Founder Series

The Doyenne Founders Series is a private, year-long group coaching program for women business owners and entrepreneurs, who have launched a product or service, are scaling a business and are experiencing all that comes with being the CEO of their company.

The program brings together a cohort of 6-10 women who work closely throughout the year, in an authentic and safe environment, working on their individual business goals, while also supporting and collaborating with each other. Participants gain skills to more confidently grow their businesses, improve profitability by strengthening their knowledge around business fundamentals (legal, financials, sales and marketing, and technology). The program is tailored to the needs of the group with some pre-planned coursework, as well as on-demand customized content that is developed based on challenges facing cohort members at that time.

The series is facilitated by Dr. Amy Gannon, and is presented with the understanding that being an entrepreneur is an iterative and often, messy process, that requires trial and error. The Founders Series was created to provide a safe space for women to work through this experience together, in a very real way.

The goals of the Founder Series is to help the entrepreneurs clarify:

  • their business model and strategy — what exactly is the business trying to achieve?
  • their role as CEO and leader — how does each entrepreneur authentically embody this role and play to her strengths?
  • the key business fundamentals — what infrastructure does the business need to achieve its goals?
  • the story (pitch) – how does she effectively articulate all of the above within 5 minutes?

It is hard to be an entrepreneur.  Multiply that by 100 when you are a female entrepreneur.  Multiply that by another 100 when you also have a family!  The Doyenne Founders Series helped to connect me with other women who were “in the same shoes” as me, and helped me to stay focused on my goals.  I now have a small network of women that I know will always be there for me.  Amy, specifically, helped keep me accountable.  Together, we identified actionable steps to take so my business can keep progressing.  I recommend this series, and Amy, to all women entrepreneurs.  It will be the nudge & network you need!

Miranda Rochol, CEO of Lifebook by plumleaf

Founder Series, 2017 Cohort

The Experience - How It Works

The Founder Series is a 12-month, cohort-based program.  A maximum of 10 women entrepreneurs are admitted each year. Every month, entrepreneurs will engage with either an intensive workshop on the five business fundamentals (these include individualized activities and coaching from content experts) or a one-on-one coaching session with Amy.

Month Activity
January Retreat (2 days) — Meet Your Cohort & Set Goals for 2018
February One-on-One with Amy
March Workshop 1 — Intellectual Property
April One-on-One with Amy
May Workshop 2 — Financials
June One-on-One with Amy
July Workshop 3 — Sales Pipelines & Negotiation Strategies
August One-on-One with Amy
September Workshop 4 — Technology Options and Choosing Vendors
October One-on-One with Amy
November Workshop 5  – Telling the Story (Pitch Practice)
December Wrap-Up & Celebration
All Year Private Online Discussion Forum with peers and experts


The Founders Series changed the way that I think about myself as a leader. I now know what it means to be a CEO, and have a strategic framework that I can use to plan my vision for my business. Coming into a circle of other kickass women was good for the soul–there are a lot of things about being an entrepreneur that even our partners don’t understand. The insights I gained were both time-efficient – we make good use of our time together as a cohort, and our 1-on-1 time with Amy, who is a phenomenal business coach. They were also the resources I wasn’t able to find anywhere else…in bootcamps, mentoring relationships, books. Can’t recommend this enough for other female entrepreneurs who are willing to take things to the next level.

Sarah Best, CEO of Sarah Best Strategy

Founder Series, 2017 Cohort

The Facilitator

Dr. Amy Gannon is a change agent dedicated to identifying and unleashing entrepreneurial talent, particularly in places where others aren’t looking for it. Her work focuses on building pathways to entrepreneurship for those traditionally ignored by existing entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Dr. Gannon is a Co-founder and Director of Operations for Doyenne, a Madison-based organization advancing women’s entrepreneurship in Madison and beyond by transforming ecosystems to be more inclusive. With more than 10 years experience working with startup businesses, Dr. Gannon has expertise moving entrepreneurs through the idea validation, launch and growth stages. She designs, plans and facilitates developmental opportunities for entrepreneurs, including: 2-day strategic planning retreats, a year-long founder series for leadership development, and one-on-one and group peer coaching sessions.

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Criteria, Value and Cost

Criteria: The Founder Series is open to Doyenne members only. You can sign up to become a member when you apply for the Founder Series.

The Founders Series is for people who have already started a business. This is not for people who are just in the initial idea phase. In order to be accepted, you must meet the following criteria and agree to the expectations:

    • You have at least a prototype of your product or design for your service
    • You have the intention to scale the business to a regional or national level in the future
    • You are working full-time in your venture or hope to do so within 12-24 months
    • You are committed to attending the Launch Retreat, ALL five workshops & Celebration
    • You are committed to coming to the workshops prepared to engage the topic
    • You are prepared to be transparent about your experiences with your peers – sharing the good, bad, and ugly of your entrepreneurial journey

Value: The Founders Series is an experience that will transform you and your business. There are not many opportunities available to women entrepreneurs to get the training, support, and access to networks that will help them scale.

  • 50+ hours of high quality professional development over a 12-month period
  • 10 hours of one-on-one coaching with one of Madison’s best entrepreneurship coaches
  • 5 customized training and feedback sessions with experts in their fields
  • 12-months access to a private discussion forum with peers and invited experts
  • Membership in a cohort of peers who will supportively hold you accountable to your dream

The value of this professional development opportunity, if we charged at full-price, is $4,500. Doyenne is offering it at $1200 per entrepreneur, which can be paid in annual ($1,200), quarterly ($300), or monthly ($100) installments. We are committed to making entrepreneurial training and development accessible to more people, so Doyenne find ways to off-set the price through fundraising and other revenue streams.

If you are serious about growing your business in 2018, then do it with like-minded women in the Doyenne Founder Series. The Series was valuable in that it equipped me with know-how about my business’ strategy, and my decision making process. I increased my skill in defining problems to better frame possible solutions. My attitude shifted too: I am in charge in this endeavor. Also, I laughed a bunch.

Gillian Fink, CEO of Red Rainboots Apothecary creator of Pussyfoot Tape

Founder Series, 2017 Cohort


The Founder Series 2018 cohort has been selected. We will be taking applications for the 2019 cohort in October. Please check back then. Thank you.

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