Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Silicon Valley - You Have a Gender Problem"

Please check out this great article by Vivek Wadhwa ( an entrepreneur turned academic) pointing to the challenges women face raising venture money. It is a very thoughtfully written piece and highlights many of the issues we did in our "Women in Fund Management" paper. "Sharon Vosmek, CEO of venture accelerator ASTIA doesn’t think that VCs have an overt bias against women. Instead, it’s the way the venture-capital industry operates." She goes on to give us a list of exclusionary practises which again, we have found to be very true. His conclusion is this, "it is clear we have a problem here: we’re holding back the most productive half of our population." I could not agree more and his follow-up piece will seek to address some solutions. For now check out some of the 192 comments for ideas.

If we want to grow jobs in this country we to not only increase the amount of money that funds entrepreneurs, but also ensure that the playing field is level as it relates to access to capital, and it clearly is not. I have suggested before that the government should seriously consider a VC fund as part of it's job creation program, but so far NADA. It could easily co-invest with existing managers, like Golden Seeds and others, and it is beyond my understanding what this idea has not been acted upon. This investment would have the double impact of creating jobs, and creating a positive return for taxpayers. If the money is going to be spend anyways, this makes a lot more sense.

ASTIA is a great resource for entreprenuers. Check it out.
As is GOLDENSEEDS - where I am a proud member. (pictured is Stephanie Hanbury Brown, the founder)

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