Monica Wheat
Executive Director, Venture Catalysts

Monica Wheat is a Strategist, Educator, and Venture Developer. A staunch advocate of Detroit's entrepreneurial ecosystem for 14+ years, she is the Managing Director of the Backstage Capital - Detroit Accelerator, one of a 4-city global tech accelerator in investing $100,000 each in scaling startups for underrepresented founders. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of Venture Catalysts, a non-profit venture and ecosystem development group focusing on large-scale entrepreneurial initiatives, entrepreneur/investor education, an innovation hub, seed fund, and competitions for over 30,000 attendees.

Ms. Wheat has served as Techstars Startup Programs Lead in Detroit for the last 7 years as founding Co-Lead of the 12,000+ person Detroit Startup Week and founding City Director of the newly spun-off Startup Boost Detroit, a global Pre-Accelerator. She is a global advisor and consultant for ecosystems and was selected multiple times as a U.S. Delegate for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress. She spent the first half of her career in commodities trading, engineering and digital strategy & analytics roles for Fortune 10 companies. Her work has been featured in Crains, Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, and Forbes.