How Capital On Stage is supporting female VCs and in turn supporting female founders.

With the industry average for female venture capitalists around 5%, Capital On Stage’s 35% female VC attendance is putting female in the spotlight, providing them with a platform to make themselves be seen and heard at Capital On Stage Amsterdam this Thursday.

In 2011, only one female VC was represented in the Mida’s list of 100 top tech investors, while Capital On Stage had 2 out of 20. In 2015, the Mida’s list has grown to five females represented and Capital On Stage has seven. Aiming to “demystify” the venture capital process for founders, the unconventional conference offers a ratio of 1:8 investors to founder and is pleased to announce a 1:3 ratio of male to female VCs. “Capital On Stage have always encouraged and supported female venture capitalists, but it’s not always easy to find them and get them on the stage,” says Arjen Strijker CEO of Capital On Stage. “The number has grown over the years. In New York 2013, 20% of our participating VCs were women and now in Amsterdam we are seeing 35%.”

This growth is reflected across Europe, but also in the Netherlands. Local Dutch VC fund InnovationQuarter is a rare example of the change happening with over half their team consisting of female investors (4). Francis Quint Head of InnovationQuarter shares “we are more likely to invest in women entrepreneurs as we are more aware of the qualities of women entrepreneurs. We need more examples of women entrepreneurs to create more awareness among men and women that women are excellent entrepreneurs and that more women should opt for Entrepreneurship.” Stephanie Heller a Partner at Bootstrap Europe explains however, Female VCs will for sure not put a discount on female entrepreneurs! When you are an entrepreneur you are the motor of a company. An investor takes a view on how much energy the founders can generate. The color of the motor doesn’t matter.”

Kajsa Ollongren, Amsterdam’s alderperson for Economic Affairs is excited to see so many VC women involved in the Amsterdam edition of Capital on Stage “It reflects our aim for an inclusive startup ecosystem in Amsterdam.”

Heller says times are changing “as many realise that women can be great investors too. I heard many men say: mothers are the most efficient team members!” Emily Shurey Marketing Manager for Capital On Stage sees a direct correlation between female VCs and female founders at their event. “It’s still a bro-centric culture, but by putting more female VCs in the spotlight, we see more woman founders to attend.” Heller believes that “we need to encourage women to think of themselves as great leaders AND help men to look up at women as inspiring leaders.”

The unconventional funding event will return home to Amsterdam for as the headlining event at Amsterdam Capital Week, and is supported by the StartUpAmsterdam action program of the City of Amsterdam. Held in the stunning Atrium of Loyens & Loeff, where they will host 20 international VCs and 200 funding ready founders to help demystify the venture capital process for the Dutch Startup Capital. The conference is founder-centric; VCs pitch and founders pick the VCs they would like to meet during the highly regarded Open Office Hour sessions. Founders can pre-book 10-minute private meetings with two investors of their choice. Heller is excited by the Capital On Stage format. “We’re generally on the back of the scene as venture debt players. The format of Capital on Stage is what attracted us. This is exactly the reason why we chose Capital On Stage as the only event we present to this year.” Heller

Hermine Voûte, Partner at Loyens & Loeff: “It’s great to see a growing number of women in technology, similar to the growth of female partners in the legal business. The number of female entrepreneurs has been rising, but they still don’t have the same investment opportunities that men do. That’s why I am thrilled that 7 of the 20 venture capitalists at Capital on Stage 2015 are women, as female entrepreneurs need more places to turn to if a male-only venture firm doesn’t see value in the opportunity she is pitching.”

Attending female VCs: Elodie Dupuy Vice President at Insight Venture Partners, Stephanie Heller and Fatou Diagne Partners at Bootstrap Europe, Yvonne Neef Manager Corporate Venturing at Eneco Innovation & Ventures, Marja Verbon Associate at Piton Capital, Francis Quint Head of InnovationQuarter Capital and Nienke Vledder Senior Investment Manager at InnovationQuarter Capital.

Author: Emily-Jane Shurey

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