The Evolution of Female Founder Office Hours
Last week we unveiled All Raise, a new non profit dedicated to diversity in funders and founders.
Although we started as a group of 30+ women VCs, our goal all along has been to build a big tent and involve people from across the tech industry.
To that end, I’m excited to announce that 120+ female founders are joining forces with All Raise to be mentors for Female Founder Office Hours!
Over the past 6 months of Female Founder Office Hours, 30+ female VCs have staffed 200 1:1 mentoring sessions to help accelerate the success of female founders. With the addition of 120+ female founders, we can 5x our capacity and better serve the 1500+ female founders who’ve already applied for office hours, in addition to new founders who sign up.
Our new group of mentors includes incredible female founders across all stages and sectors, who have collectively raised $4B in venture backing. This includes the CEOs and founders of Brandless, Eventbrite, Front, GetAround, Glossier, Houzz, Kabam, Nextdoor, PlanGrid, Shippo, Stitch Fix, and many more.
At the later stages, we’ve got public company CEOs like Katrina Lake of Stitch Fix, serial female founders like Mariam Naficy of Minted/Eve.com, Sandy Jen of Honor/Meebo, and Selina Tobaccowala of Evite/Gixo, and women with large acquisitions like Holly Liu of Kabam (acq. for nearly $1B).
At the earlier stages, we’ve got amazing folks who despite having younger companies have also earned their stripes when it comes to fundraising and company building, like Nadia Bourjawah and Lydia Gilbert of Dia&Co, Moj Mahdara of Beautycon, Jessica Mah of Indinero, and Kellee James of Mercaris.
There’s one female founder that I’d really like to highlight: Felicia Curcuru, CEO & cofounder of Binti. Felicia is a missionary founder with a ton of grit. She was inspired by her sister’s experience adopting a child and set out to build a company that makes adoption and foster care easier.
I met Felicia a couple of months ago at a dinner for female founders. As we started talking, we realized we were both working on our own versions of Female Founder Office Hours at exactly the same time. Our missions and our motivations were identical. As founders, we had both experienced the loneliness of founder life through tough fundraisings and pivots. As investors, we had both seen the common mistakes that founders make when pitching, especially women founders. We had both independently arrived at the same conclusion that an office hours program was the solution, thanks to its combination of practical advice, mentoring, and supportive community. We quickly realized that with our shared vision we could have much more impact together, so we decided to join forces and merge our efforts.
Just as All Raise was borne from a casual dinner, this next evolution of Female Founder Office Hours was also borne from a casual dinner. My takeaway is that a strong network is essential. For women in tech, these network connections are often forged randomly. But they don’t have to be left to chance. With Female Founder Office Hours, we aim to build an intentional community and a pay-it-forward chain of mentorship between every generation of female founders. Together, we hope to move the needle for women in tech and achieve All Raise’s goal of increasing the percentage of funding to female founders from 15% in 25% in 5 years.
Join us! If you’d like to sign up for a 45-minute 1:1 mentoring session, go to FemaleFounder.org to learn more.