Why Women Have To Work Harder To Build Successful Startups

female-startups

By Julia Hu (Founder & CEO, LARK)

Much of business involves emotionally connecting with your audience. That’s why women build companies that emotionally connect with consumers: Much of consumerism is driven by women.

But the “audience” when you’re raising a round of VC funding is, well, men. Women can’t possibly emotionally connect with men as well as other men can. That’s probably why female VCs fund women-led companies more.

If the VC and angel communities achieve more gender balance, you’d see more female-led companies VC funded.

The financial drivers that make for a great VC-backed company are very different from the financial drivers for non-VC backed companies. VCs need to look for companies that swing for the fences and make it or break it in four years, creating a bias favoring companies that have a binary end result: go big or go home.

Based on my own experience, I do think women are more risk averse, so I’m not surprised that there are fewer women founding VC-backed companies. In a sense, that’s ok. We don’t necessarily need an exactly equal number of male- and female-led VC backed companies. But society can and should do a better job of encouraging women who want to be risk-takers to follow their dreams. It’s a Silicon Valley societal norm for a 22-year old guy coder to want to be like Zuckerberg. It’s a Silicon Valley societal norm to have amazing male VCs.

There’s no such norm yet for women. And until there is, I applaud organizations like Women 2.0 and Golden Seeds and female heav(ier) VC firms like Kleiner Perkins in promoting an ecosystem dedicated for, and built by, women… and men.

» Read the full article at VentureBeat.

About the guest blogger: Julia Hu is the Founder & CEO of LARK, a consumer electronics startup that helps couples sleep better together. Prior to LARK, she was National Sustainability Chair for global startup incubator Clean Tech Open, and ran international marketing in China for D.light Design. She received her Masters and Bachelors at Stanford and has half of a MBA from MIT Sloan (a dropout, but they’re nice enough to include her as a case study and speaker). Follow her on Twitter at @ourlark.