The world of entrepreneurship is one known for its hardships and competitiveness, as well as for requiring enormous grit to even get the chance to get a startup off the ground. Unfortunately, while many would believe that the challenges faced by entrepreneurs couldn’t get harder, women often face a different reality.
Women have historically been underrepresented in the venture capital industry, with only 5.7% of decision-makers at VC firms being women back in 2016. While this percentage grew to 14.2% by 2021, the lack of diversity has led to a funding gap in which women-led startups receive a disproportionately small amount of venture capital compared to their male counterparts.
Despite data showing that women started almost half of all new businesses in the United States back in 2021, startups with at least one female founder received only 17.2% of all venture capital. If you look at startups founded solely by women, the number gets even more worrying at 2.4% of all venture capital.
The good news is that these challenges have not deterred female entrepreneurs and investors from taking action. In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of women-led funds and the amount of capital flowing into them. This trend and its effects on the startup ecosystem were the focus of the “Investors Pour into Women VC Funds Even as Markets Cool” panel, which took place in this year’s edition of Grit Daily House during SXSW.
Moderated by Fylí’s CEO & Founder Jaclynn Brennan, the panel featured Danielle Falls, Partner at First Gen Law; and LaKisha Greenwade, CEO & Founder of Wearable Tech Ventures During their conversation, they shared their experience and insights on the role of female entrepreneurs and investors in the startup ecosystem.
A creative director with over 12 years of experience with various luxury brands, Jaclynn founded Fylí (FEE-LEE) back in 2019 to help early-stage female founders find success in their entrepreneurial endeavors. The organization does this by offering education, mentorship, funding, and networking opportunities, creating a tribe of like-minded entrepreneurs focused on helping their businesses get off the ground.
LaKisha is not only a seasoned entrepreneur but also one of the world’s top coaches, innovators, speakers, and experts on wearable technology. She founded Wearable Tech Ventures back in 2019 with the mission to support 100 wearable startups by 2030, all of them led by underrepresented founders
In addition to her work as Managing General Partner at New Street Venture Group, Danielle also has plenty of experience supporting entrepreneurs from a legal standpoint. As a partner of First Gen Law, she has helped hundreds of early-stage founders all over the world who are looking for specialized legal services.
From positive statistics to tips on how to navigate the upcoming effects of the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, the panel comes at the perfect time for investors and entrepreneurs looking to level up their knowledge of the current state of the startup ecosystem. If you are one of them and want to learn more about how our panelists are breaking barriers and empowering other women to do the same, be sure to watch the recording of the panel discussion on YouTube.