Sara Batterby, the founder of the Equity Capital Collective and adviser to many entrepreneurs, has unexpectedly passed this week at 49.
Batterby entered the cannabis industry in 2014, where she co-founded HiFi Farms and the Portland Chapter of Women, where she began her investigation into developing tools and resources to provide founders equitable access to capital, according to her obituary.
In 2018, Batterby created the Equity Capital Collective and designed the first genuinely comprehensive curriculum. She worked with entrepreneurs from underserved communities to help them gain skills and access to investors and fundraising through her Capital Masterclass, her obituary states.
In a 2019 interview with Portland Business Journal, she outlined her philosophy:
"Our mission is to enable and empower entrepreneurs who have been excluded from access to networks and resources, such as women, people of color and LGBTQIA communities. We're insisting on a more equitable landscape of opportunity for a greater diversity of founders. Through our systematic methodology, we teach critical skills and insights while addressing the fundamental internal barriers associated with a diminished experience of worthiness and entitlement."
As reported by the Portland Business Journal, Batterby's family wrote in a statement: "Sara's heart beat harder for purpose and justice and at the heart of that was an anger at injustice. Injustice would always fuel her. The injustice of capital unevenly distributed. The injustice of a legal system that criminalized cannabis. She used her brain to figure out ways to beat the system or change the system. She used her charisma to convince people to join her. And she made it happen through pure perseverance, determination and stubbornness."
According to the Portland Business Journal, Batterby worked with over 50 founders across industries such as food, apparel and cannabis, and was also recognized as a "Woman of Influence" in 2019 by the Portland Business Journal.
In Cannabis Business Times, Batterby was interviewed for a 2017 article, where she shared the challenges she faced as a cultivator to start her business and the steps she took to overcome those challenges. She was later interviewed for a 2018 article—discussing resources to help women advance in the cannabis industry.
To read more about Batterby, visit her memorial page.