The WCS Entrepreneurship Circle
Fostering the Female Founder Ecosystem and Connecting with Thought Leaders
The WCS Entrepreneur Circle (E-Circle) is a three-month cohort program designed for entrepreneurs who identify as women to communicate, reflect, and connect with each other. More than a mentorship program, the E-Circle offers you opportunities to commune with up to 11 fellow entrepreneurs, build relationships with leaders in this space, and collect new resources. In monthly virtual meetings and in Slack, the group will learn from a keynote speaker, share advice, challenges, and offer support. The program is initiated and organized by WCS Entrepreneurship Committee.
What is the E-Circle?
- Entrepreneurial Focus: let women entrepreneurs share, learn, and be heard
- Small Cohort & Conversations: Share or listen with purpose. We want each cohort of entrepreneurs to connect and communicate during & after the three meetups
- Sharing resources with timely topics
How it Works
The first cohort of WCS E-Circle will start in Jan 2023. After careful selection of applicants, 12 cohort members and keynote speakers attend one orientation meeting and three monthly meetings from January to March 2023.
With the exception of the orientation meeting, each event will feature one guest speaker sharing their advice or industry insights with the group. After the talk, the group will discuss one of the top-mentioned concerns by the group. At the end of the three-month period, members will have an opportunity to continue in the group or rotate off.
Cohort One Schedule
Each meeting will occur on a Friday from 12:00 – 1:00 pm PT
- January 13, 2023 – Orientation Meeting
- January 20, 2023 – First Meeting
- February 17, 2023 – Second Meeting
- March 17, 2023 – Third Meeting
General Meeting Agenda
Times in PST
- 12:00 – 12:05 pm – Opening
- 12:05 – 12:20 pm – Keynote Speaker
- 12:20 – 12:55 pm – Topic-led conversation
- 12:55 – 12:59 pm – Closing Remarks
Each of the three meetings will feature a keynote speaker who will share their advice with the group in a 15 minute presentation or fireside chat.
Nikki is a coach, author, speaker, and sustainable business consultant. She wrote Green Wisdom: A Guide for Anyone to Start, Engage, and Energize a Sustainability Team while she was designing and building a home in the jungle in Costa Rica. Nikki is the founder of Alegria Partners, a firm that specializes in sustainability engagement initiatives for mission-driven companies. In 2012, Renewable Energy News named Nikki one of the “Top 10 Women in Cleantech and Sustainability.” She has been bringing women together for decades; from facilitating self-defense courses for women in college to leading diverse, impactful women’s circles to this day.
January 20, 2023
Roxanne is an investor at Piva Capital, where she focuses on identifying and supporting visionary entrepreneurs who are building a more sustainable, intelligent, and resilient future. Roxanne has experience taking products from first prototype to mass production. At BioLite, she led manufacturing of new consumer energy products for off-grid communities around the world. Prior to BioLite, Roxanne worked in R&D for The Clorox Company where she developed sustainable packaging solutions for several brands.
February 17, 2023
Mary Anne Brelinsky
Mary Anne Brelinsky has served as President of EDF Trading and EDF Energy Services, the North American trading and customer facing business within the EDF group since 2018. She is responsible for EDF’s Power and Natural Gas Retail business, the Generation Services business, as well as Gas and Power Trading in the United States and Canada. Mary Anne has grown EDF’s retail business to the 3rd largest in North America and has been recognized as one of the industry’s Thought Leaders by the Energy Thought Summit, received the Houston Business Journal’s Women in Energy Leadership Award, the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Breakthrough Woman award, and the Early Achievement Award from UHCL in 2019.
Prior to EDF, Mary Anne held positions with Reliant Energy where she managed the Structuring and Pricing Desk and developed power products for Large Commercial and Industrial clients. Mrs. Brelinsky started her career with the Exxon Chemical Company where she held several engineering and operations positions. In 2000, Mary Anne accepted a position with Dynegy where she managed large cogeneration power plants and developed strategies for the company’s assets under the Texas deregulated market. She also traded long-term positions for Texas and California generation assets.
Ms. Brelinsky serves on the Board of Directors for First Reserve Sustainable Growth Corp (“FRSG”) as well as Atlas Scholars, the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce, the French American Chamber of Commerce, University of Houston’s Energy Advisory Board, the Rensselaer Texas Triangle Executive Council, and the Renewable Energy Alliance of Houston. She earned an engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Magna Cum Laude and an MBA from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Mary Anne lives in Houston with her husband and their three sons.
March 17, 2023
Neha Palmer is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Terawatt Infrastructure, a leading provider of charging solutions for EV fleets. She has over two decades of leadership experience in the energy industry. Prior to TeraWatt,, she led energy strategy for Google’s global data centers where she led the effort to make Google the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world, and the first company of its size to achieve 100% renewable energy for operations,. Prior to Google, Neha held leadership roles at Pacific Gas and Electric, and worked as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. Neha brings her deep expertise in building out rapidly growing fleets of large-scale, energy intensive infrastructure to the emerging heavy EV charging asset class. This new segment is on track to outpace even the incredible growth data centers have seen over the last decade. Neha holds an MBA in Finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and a BS in Civil Engineering from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo.
- Founders or co-founders who identify as women
- Operate in markets such as cleantech, climate tech, energy, or sustainability
- Pre-seed to Series A funding rounds
- Commitment to attend the three scheduled meetings