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Women Making History Month – Part 1

March 2, 2021

March is our month. Women’s History Month.

It’s our month where we spend 31 days recognizing powerful women who have played a pivotal role in changing history. (Quite frankly, I’d vote to do this 365 days, but let’s not veer off topic.) Women like Ruth Bader Ginsburg who fought for Women’s Rights her entire career. Whitney Wolfe Herd who recently took her female-first-move dating app to IPO. And Amanda Gorman who made history as the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history in the 2020 election of President Joe Biden. The list goes on and on.

Since starting Stagger in 2019, I’ve had the privilege of being surrounded by powerful women who are making history of their own.

In this four-part series, I want to take the time to acknowledge four amazing women this month who have influenced me in one way or another in the #startuplife journey of Stagger. These are women who are investors looking to fund other women and overlooked founders, other fellow founders, and all around bad ass women who are changing the status quo.

First up, Janine.

Let me introduce you to Janine Sickmeyer.

Janine first and foremost is a mom of 4 (#twinmom), wife to a fellow business owner, founder of NextChapter, and investor/CEO of Let’s Start Up Ventures. My most favorite fact about Janine: Stagger was her very first angel investment in 2020.

Janine answered a cold DM on Twitter with my pitch deck attached and was invested a week after our first meeting. It was love at first pitch. We did a podcast on our story if you want to hear the ins and outs.

Since then, I’ve watched Janine take off in her angel investing career as I scroll through my Twitter feed where she’s most actively flexing her voice. When the #BLM movement started last year during a global pandemic, Janine used her voice and her platform to support Black founders and hasn’t let her voice die down since. She was recently featured in Forbes as an investor who wants to invest in woman/Black/Latinx/LGBTQ founders and stands by her commitment to her investment thesis. She has since invested in a handful of startups and practices what she preaches. All of her startups have founders who are considered “overlooked” in the VC ecosystem.

She is one of Stagger’s most supportive investors on the cap table. She replies to every monthly investor update. Retweets big accomplishments I share on Twitter. And makes any intro I ask her for. When investors say “How can I be helpful?” I mostly want to answer “Be like Janine.”

Founders, use Janine as a resource. Chances are, she knows someone who knows someone that can get you that intro or find your next hire. Investors, both VC and angel, take a cue from this class act.

Janine is helping us make history as a company and will make history herself as an investor. She’s real. She’s empathetic. She’s sometimes sassy. And I love her for it.

Cheers to you Janine, and thank you for being a part of our history.