Alexander Muse announced in mid-June the sale of Architel, as well as the launch of Sumo Ventures, creating new opportunity for early stage startups. This week Muse announced via Medium that Molly Cain is joining Sumo Ventures as a Venture Partner.
Cain will be holding office hours at the Investor Hub at the DEC offering insight gained through her wide range of experiences. Cain first gained notoriety as Vice President of Marketing for Comerica Bank while also writing for Glass Heel and Forbes on topics such as leadership and entrepreneurship. Muse sought out Cain, and together they co-founded ViewMarket before Cain went on to take over the day-to-day operations at Tech Wildcatters.
Muse encouraged Gabriella Draney Zielke of Tech Wildcatters to take Cain for this leadership position which would offer Cain an incredible amount of opportunity. Cain led Tech Wildcatters and the program grew and flourished, and then while the #5 accelerator was flourishing, recreated the program and introduced the Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is a merit-based accelerator funding program that turned the model that Tech Wildcatters helped to develop upside down. Cain’s new position as Venture Partner with Sumo will be to source deals.
Cain was not the only Tech Wildcatter dismissed by Draney Zielke on Thursday. The Dallas Morning News’ Melissa Repko reported that Clarissa Lindenmeyer, the Chief Revenue Officer, also left. Repko writes that Draney Zielke believes eliminating both positions will help Tech Wildcatters and the startups that it supports.
“Nobody wants four bosses. I’m really excited about the future and where we’re going,” Draney Zielke told Repko.
The departure of Cain and Lindenmeyer is shocking; the three women at the helm had become the face of the company, and are all major names when it comes to the DFW startup scene. The women shared a united front when it came to their accelerator and the goals they hoped to achieve, and with the changes created by the Gauntlet, the sudden exit of two of their leaders is shocking.
There will certainly be questions about the image of Tech Wildcatters now that two-thirds of the face of the company have departed under circumstances, at least in Lindenmeyer’s case, that are less than clear.