Providing leadership coaching, mentorship, and capital readiness.

Launching later in the year this new program is poised to further bolster entrepreneurial leadership skills and new company growth. It will be an impactful addition to the existing FourthWave program run annually in our region.

The MinervaAccelerator, in partnership with FourthWave, aims to bridge the gap in mentorship and funding for women and people of color to reduce inequality and increase economic growth.

FourthWave programming creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to chart a new course in business culture with an innovative curriculum designed to facilitate our entrepreneurs’ growth as impactful, conscious leaders. In addition the program addresses the primary impediments to business owners’ success—a lack of mentorship, startup fundamentals, and access to capital.

MinervaAccelerator launches in later this year, 2024.

Meet Our Team

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.

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.

Cheryl Beninga

Experienced Venture Investor in high growth organizations innovating in clean technology, mobile software, MedTech and enterprise software and services. Managing Director of Wai-Mohala Ventures and Beninga Advisors. Co-Founder FourthWave Accelerator Program for Leading Female Founders in technology sectors providing mentorship, conscious leadership training and access to capital.

Cheryl has worked with leading technology investors including Intel Capital and GE Ventures on all stages of technology investing. Experienced at the board and operation level at all venture stages Seed round to IPO and M&A exits.

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