Data Shows Women-Founded Companies Perform Better Across the Board. So Why Did Their 2020 Funding Fall?

When tech has never had it so good, where are the women?

  1. Make female-founded startups a substantial part of investment strategy. And not just a marginal shift in focus; I’m talking about 40%+-substantial. We must be intentional about searching for the most talented female founders and building proactive knowledge of the larger problems they are trying to address — and in what industries. As venture capitalists, we love when founders (still mostly men) have a personal awareness of the problem they are trying to solve. Female founders intervening in feminized industries such as childcare, education, retail, healthcare, and beauty & wellness to solve their most pressing issues are no different.
  2. Include women in the investment decision-making process. If you can’t do it on the general partnership or investment committee level just yet, establish and grow a network of experienced female mentors and advisors from an array of businesses, and consult with them on a regular basis.
  3. Support, mentor, and provide feedback to female founders, the earlier in the funnel, the better (think idea-stage). I’ve committed several hours a week to ‘no specific agenda’ calls with my founders and mentees to discuss their existing challenges, brainstorm, and provide feedback on their formal pitch deck presentations — an approach which has garnered excellent results. After working for over six months with six female founders, I can say that the biggest roadblocks for many are a lack of prior entrepreneurial experience and a general lack of self-confidence. Proper, sustained coaching and support when needed can work magic.

Stanford GSB alum, early stage VC in consumer and SaaS, angel investor in ClassPass and Vinebox