eing a feminine start-up founder is much from simple. From pitching for funding in entrance of all-male VCs to dealing with sometimes-unconscious bias, feminine entrepreneurs have to beat further obstacles to navigate their method to success.
Born from Made.com chair Brent Hoberman’s Founders Discussion board community in 2016, AccelerateHer is a world occasions sequence bringing collectively entrepreneurs, CEOs and international leaders. It goals to showcase rising feminine enterprise and tech leaders, and to drive societal change by means of know-how.
Final week accelerateHer was a stakeholder on the capital’s eighth London Tech Week, the place audio system and attendees included founders of a number of the UK’s largest know-how corporations, ministers and traders – and the following technology of London-based start-ups vying for consideration.
The community hosted a panel with former First Girl and two-time presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and prime feminine UK enterprise and tech leaders, together with Microsoft UK CEO, Clare Barclay. All gave their recommendation to feminine entrepreneurs based mostly on a long time of expertise as usually lone feminine voices within the room.
The Commonplace caught up with the accelerateHER’s interim CEO Elka Goldstein, who not too long ago moved to London after working at start-ups in Silicon Valley and in US comms for China-HQd drone-maker, DJI, to get her prime suggestions…
1. The area will not be at all times welcoming, so actively attempt to discover mentors to introduce you to the “movers and shakers” – do not rely solely on occasions and coffees
“Generally that neighborhood [start-up investors, the tech world] will not be as welcoming as we want to say it’s. I believe there are unimaginable women and men who will aid you alongside the way in which, however it’s essential to attain out and discover them. It is not that simple. It is not only a common espresso chat or a networking occasion, or a take a look at your school alumni group – it is actively asking individuals to introduce you round,” Goldstein mentioned.
The CEO mentioned that is particularly essential for individuals who are founding a start-up with out having attended elite universities or different centres providing contacts.
She mentioned: “In the event you come from a non-traditional background economically and even simply along with your training, [it is about] discovering out who the movers and shakers are and asking individuals to get you the invite, or to determining methods to get into the room or on the desk.”
2. Seize any alternative for benefit yow will discover – do not be afraid of being pigeonholed
“Early in my profession I attempted to not do women-focused issues as a result of I used to be so apprehensive that it could maintain isolating me,” Goldstein mentioned. “I apprehensive about exhibiting people who I used to be a working mother. I used to be nervous about telling individuals I had children as a result of I wasn’t the 28-year-old who was going to remain right here till midnight coding. As soon as I kicked that dumb concept out of my head, I realised these different ladies are precisely the kind of individuals are going to assist me.
“I believe if we will open our eyes and never be afraid to be pigeonholed as anyone factor, the concern of tokenism, or of simply being a ‘field checker’ for them [a company or investor] – who cares? Use it to your benefit.
“Get your foot in that door, after which get 10 extra individuals who test that field in there proper alongside of you.”
3. Search out feminine traders
Goldstein is impressed by the explosion in femtech start-ups and femtech-focused VC funding in recent times.
She urged start-up founders to do their analysis and attempt to discover the tech traders centered on backing female-led corporations, or start-ups addressing long-ignored feminine well being points.
“Femtech is a tough factor to pitch to a room filled with male traders,” Goldstein mentioned. “Begin-ups at the moment are discovering female-focused traders, and traders simply centered on sextech and femtech. It is only a stunning, round win for all of us over the previous few years.”
To learn Hillary Clinton’s suggestions for feminine entrepreneurs click on right here