Every white male VC/investor should watch this extraordinarily powerful @3percentconf 15-minute talk from
@deniselovehewtt, founder of @Scriptdinc. Every female founder should too, because we already know and have experienced everything in it (you'll cry)
"4 years ago was pre- #MeToo . And as a good entrepreneur does, I was prescient. I knew that something was coming that was going to accelerate the need for what we were building." @deniselovehewtt @Scriptdinc @3PercentConf #fundfemalefounders #changetheratio
"Last year we went to Silicon Valley to build an entirely new product - a total reinvention of the screenplay...because I believe in a world where we can commercialize screenplays to create a new economy of story" @deniselovehewtt @scriptdinc @3PercentConf
"I set out to raise our seed round. We had traction, we had users, we had case studies, we had a clear innovation on an outdated format, great beta interaction, and the timing was finally right." @deniselovehewtt @Scriptdinc @3PercentConf #changetheratio
"And so I met with investors. 300 of them, actually. Over 7 months. 50 of whom told me I was a brilliant entrepreneur. They could not believe how much I'd accomplished on so little money...but they were still passing on the opportunity." @deniselovehewtt
"This led me to bust some Silicon Valley myths. Because we are told that in early stage companies you bet on the founder. Because a great founder will pivot and pivot and pivot until they succeed." @deniselovehewtt @Scriptdinc @3PercentConf #changetheratio
"We're told great founders have grit. They have resilience. They do more w less. I spent 2 years talking to an industry about a problem they didn't want to admit was a problem. I have grit. I have resilience. We have done more w less. But it didn't matter"
"In 2016, 4.4% of venture capital went to women. That went down to 2% in 2017, it remained steady last year at 2.2%, & so far this year we're tracking at 1.6%. Despite this perceived movement towards inclusion, reality is it's going down." @deniselovehewtt
"And just to really demonstrate the inequity in this space, there are only 34 women of color in the history of venture capital who have raised $1million. But WOC are starting businesses at a higher rate than any other demographic." @deniselovehewtt
"So it's not a 'pipeline problem'. So what's really going on? Well, 92% of partners at VC firms are men. 74% of VC firms don't even have a single female investor. And when they invest in women, we get less than half the funding of our male counterparts."
"When they invest in women, they invest in categories deemed 'safe'...The female-led cos getting funded are in female-skewing categories. Fashion. Beauty. Wellness. When women start cos in gender-neutral categories, their opportunity for funding goes down"
"This is who owns the top 5 media companies. <shows slide of 5 white men> We don't really allow women to own entertainment companies. So it doesn't matter how much you hustle and hustle and try, the reality is you might still fail." @deniselovehewtt
"I decided to catalogue all my rejections from investors, and here's what I found. "I get the sense you guys are going after a good market that is ripe for change. If I was closer to the industry, I'd feel more comfortable." @deniselovehewtt @3percentconf
When I say, men get funded on potential, women get funded on proof, and not even then - THIS IS WHAT I MEAN. "I think you're dead right w timing and macro trends, it still feels like there aren't enough proof points for us to get involved" @deniselovehewtt
When I say, men get funded on potential, women get funded on proof and not even then - THIS IS WHAT I MEAN. "I know you've accomplished a lot on very little $$ but until there's track record and real growth we're not able to participate." @deniselovehewtt
"'We decided we didn't have the pattern recognition in this vertical to be comfortable placing a bet.' I don't fit the pattern. My company does not fit the pattern. And the problem w pattern matching is it upholds exclusionary practices." @deniselovehewtt
"Historically these industries have only been open to 1 type of person, so the pattern & the data is always going to support that. No diversity initiative is going to make a dent. But innovation doesn't come from things we've seen before" @deniselovehewtt
" @UChicago did a study on this and found entrepreneurs and venture capitalists knew intellectually they should not follow the crowd, but they said they did it anyway. And long term, those VCs suffered." @deniselovehewtt @Scriptdinc @3PercentConf #diversity
"If we continue to invest in the pattern we will never reach true innovation." The Problem With Pattern Matching @deniselovehewtt @Scriptdinc @3PercentConf #fundfemalefounders #fundblackfemalefounders #changetheratio #diversity #3percentconf
"Now's the first time tech giants have had to reckon with what they have built and how it affects culture & society, as well as over-inflated valuations - the time is not now to invest in the pattern. The pattern has caused the implosion." @deniselovehewtt
"I don't believe in failure, I think failure is a beautiful growth mechanism - what's frustrating is I haven't had the opportunity to see if what I'm building will fail. I'm still playing small bc I haven't had the resources to get in the ring to fail big"
"My male peers, not all but many, are raising tens of millions of dollars after their first company has failed - to other peers who are making million dollar mistakes within their own company, which is more money than I've had the opportunity to raise"
"This isn't just my story. This is @deshuna's story, the founder of @kweliTV, a streaming platform for creators of color. She's bootstrapped her business, has 25k subscribers, monthly recurring revenue, she still struggles for funding." @deniselovehewtt
"This is @emilybest's story, founder of @seedandspark a film crowdfunding platform. She wrote about the bias she faced raising funding. One VC told her she would need 3x the traction of @kickstarter for them to even consider an investment" @deniselovehewtt
"If 14 of 130 unicorns are women-owned, yet only 2-4% of venture capital goes to women, but 10.7% of unicorns are women-owned, then I think the potential is quite amazing" @deniselovehewtt @scriptd @3PercentConf #fundfemalefounders #fundblackfemalefounders
"I'm still grappling with the reality of my resolution. I brought in 2 male biz partners and we unlocked funding -I'm grateful, & they're fantastic allies. But it shouldn't have taken this long before male allies stepped in for us to get to the next stage"
This is the point @deniselovehewtt broke down in tears onstage, and many of us in the audience did too. "So I'm asking you to give women the fair attention they deserve when they start something, when they imagine something, when they invent something."
"I'm asking you to allow women to fail big. Because as you know from today, we are more likely to win big." Watch @deniselovehewtt's incredible @3PercentConf talk & ask yourself, HOW THE FUCK COULD ANYBODY NOT FUND THIS WOMAN?!!! @ekp @aileenlee @allraise
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