Let’s Make a List of Women-Led Startups
I just finished reading Ashton Kutcher’s post on LinkedIn asking his readers a series of questions about gender equality.
First, let me say that I am really glad to see influential investors asking difficult questions about how to address the issues of gender equality and, more specifically, the disparity of venture capital funding for women and minorities.
But when the investors like Mr. Kutcher, who actually want to make a positive difference, are asking whether they should invest in “lesser merit” businesses to make that happen, it becomes clear to me that one of the biggest barriers women and minorities are facing is the inherent bias within the venture capital world that white male founders are the only ones who can launch “high merit” companies worthy of investment.
List Your Own Startup or Ones You Know
Let’s create a list, not only for Mr. Kutcher, but for all investors who want to invest in women-led companies. Let’s prove that there are plenty of options to invest without without having to “sacrifice the merit” of his investment. If investors don’t know we exist, let’s help them discover our companies.
If you’re a female founder, please comment with your company and why it is not of lesser merit.
If you know of a woman-led startup that should be mentioned, please do so. I’m sure we can come up with a few (hundred) for him to consider.
Adding My Startup to the List: APPCityLife
When our team raised $1.4 Million in seed funding in 2015 for our startup, APPCityLife, it was on a big idea — create a platform for cities to develop and share mobile apps without having to know how to code.
Thanks to closing that investment, our team has been able to build out much of our platform and gain traction within the quickly growing GovTech sector. We’ve also gained industry recognition, including being named to the prestigious GovTech 100 List for both 2016 and 2017 and being invited to present as an Innovation Challenge Winner at the Smart Cities Connect Global Summit in Austin, Texas.
And as we begin to raise our next round to deliver Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots designed specifically for cities to provide ADA enhancements and address literacy and language barriers to accessing technology, I am certain that our company’s play isn’t of “lesser merit”. It holds the potential to deliver global impact, rapid scale and high revenue.
Just as I am quite certain that our startup isn’t of “lesser merit”, I know of many other female-founded companies that are just as worthy of venture capital as any of their male counterparts.