Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why are Women Funded Less than Men? - a new conversation

If you are thinking of starting a company, or raising venture capital, and happen to be female then Pemo Theodore's new ebook is for you.

Why are Women Funded Less than Men? a crowdsourced conversation presents a thoughtful collection of advice on how to do it and the challenges you face, drawn from a fascinating set of video interviews. Pemo interviewed VCs, entrepreneurs and advisors, asking them all to speak about the issues and challenges facing women trying to raise venture capital.

In a world more than 95% run by men, and 95% invested in by men, advice for the female entrepreneur is invaluable, and by presenting the advice in short video form, Pemo makes it very easy to absorb and enjoy.

Raising venture capital has never been a problem for me, and as I watched the videos I found myself thinking was I lucky, good, or just really ignorant of the challenge? I very much resonate with the advice to not be aware of your gender as you pitch, to be aggressive and to ignore that you know most VCs are not women friendly - your idea is still great.

I also resonate with the advice from Janice Roberts at Mayfield Fund that you can empower yourself by choosing the right VC. Finding the right investing partner is critical - my advice on how to pick a VC is in this post.

Many of the contributors speak about how important confidence is. So many women let themselves down by expressing self doubt. DON'T. VCs are already taking enough risk - they won't invest in someone that reveals their fears - and men don't let on no matter how scared they might be. Be confident, project confidence, and your investors will follow you.

As I said in my forward for the book:

While the facts are that only 3-5% of venture capital goes to female entrepreneurs there is simply no good reason for this to be the case. Women are as strong and smart as men, and often have the advantages of better management skills and stronger team building ability. But today's venture world is dominated by men looking for the classical male style of leadership and until that changes women need to adapt to the current rules of the game, get funded and win so they can change the game.

It take confidence, courage and authenticity and a healthy dose of advice and encouragement. This wonderful collection of advice, shared experience and often humorous stories will be an inspiration to any female entrepreneur. Pemo interviews across the spectrum: VCs, entrepreneurs, those who have succeeded, some that have failed, all that have learned and share their experience with you. It's a terrific resource if you are raising money from venture capital, plan to do so for your next brilliant idea or are a VC yourself wanting to unlock higher quality deals by tapping into the female advantage.


The complete videos of Pemo interviewing me on raising money are here and here too.

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