Wednesday, October 14, 2020


Connects Listeners with Honest Insight Into Raising Capital, Investing in Startups and More

New York – NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) today announced a new limited series podcast, WE NYC & VCs off the Record, focused on supporting women entrepreneurs of color by elevating their stories and offering practical information to start and grow a business in a post-COVID era.

"Women of color have historically been overlooked and left out of the entrepreneurship ecosystem," said Jonnel Doris, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. "We've partnered with VCs off the Record, powered by WOCstar Fund, to highlight women's voices and provide them with a unique opportunity to access the critical tools they need to succeed."

The eight-part podcast takes listeners directly to female founders of color as they share their journey toward growing a successful business enterprise. From venture capitalists to CEOs, these women are leaders in their industries and will provide first-hand accounts of how they reached their goals. Host Gayle Jennings-O'Byrne brings these one-on-one conversations directly to aspiring women entrepreneurs, covering funding options, an entrepreneur's capability to attract capital and more.

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, WE NYC & VCs off the Record will kick off the podcast launch with the Co-Founder of Eight Sleep, Alexandra Zatarain, who will talk about entering the tech field as an outsider and how her company solved a problem in her own home.

An additional episode will publish on Friday, October 16 with Beatrice Dixon, Founder of The Honey Pot Company, who sits down with Jennings-O'Byrne to discuss how she secured funding, grew her brand and the challenges she encountered after landing her products in Target.

New episodes will be released every Wednesday, beginning October 28, for free on Spotify and The latest episodes are available here.

"It's great to be a part of this creative an innovative partnership with the NYC Department of Small Business Services to give women entrepreneurs and business owners a platform to share lessons, insights and empower each other," said Gayle Jennings-O'Byrne, co-founder of the WOCstar Fund and host of the podcast. "Women of color, or as we call them WOCstars, because they are rock stars, are critical to the city's economic recovery."

"You don't realize how big of a responsibility you have as a female founder until you take a hard look at how there are so few major companies run by women or founded by women," said Beatrice Dixon, Co-Founder/CEO of The Honey Pot Company. "I personally don't subscribe to labels or boxes that have been crafted to limit who and what I can become. I believe that my presence in the world of entrepreneurship is just another example of where we need to go in terms of diversity, inclusion, and opportunity. I am so proud to be a part of the changing landscape in business and can't wait to see what the future holds."

"As a Latina entrepreneur and mentor, I am excited to share my journey of building a sleep fitness company on the WE NYC & VCs Off the Record podcast," said Alexandra Zatarain, Co-founder of Eight Sleep. "My goal with this interview is to give listeners key insights on my journey building Eight Sleep, the shared challenges we all face as entrepreneurs, and key resources WE NYC and SBS have to offer."

About VCs off the Record
"'VCs off the Record,' a new podcast launched by WOCstar Fund is the insider's playbook and golden rolodex for both startups and investors that want brutally honest information and resources about raising capital or investing in startups," states Gayle Jennings-O'Byrne. As a builder capitalist, who is committed to building wealth in communities of color, Jennings-O'Byrne conceived of the podcast to help respond to a need that became increasingly urgent in the midst of COVID-19. Get access to leading investors and entrepreneurs, intel on raising capital, tips on building your company and what to consider with investing in startups. Listen and subscribe here.

About WOCstar Fund
The WOCstar Fund is an early stage venture fund that is changing the trajectory for investors and entrepreneurs. The Fund offers smart, inclusive investors the opportunity to share in the success of one of the more profitable segments of the financial market -- Women of color (aka "WOCstars"). As women who invest in women, the team is actively investing in companies that are redefining how we will consume, work, play, dwell and innovate in the future. We invest in rockstars....Women of Color (WOC) Tech startups! Visit for more information.

About WE NYC
WE NYC - Women Entrepreneurs of NYC - was launched by the NYC Department of Small Business Services in 2015, delivers tailored, research-based programs for women entrepreneurs to better connect them to the resources, education, and community they need to flourish. WE NYC services are at no-cost and open to all women throughout the five boroughs. Since its launch, WE NYC has served more than 14,000 women entrepreneurs in NYC. For more information, visit

About NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS)
SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information on all SBS services, go to, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.