An inclusive start-up community.

We are the paradigm shift. Our ecosystem supports entrepreneurs every step of the way.

The fund invests predominately in woman-founded and marginalized businesses. We accept applications year round and distribute funding quarterly.


Now Accepting Applications

In partnership with FourthWave, the Accelerator offers early stage startup founders a unique program with a limitless curriculum that focuses on leadership, business strategy development, overall corporate wellness and functional support.


Coming Soon

The Incubator will help new and startup businesses by empowering startups with management training, office space, networking, and expert guidance in navigating Government RFP processes.


Coming in 2025

About MinervaVerse

In the spirit of the formidable Minerva Goddess, MinervaVerse stands as a beacon for knowledge and progress, dedicated to breaking barriers and advocating inclusivity. Our mission encompasses two pivotal facets:

We passionately support underrepresented entrepreneurs, particularly those among marginalized and female communities, by bridging gaps in financial access, education, and mentorship.

We extend a resounding invitation for women to take their place at the investment table, fostering their participation in venture capital, and empowering them to diversify their financial investments.

Our aim is not merely to educate, but to embolden women to lead, learn, and flourish in the world of investments. By cultivating an inclusive ecosystem, we seek to craft a legacy that mirrors the wisdom, resilience, and transformative potential embodied by the goddess Minerva herself.

Why did we start MinervaVerse?

MinervaVerse emerged from a profound understanding of the challenges faced by startups, particularly in securing funding, despite notable success. Anne and Rachel, having navigated their own entrepreneurial journeys, encountered barriers when seeking financial support. Their firsthand experience ignited the vision behind MinervaVerse, aimed at bridging the funding gap that hinders many women entrepreneurs.

Their ambition extends beyond financial transactions – they aspire to become a pivotal force, not just as check writers, but as catalysts shaping an inclusive entrepreneurial landscape. Central to their ethos is the presence of diverse and predominantly women-led managers, enriching their fund with a different perspective. Their goal is rooted in advocacy for positive change, with genuine care for education, access and abundance.

“We are dedicated to empowering forward-thinking women and people of color innovators, creators, and entrepreneurs through mentorship and funding, fostering success in the early stages of their ventures.“

Our Team

Anne Descalzo

Co-founder and owner of Clutch, an award-winning women-owned business management consulting services company, where she leads a human-centered culture and is a strategic advisor to the executive team. Anne also is an Angel Investor and co-hosts a women’s education group to bring information and resources about entrepreneurship, business acceleration, and funding to a wider female audience. She has received many accolades for her leadership, including Enterprising Woman of the Year by Enterprising Women Magazine and Entrepreneur of the Year by Folsom Chamber of Commerce. She also was recognized as a “40 Under 40” influential business leader by the Sacramento Business Journal. Anne serves on several boards, including the California Chamber of Commerce Board, the Enterprising Women National Advisory Board and the Folsom Tourism and Economic Development Corporation board.

Rachel Zillner

Former finance professional, co-founded Clutch alongside Anne. As CEO, she guides the strategic direction of the 150+-employee organization, propelling it to become the top Fastest Growing Company in 2023 in Sacramento. Recognized for visionary leadership, she received awards such as 2018 Executive Woman of the Year (NAWBO) and 2023 Entrepreneur of the Year (Folsom Chamber of Commerce, Choose Folsom). Named Ernst & Young’s 2023 Bay Area Entrepreneur of the Year, Rachel is a super-connector and avid community advocate. Beyond Clutch, she invests time in mentoring and supporting startups, co-leads a women’s investment group, and champions angel investing for women. Dedicated to empowering women, Rachel co-founded and executive produces Sacramento’s BOLD Speaker Series, showcasing impactful stories by local women.

We’re dedicated to supporting women and marginalized entrepreneurs through mentorship and funding for success. Small businesses are crucial for economic growth and technological advancement, requiring essential support in their early stages. Unfortunately, in 2022, only 2.1% of venture capital went to women, and the situation is even worse for women-founders of color, with less than 1% investment. Research indicates that women-founded startups yield double the value per dollar invested compared to those founded by men.

Coming Soon

In partnership with FourthWave, the Accelerator is intended to offer leadership coaching, development, and focus on overall wellness.

Coming in 2025

The Incubator helps new and startup businesses by providing management training, office space, and networking opportunities.