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Michigan State University

Empowering Women-owned Businesses with "Dough"

Erica Kangas

Empowering Women-owned Businesses with "Dough"

Erica Kangas, MSU class of 2010, is the vice president of engineering and a founding team member at Dough, a mission-backed startup with more than $1 million dollars in venture capital funding that's quickly growing, in part, due to the application of the knowledge and skills she acquired as a double major in mathematics and economics and member of the Honors College at Michigan State University. 

Dough's mission is to drive consumer purchase power towards women-owned businesses,” Kangas says. “Our co-founders Vanessa and Anna created Dough out of their own experiences, grappling with the unique challenges that many women face in building successful companies and raising capital to grow their businesses. Before COVID, only something like 2.7 percent of investment dollars went to women-owned businesses. And since then, that number has actually shrunk to 1 percent. Meanwhile, only something like 20 women have founded and led a company that has gone public.

Kangas says her time at MSU helped launch her career aspirations.

“My time at Michigan State really prepared me to feel like I could tackle anything and everything I would pursue. MSU has so much to offer. And for me, it was like this playground where not only would I be able to pursue my degrees in math and economics, but I would also have the opportunity to gain experience as a student advocate through my time in student government all the way to honing public speaking skills through my time with the mock trial team. So not only did I pick up the STEM education that was the groundwork for my early career in research and evaluation and eventually in technology, but it also served as this way to develop these other experiences that are really pillars to how I approach all of the non-technical aspects to my work over the years.”

Hear more about Dough’s mission in the podcast below:

Episode Transcript

MSU Today airs Sunday mornings at 9:00 on 105.1 FM, AM 870, and Find “MSU Today with Russ White” on SpotifyApple Podcasts, and wherever you get your shows. 

Contributing Writer(s): Russ White, '82, '01