Business 20 December 2018
It is no secret that in venture capital, the decision makers and the beneficiaries of those decisions look very homogeneous. It is also implied that in order for startups to be successful, they better be located in the Bay Area of California, New York City, or Boston.
The fact that San Francisco and Silicon Valley alone account for 45% of the venture capital invested in 2017* supports this idea in the minds of entrepreneurial talent. Some investors claim there is a pipeline issue, but more realistically there is a power issue. It is widely acknowledged that this is a problem, but inertia tends to win out and the industry has be slow to adopt change.
We know the highly ambitious, future Fortune 500 founders are equally distributed across the country and will represent the whole spectrum of gender, race, and religion, but right now venture capital is missing this enormous opportunity to capture and support talent that is outside the geographic innovation hubs and homogeneous expectations.
Research is continuing to show that diverse, women-led companies grow faster and are proving more sustainable, but still receive only 5 percent of all venture capital awarded to entrepreneurs. Rarer still are the female founders of color who only see 2 basis points of venture capital. Shockingly, Inc. Magazine shares that only 26 female founders of color have raised more than $1 million of outside capital…ever.
Chloe Capital, a seed stage VC firm focused on women-led innovation companies, is embarking on a National Tour to employ a localized investing strategy and invest half a million dollars over the next six months.
They are leading the movement to close the gap in venture capital given to underrepresented entrepreneurs in overlooked communities by seeking out diverse, high growth potential companies to add to their growing portfolio.
In each of the 5 tour stops in cities across the US, there will be an investment workshop and pitch event, open to the public, where 5 local finalists will compete for a $100K top prize and an additional opportunity for follow-on funding.
The first tour stop is Rochester, NY. This rust belt city is the perfect location to represent the many overlooked and underserved markets with untapped talent, lower valuations and operating expenses, and increased regional support. All five of the Chloe Capital finalists on this stop have some relationship to the Upstate New York Region. BetterBred (betterbred.com) a DNA based conversation software preserving historic breeds and beloved pets, Immersed Games (immersedgames.com) creating video games that power students to love and learn STEM subjects, and Outgift (outgift.com) a retail-tech company changing the way you gift are all based in Buffalo, NY.
The remaining finalists BrandVerge (gobrandverge.com) a marketplace and workflow tool for advertisers to plan scalable media partnerships, and It's by U (itsbyu.com) DIY flower arrangement kits delivered straight from the farm, either have family or grew up in the Upstate Region. If you'd like to attend the pitch event you can register at CHLOESrochester.eventbrite.com.
I predict powerful ripple effects from the rest of the industry following this tour and the movement it represents, especially as Chloe Capital sees above average returns from these investments. The firm is changing the statistic of which entrepreneurs have access to capital, but they are also creating a new power base to diversify the decision-makers who control those decisions.
This movement is a call to be an ally and advocate for awareness and intentionality in investing. If you are an investor, you can diversify the leaders in your organization and be more aware of your own biases when assessing your pipeline. If you are an entrepreneur, you can also ensure your leadership teams are diverse and be bold to inform where the industry is falling short to support you.
If you are a subject matter expert or mentor, offer your talents to coach and guide promising entrepreneurs that are more representative of all entrepreneurial talent.
It is always good to examine the status quo, but in this case, is not being challenged for the sake of controversy. Within the innovation ecosystem, continuing to overlook and underserve certain markets and entrepreneurs is damaging to everyone involved.
Join the movement and get curious how you can be an ally to support diverse, women-led companies as an investor, entrepreneur, coach, or advocate.
3 Min Read
Thinking of ringing up your ex during these uncertain times? Maybe you want an excuse to contact your ex, or maybe you genuinely feel the need to connect with someone on an emotional level. As a matchmaker and relationship expert, I was surprised at the start of the coronavirus quarantine when friends were telling me that they were contacting their exes! But as social distancing has grown to be more than a short-term situation, we must avoid seeking short-term solutions—and resist the urge to dial an ex.
It stands to reason that you would contact an ex for support. After all, who knows you and your fears better than an ex? This all translates into someone who you think can provide comfort and support. As a matchmaker, I already know that people can spark and ignite relationships virtually that can lead to offline love, but lonely singles didn't necessarily believe this or understand this initially, which drives them straight back to a familiar ex. You only need to tune into Love Is Blind to test this theory or look to Dina Lohan and her virtual boyfriend.
At the start of lockdown, singles were already feeling lonely. There were studies that said as much as 3 out of 4 people were lonely, and that was before lockdown. Singles were worried that dating someone was going to be off limits for a very long time. Now when you factor in a widespread pandemic and the psychological impact that hits when you have to be in isolation and can't see anyone but your takeout delivery person, we end up understanding this urge to contact an ex.
So, what should you do if you are tempted to ring up an old flame? How do you know if it's the wrong thing or the right thing to do in a time like this? Check out a few of my points before deciding on picking up that phone to text, much less call an ex.
Before You Dial The Ex...
First, you need to phone a friend! It's the person that got you through this breakup to begin with. Let them remind you of the good, the bad and the ugly before taking this first step and risk getting sucked back in.
What was the reason for your breakup? As I mentioned before, you could get sucked back in… but that might not be a bad thing. It depends; when you phoned that friend to remind you, did she remind you of good or bad things during the breakup? It's possible that you both just had to take jobs in different cities, and the breakup wasn't due to a problem in the relationship. Have these problems resolved if there were issues?
You want to come from a good place of reflection and not let bad habits make the choice for you.
Depending on the reason for the breakup, set your boundaries for how much contact beforehand. If there was abuse or toxic behaviors in the relationship, don't even go there. You can't afford to repeat this relationship again.
If you know you shouldn't be contacting this ex but feel lonely, set up a support system ahead of time. Set up activities or things to fall back on to resist the urge. Maybe you phone a different friend, join a virtual happy hour for singles, or binge watch Netflix. Anything else is acceptable, but don't phone that ex.
Write down your reasons for wanting to contact the ex. Ask yourself if this is worth the pain. Are you flea-bagging again, or is there a friendship to be had, which will provide you with genuine comfort? If it's the latter, it's okay to go there. If it's an excuse to go back together and make contact, don't.
Decide how far you are willing to take the relationship this time, without it being a rinse and repeat. If you broke up for reasons beyond your control, it's okay. If your ex was a serial cheater, phone a friend instead.
If there was abuse or toxic behaviors in the relationship, don't even go there. You can't afford to repeat this relationship again.
As life returns to a more normal state and you adjust to the new normal, we will slowly begin to notice more balance in our lives. You want to come from a good place of reflection and not let bad habits make the choice for you. Some do's and don'ts for this time would be:
- Do: exercise — taking care of you is important during this time. It's self-care and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Do: shower, brush your teeth, and get out of your sweats.
- Don't: be a couch potato.
- Don't: drink or eat excessively during this time. Again, remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Do: think positive thoughts everyday and write down the 3 things you are grateful for. Look at the impact of John Krasinksi's SGN. It's uplifting and when you feel good, you won't want to slide backwards.
- Don't: contact a toxic ex. It's a backward move in a moment of uncertainty that could have a long term impact. Why continue flea bagging yourself?