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Meet

We’re a small but mighty team on a mission to create equitable access to capital for all founders.

We’re committed to creating amazing, empowering, and inspiring learning experiences that will transform you as a leader.

We like a good drink, a bad joke, and a passionate founder.  We’re not fancy and we’re known to drop the occasional F-bomb.

We love what we do, and we can’t wait to meet you

sara

Sara Batterby

Founder + the CEO

Sara Batterby is the CEO and Founder of the Equity Capital Collective (EqCo). Her mission is to enable and empower entrepreneurs who have been excluded from traditional capital networks such as women, people of color, LGBTQIA, and verticals such as cannabis, leading to more diversity in the startup community and a more equitable distribution of opportunity and wealth.

EqCo is the culmination of years supporting female and other founders in standing in their power and accessing the opportunities they deserve.  Sara spent 20+ years founding and funding startups and, later as a VC in Silicon Valley, designed the first truly data driven portfolio strategy for investing in female founders. Her unique combination of experience as both a founder and investor make her uniquely qualified to support entrepreneurs in this critical step in their journey.

Sara served as the Founder and CEO of one Oregon's best-known cannabis brands, Hifi Farms, and currently serves on the Board of Women Led and Resource Innovation Institute. She teaches and speaks nationwide on fundraising and equity in capital. She has been recognized for her work by the Portland Business Journal as an Executive to Watch in 2017 and as a Woman of Influence in 2019. 

When Sara’s not helping founders and investors, she’s out at her farm with her partner, glass artist and entrepreneur Jon Myers, and her two dogs, Pip and Freya. Whether taking long walks in the woods or digging in the dirt, this space gives Sara inspiration and energy. She is working on her private pilot license which fits perfectly with her belief that “we all have the wings to soar.”

Wendy

Wendy Kotila

the Chief Make-It-Happen Officer (COO)

Wendy is a deeply experienced business advisor, mentor, and teacher.  She has a great passion for education, entrepreneurship, and empowering diverse founders.

At EqCo, Wendy is responsible for our operations, marketing, and curriculum development.  Her superpowers include taking big ideas and turning them into actionable plans, creating structure out of chaos , and inspiring her team  and her students.

Her experience is a combination of formal education and years of practical experience. After earning her MBA at the top-ranked program for international business in the U.S., she spent 12+ years in sales and marketing roles for highly respected technology companies (Adobe, Apple and Google) on both a regional and global scale.  Now she teaches founders how to apply big-business best practices to their own budding empires.

Wendy is a natural teacher with deep experience in curriculum design and delivery for adult learners. She is the founder of her own company, She Gets Business™, a global community and online education platform for women entrepreneurs in the concept or early startup phase.  She also teaches entrepreneurship at Portland State University’s School of Business and at the Mercy Corps Northwest Women’s Business Center.

Wendy is an active volunteer in her community, having both served on the board of the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, and as a mentor for the Portland Incubator Experiment for technology startups. Currently, she is a mentor for the Xxcelerate Fund for high-performing women entrepreneurs, and for Five One Labs, a start-up incubator that helps refugees and conflict-affected entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses in the Middle East. She is an investor in several Oregon-based companies.

When she’s not talking about entrepreneurship, education or technology, you can find her getting caffeinated at one of the quirky cafés in her hometown of Portland, hanging with her extremely extroverted husband and fun-loving nine-year-old, or pretending to be an interior designer/real estate agent.

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Jacob Saiki

Marketing and Customer Experience Manager

We hear daily how much our clients and community love Jacob and we get it! He’s pretty amazing.

As our Marketing and Customer Experience Manager, Jacob is often the first person founders interact with at our company.  He does so many things, but one of his most important roles is helping to amplify the wins and milestones of our amazing founders. Jacob especially loves working with our diverse founders who create and design products and services for their own communities.  He’s inspired seeing these founders transform into confident, capable fundraisers.

Jacob has a great appreciation for bridging cultures and building communities. He grew up in Hawaii - where his 2nd generation Japanese-American father was raised - and spent summers as a cowboy with his mother’s family’s ranch in rural Eastern Oregon. In both places, Jacob witnessed first-hand how access to capital transforms the outcomes and paths of different immigrant and racial communities. 

Jacob loves thoughtful and inclusive processes, systems, and organizations, and works with the Organization Development Network. He enjoys working with other consultants to provide pro-bono consulting to local nonprofits helping them plan and execute small-scale change initiatives.

Jacob holds a B.A. in Politics from Willamette University, writing his thesis on government policy related to access and funding for healthy food in public schools. Before joining EqCo, he worked in environmental sustainability for Dining Services at Pacific University implementing composting, waste reduction, and educational programs.

When Jacob’s not working, he spends as much time as he can outdoors hiking and camping.  He’s a huge podcast fan and particularly loves the Ezra Klein Show.  He also loves meditation and yoga, which is probably why he always seems so calm and is such a pleasure to hang around.  Ommmm…