Venture capital is typically a field dominated by men, which is exemplified when Richelle Martin, managing director of the Winnow Fund, often finds herself the only woman in the room.
But not only is she the only woman in the room, she’s the only woman in the Badger State to run a venture capital firm in Wisconsin.
The Winnow Fund — which Martin named for the plaque on Bascom Hall on the UW-Madison campus that extols “continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found” — announced last month that investors committed more than $3.5 million in the fund, which will be invested in startups that come from students at Wisconsin universities, reports the Madison State Journal.
It took continued encouragement to get Martin to take the leap into venture capital. She said she had to evaluate whether or not she would be able to be successful in the role, whether she really did have the right skill sets. It was an intimidating process to decide whether to quit her job at UW-Madison and start the fund.
It’s been about a year and a half since Martin left UW-Madison, and since then, the Winnow Fund has raised the $3.5 million that will be invested in Wisconsin startups.
Read more about Martin’s vision for investing in Wisconsin startups here.