Erica Wenger

Head of Platform

,

Worklife

Things to note

I have always dreamed of going on The Amazing Race and traveling around the world. Have been a superfan of the show since I was young and hope to be on the show one day!

I have a twin sister! We’re very close and so much of who I am is shaped by her and our relationship.

I adore Oprah! I quote her all the time and a lot of her teachings drive how I view the world.

I’m most proud of the teams I’ve built that sustain without me.

Erica Wenger

Latest Press

No items found.
Get writings from our founder, Brianne Kimmel, and updates from our community.

I am a twentysomething entrepreneur and venture capitalist with a TEDx Talk, sold business, and successful podcast under my belt. I am passionate about creating a more equitable future of work, bringing women into tech, learning about the web3 space, and building community wherever I go.

I started my entrepreneurial journey in college when I formulated, packaged, and sold the trademark to my vegan bacon company. After that experience, I launched a B2B apparel business with a give-back component for nonprofits, which I successfully sold in 2021. Throughout my various entrepreneurial curiosities - the food space, drop-shipping, and nonprofit work - I was falling in love with social entrepreneurship and was honored to give a TEDx talk on that exact subject.

After being the youngest graduate to receive my Masters degree in Social Entrepreneurship from USC at 21, I knew I wanted to spend several years as an apprentice - learning from the best of the best on how to take an idea to execution, how to manage teams, how to prioritize correctly, and so much more. I took a role as a founding team member (2nd employee) of TOMS Founder Blake Mycoskie’s startup, Madefor, where I helped scale the business from an idea into a multi-million dollar company.

After a few amazing years at Madefor, I transitioned out of my role and am now working here at Worklife as Head of Platform. In this role, I oversee all programming and support for the founders of our portfolio companies. I am able to continue my passion as an operator as I help support the growth of both Worklife and our portfolio companies.

Along with learning the ins and outs of what it takes to build a business from scratch (whether at a startup or venture fund), I am quenching my thirst for more knowledge by hosting my own podcast, Dear Twentysomething. On the show, I interview successful changemakers about their twenties, specifically ups and downs of their career journey. I've had guests like real estate agent Tracy Tutor, actress/entrepreneur Kelly Rutherford, psychologist Meg Jay, and entrepreneur Alli Webb.

Favorite Places and Local Businesses

  1. Earth Cafe in Phoenix, AZ - The most amazing non-dairy cookies and cream milkshake as well as many other tasty plant-based foods. It’s a hidden gem located in a strip mall across from a motel. Random spot but so good!
  2. Cantina Frida in Beverly Hills, CA - When I tell you these tacos are life-changing, I mean it. They have so many different tacos to try and they all will melt in your mouth. Personal favorites are the camaron taco and arrachera questaco.
  3. Surf Food Stand in El Porto, CA - It’s a small food shack on the beach. You can eat a burger and fries (or in my case, the coconut shrimp is a personal favorite!) at a table with your toes in the sand. Enough said!
  4. Ben’s Cookies in Oxford, England - If you find yourself in the small town of Oxford, make sure to go to the Covered Market, find the Ben’s stand, and order a warm chocolate chip cookie. They are legendary, and I still think about them more than a decade after I had my first cookie from there!
  5. Martha’s Country Bakery in Brooklyn, NY - The best bakery I’ve ever been to and it’s a go-to stop every time I’m back in NYC! So many options to choose from but the classic cheesecake is heavenly.
  6. Manarola village in Cinque Terre, Italy (my one non-food favorite place) - Right above the water off the coast in Italy is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The houses are all built on top of each other embedded in the hillside and painted the most vibrant shades of red, yellow, and orange. If you find yourself in Europe, spend at least 1 day in Manarola eating pasta, meeting the locals, and taking in the view!

What moment in your career are you the proudest of?

I’m most proud of the teams I’ve built that sustain without me. For two years, I founded and built an organization that hosts massive conferences. With our amazing team, we scaled it to be profitable, inspire thousands of attendees, create lasting job opportunities, and more. After moving onto other opportunities, I went back to the conference years later and saw it was flourishing, growing, and expanding on the vision our team had built. That was the moment I was most proud - knowing the foundation I built had continued long after I had moved on.

What trends are you most excited about right now?

IRL communities - now that we are getting on the other side of COVID, I’m seeing a lot of startups focus on building community IRL. It’s exciting to see we’re coming back together to build authentic connections offline.

Exploding food categories like plant-based eating and non-alcoholic beverages/bars - It’s been an interesting to see the world re-evaluate their food choices during lockdown. With everyone cooking from home, minimal obligations outside of home life, and a hyperawareness on health, many people have changed their eating and drinking habits. Will be interesting to see if this trend towards healthier food and drink choices is a fad or if it will stick.

Web3 utility projects - Has been fun to see the explosion of blockchain tech in the past few years and the startups that are using the tech to build something useful and community-driven. Still early, but excited about the potential I’m seeing with some of these early projects.

What founder inspires you the most?

Right now, I’m most inspired by Karen Cahn at iFundWomen. She’s actively creating investment and coaching opportunities for women and people of color to get their businesses off the ground. She’s also a firecracker and so devoted to the mission. Big fan!

How do you make your worklife better?

I make my worklife better by incorporating nature into my day! As little as 15 min spent outside can have huge impacts on decreasing stress and anxiety.

I have lots of greenery in my home and often spend parts of my day working outside. I also go for nature walks after work to make sure I’m taking a break from my screens.

Vlad Magdalindecorative icon - pink speech bubble
Brianne is a community builder and incredible asset to the low-code community. She continues to be a hands-on investor and mentor to the team even after the next round.
Vlad Magdalin
Webflow, CEO
Sophia Amorusodecorative icon - heart
I learn so much in every conversation with Brianne. She has deep expertise and she cares. I’m a proud investor in WLV and would back anything Brianne does.
Sophia Amoruso
Nasty Gal, Girlboss, Investor

Latest Blog Posts

No items found.