Entrepreneurs Network and Imagine Monroe?

The Entrepreneurs Network is for startups who are commercializing scientific breakthroughs and new technologies, and small businesses who can scale by tapping new markets or expanding their product portfolios. This focus on growth potential drives powerful peer-to-peer learning, and leads to real-world success stories. TEN is business helping business; entrepreneurs accepted into the program receive training and coaching from investors and business owners.

It is the mission of Imagine Monroe to advance the job opportunities, health, general prosperity, and economic welfare of the people of Monroe County. This is accomplished by actively working to promote, attract, encourage, and develop recreation, economically sound commerce, and industry for the purpose of preventing unemployment and economic deterioration. Imagine Monroe will achieve this mission, utilizing the powers granted to it by New York State, by providing financial assistance to qualified projects. This assistance shall include conduit bond financing, lease/leasebacks, exemptions from taxation, and/or support to organizations with similar missions.

Why is The Entrepreneurs Network collaborating with Chloe Capital?

The Entrepreneurs Network and Chloe Capital share the goal of investing in women – with money and education. We are spreading the word about educational and funding opportunities for women-led innovation companies – beyond what either organization could do on its own. TEN and Chloe Capital are collaborating to drive localized investment in the women leading innovation in Upstate New York.

How do I get involved?

The Entrepreneurs Network and Chloe Capital invite women executives and men who support the movement to attend the Women Investors Forum in Rochester, NY on December 4, 2018.

Accredited investors and sponsors interested in learning more about joining this movement can reach to engage with us :

Women-led innovation companies that missed the deadline for Rochester can apply to pitch in other cities on the Chloe Capital Nation Tour :

What kind of companies does Chloe Capital invest in?

Chloe Capital focuses on frontier technologies including B2B SaaS, Blockchain, AI, AR/VR, Voice, Bots, IoT, Robotics, Wearables, Hardware, Cleantech and Agtech. Companies must have at least one female in the C-Suite, a working prototype and the potential to capture large, rapidly-growing markets. In addition, companies with diverse leadership teams, more than one full-time team member (tech leader preferred), and revenue and/or contacts secured with clients/customers will rise to the top of our list.

Can I still participate in the pitch event if I don’t have a frontier tech company?

Yes, women-led Food & Beverage and Consumer Product companies can apply to be event vendors. These companies will receive visibility through event promotions, as well as the opportunity to meet our investors, judges and advisors. Express your interest in being an event vendor at

Where else will Chloe Capital be holding pitch events?

Boston, MA  – January 11, 2019
Denver, CO – February 7, 2019
Chicago, IL – April 4, 2019
Binghamton, NY – May 1, 2019

Chloe Capital’s mission is to decrease the gender gap in entrepreneurship and venture capital. We further this mission by providing women entrepreneurs across the U.S. with mentoring, connections to resources and access to capital.

Founded by three women tech-trepreneurs, Chloe Capital launched during our inaugural Women Investors Accelerator in October 2017. The program united women founders with women investors, who joined Chloe Capital in making our first investment in Mi Padrino.

Since, Chloe Capital has helped Mi Padrino raise an additional $2 million in funding by connecting the founder with investors including Astia Angels and the XO Group.

Join Our Movement

Frontier tech companies will have the opportunity to pitch for funding and connections to our network of advisors, investors and business pros. Sponsors will gain regional and national visibility. Investors will receive returns and insight on how to pay it forward. Together we’ll all further the movement to decrease the gender gap in entrepreneurship.

Investors and Sponsors Apply Here
Women-Led Startups Apply Here

National Tour Co-investors, Sponsors + Media Partners

ASTIA Angels logo
Accelerate Investors | Chloe Capital
Idea Kraft
Mackenzie Hughes
Peacock Media
Peacock Media
Peacock Media
Singlebrook Technology
SUNY RF | Chloe Capital
Sway logo
The Entrepreneurs Network
Chloe Capital | TriNet
Social Venture Circle