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Raising money is catastrophically challenging for female founders – TechCrunch

“Funding is a devastating challenge for female founders and even more difficult for black female founders.”

This is a bold and even abominable statement. A recent discussion speculates what will happen in 2022 for a startup-leading woman like me.

As one of the few black female CEOs in the field of development tools, I’m often asked to comment on big, technology-centric collective social issues. There are many things to carry around, but I recognize the value to all of us by raising these issues and, if possible, my voice. Still, I want to give a definitive answer, but I have a lot of questions.

Technological innovation

In the world of technology, we are anxious to benefit from our pioneering status and become part of the next digital product that will shape what happens at the industry level. This is especially relevant when it comes to seeking capital. We have also seen some striking changes in the area of ​​developer tools, but the subsequent funding of VC support confuses technological growth for the social progress we really need. You may be worried that you may be at risk. Women are still late. Why?

There are great female developer founders such as Jeli’s Nora Jones, Thistle Technologies’ WindowSnyder, LaunchDarkly’s Edith Harbaugh, and Akita Software’s Jean Yang. There are also great female angels and VCs. These are the women I expect to be industry leaders. They overcome the barriers of funding and seeking while staying true to who they are.

Limited partners need to support more female VCs, and funds need to provide women with the same grace and forgiveness as men. Chane Ali Ben

In reality, the field of development tools is largely led by whites, even though we are trying to make a name for themselves in development tools. For those of us who do not meet these gender and racial criteria, simply prospering requires more attention to detail, energy and time than to be sustainable in many cases.

We need to recognize and set the level of the current way women have to fight to prosper. You have to ask a difficult question.

A battle that can be taken seriously

You want to raise money from other people who look like us, right? However, many female investors are struggling to take it as seriously as the founders of women who want to help. If we all face the same social constraints, that is, we are fighting for legitimacy, we probably maintain the same aversion to risk.

This creates a cycle of invalidation, where female investors take less risk and get less money than male investors, especially when it comes to investing in female founders. How can I break this cycle?

Limited partners need to support more female VCs, and funds need to provide women with the same grace and forgiveness as men. Female VCs need to be promoted to partnership. Partnerships allow you to quickly create meaningful checks.

I personally witnessed the extraordinary consequences of female angels and VCs empowered to connect with others to help the female founder. The sense of community and sisterhood they inspire has the potential to change the industry. This is what we need to know and scale.

The battle to overcome deep-seated psychological barriers

Today, there is widespread belief that women, both founders and VCs, are less active in the process of confirming rounds. As a female founder, male counterparts are said to be able to commit more money faster. Females seem to be risk-averse, often slow-moving and less demanding.

So what is causing the pause among women? That is probably the most obvious answer. In fact, we are at increased risk of being rejected in the funding process. It also tends to have less connections to the VC community. There, the “VC rules” (what to do, what to say, how to act) are often confusing and counterintuitive. There is no such thing as a clear guideline for writing good code.

Fight against numbers

Imagine that you have 1,000 potential investors, of which only 10% are focused on companies that offer technology like you. Then only 2% of them invest in the enterprise at your stage, 5% of them share the same philosophy — and you only have access to yet another percentage of them. Now imagine that you are stepping into those discussions with the understanding that we are ultimately the people who market to people.

For the next 10 years or more, we will concentrate on dealing with this investor. So while trying to navigate the numbers (odds for you), you’re trying to understand the history, personality, and perspective of the VC. How have they been burned before? Can we sympathize with their business in the past and guarantee them that our business is a worthwhile investment … all within 30 minutes?

So how can women fight well to raise money?

Easy answer: We can’t do it alone. Like most professional efforts, seeking funding is ideally enhanced by social networks. It’s fair to say that everything a woman needs to be good in the venture capital world is essential, but it requires not only basic networking and gender and race, but also allies and support. I think.

We need to focus on the challenges faced by color women and everyone involved in the game should participate in the fight for women. We recognize the potential dangers of working in a survival mindset for female founders and investors, and discuss financing that can be practiced, prepared and spoken on behalf of stronger companies. You need to provide the coaching and guidance you need to step into.

Simply put, we need to trust women’s abilities and potential at both ends of the deal, untied.

So my last question to founders and investors around the world: are you willing to take part in our fight?

Raising money is catastrophically challenging for female founders – TechCrunch Source link Raising money is catastrophically challenging for female founders – TechCrunch

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