This story begins with two young women—Yanyi “Summer” Li and Jaclynn Brennan. The two colleagues knew there was a severe lack of capital investment in female-led businesses. They wanted to create a safe place where women could grow, be supported and uplift each other. That idea became Fylí. The networking community has grown to more than 6,000 members around the world.
We spoke to Jaclynn Brennan herself to better understand Fylí’s goal.
“Fylí stands for tribe in Greek, and family in Latin. We are a female founders’ mastermind. Our mission is to help empower and inspire early-stage female founders with the tools and resources they need to thrive,” Brennan explained.
What is Fylí’s biggest achievement so far?
“Fylí’s biggest accomplishment has been to help our founders raise early-stage capital. We’ve helped founders raise about $2.5 million,” Brennan said. “The biggest obstacle and hurdle when it comes to seeing women in business is getting venture funding.”
Systemic obstacles make less than 2.4 percent of venture capital go to women and less than one percent to women of color. One of the Fylí community’s biggest feats is helping female founders to overcome these obstacles and facilitate funding. But their most important achievement has been helping founders find the confidence they need to grow.
What are Fylí’s biggest goals?
Fylí aims to open 10 mastermind cohorts in 2023. “We run these small groups of cohorts. Usually eight to 10 per cohort, for 12 months of curriculum structure,” she said. The mastermind groups meet regularly with each other and a skilled facilitator to learn about topics targeted to their needs, build trust and accountability and strategize to reach their business and personal goals.
In the long run, Brennan aims to have cohorts all over the world. “We already have some international members right now. But the goal would be to have 10,000 cohorts and to be able to grow and scale, utilizing technology and a back-end platform where our founders can connect.”
On this platform, Fylí members could share resources, ideas and support. “Basically, we’d be the chief for early-stage founders,” Brennan said.
What is Fylí up to right now?
“I’m excited to share that we’re raising our seed round for Fylí ‘s institutional capital,” Brennan said. “We are hosting an event for South by Southwest in Austin, Texas for female founders and funders on March 13. I’m also really looking forward to that.”
Also, applications and interviews are open for their next set of cohorts opening in April 2023.
What advice do you have for female entrepreneurs?
Brennan shares one simple piece of advice—not to be afraid to ask for what you want and what you need.
“So often, as women, we’re told not to ask for things, to be quiet, to be polite, not to overstep our boundaries. But my advice is to start asking because the worst that can happen is that someone says no. And maybe it’s no today, but it might not be no tomorrow, or a year from now. So, start asking for things.”
Fylí and Double A Labs’ “Phigital World”
On March 8th, 2021, the “tribe” partnered with Double A Labs to create a 3D immersive and interactive “phygital” space for International Women’s Day. Women could enter rooms to watch keynotes, panels, artistic performances, participate in meet-and-greets and much more. With over 70 speakers, the event honored the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and covered a variety of topics including Women Raising Capital and Creating Equity Through Inclusion.
Fylí (which stands for ‘tribe’ in Greek) is a mastermind community of 6,000 women around the world, co-founded by Jaclynn Brennan and Summer YL. This peer-to-peer mentorship and accountability group offers monthly workshops, masterclasses, group coaching, opportunities for networking and support for female entrepreneurs and executives. Fylí was created to bring together a room of diverse thinkers and dreamers who can shift conversations, contribute new opinions + feedback, and bring different perspectives with clarity and directness that moves the needle. The mission of Fylí is to help female entrepreneurs R.I.S.E. in all aspects of their lives (Renew, Inspire, Support, Empower). To learn more, visit fylitribe.com.
Want to know more about raising capital and hearing from expert women entrepreneurs? Listen to the Capital Insight podcast!