Past Meetup

StartupSac Happy Hour Female Founder Edition

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Sacramento founders! Got questions you wish you could ask an experienced startup veteran? Save the date, March 29 at 5:00 at the Golden Bear in Midtown, for the March edition of StartupSac Happy Hour. March will be a female-focused Happy Hour featuring successful women entrepreneur innovators: experienced financial services entrepreneur and technology banker Margaret Mackenzie, and senior executive and seasoned venture strategist Cheryl Beninga. While this is a female-focused event intended to help foster and support female entrepreneurship in the Sacramento region, all are welcome.

Why a Female Founder Edition?

Despite findings that women-run private tech companies are more capital-efficient, earn a 35 percent higher return on investment, and bring in a 12 percent higher revenue than tech companies owned by males, female entrepreneurs still trail their male counterparts in terms of numbers as well as funding available. Why is this? According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: 2012 Women’s Report, nearly two-thirds of men are confident they can start businesses, but less than half of women feel they can do this, despite similar levels of education and experience.

Another factor is mentorship. Absence of a support network and mentors can present more of a barrier to women entrepreneurs than it does to men.

Seeking to help foster and support female entrepreneurship in the Sacramento region, this month’s StartupSac Happy Hour features successful female founders who will answer questions from the audience in an “Ask Me Anything,” Q&A format in the spirit of providing support, encouragement, networking, and mentoring opportunities for our local female entrepreneurs. It should be noted that despite the female founder focus, men are welcome to attend this event.

When: Wednesday, March 29 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Where: The Golden Bear, 2326 K St, Sacramento, CA 95816, in Midtown

Cost: This event is a free, no host Happy Hour. The Golden Bear is graciously providing the use of their back room for the event. Come on down to midtown for a bite to eat and/or a drink.

5:00 –5:30 General networking
5:30 –5:45 Welcome, community announcements
5:45 – 7:00 Q&A


Margaret Mackenzie

Margaret Mackenzie has spent much of the second half of her career in the C-Suite of venture backed, online transaction companies. She has co-founded two of these, one of which – Boku (formerly Paymo) is the world’s largest independent carrier billing and mobile payments company. Margaret spent the first half of her career in corporate finance roles with Silicon Valley Bank and Bank of America – for better or for worse she has been on both sides of the fund-raising for startups equation. She is acutely aware of the funding gap for female technology entrepreneurs, and serves on the global advisory board of Astia, a non-profit dedicated to closing this gap.
Margaret recently moved back to her native Sacramento from the SF Bay Area, and while noodling on several startup ideas and advising a few local startups, is also hoping to lend an energetic hand to developing the local startup and economic growth scene here in town.

Cheryl Beninga

A senior executive and seasoned venture strategist and leader with over twenty years experience building high growth and adaptive learning organizations in several new technology segments. As a corporate development leader, consultant, venture capital investor and board member. Cheryl is a part of the co-founding group building our Sacramento programs and helping to vision and facilitate FourthWave growth moving forward as our senior-most advisor on capital. Her engagement has brought a strong emphasis of the conscious leadership vision.

Cheryl is active as an operations and board member in a handful of technology startups– and Managing Director of Beninga Advisors an advisory firm. She is a leader focused on building rapid learning teams and cultures. She also currently serves as Board Member and CFO to Fantag, a Sacramento-based technology start-up.

Cheryl has worked with leading technology investors including GE and Intel Capital on all stages of venture investing. She has been involved at the board and operation level at all venture stages A round to IPO. Cheryl has been lucky to work with many great startup teams having successful IPO and acquisition exits. Her technology sector experience includes energy efficiency, consumer mobile software, enterprise software and semiconductors. Education: MBA, Harvard Business School (1988); BS Finance, Kelley School of Business Indiana University (1984).