The Gender GEDI – measures the development of high potential female entrepreneurship worldwide. Defined as “innovative, market expanding, and export oriented,” this gender specific Index utilizes GEDI’s unique framework, methodology, and global approach in order to capture the multi-dimensional aspects of entrepreneurial development.
Madison Color aims to reinvent the home hair care experience, starting with color.
Break out the champage! Two of today’s Series A announcements are amazingly unique. Not only are they women-led in Silicon Valley, but they are also….how should I say….middle-aged woman-led. Amy Errett has raised $4M in a Series A round, from True Ventures and Maveron, for Madison Color, a new type of in-home hair color. And Anna Zornosa of Ruby Ribbon, house parties for shapewear, closed on a whopping $8.5M, from Mohr Davidow and Trinity Ventures. Both are experienced entrepreneurs with great track records, creating companies for a decidely women’s market. Last week, Mark Suster announced his investment in two experienced Moms focusing on children’s products at Moonfrye. Perhaps the amazing market stats highlighted in the Lean In story are getting through. Set up your search to watch the progress of these three companies…then break out the bubbly!
See on venturebeat.com
Congratulations to Anna Zornosa on raising $8.5M in venture money from Mohr Dadvidow and Trinity Ventures for her party-based shapeware company, Ruby Ribbon. I’m ready to have my own Ruby Ribbon party!
See on www.rubyribbon.com
“As recently as 1985, 37 percent of graduates in the field were women; by 2005 it was down to 22 percent, and sinking.”
Many of the fastest growing tech companies today are targeted to an overwhelming female market–think Pinterest, Groupon, Zygna. The truth is that to have a vibrant economy and long term tech innovation, women’s talents have to be utilized in software development and product creation. Yet there are few women making a career in software development– the great economic ‘muscle’ in the high value work world today and as far out in the future as we can see. Women are killing it in other areas–making massive strides in all other fields and professions, as their numbers dwindle in the computer sciences according to a recent article in the NYTimes.
In Giving Women the Access Code, Harvey Mudd President, Maria Klawe, and others, are working to change this by creating computer sciences programs that appeal to women. College is the time to both understand the breath of what one is able to learn and do, but also understand the external value proposition of their work. The same transformation needs to happen in the field. I know many women who have excelled in engineering or computer science education programs, but left these fields after a few years due to dysfunctional environments that had nothing to do with the actual work responsibilities.
We need to do three things:
1) Revolutionize the teaching of computer sciences and software development, especially with the newer platforms available, to draw in women of all ages, both through university settings such as Harvey Mudd and the other great CS schools and the growing non-university education platforms, such as Codecademy and Udemy.
2) Recreate software/product development environments, from man caves with man rules to women inclusive environments. I know many amazingly bright women engineers/CS who have left the field, as ‘life is too short to live this way.’ Its not that hard to do–just takes some insight, open-mindedness and a willingness to make changes.
3) Investors should insist on women on the team, when entrepreneurs pitch a company with even a 50% women’s market. Many of today’s companies have predominant women’s markets, yet no women on the team?! Come on! This is not rocket science! Over the last few years I’ve heard dozens of pitches from young tech guys developing products for women-predominant markets that haven’t a clue about the market they’re looking to serve. This often doesn’t preclude them for blowing through money–lots of money. They have unlimited research but still don’t ‘get’ it. Women around the table, women in the scrum meetings makes you stronger and ‘derisks’ your ventures.
Good for Maria Klawe and others like her–it’s just the beginning of what’s to be done….
- Should everyone learn to program? And by everyone I mean women (annezelenka.com)
- Solving the Pipeline Problem: How to Get More Women in Tech (thedailymuse.com)
I’m on my way to the Springboard interview panels in San Francisco. Springboard was created 10 years ago by a group of women seeking solutions to the issue that women, with significant emerging start-ups, weren’t getting in front of venture capitalists. I’m proud to say I was one of those Springboard founders seeking a solution. Over the years, Springboard has networked emerging women entrepreneurs and created investment forums to pitch to top VCs. It is arguably the most successful of the venture forums worldwide. And over $5billion have been invested in women led companies with top returns to investors. I’ll add more on the outcomes on my next break–Money in is important, but the stunning returns is what keeps angels and VC’s coming back.