Introducing the Doyenne Strategy Accelerator

By Heather Wentler

Update: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Doyenne has made the decision to cancel all in-person workshops for the rest of March and through April. This means some changes to our Strategy Accelerator that was to launch in March. 

Doyenne is working on ways to virtually conduct workshop portions of the Strategy Accelerator with registered attendees through Zoom and our new Learning Lab to see what works and/or needs further development before our Fall Accelerator dates. Additional information will be released as we continue to develop our next steps.


For the past six years, Doyenne has run our two-and-a-half-day Retreats for women-led companies to take a break from working in their business to spend some time working on their business. This programming, while a different experience for each participant who attended, was transformational for female founders, helping them identify strategic plans for the next 18 to 36 months of their business. 

The Founder Series program was an expansion of the Retreat experience. This 12-month program ran for the past three years and explored what it means to be a CEO, providing workshops and coaching for women to develop the professional skills and confidence to lead their ventures. 

In 2019 we began looking at the feedback we were receiving about these two programs and learned the following:

  • "The Retreat is great, but needs more follow-up after you leave."

  • "The Founder Series is too long; I would like to have all of the content in three to six months instead of over a full year"

Doyenne always takes feedback to heart, and because we're agile and quick to try new things, we are excited to launch the pilot session of the new Doyenne Strategy Accelerator beginning at the end of March! 

The Doyenne Strategy Accelerator brings together the features that participants loved the most about the Retreat and the Founder Series into a three-month series of workshops and coaching sessions. The accelerator will connect female founders (and their teams) with a peer network and provide a space to learn and put into practice the following core elements of building a venture:  

  • Developing an authentic CEO-self

  • Formulating a clear vision of the founder's future and the future of the venture

  • Identifying a strategic approach, critical milestones, and an immediate plan of action for the venture

  • Crafting an effective story/pitch to tell anyone about the venture

  • Building a community of fellow entrepreneurs and supporters

Unlike other accelerators, the Doyenne Strategy Accelerator focuses on the entrepreneur first and the venture second. In keeping with our guiding principle that "entrepreneurship happens within a life, not the other way around," we meet entrepreneurs where they are. You don't need to drop all other commitments/careers to be part of our accelerator. You don't have to move away from your loved ones for three months and be told, "This is the only way your venture will succeed.” The Doyenne Strategy Accelerator doesn't set ridiculous goals for how much outside capital you need to raise or dictate who you need to add to your Board of Directors/Advisors in order to be part of the program. You set your goals; we're here to help you achieve them. 

Since this is the pilot of the Doyenne Strategy Accelerator, we know that things are going to change after we run the first cohort. We're excited to see how entrepreneurs receive this new approach and apply lessons learned to our future programs. 

Doyenne will be hosting two more Strategy Accelerators in fall 2020. We'll have one in both of our current Doyenne Cities, Madison and Milwaukee. You can take a look at the full program overview and apply to join one of the cohorts on the Strategy Accelerator page on the website.