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Diversity in technology investing - women as the next wave of growth

Now more than ever, it's time to rethink the numbers about women investing their energy, knowledge, or capital in technology startups. Undoubtedly, it would be positive for the sector if more women entered the field of technology investment.

diversity

More and more funds are recognizing the importance of nurturing female talent, both on their investment teams and in their portfolios. Now more than ever, it's time to rethink the numbers about women investing their energy, knowledge, or capital in technology startups.

The motivation behind becoming an investor

Fausta Pavesio, Venture Partner at Startup Wise Guys & Angel investor, shares her reason why she started investing in technology startups: “I think this is a wonderful way to "give back" after a successful career. Providing money (a little) and support (a lot of it!) to help a group of founders build a winning venture is a powerful way to end your working life. And you get to know a lot of like-minded people with whom you can build long-lasting friendships. The financial return is necessary, of course, but it is not, in my opinion, the number 1 reason to start approaching the ecosystem.”

With more than 10 years of experience in business & investment – during which she also professionally managed the role of Vice President of Business Angels of SloveniaNina Dremelj works with innovative, progressive, and proactive entrepreneurial teams. “In Business Angels Slovenia, I am proud to say that we have seven female investors. Investors are aware of the fact that they need to diversify, and that diversity is important to be successful. It's not good to have only women, and it's not good to have only men, because sooner or later they will lack balance. Balance in thinking, balance in the organisation, in everything. We have very successful Slovenian specialty and technology companies that were founded or led by female founders. More and more women are deciding to start their own businesses, and that's a good thing, and I think it's being received positively.

With a background of over 20 years in banking, at the high level of large corporate & financial markets, Ileana Guran is passionate about her own investment plan, showing an affinity for tech start-ups: “_I support innovative tech start-ups to diversify my investment portfolio and to help the ecosystem evolve as quickly as possible in a direction that is clearly positive for the humanity. I like to think that ROI will be like an inheritance that will be felt both emotionally, but also in the standard of living of my generation, as future retirees, and in the life quality of young people becoming adults, too._”

The importance of having role models

Laura Tabus seeks diversity and to support the successful promotion of women into managing positions. She gets her inspiration from strong role models: “_There are many women at whom I admire those qualities-ingredient that are often predictive of success. I admire Lucinda Arden for her crisis management skills, Melinda Gates for her social responsibility initiatives, Michelle Obama for her speech skills, Judi Dench for her professional resilience, ability to innovate, transform and career longevity, and Lisa Su for her turnaround in technology. To these, I can surely add many other women I have met in my professional life._”

Gina Calagiu, an entrepreneur with experience in several industries, shares her female role model and how is she relevant in today’s status quo: “Technology is part of our lives, and the new generation of entrepreneurs comes up with innovative ideas for using it. Our role is to support them. Queen Maria's courage, dedication and gentleness could inspire us, women, to become more involved in supporting young Romanians everywhere. The fact that many young people have left Romania and are scattered all over the world, can be converted to a competitive advantage for the development of Romanian businesses internationally.”

Aiming throughout her life to prove that she can get to any level of education she wanted, Ana Havriciuc considers that investments through SeedBlink are part of her professional development path. “From the point of view of strategic vision in her time and resilience in a men’s world, I admire Margaret Thatcher. Another person I admire is Marie Curie, who is an example of innovative intelligence, but also a model of a woman who developed professionally next to a man who knew to appreciate her. I don't think women are perfect, but I strongly believe that women can achieve a lot and reach their potential if they have peace of mind and supporting home environments. Besides the mentioned foreign personalities, I was also influenced by a number of remarkable women from Romania (such as Queen Maria).”

Investment best practices

To go more in-depth on startup investment, Mihaela Mitroi - angel investor, simplifies the investment process for herself by guiding her decisions through a couple of simple elements: an original idea, translated into a practical and scalable product, the entrepreneurial spirit in the founders who shipped it and is ready to take the necessary risks to make it grow.

Roxanne Varza - Director at Station F, tends to look at the founders, team, and metrics when she is interested in an idea that she understands and where she can potentially add value.

"Founders should be able to attract and retain the best people. I look at what kinds of people they have been able to attract so far and their existing networks. Sometimes you can see this in the people coming on board as investors or joining the team. I also consider how likely I would want to work for them myself.

The team that executes the best will win (most of the time). Often I like to see how fast they got going and how "scrappy" they were (did they find an innovative way to do something with little resources, for example). I get excited by small teams that have accomplished a lot in a small period of time. I feel they have the right "doer" mindset. _If there are metrics, I like to see what the metrics show - do they offer any type of stickiness, need, growth - metrics tend to be reassuring, but they are not everything._”

There is a clear business case for more women to be involved in tech investment, but more needs to be done. A closer partnership between industry experts, tech experts, and investment funds can nurture and empower a new generation of Women who tech to become champions. That's something we're working on - stay tuned.

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By Bianca Iulia Simion

PublishedMarch 08, 2022


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