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Women in Venture Capital
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Women in Venture Capital

Author: Rashveena and Anvita (Harvard Business School)

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Join us as we engage with women, from analysts to partners, establishing their presence in the venture capital industry and male counterparts lending a hand. Let's talk networking, recruiting, culture, trends, investment opportunities, female funding and breaking into the boys' club.
82 Episodes
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In this conversation with Tasneem, she talks about setting up Excelestar - building the fund's thesis and growing it to where its at today. She also talks about her efforts into promoting female entrepreneurs, via Golden Seeds - that is addressing the lack of funding and coaching for female founders. Finally, she shares what her aspirations are for women in investing.
In this conversation with the Untapped Global team, we talk to Caitlin and Yvonne about the fund's smart asset financing strategy, data-driven approach and Africa's growth vision. We also hear from them how women have a better "vibe check", making them sound investors in the ecosystem!
In this episode, we talk to Miki about her interesting path into VC and her career motivations along the way. We dive into the inspiration behind Grid110, the mission of the firm and the trends she's been excited about. Finally Mikki talks about gender dynamics in VC and details some tactical advice to break into VC; from online research to books, events, and communities. 
In this episode, we talk to Justine about what led her to a career in finance, first at Goldman Sachs then in VC. She further dives into the secondary team at Industry Ventures and how she approached the decision of what stage to invest in. Finally, Justine touches on how the sheer availability of female mentors in itself is a sign that things are changing in the industry, albeit slowly, and discusses the work yet to be done and some advice for aspiring female investors. 
In this episode, we talk to Brittany about her passion for Tech through her roles in consulting, ops and VC. She also touches on her experience working for one of the longest running VC firms and how the tenure of her mentors have played a role in her own journey. Finally, we dive into the thought that “Talent is equally distributed, but opportunity isn’t — yet." and what it will take to get to equal distribution of opportunity in the industry. 
In this episode, we talk to Julie Sandler about her psychology background and how that has translated to her work today, especially her relationships with founders. Talking about PSL, she touches on the growth of the fund and the Northwestern region and the venture studio model. She also dives into diversity both within the fund and their investments, serving as a testament to advancements in the industry. She concludes with her observation that the support system among women prominent in VC provides guidelines to help navigate the space. 
In this episode, we talk to Connie about her early interests in technology and how that translated to working at Square and eventually in VC. Connie shares more about her experience at Forgepoint Capital, including the funding growth in cybersecurity and horizontal expansion of the space across sectors. She also touches on how she engages with a community of professionals to tackle unfavorable gender dynamics and concludes with two key advices for aspiring female investors: (1) find a mentor with industry commonalities and (2) vocalize your opinion.
In  this episode, we talk to Temi about her pull towards an entrepreneurial space focused on Africa, her deep dive into fintech along with trends and themes she is excited about in the space—notably female founders. Temi also touches on the climate resilience and climate adaptation efforts in Africa (especially considering the prevalence of agriculture-related jobs). We conclude the chat with some advice for aspiring VCs, which includes taking initiative to reach out to founders, having a perspective and being willing to share that thesis, and lastly, to not be shy with your “superpower”. 
In this episode, we talk to Jazmin Medina about her interest in VC and startups during business school and why she chose an operator role beforehand. We also touch on some of the aspects of the industry that she finds attractive, including the ability to have a high level of ownership, lifelong learning, and the privilege of working alongside CEOs. Jazmin further talks to us about trends she's excited about and The Cap Table Coalition, elaborating on the organization’s broader mission to increase the number of startups, founders, board managers, and other positions in power from underrepresented groups. 
In this episode, Julia shares her experience working in business development at WeWork before joining VC funds for the last 3+ years. She further talks about professional growth within a firm and how to tackle conversations around promotions. She concludes with her very candid recommendation to think about why you see yourself succeeding in and enjoying venture capital before diving in. 
In this episode we talk to Senofer and Asya about their journey into VC and their vision to build a more equal and diversified funding landscape. We touch on how the current environment is all about empowering entrepreneurs and how bias can be used to counter the very unequal distribution it has created in the past. We conclude with some advice to aspiring female investors to tap into their strengths and find a place that rewards them but also be comfortable with embarrassing parts of the journey - you might get 1 response to the 20 emails you write, but that 1 might be just enough!
In this episode, Vivien talks about her venture path, her passion for healthcare and the podcast she hosts, interviewing & learning from entrepreneurs in the sector. She further talks about leading Pear's Female Founder Circle which is providing a platform for female technical founders and shares the aspiration of bringing these founders to the funding table, technical assistance or simply a community of like minded gamechangers. 
In this episode, we talk to Isabelle about her journey through finance and operations and what eventually led her to angel investing. We touch on the realities and opportunities of being part of an angel investing community, especially for women. We wrap up the conversation with some advice for female founders and investors with Isabelle drawing inspiration from two impressive women in very different worlds. 
In this episode, Lexi talks about how a long visit to the continent prompted her to explore innovation and investing in Africa and eventually moving to Nigeria. She dives into some of her key investment strategies that have helped achieve portfolio success at Acuity and themes and trends that she is excited about. Additionally, we talk about her experience with gender dynamics in African VC and her observation of how, the relatively late development of the tech and VC industry in Africa ("late mover advantage") has helped with building a more inclusive ecosystem. 
In this episode, we talk to Monica about her role driving impact at G2 Venture Partners and dig into her interest in climate tech and sustainability through her roles at Zola Electric and Tesla. We also touch on the evolution of climate tech over the years and the exciting new opportunities and conclude with how to achieve parity for women in both Tech and VC. Side note: apologies for my flu voice. 
In this fun episode with Tess, we talk about her passion for space and how that translated into a career through Boeing, SpaceX and eventually into venture capital at Bessemer. We also touch on mentorship vs. sponsorship and fellowship programs as a means to learn and break in the VC space. Finally, we dive into the low representation stats for female investors and talk about the need to take actions at the funder and founder levels and how playing into your strengths can make a difference. 
A short message to our avid listeners - we are still here! Anvita graduated from HBS last month (woo!) and is moving to Seattle to start the next chapter of her life and I have been working on an Africa focused Agritech / Foodtech accelerator program in Mauritius, hence the break from the podcast. We are looking forward to resuming the podcast in the coming days. Stay tuned!  - Rashveena
In this episode, we talk to Rima about her journey from being a "stock picker" in equity research at GS to business development at Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren and eventually venture capital, first with XRC labs, and now Commerce Ventures. Rima also touches on her experience working for StartU, "a Techcrunch for student startups" as she calls it, while doing her MBA. She emphasizes the importance of mentorship and community in solving gender disparity in VC and encourages aspiring female investors to tap into their strengths and form meaningful relationships to break in. 
In this episode with Deborah Quazzo, we talk about her pathway to VC, including her time at Merrill Lynch and her experience with angel investing as well as her collaboration with Michael Moe in founding ThinkEquity Partners and GSV Ventures later on. We also touch on the current education technology space and the opportunities it holds for entrepreneurs passionate about solving problems. We conclude with a discussion about how GSV has been able to form such a diverse team, especially with women in leadership positions.
In this episode, Kristin shares her decades of wisdom on finding the role and fund that you fit in and a bunch of tactical tips on finding the right place for you. We go deep into gender dynamics conversation in the finance industry. Listen in, to get great advice on choosing the optimum career path for yourself, asking the right questions, finding and nurturing the right mentor relations, and more!
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