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Kathryn Cartini: Building Chloe Capital to Support Women-Led Innovation

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When you build a sandcastle, you take the sand, mold it, add water to keep it solid and then build upon it, layer by layer, handful by handful. You use a mold to create a sculpture, perhaps of a castle, a mermaid or a turtle. Quite simply, it takes perseverance, confidence and skill.

This is a symbolic representation of the process of becoming a female entrepreneur or business owner. Knowing you have the strength and stamina to see it through is half the battle.

Kathryn Cartini, co-founder and co-owner of Chloe Capital, understands this and uses her knowledge and personal experiences in spades to assist other women to follow their dreams, and to give them tools to succeed. Chloe Capital is a venture capital firm that invests in women-led innovation companies. The name, Chloe, is a combination of the names Chiara and Louisa, daughters of Chloe Capital co-founder and managing director Elisa Miller-Out. 

“The honor symbolizes the way forward for our next generation of women, so that they may have equal opportunities that their male counterparts have,” Kathryn noted. “It was my good fortune, and something I took as a sign, that CC are the initials of my father, Carl Cartini, who encouraged me to follow my instincts and take calculated risks.” 

She and Elisa believe that despite recent progress, women receive less than three percent of venture capital funding, and African American female founders receive just two percent. Yet studies show that companies with women in leadership roles perform better. They generate more sales, exit faster and produce more returns for investors. So, if investing in women is good business, why are female founders so poorly funded? 

One potential reason is unconscious bias. Investing, especially at the early stage, is risky business. At the onset, people invest more in the person with a great idea than an actual product or company. “Decisions close to the vest like this are strongly based on relationships. If an investor’s network looks and acts the same, it becomes highly unlikely anything different will receive consideration, if the investor is even aware of the opportunity. Right now, only 11 percent of decision makers at U.S.-based venture capital firms under $25 million are women,” she continued. “Alongside Elisa and me is Erica O’Brian, co-founder and COO, event director Myneco Ramirez, and our talented board of advisors including former legal counsel and a founding member of Etsy, and the managing director of Golden Seeds. Together, we’ve united a global network of 10,000 supporters who have joined our movement to #InvestInWomen.” 

In addition to investing in the most promising high-growth companies, Chloe Capital travels across the U.S. in partnership with universities, foundations and corporations to host programs for women entrepreneurs. Through this experience, they have found that one of the reasons female founders are underfunded is because traditional fundraising methods don’t align with their family responsibilities as mothers and caregivers. Their programs are 24 hours from start to finish. They recruit the best talent and lean on their network to attract other investors to the table. At the end of each program, first investments are announced during a public celebration, which she compares to Shark Tank meets TEDx, including musical performances, signature cocktails and celebrity speakers. Fueled by the relationships made, some founders have gone on to raise millions. 

Originally from the Syracuse, New York, area, Kate attended Christian Brothers Academy and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Her parents were high school sweethearts, married 50 years. She has three older brothers, four nieces and a nephew. CHEX is the name of her beloved dalmatian. 

After college, she spent a decade in the newsroom, where she learned how to combine research with the art of storytelling and share stories in a fast-paced environment that can only be compared to startup life. She witnessed the birth of Charlotte’s startup ecosystem, embedded herself within the hustle of Boston’s high-growth activity before returning home to help rebuild Upstate New York through entrepreneurship. She is CMO of the entrepreneur-led nonprofit Upstate Venture Connect, which connects high-growth founders to the resources needed to succeed. She also helps founders and investors build meaningful relationships story-selling as the managing owner of Peacock Media.

Her Chloe Capital team believes that women innovators have the power to transform the global economy. According to a recent Morgan Stanley white paper, this disparity is creating a trillion-dollar marketplace inefficiency. Their mission is to bring capital to women and bridge that gap. They are excited about the future, as women innovators start shifting the way the world looks with their solutions. 

Some entrepreneurs they have launched include Riana Lynn, a scientist, serial entrepreneur and food innovator, who is combating the global $40-billion food nutrition dilemma. Riana is co-founder and CEO of Journey Foods, an AI platform that works with Fortune 500 brands to make foods more nutritious. Another leader is Sarah Tuneburg. With one trillion people at risk from climate impacts, her career in emergency management led her to create Geospiza Path™, an AI platform used by enterprise businesses around the world that have the power to prevent global climate catastrophe. Given the current global epidemic, the future of learning and work has shifted online. Having worked with Pearson, PTC and Edx, Beth Porter is an industry leader. Her AI platform, Riff Analytics, uses voice and text data to analyze how people behave in remote meetings. Real-time notifications help teams engage, collaborate and perform better.

“Chloe Capital accepts applications year-round from women-led innovation companies such as Journey Foods, Geospiza and Riff Analytics. Apply at,” Kate related. “Companies will enter our database and automatically be notified when new funding opportunities become available. All companies who receive investments from Chloe Capital undergo thorough due diligence. Some female founders also participate in our signature programs across the #InvestInWomen tour.”

Kate and her team are inspired every day by the Rianas, Sarahs and Beths of the world, noting that investing in women isn’t only the right thing to do, it’s smart business. It is their honor to provide others with the opportunity to do well by doing good. “We’re all in on Chloe Capital. Our passion for the movement is fueled by the support of our families and communities. I’m fortunate to ‘live on vacation’ in beautiful Saratoga Springs, New York. As the daughter of small business owners, I love supporting local,” she reflected. “In the summer you can find me walking on Broadway with my dalmatian, CHEX. Meeting new people is our hobby. I gain energy when he brightens someone’s day. I’ve been neglecting his Instagram, but you can #CHEXitOUT @SaratogaLife.”

What’s her advice to fellow achievers and dreamers? “I have a birthday card in my desk drawer. My aunt gave it to me many years ago. The outside of the card reads, ‘They asked her what do you want to do with your life? And she said, Everything.’ The inside reads, ‘It’s your life and your adventure. Do everything you love.”   

She takes pride that they are moving mountains on behalf of a movement that supports women in business and venture capital. In just two years, Chloe Capital has made nine investments in stellar women-led technology companies that are disrupting massive industries including manufacturing, construction and e-commerce. The time is now, and they are prepared to follow their instincts and make the calculated risks necessary to help change the world. 

“Invest in women means so much more than writing a check. From tweets to introductions, everyone should strive for equality in entrepreneurship and venture capital, especially now that we see the economic and global impacts,” she smiled.

Women-led, seed-stage, innovation companies can apply for funding at If you are interested in partnering with Chloe Capital on a program or initiative aligned with investing in women, please reach out at