Lunch & Learn - April

Raising Business Capital

April 9th, 12:00 - 2:00 pm
Session + Box Lunch = $15/person

Registration Closes April 3, 5:00 pm


Join WomenVenture to learn the ins and outs of raising capital for your business from three women with expertise and experience in the field of financing. Cat Polivoda, Maggie Knoke, and Laura Euller will be talking about how to set your business up for success in crowdfunding, Angel Investing, and business loans. We will debunk common financing myths and leave you armed with accurate information about raising money beyond your piggy bank.

After this session, you will have learned:

  • The pros and cons of crowdfunding, investor funding, and business loans
  • Best practices for successful crowdfunding campaigns 
  • What is early-stage investing and how is it different from Series A/B and Venture Capital
  • How to prepare for meeting with a business lender
  • What investors and business lenders are looking for from entrepreneurs


Presented By:

Maggie Knoke, Owner of FrameWork Consulting

Maggie Knoke is the founder and CEO of FrameWork Consulting, where she helps entrepreneur founders/visionaries and their leadership teams get unstuck at key pivot points through strategic and annual planning, talent management strategies and executive coaching. She has over 20 years' experience in strategy planning and execution, project management, corporate and nonprofit finance and entrepreneurship. She also does a little bit of angel investing, focused on supporting diverse women and non-binary femme founders.

Maggie is a Getting Ready trainer and mentor for Small Business Essentials participants. She got involved at WomenVenture first as a client -- taking SBE in 2017 because she wanted the structure and support as she transitioned from a corporate career to freelance consultant. She sticks around because Getting Ready made a HUGE impact on her decision to jump in to entrepreneurship, and because she loves the network & culture of support at WomenVenture.

Prior to entrepreneurship, Maggie spent 20+ years in corporate, nonprofit and state government roles, where she did finance, training, project management and led all kinds of teams. She has an MBA from the U of M and undergrad degree from Oberlin College in Ohio.

Her fun facts: she loves pugs, science fiction, 10-year-olds, minimalism and tattoos.


Cat Polivoda, Owner of Cake Plus-Size Resale

Cat Polivoda (pah-lah-VOE-duh) is a shop owner and fat activist. 
Cat owns Cake Plus-Size Resale - a body positive, plus-size thrift shop in South Minneapolis. She is dedicated to making plus-size fashion more accessible and affordable while fostering a shop space and local community centered on radical self love and fat liberation.

Cat is a spring 2017 graduate of WomenVenture’s Guided Business Plan course (now, Small Business Essentials). Cake Plus-Size Resale opened as a brick-and-mortar shop space in October 2017. Cake was half loan funded and half crowdfunded through a successful $16,000 crowdfunding campaign.

Cat also co-hosts a podcast, Matter of Fat, a body positive podcast with Midwest sensibilities through KFAI Community Radio, offers one-on-one style consulting (in and outside of Cake), and leads an online confidence course (and community) for curvy/fat/plus-size folks called Big, Bold Confidence

Cat has a master’s degree in Training & Development from Texas A&M University-Commerce and an undergraduate degree from Hamline University. Before opening her shop, Cat worked in higher education and student affairs - in housing, student success, first year experience and adjunct instructed.

Her fun facts: she strongly believes that audiobooks read by the author are better, that the BMI is bunk, that nuts should be toasted before you put them on a salad, and that your business definitely needs a social media presence!


Laura Euller, Loan Officer at WomenVenture

Laura Euller has a BA in French Literature from Whitman College. She has worked to promote gender equity and women’s empowerment with local Minneapolis nonprofit WomenVenture for 5 years through a variety of service and program management roles. In her most recent role as loan officer, Laura consults with small business owners through the application and underwriting stages of WomenVenture’s microloan program and helps deploy capital to women-owned businesses in partnership with community banks and economic development agencies in the Twin Cities.

Her fun facts: she is a fraternal twin and very close to her twin sister, speaks French, Farsi, Spanish and is always working on new languages, volunteers with International Institute of Minnesota to help new immigrants adjust to life in the U.S.


Lunch catered by Breaking Bread Cateringa social enterprise restaurant and catering service in North Minneapolis offering fresh and flavorful global, comfort foods while supporting a social mission and vision.