New Year, New You…Who’s on your Team?
Learning Teams support a variety of aspects within an entrepreneur’s lived experience
By: Heather Wentler
Many years ago women asked Doyenne to start small cohorts of women to meet up on a regular basis. Those who participated in the Retreat (now the Triple Threat Venture Training program), and other Doyenne cohort programs felt they had bonded in that short time together. Even with hosting Connect events, there still, wasn’t enough time and space to connect with others who “just got it” as to what it means to being an entrepreneur, woman, and all of the other identities we are. At the time we didn’t feel we had the capacity to launch this program, nor that it fit with the model we were building for the organization.
Fast forward to 2021, people were still asking for this type of program. I couldn’t ignore the voices or say “we simply can’t do this right now” any longer. I had to figure out a way to make this program a reality, even if it meant pivoting and phasing out other Doyenne programs. All that being said, Doyenne has a few changes happening in 2022 that we are excited to share with you.
The January HQ Update has a complete overview of what’s changing within the organization.
In Fall 2021 Doyenne piloted the Learning Team program. The eight entrepreneurs who were part of the pilot gave great feedback to the structure and how the program went. The community they formed with each other was a consistent highlight to see in them motivating, supporting, and holding each other accountable through Slack messages and Zoom sessions. Watching as they all worked to end 2021 strong personally and professionally was truly inspiring.
I’m excited to announce the launch of Doyenne Learning Teams! The program is designed to provide opportunities to connect on a deeper level with 6-8 other women and/or marginalized gender(s) entrepreneurs and/or those who are looking to invest in startup ventures.
We will be hosting two sign-up windows annually, one in January and one in June. When you register, and if you’re placed within a group, the expectation is that you’ll participate in the program for a minimum of six months. At the next sign-up window you are able to resign from the program, continue on within the team you’re on, or re-register requesting to be on a different team based on your needs or team types you’re interested in.
The program costs $25/mo and will be automatically withdrawn monthly until you end your program participation - see full program overview and guidelines here.
Learning Teams offer a variety of purposes. When an individual enrolls in the program they can choose any or all of the following types of teams to be apart of
Accountability Team - goal setting & target tracking via others who will support, encourage, and rally around you and your goals
Peer Mentoring - We all have areas of expertise we can share with others. These teams bring their expertise to share with each other to support their personal and professional growth as leaders of their ventures.
Gab Sessions - Sometimes all we want is to be around other women who understand what our entrepreneurial lived experience is like. These teams can use their time for book chats, connect with each other on a personal level with no expectations for outcomes, or recreational activities they schedule on their own
Due Diligence - These teams are only for those who have completed the Doyenne Investor Accelerator. Team Members meet to discuss startups seeking investment funding from angel and VC investors and, potentially, invest in startups through the program.
Why is this important to you right now and how is it different from other similar programs?
Doyenne Learning Teams are different from other similar programs because of how they’re curated to meet the needs of early-stage venture leaders and/or first time investors. When developing the program I talked to many about their experiences in other programs - what they liked, what kept them coming back, what could the other programs have done better, and why they ultimately left the program.
The majority of people I talked with said what was missing from the other programs was the curation of the teams based on needs, goals, and lived experiences. Some commented how they were the only entrepreneur in their former program so no one could relate to the experiences they were going through. Others commented how no one else was a caregiver and couldn’t relate to those experiences while also running their venture, while others said they didn’t have anyone in their age group or years of professional experience, making them feel obligated to step into the “mom” or mentor role of the group instead of receiving mutual support.
With all of this feedback in mind, we’ve developed the shortest intake form possible while still getting the information we need to place you in a Learning Team that will be the best fit for you. We promise to do the best we can when teams are created to meet as many needs and desires as possible that you’re looking for within your Learning Team members.
After meeting with your group for a few months, if you decide it’s not a fit, we offer the opportunity to switch to a different team. Sometimes teams may evolve from one team type to another or create a blended team. Our pilot team really was looking for accountability support, but also just a gab session. The team was able to blend these two types so when they met as a team there was opportunity for both goal-setting/checking-in and also social time.
“Sometimes you’re the one looking for coaching/mentoring and sometimes you’re the coach/mentor.” This is something we say a lot at Doyenne, and we stand by it! Support can come from all ages, experiences, and professions. As entrepreneurs, there is always more support and answers to be found. Let Doyenne Learning Teams be one of the places where you can contribute and receive the support you’re looking for.
How to register
The registration window for the first set of Learning Teams is now open. CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE THE INTAKE FORM.
Registration is open until Friday, February 4, 2022. After the registration window closes we will review all applications and let you know if you’ve been placed into a team and when the Kickoff to Learning Teams Session will be taking place.
If you have questions about Learning Teams, or anything else related to Doyenne, please feel free to email me <email@example.com> or register for an upcoming Informational Session
Every team member will also receive a copy of the Doyenne Learning Teams Workbook at the Kickoff to Learning Teams Session. This workbook has been developed to support your time with your team, examples for you to use for each team type, and helpful guidelines for how to work together to make sure needs are met while participating in the program.