WHY YOU NEED TO KNOW HER:
Because the prospects for anyone connected to Tech Wildcatters to strike it rich are looking better than ever. And Molly Cain, an Arlington native, recently took the helm of the seed accelerator as executive director.
Cain is running day-to-day operations while co-founder and CEO Gabriella Draney focuses on growing the overall organization, which includes a nonprofit and an international initiative. Under Cain’s leadership, the already successful, 6-year-old enterprise is kicking it up a notch by expanding its reach and influence.
Prior to joining TW, Cain, 33, co-founded ViewMarket, an e-commerce video content network. She also comes with corporate chops—most recently as vice president of retail communications for Comerica Bank.
Her communications background will be useful as she acclimates the next class of companies to the accelerator. By the January deadline, Cain estimates 400 companies will have applied for 16 coveted spots. That’s up from the five companies accepted to TW’s 2010 inaugural class out of 120 inquiries. Those chosen will receive a $25,000 infusion and come to Dallas for 12 weeks of intense training that culminates in a pitch day before potential investors.
TW recently moved from an old church in Uptown to new space in downtown Dallas. Cain hopes to raise the accelerator’s profile nationally, and has a built-in audience as a regular contributor to Forbes.com.
“I’m going to be writing more columns about the startup space and will be interacting with the startup communities in places like Silicon Valley; Boulder, Colorado; Boston; and Atlanta,” she says.
Investors should get to know Cain if they want to get plugged into the DFW startup community. As an entrepreneur, she also knows the challenges startups face, and says she can help business owners get plugged into the community. “An accelerator is perfect for that,” she says.