Panel Event: Access to Capital

A Maine Startup and Create Week Affiliate Event


How Can We Get More Women Entrepreneurs Financed?

Please join us for an exciting panel event on Thursday, June 23rd! A panel of distinguished speakers will discuss questions and themes surrounding access to capital, with a focus of discussion on how to get more female entrepreneurs the financing they need to grow their businesses. The discussion will be moderated, and topics will include: challenges and advice for entrepreneurs seeking capital, ways to get more women interested in investing, the social and cultural barriers women face in accessing capital, and how entrepreneurs could be better prepared for securing funding.

The panel will begin at 5:30 pm and wrap up by 6:45, just in time for attendees to head next door to the Maine Food show at 7:00 pm!

Please Register Here to Attend


Jeanne A. Hulit- Jeanne A. Hulit is responsible for leading Northeast Bank in Maine, an $802MM community bank headquartered in Lewiston. Prior to joining Northeast Bank, Jeanne served on President Obama’s Cabinet as the Acting Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration in Washington, DC. She led the Agency from September 2013 to February 2014, and helped ensure the expansion and delivery of capital, counseling and contracting services to America’s small businesses. Before being asked to lead the Agency, she oversaw the SBA’s $100 billion dollar loan guarantee program as Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Capital Access. Prior to serving as Associate Administrator, she served as SBA’s New England Regional Administrator, managing the delivery of services in the six New England  district offices. Jeanne joined the Obama Administration in 2009 after an 18-year career in commercial banking in Maine. Jeanne has held numerous leadership positions including Senior Vice President for Commercial Lending at Citizens Bank, Vice President and Middle Market Lender at KeyBank, N.A., and manager of Key’s International Banking Division. She currently serves on the Boards of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Maine Bankers Association and the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders.


Sandra Stone- Chair Emeritus at Maine Angels, Maine’s angel investment network in southern Maine with a growing subchapter in Bangor. Since 2003, Maine Angels has been a cooperative membership mechanism for accredited investors to collaboratively identify, vet & individually make investments in promising northern New England early-stage companies. The consolidated portfolio is now over $18M of investments in 67 New England companies. In 2015 Maine Angels was recognized in the national Halo Report as the 3rd most active angel group in New England in Q2, and #7 most active Angel group nationally for number of deals for the entire year. Mainebiz recognized Sandra as a 2013 Woman to Watch. Sandra is President of the Board of Trustees of a private out-of-state grant-making foundation, where she has been an active Trustee since 1990. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors of CEI Ventures, Inc a socially responsible venture capital fund. She is also Principal of Sea Cove Solutions, enhancing connections and creating linkages in innovation and the ecosystem with an intentional focus on female entrepreneurship.

Betsy Peters- Betsy Peters has been a founder or senior executive in 3 startups in Maine that have raised over $21M in funding. She is currently the Chief Marketing Officer of LightSail Education, an adaptive reading experience that is solving some of the thorniest problems in literacy, worldwide – with the financial backing of legendary investors Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Scott Cook of Intuit. Betsy is actively involved in Maine’s startup ecosystem – has been an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Maine Technology Institute and continues as coach and board member for start-ups in the area.

Alison Pyott- Alison Pyott is a Partner, Senior Wealth Manager, and Certified Financial Planner™ for the Veris Wealth Partners Portsmouth office. She manages client portfolios and designs comprehensive strategies to meet a wide range of clients’ financial and impact goals. Alison is a frequent speaker on impact and gender lens investing.  She has co-authored two papers on gender lens investing, the most recent Women, Wealth and Impact: Investing with a Gender Lens 2.0. Alison currently serves as the Treasurer for the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation and Chair for New Hampshire Charitable Foundation – Piscataqua Region Advisory Board. She is also a member of the Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle, New England International Donors (NEID), and the Financial Planning Association of New England.

Jayme Okma Lee (Investment Manager, Maine Venture Fund)- Jayme joined the Maine Venture Fund in 2005 and since then has been assisting Maine companies seeking growth capital.  As the Fund’s Investment Manager, Jayme regularly meets with growing Maine businesses to assess their capital needs.  She is experienced in due diligence, deal structuring and negotiations, and serves as a Board Observer for several MVF portfolio companies. Ms. Okma Lee received an MBA from the University of Maine and graduated with honors, from Bowdoin College with an A.B. in Economics and Mathematics.