Patrick Osinski : startups advisor, all about Social Media, Marketing, Business Dev, SEO, Design, Digital content, Innovation, Apps.
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"You know you're on the right track when you become uninterested in looking back."
Monday, August 24, 2015
What Kind Of Opportunities Are Lost Without Women Investors?
Studies show investors prefer entrepreneurial pitches presented by male entrepreneurs compared with pitches presented by female entrepreneurs, even when the content of the pitch is the same. This, in combination with the small percentage of female investors, highlights why now is the time for women to become tech investors. Let’s look to Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company. With a well thought-out idea and a female perspective, she came to a $1B valuation in three years. With that success story in mind, what kind of business opportunities are lost without female millennial investors, and how can we get more women in the roles they desire?
Looking to the list of female millennials in venture capital below, you’ll see stories of women who are willing to step up and stand out and get funded. Take Brittany Laughlin, GM of Union Square Ventures and Incline CEO, for example. The 26-year-old helps U.S. veterans enhance their skill sets to secure jobs and fill in the talent gap of the technological workforce.
And Rebecca Kaden, a former journalist at The Economist, became an outstanding female millennial investor at a premier early-stage venture capital firm, Maveron. Her recent investments include Periscope, recently snatched up by Twitter, and Newsie, acquired last year by LinkedIn.
These women show the value of an increased female millennial presence, which has benefitted the technology and investment industries. In making decisions with wide societal impact, these women have capitalized on business opportunities that are changing the norm. So how did they get there?
The first step for women investors to getting involved is to self-educate. Venture capitalists don’t want amateurs —they need professionals. Start learning fund formation principles, as well as deal-making and exit strategies. Be receptive to current trends and tools, and prepare yourself for the full-time job that is learning the biz. Partner with a mentor — whether it’s an experienced investor or the millennial type.
After learning the fundamentals and working with your mentor, hit the ground running when you feel confident. Maybe it feels too early to sit on the investor side of the table, but don’t let that stop you. Work with startups, help them raise funds, negotiate and structure deals. Doing it all will only help you get to the other side. Exuding more than sheer confidence (and perhaps determination) is key and will help aspiring businesswomen achieve goals. My experiences have taught me that women with a a damsel-in-distress kind of attitude don’t succeed. Taking a more active role in investments will allow women to capitalize on biz opps, expansions, and so on. Let’s take a look back to when I launched MTV Music Television in Europe.
The goal was to make MTV a hit across 16 European countries. Cable television was a new thing (hard to believe, right?), and we couldn’t get advertising deals from any international agencies because of resistance to commit on a pan-European level. We nearly packed our bags to return to the U.S. Instead, I walked into the headquarters of mega corporations companies like Coca-Cola, among others, to bypassing the advertising agencies completely and close the deals with the advertisers themselves. There was a business opportunity, and I seized it. The fearlessness to break the rules is what was, and has been, my primary key to success in the investment world.
I see no trepidation in female investors around me. Women across the technology industry take business and investments seriously —they wield power and influence. Female millennial investors, the ones out there, are making a societal impact. Let’s name them all:
Luckily, companies are starting to see the market women represent. If more women take an active role in the investment and business opportunities they desire, we will continue to represent and create a whole new layer of innovation.