Executive Reshuffling at Dallas’s Tech Wildcatters Startup Accelerator

Dallas—With the dismissal of two top executives from Dallas’s Tech Wildcatters, the startup accelerator has made a deep pivot in operations since its founding seven years ago.

Molly Cain, TW’s executive director, and Clarisa Lindenmeyer, chief revenue officer, were both let go from their positions last week in what co-founder Gabriella Draney Zielke calls a need for “better structure.”

That need, she says, is required because of the accelerator’s new Gauntlet program, unveiled earlier this year, in which startups receive investment upon attaining certain milestones throughout the year. “The Gauntlet is a very different model than what we’re used to,” Zielke says. “It was necessary to flatten out the organization a bit.”

Now, Zielke says, Tech Wildcatters is looking to hire a project manager and an entrepreneur-in-residence. “These are just very different roles,” she says. “For the E-I-R, we’re looking for a recently successful exited entrepreneur. For the project manager role, somebody who’s not on the executive level or anything like that, more a team player with everybody.”

For their part, Cain and Lindenmeyer say their dismissals came as a surprise. While they knew the Gauntlet would require some restructuring at Tech Wildcatters, they did not believe that would come to include an elimination of their positions. “I don’t want to say that I built the Gauntlet, but my teams and I removed so many kinks out of it, and designed the logistics,” Cain says.

The executive reshuffling is an abrupt dismantling of one of the few tech startup accelerators in the country to be led by a team of women. News stories and promotional materials frequently featured photos of all three women together. The branding was not intentional, Lindenmeyer says, but “like any good business we … Next Page »

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Angela Shah is the editor of Xconomy Texas. She can be reached at ashah@xconomy.com or (214) 793-5763. Follow @angelashah

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