In the last week, we have seen a lot of press about women founders coming forward with stories of unfair and inappropriate treatment that they have faced from male investors in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. Much has been written and many great suggestions made, on how we can improve this situation and build a tech startup ecosystem that is inclusive of female and minority founders and investors.
While Republic is only one year old and our sample is still small, we are proud to have been a growth catalyst for so many inspiring female founders we have met and worked with. One campaign at a time, equity crowdfunding is flipping traditional funding statistics on their head.
Equity crowdfunding opens investments to everyone, removing the power dynamics of angel and VC investing that have contributed to a culture of abuse and disrespect. Women's prevalence and success in equity crowdfunding on Republic isn’t surprising to us - crowdfunding has a higher proportion of women fundraising than traditional funding means. Research also suggests that female founders are more successful in running crowdfunding campaigns (87.5% for women vs. 41% for male teams) because they have broader and more active social networks and tell more compelling stories by connecting at an emotional level. As Geri Stengel, contributing writer for Forbes The SEC authorized it, the SBA approves of it - and women are succeeding at Reg CF."
It will take time to structurally change the traditional venture ecosystem. We applaud the women who are speaking up and catalyze change, and the communities like Women 2.0 and Dreamers and Doers, and funds like Female Founders Fund, Gotham Gal Ventures and BBG Ventures who have worked for a long time to change the status quo. At Republic, we will work hard to continue leveling the playing field for women and minority founders, one fundraise at a time.
Know more organizations that focus on and back women entrepreneurs? Post links below in comments.
Some recent writings about how we can move forward
The Human Rights of Women Entrepreneurs - Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, Partner at Greylock Ventures, tech startup and investment veteran
- How to infuse diversity into an organization - 8 suggestions by Mandela and best-selling author on diversity
- Daniel Pink on Twitter: “Venture capitalists with daughters: 1) hire more women partners; 2) make better deals; 3) improve fund performance. http://www.nber.org/papers/w23
- How to put women into a position to invest in other women - Michelle McBane, the Director of MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund, on Financial Post