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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

BankRoll Women: Successful Women Leaders Providing Funding and Capital Raising Options For Women Entrepreneurs

Press Release – NEW YORK – June 14, 2106 – Alexandra Lebenthal, who Fortune named “The New Queen of Wall Street,” has joined forces with alice + olivia CEO and Creative Director Stacey Bendet to create BankRoll Women, a company that will help women entrepreneurs at all levels raise capital. “I know first-hand how hard it is to start a business from scratch,” Bendet said. BankRoll Women was created to make that process easier for women-owned companies.

Bendet and Lebenthal launched BankRoll Women in May after noting the huge funding gap for women-owned companies. Statistics show that only 3% of venture-funded businesses have a female CEO, and only 8% of Silicon Valley startups receiving Series A funding in 2015 were led by women “It’s time to start evening the playing field for women in business,” Lebenthal noted.

Over the next few weeks, Bendet and Lebenthal will be adding other high-profile, successful women from several diverse fields to the BankRoll Women team. In addition, they are excited to launch the BankRoll Women Bridge Club, a free-to-join extension of BankRoll Women that offers women around the country a chance to participate and “give back” by assisting women entrepreneurs alongside Bendet and Lebenthal. By joining the BankRoll Women Bridge Club, women who meet the criteria of being an “accredited investor” will have an opportunity to invest in, or provide bridge financing to, women-owned companies seeking funding through BankRoll Women on a case-by-case basis. Anyone interested in joining the BankRoll Women Bridge Club may apply at this link.

Lebenthal and Bendet note that BankRoll Women will have several primary functions:

  • To provide women entrepreneurs with access to advocacy and mentoring from highly success women
  • To hold public educational and networking events for women entrepreneurs,
  • To give access to a JOBS Act online equity crowdfunding platform that allows women’s companies to raise capital from “the crowd,”
  • To create its own fund to directly invest in select women’s companies and
  • To pitch a television program where the Bankroll Women help women’s businesses get funding.

“While there are other organizations and funds that provide limited access to capital for women-owned companies, no one other than BankRoll Women provides funding options at all levels, from startups all the way to public companies,” says investment banker Tess Hottenroth, CEO of BankRoll Women. Hottenroth is the co-founder of strategic partner BankRoll, a leading JOBS Act funding platform where companies may raise up to $50 million in new capital online. “When you combine online equity crowdfunding with access to the advocacy and the network Alexandra, Stacey and BankRoll Women bring to the table, there is truly nothing else out there like us.”

Hottenroth’s co-founder at BankRoll, Kendall Almerico, is considered one of the top JOBS Act and equity crowdfunding attorneys and experts in the country. Almerico is excited to help BankRoll Women’s client companies get funded. “The game-changing equity crowdfunding tools that BankRoll Women brings to the table for women-owned companies will take the funding process out of the hands of venture capitalists and too-big-to-fail financial institutions, and put it into the hands of everyday people,” Almerico says. “And my involvement shows that supporting women-owned companies is not just for other women, men will certainly play a role, too.”

Women-owned and operated companies who wish to apply to use the BankRoll Women funding process, may obtain more information and apply here.

About Alexandra Lebenthal:

Alexandra Lebenthal is the CEO Lebenthal & Company. She comes from a storied Wall Street family. Her grandparents, Louis and Sayra Lebenthal, founded Lebenthal & Co., Inc, a municipal bond specialist, in 1925. Her grandmother worked until age 93. She followed her father, James Lebenthal, as the company spokesperson. She joined Lebenthal in 1988 and became President and CEO in 1995 at the age of 31. Ms. Lebenthal remained at the firm for four years after its sale, leaving in 2005 before starting anew in 2006.

A passionate supporter of women in business, she was named one of the top 50 Women in Wealth Management by Wealth Manager Magazine. She has also been named to the Crain’s New York Top Women Owned Business and the Crain’s Fastest 50 Growing Businesses in New York. As one of the most recognizable women on Wall Street she is a frequent commentator in the media, and is an official CNBC contributor. She is a board member of The Committee of 200, the leading organization for female businesswomen. She is also a board member of Savvy Ladies, a non-profit organization that provides financial literacy education and resources for women.

Ms. Lebenthal is involved in many cultural and philanthropic institutions in New York City. Ms. Lebenthal published her first novel “Recessionistas”, in August 2010, which was sold to Universal Cable Productions. She is currently writing “The Women’s Investment Bible”, a comprehensive book on investing for women. She is also the Co-founder of “The Women’s Executive Circle,” a group of high-profile Jewish Women that mentor other women under the auspices of United Jewish Appeal. A graduate of Princeton University in 1986, with an A.B. in history, Ms. Lebenthal began her career in the municipal bond department at Kidder Peabody Inc. Ms. Lebenthal lives in New York City with her husband, Jay Diamond. They have three children, Benjamin, Charlotte and Eleanor.

About Stacey Bendet:

New York native Stacey Bendet founded alice + olivia in 2002 with the quest to create the perfect pair of pants. The brand was an immediate success, and shortly after its launch, Theory founder Andrew Rosen joined as a partner. Since then, the company has grown into a full contemporary lifestyle brand, encompassing a wide range of offerings including the signature collection, eveningwear, the “To Work” and “AIR” lines, footwear, handbags and accessories.

Stacey Bendet pulls inspiration from her love of vintage and all things feminine to design and create beautiful clothing that makes women feel attractive and confident. Ornamented fabrics, whimsical prints and ultra-flattering fits provide today’s modern woman with options for every day and every occasion. alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet is available at aliceandolivia.com, over 30 free-standing boutiques located in major cities around the world including, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, as well as over 800 of the finest department and specialty stores worldwide. In 2009, a+o launched ecommerce at www.aliceandolivia.com, opening the “world of a+o” to a truly global customer base.

Full-time CEO and Creative Director, Bendet is also a wife and mother of three who makes supporting charity endeavors a priority in her personal and professional activities. She is a member of the board of trustees of NY-based Baby Buggy, a foundation who provides essentials for children of families in need, she supports Ronald McDonald House, which offers assistance to the families of children suffering from life-threatening illnesses and she is also a member of the board of the Jay H. Baker Retailing Center of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, her alma mater.

A devoted Ashtanga yoga student who practices daily, Bendet loves vintage stores and flea markets, traveling and spending time with her husband Eric Eisner and their daughters. She has been featured on Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed List five times and is now in their hall of fame. Stacey Bendet currently splits her time between New York and Los Angeles.

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