Why I invest in women

imgresI did a recap on my investments before writing this post.  Roughly 60% of the investments I have made over the past 8 years have been in women entrepreneurs who are either solo or the co-founder.  I am pretty sure that I am doing significantly better than most when it comes to supporting women.  I really make a conscious effort to support women entrepreneurs even if I do not invest in them. The lawsuit that hit the air waves yesterday about Tinder really made me take pause.  For any of you who were not on their regular information channels yesterday, Whitney Wolfe the co-founder of Tinder (and it appears from many points of proof in the legal documents – everything is public knowledge – that she was the reason behind the name, the launch and a lot more) was mentally and sexually harassed for years.  Wouldn’t be surprised to see more women reading that and thinking to themselves, wow that sounds like what is happening to me. The most amazing thing about the technology industry, which is essentially the “it” industry these days is that young dynamic smart people can build a business, turn an industry upside down and get the funding they need to do it just by giving up a piece of their ownership for the upside of building something big.  The downside is that many, of course not all or who would I invest in, of the people building these businesses are young, arrogant and have zero experience in managing people.  Sometimes I even wonder how their mother would feel if they witnessed some of their behavior. I admit that I have talked to some of the “bros” that every article wrote about yesterday.  One group in particular that when I got off the phone with them I was flabbergasted.  BTW, they exist in many industries but I am focused on tech because that is where I spend my time.  The frat mentality is we are so superior to everyone around us that you best get on our band wagon now or you will be sorry is essentially the message they put out.  That swagger becomes a cancer within the company which is why there are more than a handful of companies in the tech industry that do not have one woman on the team.  Unfortunately there are many investors out there who actually connect with that attitude. So why do I invest in women?  The list is long but the most important reason is that I believe that the more women that rise to the top as successful entrepreneurs proving their businesses to be worthy investments the more women will be invested in.  Of course the thought is with more women being successful the less we will see young men behave in the manner that appears to have happened at Tinder (older men too).  Let’s all hope that a few years from now that investors are seeking out women to invest in and that this type of behavior is vilified.  That as investors we will dismiss young men who behave in this manner, quickly and appropriately vs ignoring the frat boy mentality and turning a cheek for the next supposed big idea.

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