Introducing NYC Female Founder Office Hours

by Rebecca Kaden (Union Square Ventures) & Dayna Grayson (NEA)

As a small collective of female partners at VC firms with east coast presence and many east coast portfolio companies, we are big believers in the magic of New York City as an entrepreneurial hub.

NYC is a city known for its diversity of people and ideas, and a place where so many industries have grown side by side. Its history is built on a culture of curiosity, possibility, grit, resilience, and scale — the key ingredients of transformational new businesses. Our tech ecosystem is representative of the city we’re a part of and the evidence of that is becoming clear. Tumblr, MongoDB, and are only the beginning of the billion-dollar-plus massive exits and institutionalized companies we know are coming.

We are also proud of the female founded companies that are scaling all around us. New York is home to more companies with a female founder than any other city, and our funding numbers look better, too. 17% of NYC Series A rounds in 2016 had a female founder. In the Bay Area, that number was only 10%.

But while it’s good to outperform the norm, it’s so far from good enough. In fact, these numbers are pathetic and we all know it. We’re passionate about taking concrete steps to change it and to change it fast.

Which is why we’re excited to launch the first Female Founder Office Hours in NYC on January 9th, 2018, hosted by a group of women investors who are determined to move these ratios and are partners who actively lead deals at firms equipped to do so.

Similar to the west coast version, NYC Female Founder Office Hours will include forty 1:1 office hours with ten female partners from VC firms such as Bloomberg Beta, FirstMark, First Round, Greycroft, NEA, Union Square Ventures, and a host of others, as well as a breakfast and panel hosted by Nimi Katragadda (Box Group), Sutian Dong (Female Founders Fund), and Nisha Dua (BBG) with a broader network of female entrepreneurs and VCs. The investors attending have a range of focuses in both stage (seed to late stage) and sector. They have experience in industries that have been mainstays of New York tech like commerce/retail tech and fintech as well as enterprise software, industrial tech, productivity applications, and hardware.

It is easy to agree that we need to move the needle for women in tech; it has been far harder to move it. We are a group of VCs who believe that more breakout female founded companies will help spur the ecosystem in the right direction. But no one can do it alone — community, support, advice, resources, friendship are all ingredients of success and ones that, if we band together, we are equipped to create. This initiative is just the start.

So, female founders, we’re so ready to meet you and do our best to help you build the businesses that are going to make NYC the greatest entrepreneurial hub in the world, and change the gender ratios in the process. We hope you can join us on January 9th, 2018. Apply here!