‘Huge’ opportunities await women entrepreneurs, venture capitalist says. Here’s what to do


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Women entrepreneurs have lengthy gotten a small slice of the venture-capital funding pie.

Female VC leaders try to change that.

In reality, opportunities abound for “wontrepreneurs,” stated Julie Sandler, managing director at startup studio and venture capital fund Pioneer Square Labs, primarily based in Seattle. She spends most of her time working the VC arm, PSL Ventures.

“First, the financing market for startups has truly never been more favorable to founders than it is today,” she stated.

“Second, there has never been a moment in this generation that has created as much change or opportunity for innovation as what we are experiencing in the world right now, coming out of the pandemic.”

In 2020, all-female founding groups obtained 2.4% of all venture capital dollars within the U.S., down from a excessive of three.4% in 2019, in accordance to enterprise platform Crunchbase.

Julie Sandler

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One of the challenges is the bottom of buyers making the choices, since many have a tendency to spend money on founders who remind them of different founders who’ve been profitable, Sandler stated.

“The problem is you have an entire industry that only invested in men, generation after generation,” she stated.

“This is one of the reasons it is so important for diversity in the ranks of decision-makers in venture funds to accelerate.”

Only 13% of determination makers at U.S.-based venture capital companies with better than $25 million in property below administration are women, in accordance to All Raise.

Advice for women entrepreneurs

Due to that disproportionate illustration, women may have to change their manner of pitching their enterprise to VCs.

One of a very powerful issues Sandler tells feminine founders is to deliver their most boastful, bombastic model of themselves into the assembly. The overwhelming majority of their rivals are fairly shut to the “Silicon bro” profile — a 35-year-old white male who’s been conditioned to pound on his chest.

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“If you are going into that pitch feeling like the most obnoxiously confident version of yourself, then you haven’t even come close to what the entrepreneur before you did,” famous Sandler, who stated nearly all of investments throughout her profession had been in women-led companies.

Women also needs to take a multi-tiered method to fundraising, stated Lindsey Taylor Wood, founder and CEO of New York-based The Helm, an early-stage venture agency that invests in feminine founders.

In addition to approaching companies which have the power to again what you are promoting, get inventive with the kind of angel investor you’re keen to tackle, she stated. Look at quite a lot of paths, together with fairness crowdfunding or a small-business mortgage.

“If you can bring in a number of strategic investors with smaller checks, it may be a pain early on but, if you need it to get off the ground, that is what you do,” stated Taylor Wood.

The Helm’s Lindsey Taylor Wood speaks at a Sept. 5, 2019 In Charge Luncheon hosted by Diane von Furstenberg and LinkedIn in New York.

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Her agency is targeted not solely on funding feminine founders, however bringing in women buyers, as nicely. Last month, The Helm launched a membership program that permits its investor group to make investments into early-stage female-founded firms for an annual price of $750.

If you get rejected, do not let it cease you. Instead, keep in mind that it’s a signal of progress as a result of it means you’re getting suggestions, Sandler stated.

“If you don’t put yourself out there, if you don’t ask for what you really want, the answer is no anyway,” she stated.

“So collect a bunch of ‘nos.’ Be proud of collecting a bunch of ‘nos.’ Then, the better the ‘yes’ will be when it comes.”



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