Fund(s): FirstStep Fund
Location: St. Louis
Jennifer Ehlen is the founder and CEO of BGI (formerly known as Brazen Global Inc), a software platform that creates connected organizations through self-facilitated peer advisory groups. Jennifer also founded Prosper Women Entrepreneurs (PWE), which works to advance women-led companies through early stage investments and mentoring. Before making the entrepreneurial leap to focus on BGI and Prosper full-time, Jennifer was a Director at Thompson Street Capital Partners, where Jennifer worked with senior management to help source and evaluate investment opportunities for the St. Louis-based $1.5B+ private equity firm. Prior to joining Thompson Street, Jennifer was the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Saint Louis University.
Jennifer has received various recognitions for her work in mergers & acquisitions and the entrepreneurship community. She was included as one of “100 St. Louisans You Should Know” by the St. Louis Small Business Monthly (2015). She was also named a “Most Influential Businesswoman” (2014), received an Innovation Award (2014) and was listed as one of the area’s “Top 40 under 40” business professionals (2011) by the St. Louis Business Journal. Jennifer was also named as the Distinguished Young Alumni of the year by the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University (2013). Her work with BGI and Prosper has been covered by Fortune, Forbes, Huffington Post and Crains.
Her passion for educating others about intersectional feminism as it relates to women in business has led her to speak at academic institutions such as Cornell University, Washington University St. Louis, Saint Louis University, and Webster University, industry conferences such as Denver Startup Week, St. Louis Startup Convention, the Leading Edge Alliance of Accounting Firms, and global women’s organizations such as the Global Women in Gaming conference in Las Vegas, NV.
Jennifer is also an angel investor and co-founded the St. Louis Female Investor Group in 2018. In addition to personally investing in early stage ventures, she is also a member of Portfolia and the Golden Seeds (NYC chapter). Jennifer also serves as a coach, mentor and advisory board member for companies ranging in size from pre-revenue to $200M+. Jennifer’s most important job, however, is raising four very special people alongside her partner, Craig...and maybe teaching them a thing or two along the way. Their four children are her most important start-up venture.