Wanted: Women Entrepreneurs
An easy way to lean in on venture’s gender problem.
The statistics are an industrywide embarrassment:
- Only 2% of venture capital funding went to female founders in 2017
- Just 8% of partners at the top venture capital firms are women
- A recent analysis of over 60,000 deals found only 18 black female founders who’d raised more than $1M of venture capital.
Feeling bad about it isn’t a strategy, but like a lot of firms we’ve struggled with what to do. Blog posts about the importance of diversity are a step in the right direction, but don’t do enough to drive progress or change the ratios in a world driven by money and power. Investing in female-led companies, hiring women for decision-making positions in funds, ensuring diversity on boards, and co-investing with women on cap tables are some of the high impact ways to make a difference… but all of that takes time and deal flow of people and opportunities more aligned with the profile of the network we want rather than of the network we have.
So how do we begin to fix it? Our friends at Alpha Edison had a great idea…In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’ve joined them and a growing list of other venture firms in making what may seem like an easy commitment: to take meetings with 8 women from outside our networks in the month of March.
What makes this hard? Well, in startup land, your network is everything. We recognize ours is disproportionately male (and white, for that matter,) and so absent active effort, so too will be the vast majority of the firms we get a look at, and by extension the vast majority of companies we invest in. While our long term goal remains parity across the ecosystem, meetings to build relationships are a first step, and have the added advantage of being something we can change today.
We Need Your Help
Are you a great female entrepreneur, leading an enterprise technology company working toward early traction in the marketplace? Do you know one?
Early traction capital for East Coast enterprise tech is the focus of our fund, but even if you’re not looking for capital right now, we’d love to meet just to start to build a relationship for something down the road.
Ping us today at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we look forward to meeting YOU.