“The Five Things We Need to do to Close the VC Gender Gap” with Ben Lamm, CEO of Hypergiant

Jason Malki
Aug 6, 2019 · 5 min read

There are a number of issues impacting everyone’s ability to close the gender gap including:

Making STEM/STEAM education more open and appealing to people of diverse backgrounds.

Encouraging everyone to become creative problem solvers across all industries.

Increasing our understanding of engineering on a basic level so that we are tech literate, regardless of which industry we work in.

Reducing the gender pay gap so that we have more women with more money who can also invest in anyone they consider fundable.

Invest more often in more women at any stage of business, not just those who are going for VC — backed rounds.


As part of my series about “the five things we need to do to close the VC gender gap” I had the pleasure of interviewing Ben Lamm. Ben is a serial software entrepreneur and the current founder and CEO of Hypergiant, an AI industrial company focused on delivering on the promise of AI. An advisory board member of The Planetary Society and a leader in the use of AI, Lamm believes in the power of technology to solve the biggest challenges of our time.


I’m a bit of a career explorer and have worked in a number of industries from B2B, to B2C, to B2B2C. After the sale of my last company to Accenture, I wanted to further work on the big challenges of our time: the fourth generation of technology (AI, Quantum, etc). That led to a growing interest in space, in AI and ultimately in the creation of my company Hypergiant.

I invested in YouEarnedIt which went on to get acquired by Vista Equity. I’m really proud of seeing a female CEO make a big bet and get a big payout. It totally proved out my philosophy and the right philosophy that you must look at all kinds of founders when investing.

I invested in a IoT light switch company that was run by the right team and was a great product. In fact, it was light-years past the others in the industry (pun intended!). However, they couldn’t raise money. The big lesson from that investment is that no matter how expert you are in your field, you still need to learn how to sell.

I’ve passed on deals that were successful but there is always another deal. You cannot have FOMO or regret about deals. In fact, a lot of people just invest in deals because other people are also investing in those deals. This leads to a lot of people making investments when they shouldn’t.

We focus on diverse hires but we also focus on creating diverse technologies. What a lot of people don’t think about is that it’s not just getting different people in the room, it’s thinking about different kinds of customers from the moment of creation. Different audience use products differently and you have to build for those diverse audiences.

There are a number of issues impacting everyone’s ability to close the gender gap including:

  1. Making STEM/STEAM education more open and appealing to people of diverse backgrounds.
  2. Encouraging everyone to become creative problem solvers across all industries.
  3. Increasing our understanding of engineering on a basic level so that we are tech literate, regardless of which industry we work in.
  4. Reducing the gender pay gap so that we have more women with more money who can also invest in anyone they consider fundable.
  5. Invest more often in more women at any stage of business, not just those who are going for VC - backed rounds.

Climate change is the central issue of our time, and, next to something like a giant asteroid strike, it’s the greatest existential threat to our entire species. Our legislators have done little to address it. Instead, we just keep kicking the ball down the road. Historically, women and people of color have been the greatest champions of justice in our country, and climate change is a social justice issue, an environmental justice issue, and a human-rights issue. I strongly believe that if we want to have any chance of solving climate change, we need more women and people of color in power. We need to elect more women and people of color to every office. Then we need to get behind them and push!

The universe is chaotic, but within it there is everything you need to thrive. This is my personal philosophy; I believe that no matter what your circumstances are if you are paying attention to the world around you there are solutions to every problem, opportunities for every circumstance and more of everything you need to move to the next step.

Warren Buffet is perhaps the most iconic investor to live today. Additionally, he’s one of the most giving. I’d enjoy being able to sit down with him and discuss everything from business to his incredible philanthropy.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Jason Malki

Written by

Jason Malki is the Founder & CEO of StrtupBoost, a 30,000+ member startup ecosystem + Flex5, a startup investor relations, marketing, and design agency.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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