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Fourthwave | FourthWave: Catalyzing Women-Led Technology Companies
We help women-led tech companies grow, scale, find capital, solve barriers to capital readiness problems, and become best-of-class performers.
Female Accelerator, Women-led technology companies, female entrepreneurs, Sacramento, Los Angeles
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About Us

Catalyzing Best-in-Class Women-led Companies

FourthWave’s Mission

“Catalyzing the successful development and scale of best-in-class women-led companies”


  • Deliver need-based “capital readiness” resources and programs.
  • Ensure diverse teams that deliver higher economic returns. 
  • Create conscious operating values and HR cultures that encourages measurable triple-bottom line results.


We believe in co-creating local innovation ecosystems for women that reflect their needs, that fill the gap and respect the diversity and uniqueness of the founders and communities where they are located; that leverages collaboration with local start-up communities and public/private partnerships. We also believe companies with triple-bottom line values drive a sustainable, thriving, global economy. 

Our Goals:


  • Increase funding (from early stage capital to later stage debt or capital) and facilitate growth and scale success rates for female-led companies where technology is (or will be) the primary value driver.
  • Build a meaningful set of accurate data about female technology entrepreneurs, their companies and teams, and their performance and impact  when they engage with FourthWave.
  • Lead the way in communicating the accurate narrative about diversity and female entrepreneurship, leadership, and success in technology and STEAM-centric business sectors.

Our Methodology:

  • Need-based Education (Cohort-driven)
  • Expert and Need-based Advising and Coaching
  • Ongoing Peer Mentorship for CEOs and Teams
  • Access to Capital and Other Key Growth Resources

How We Select Companies:

Each year, through an open application process, we recruit a small cohort of new companies (up to 5) in each city where we operate. For a complete, current overview of our application process, please visit here.

“Women-led private technology companies are more capital-efficient, achieve 35% higher returns on investment, and when venture-backed, bring in 12% higher revenue than male-owned tech companies.”

(Kaufman Foundation/TheNextWeb) 


  • Prove that a Conscious Leadership approach that values diversity produces higher-performing economic returns and social impacts.
  • Increase equity and diversity in tech-driven workforce sectors.
  • Coalesce the diverse networks of women, technology, education, business, policy leadership, and investor communities toward women-led business success.
  • Generate widespread, accurate awareness that women-led businesses are smart investment opportunities.
  • Attract new funding and capital resources that address the funding gaps in cities where we operate.
  • Be a model and catalyst for other local, national and international cities to follow.
  • Be a role model for girls and young women, and for diverse and under-represented communities, demonstrating business parity and influence.

About Conscious Leadership:

Conscious leadership is a mainstay attribute of high-performing companies that participate in our annual cohort “catalyst” programs.


FourthWave evaluated female-led focused accelerators and incubators tied to conscious leadership, and we found one in particular that is enjoying both higher performance metrics and significant attraction from investors and entrepreneurs as a result of their approach. We thank MergeLane and their team for their inspiration, advice and encouragement! (You can explore their values here).

A conscious leadership model produces diversity. SHE, the new Gender Diversity Index Fund, empowers investors to encourage more gender diverse leadership and support better long-term social and economic outcomes in support of gender diversity. FourthWave’s goal is to offer investors, cities, and women-led companies opportunities to meet these requirements. Our conscious leadership programming is “how” we do that. (SHE Diversity Fund Index)

The Economic Upside of Conscious Leadership:


  • Shifts start-up development away from traditional models that lack a focus on diversity and conscious leadership which can lead to persistently higher failure rates.
  • Increases optimized ROI for investors where founders and leadership teams possess consciousness-based leadership as a value system.
  • Creates more satisfied stakeholders, creates happier suppliers, and employees are more engaged, productive, and likely to stay.
  • Contributes more powerfully to local economies.
  • Creates more satisfied and loyal customers.


Conscious Capitalism”, Raj Sisodia and John Mackey

Conscious Leadership is the New Management Imperative”, Business Integral.

Advisors, Mentors, and Coaches

We facilitate the building of relationships between founders and strategic, influential, and expert advisors, mentors, and coaches. Collaboration and forging strong relationships based on trust is how women accelerate their own growth and success.


  • Veteran Advisors commit to CEOs and their teams for the year.
  • Mentors with specific expertise are available during online office hours to help cohort members on an as-needed basis for short-term or quick advice and guidance.
  • Expert Coaches may support CEOs and their co-founders on skills development to help realize problem-solving objectives that are part of the cohort team’s plan for the year.
Lila Wallrich_5x5

Lila Wallrich, MarCom

Mentor, Team Cultures
Screenshot 2017-02-23 15.40.47

Pleshette Robertson

Advisor, Inclusion & Diversity

Cheryl Beninga

Advisor, Growth and Capital

Tracy Saville

Advisor, Growth & Business Model Innovation
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Keisha Liggett-Nicohols

Advisor, Business Leadership / Programming

Margaret Mackenzie

Advisor, Venture Growth & Capital
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Peter Marx

Advisor, Venture
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Veronica Delgado

Advisor and Mentor, PR / Marketing / Community-building

Jeff Bennett

Mentor, Digital Media

Ilene Block

Mentor, Corporate and IP Law
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Laura Hansen

Advisor, Team Performance
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Liz Heller

Advisor, Media
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Cate Dyer

Advisor, Strategy & Leadership

Jeannie Kim-Han

Mentor, Research & Learning Technology

Erika Bjork

Mentor, Marketing
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Joel Riphagen

Mentor, Linking Tech To Civic Impact
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Tim Peek

Conscious Leadership Program Advisor, Forum Leader
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Jane Tight

Coach, Conscious Leadership
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Barbara DeHart

Advisor, Business Growth & Strategy
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Renee Dineen

Coach, Conscious Leadership