I wish I’d heard Prime Minister Trudeau’s “Because It’s 2015” retort to a journalist’s question about “why” he needed to have gender parity in his cabinet before being seated next to a stale, pale and male dinner guest at a startup and investor dinner in Silicon Valley. The guy just didn’t get it — in spite of having a daughter. Still smoking the meritocracy weed of the Valley, he handed over his business card at the end of the dinner and I politely forgot it under my bread plate.
It’s not that difficult to be inclusive when you have a desire to do so (or change is only hard to grasp for incumbents).
Onward, to another subject which clogs the airwaves — startup funding (and more particularly, getting introductions to investors).
An email I received recently from a female founder I didn’t know, seeking investment for an “angel tranche closing soon”, left me cold — and writing a post (“Seeking A Female Investor”) for Inc.com on how to connect with early-stage investors, who also happen to be women. Spoiler alert: we want you to research us first and your research should include networking to get a warm introduction — and the warmer the better. Spoiler alert: there are no fast lanes to relationship building. As I note in the column, the list of resources I assembled from funding platforms to Twitter handles is by no means complete — it’s simply a starting point for your research. Be curious and dig deeper — then tweet me @jkhoey to tell me what other resources you have found. And in case you’re wondering, early-stage investors like myself are not influenced by ‘don’t miss out’ Black Friday’esque emails from founders seeking funding. We’re seeking quality deal flow not urgent deal flow.