Men have long leveraged their networks to succeed in business, and the tech industry has been no exception. Women, finding themselves outside of the club, are now creating their own networks to do the same.
Katelyn O’Shaughnessy already had a solid track record, selling TripScope, a travel startup she co-founded in 2013, to Travefy two years ago. But when looking for funding for her second company, Doctours, she says, “I kept hearing, ‘I love your idea, but I’m not sure about you being CEO.’ ” The investors O’Shaughnessy was pitching didn’t believe she fit the profile of what they considered a tech founder, she says.
Laura Wagner, co-founder and chief vision officer of electronic payments startup Digitzs, who is also based in Los Angeles, says she faced similar skepticism from the venture community—even with some heavy-hitters on the startup’s board of directors, including chairman David Jacques, PayPal’s first CFO.
The women spoke earlier this month at a reception marking the launch of the Artemis Fund, a venture capital firm in Houston that will use a $20 million fund to invest in 30 women-led startups. Around 100 mostly women attendees, including many entrepreneurs, nodded in agreement as O’Shaughnessy and Wagner spoke.
“There is a wealth of female leadership in Houston,” says Stephanie Campbell, an Artemis co-founder and managing director of the Houston Angel Network. “We would like to see that represented within the angel investor community.” Read the full story here.